With a historical structure such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, its beauty and splendor is hard to miss in either photos or in person. Through its French Gothic architectural design, its rich history of nobles, saints and leaders that have stepped inside the cathedral to its important role as a spiritual home to the French people and to all the millions of visitors who come annually to visit, this cathedral represents something that transcends time. This massive structure is the proud symbol of Paris. With the devastating fire on April 15th that caused damage to the spire and oak roof (Wikipedia), the cathedrals’ beauty and splendor was in dire danger. In the past, the cathedral had survived fires and gone through many renovations, yet it managed to stand tall and remain beautiful. This recent fire will only be a blemish that may leave a scar in the future but it is a scar that will not hinder the cathedral’s magnificent beauty and spiritual appeal. Plans of rebuilding the cathedral has already been initiated without delay. In the minds of the French, Notre-Dame de Paris will be rebuilt and made even more beautiful than before. Hope is the cornerstone for rebuilding.
Like the Cathedral of Notre Dame, we each are gifted with qualities that breathe beauty and splendor. There are things in our journey in life that will bring on destruction and fires but how we manage to keep calm and serene is the key to coming out of difficult times with a new face lift and renewed body and mind. Each of us have a past and history that has molded us to who we are but learning to let our beauty and splendor shine makes us a masterpiece in spite of what of how good or bad or history may be. Learning the Art of Serenity can connect us to our core being and propel us to move forward to take action to rebuild and not sit and sulk at our circumstance. When we are calm and at peace with ourselves and the situation, it is then we can begin to make peace with others. The Art of Serenity gives birth to words of life by fueling our mind with thoughts that will build us up.
Practice the Art of Serenity by meditating in prayers everyday and train your mind to shut distractions. Keep your breathing controlled and steady and stay connected to your core by staying focused not on the unknown future or the past but on the present. Learn to accept unknowns and mysteries of life without always having a definite answer to them. The Art of Serenity is a lost Art in our modern culture because the demand for speed and immediate gratification has taken over. We need to reclaim this lost Art of serenity so our culture can once again see beauty, splendor and compassion in everything, just like what the historical and spiritual monument of Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris means to the generations past, present and future.
You cannot perceive beauty, but with a serene mind.Henry David Thoreau
Wanting to practice the Art of Serenity in your life, start with a quiet space to refocus your mind and spirit. Create this space by adorning stones that speak words of life, such as “peace”, “be still”, “joy”, “believe”, “hope”, and “faith”. They will be a reminder to you daily to slow down and reflect on life’s mystery and beauty.