Which Cathedral would you prefer to restore?

You won’t believe it, but the news of the burned and destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral reached Atalaya.

Of course, it is tragic when something so great collapses.

Of course, it is tragic when the long-term work of countless hands of religious citizens, the pride and symbol of the country, almost disappears in smoke in an hour.

Much was already said about how magnificent and precious the Notre Dame Cathedral was. They used the best wood for five naves, a double aisle, and a wooden ceiling. For that, they cut down 1,300 oak trees.

Charity campaign for the Cathedral

Maybe I wouldn’t even write about this event if I didn’t feel God was sending us his Easter message at this very time.

The reaction of the public, especially the French people, is expected and absolutely understandable. Shock. And, of course, the firm determination that a new, even more magnificent sanctuary will be built on this site.

A memory of Notre Dame Cathedral, three years ago, when we lived in Paris for a month.

France urged people to donate. The government even said it would extend the charity campaign beyond its borders. All to preserve its honor and pride.

They say that after only a few hours, two French millionaires responded and donated 300 million euros to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

300 million

I couldn’t help but wonder what 300 million euros would mean to people from the margins of our society.

Which Cathedral would you prefer to restore?

How many children would be fed, how much drinking water for the poor, those who drink the water from muddy and dirty rivers?

And how many houses would be there for those who live in shacks with polyvinyl roofs!?

Which Cathedral would you prefer to restore?

Or, let’s say, how many newly planted trees in the Amazon rainforest are cut down today so that we can write on top-quality paper, print advertising leaflets, and furnish our apartments with the best furniture?

21 hectares of forest is worth the ceiling of Notre Dame Cathedral. Will it destroy it again?

It’s not just the Cathedral that’s on fire

I asked myself, does France really need a new, renovated shrine of this kind and with such a financial and material investment?

Silva and I spent a month in Paris while traveling around Europe. Only one month, but long enough for us to experience the splendor and misery of this city.

The zone where Notre Dame Cathedral stands is one of the most prestigious zones in Paris. Tourists are thronging, cameras are flashing, and prices are skyrocketing.

In this place, you will pay eleven dollars for a scoop of ice cream and nine for a short espresso coffee, not to mention the food prices in restaurants.

There are also many homeless, unemployed, and beggars in Paris.

There are also many homeless, unemployed, and beggars in Paris.

If people are willing to pay for it, fine too. But just a few hundred meters from the Cathedral, you can see torn tents on the sidewalks, where people spend the night, who are obviously not that important to tourists (and the country).

Certainly not so important that the president would approach the millionaires in a rush of emotions and persuade them to donate 300 million euros to solve the problem of the homeless in Paris. Or refugees and migrants.

Affected believers

I have been to Notre Dame Cathedral maybe ten times in all. Except on Sundays and major holidays, when the church is filled with worshipers (mainly tourists), the Cathedral is used for photography, guided tours, and general admiration.

The day after the disaster, Parisians gathered in large numbers in front of the Cathedral, singing Christian songs and praying.

Worshipers in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. Source: The Irish Times

Condolences rained down on this place from all over the world, to the faithful, Catholics and Christians, who lost a part of their ‘heart,’ (as they wrote), because the Paris cathedral was supposed to represent the ‘cornerstone of the church.’

Churches are falling apart

But churches in Europe are known to be empty. Let’s leave aside the reasons for this and just think that they are not only closed but even demolished in many European countries. We experienced this reality during our trip through Italy, France, Spain, and Belgium.

A historic German church is being demolished to make way for a coal mine. Source: The Local

They are demolishing a historic church in Germany to make way for a coal mine. Source: The Local

There is information that the French Senate has planned to demolish around 2,000 churches in France because they are not visited, do not serve their purpose, and are therefore too expensive to maintain. How many broken hearts of believers can be expected then! Or I’m wrong?

The true temple of God

On Good Friday, Christians will follow Jesus to the top of Calvary. We will observe a person who will walk this path voluntarily, for me, for you, for all of us.

And we will watch as the veil is torn in the temple of Jerusalem after he gives his soul back to heaven. It will be broken so that you can see that the true temple has no walls, no borders, and is not decorated with gold.

The Pharisees, scribes, and others will be shaken. I imagine they will stand in front of the door, singing, praying, and lamenting… Meanwhile, the Spirit of Jesus will swim to people and enter our hearts, build his temple there and dwell in it forever.

God’s Easter message

What symbolism when I think of Notre Dame Cathedral! What an Easter message!

Now is an excellent time to ask ourselves how often we ignore this inner sanctum because we think God resides elsewhere.

And how many times will God have to show us that apart from Him, nothing in this world is eternal, no matter how deep it may be for us.

Perhaps this time, we will finally recognize that only the people, the poor, the broken, the helpless, the desperate, and the impoverished, are that Cathedral we must keep alive and help restore its dignity and splendor. I believe we will!

Leave a Comment