Yes it is truly sad that #NotreDame cathedral has been damaged. I want you to know that if you only associate the church with art and history, it’s ok to talk about that with me. I also want you to know that the structure is first and foremost a Catholic Church that was literally built for Catholics to practice Catholicism. I hope that you’ll understand why so many Catholic people would really take this hard; it’s not just a museum to us.
I commend the French government and Macron for stepping up to reassure people that the cathedral will be rebuilt. However, I want to remind you again that this is a religious structure. If you should make a donation, do it from the kindness of your heart, and keep your politics out of it–otherwise, leave it alone. Really.
To my Catholic neighbors, I ask you for as much mercy as possible toward people who have only learned to associate the cathedral with tourism, or art, or history. People who have not discovered the Church simply don’t know that we used to be “The” folks to teach about what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful. Can we say that about ourselves today? Not just as a Body, but can we say that within our own neighborhoods or even our families? I know far too many people who only associate Catholicism with the same corruption and hypocrisy found anywhere else. No, I do not think this fire was of God. BUT, I do think God can use it.
I believe that it is entirely possible that a merciful God would give the contemporary generations an opportunity to rebuild our churches and ourselves back into beacons of beauty and hope. I believe that a merciful God could use a fire to remind us that this world passes away, that none of us are perfect (I’m pretty darn much at the top of that list). I think the process of rebuilding can teach us that even though we are so flawed, God can use people to do amazing things, and that we can do them because the simple truth is: we have souls. Whether you are Catholic or not, can do this on a huge scale for a cathedral, or simply work within your own family, I hope you take this opportunity to breathe, relax, know that it’s ok…and then get started on rebuilding your soul, and really truly valuing the work you are doing within your own family to make things where YOU are beautiful and good.