Watching Notre Dame burn, I wept. I’m not Catholic, nor French, but none of that mattered as I watched The Lady of Paris light up the night in horrible flame. It surprised me how strong the reaction was inside my heart, and then my head. I’ve never been to Paris, I’ve never seen that venerable cathedral, and honestly, I think that made me hurt worse. I feared I would never see it stand again in my lifetime, that I would never get to see the rose windows for myself with my own eyes. Yes, my first responses were based in selfishness.
My second response was to see a terrible metaphor played out on my television. It’s okay, dear reader, if you don’t agree, but I find it self-evident that Europe, and the West has lost it’s soul. It’s lost it’s mooring in Truth, and by that I mean absolute truth that has one source; God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the one true God Who is triune in nature. Bastions of the Christian faith that have held out for thousands of years have slipped from their moorings. They don’t recognize the One Who bought them… and here burns His Cathedral right in the heart of France.
Yes, yes, I do know and truly believe in the end all will be put right, but that’s not where we are right now. Right now the world is groaning, you could hear it while Notre Dame burned. Not only was she burning, but burning and toppling at the beginning of Holy Week. Call it what you will; a metaphor, a sign, a wake-up call… it hurt. I’m left mumbling like Richard Dreyfuss’s Roy Neary, “This means something.” It’s not the building burning that made me weep, but the neglect of the Faith amongst the faithful that has lead to the state of disrepair the whole Church catholic is in, no one noticing until it’s being destroyed right in front of us.
Then the morning comes and shows us a new image; fire out, cross still shining. Yes, the roof is gone and the cathedral is now exposed to the elements, but the heart of the church is still there, and the glorious windows depicting the gospel along with man’s love of God, man’s creative gift from God as we are made in His image. The devastation is vast, and it will take time and money and expertise to mend it all, but it will be mended Lord willing! Will the Church, all of us believers of every stripe wake up? Will we start living and reviving our faith by allowing God to live in us and move us? God, I hope so. I beg so.
The other things in the world going on faded out, and for several hours everyone’s eyes were glued to the news and the coverage of the fire. Now, you see the pictures of the cross, and the parts of the cathedral that have survived. Some will move on and the images will fade and they won’t act on what they felt when watching it burn, some laughed and cheer while it burned, but some wept. It hit me hard enough that I came back here to this blog of mine that has set idle for three and a half years… and what did I find? My last post was all about France, about the attack by Muslims on civilians, and hence on civilization, and I said what I will say again; my sentimentality can be a good thing, so can yours, as it can be for everyone that felt it… but it’s not enough. We have to start acting like Christians, and that means learning the mind of Christ, begging for the mind of Christ, and following the Spirit, doing as He says.
As for me, it meant coming here and writing this, it meant searching out a legit way to give to the restoration of Notre Dame. It also means to keep living my faith, to broaden my actions, and pray for depth of understanding in order to live out the faith. I don’t know if anyone still reads my blog… if you are here right now, and you’ve read this far, and you agree with anything I have said… just know you aren’t alone. Just know there truly is hope, and we can live like there is. Just know there is Truth and Love, and we can actually live our lives in accord with that, and it is all meaningful. Christ did indeed die on the cross, but let’s not forget He rose three days later! I hope I’ll have more to say about all this very soon.
As for me, it feels like another sign that my last post was about France, I’ll have to seriously pray about and consider the import for me, because I do believe, “This means something.” Don’t forget, it turn’s out Roy Neary was right even when the world around him thought he was nuts…
Grace and Peace to my brothers and sisters, especially all of you over in France. Revive us again, Lord.