I explain all of this because I have been blessed to visit Notre Dame three times. I also just realized that each time was during a different phase in my way back to faith. The first was before the idea of converting to Catholicism even crossed my mind, the second was when I was in the RCIA program and the lase was after I was confirmed and living in the faith. It was also the last place I ever got to go to with my father. I should also mention the last time we were there was a few days after the Paris shooting, However, sad that trip was, it was also my favorite. The city was quiet and the weather was dark and wet, but it was incredibly beautiful. Several times I cried during the trip. The stress of what was going on in my own life, the terrorist attacks and doing something to help a friend heal. I clearly remember walking into Notre Dame that last visit and felt a warm embrace and brought me so much comfort and peace, I started to cry.
There is something so amazing about Notre Dame, its so hard to explain. My only hope is that it can be restored to its former glory so others can experience its magnificence.