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Holy Week and Notre Dame Cathedral

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I doubt there is nary a soul anywhere that is not aware that “Our Lady” of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, suffered a terrible tragedy this week. One does not need to be Catholic to feel at least some sense of loss.

Even those who are not religious seem to at least share a sense of loss in this building that has stood for over 800 years.

The Cathedral averages over 30,000 visitors per day. More than even the Eiffel Tower.

While this is a great loss, some view it as a symbol of rebirth for the building, Catholics worldwide and many others with no affiliation with the church.

Donations to rebuild the structure exceed $1 billion in just a few days. Last week fund raising efforts for restoration hovered around $50 million.

Unexpected loss has an unusual impact on people.

“There is something about the brick and mortar stones, placed there by believing people, that can communicate to people. They know they are on holy ground, and it’s not because the place is holy, but because it is made holy by the faith of the people there,” he said. – The Church News

The fire occurred at the start of Holy Week.

“If there is a moment when Christians should be ready to mourn the death of something, but to believe in the resurrection of something, it’s Holy Week,” Father McCarthy said.

“It is my belief that something is going to rise from these ashes,” he said, noting that even the pagan myth of the phoenix and the ashes can bring hope after the day’s events.

When Jesus was on Earth he said “Tear down this Temple and I will rebuild it in three days“.

Those who heard him, including his followers, did not understand the true meaning of his words. Some even scoffed and said “It took 46 years to build this Temple. How can you build it in 3 days?“.

He was of course referring to his body as the Temple. And he was prophesying about his death, followed by the resurrection three days later.

Notre Dame will not be rebuilt in 3 days or even 3 years. But I have no doubt the Cathedral will one day return and welcome all who come.



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