The great book which was opened before me, and in which I learned my lessons, was the Church. May this great and majestic Mother be praised forever on my knees for all I have learned! I spent all my Sundays in Notre-Dame [de Paris] and went there as often as I could on weekdays. I was as ignorant of my religion as one can be of Buddhism, and, behold, the sacred drama was played before me with a magnificence that surpassed all my imagination.
Ah, this was no more the poor language of devotional books! This was the most profound and grandiose poetry, the most august gestures ever entrusted to human beings. I could not have enough of the spectacle of the Mass, and each movement of the priest was deeply inscribed in my spirit and in my heart. The reading of the Office of the Dead, that of Christmas, the spectacle of the days of Holy Week, the sublime chant of the Exsultet ... all that filled me with respect and joy, with acknowledgment, penance, and adoration!