It was by no doubt terrible to see the Notre Dame turn into a blazing fire. Such monument which stood up as a symbol of gothic architecture for nearly 800 years going up in flames. In such moments we see what human resilience can do, in the firefighters who fought against the raging flames. Not thinking twice at putting their lives at risk, to put out the blasé and keep Parisians safe. Such selflessness is a reflection of our true human strength. Not to mention that at such a cultural disaster we see humans all around the world unite to make amends. Here we see clearly an example that cooperation is our strength and not segregation and separation.
This can be clearly seen and noticed through the momentous compassion that is being directed from all around the world towards the Parisian people for such “Architectural loss”. And with no doubt, such was a great cultural and architectural loss. We are seeing people selflessly starting initiatives to collect funds towards the rebuilding of such an iconic monument. In just two days the Notre Dame repair fund hit a Billion euros. But amongst all the well-intended initiatives started by individuals in came the big fish committing a minimum of 500 million euro amongst them for such a fund.
But as Janet Street-Potter (2019) comments in her article. Is Notre Dame being turned into a rich man’s trophy church? Was such public commitment also intended as a publicity stunt? With their respective companies trending on social media as the news broke out. And she places a further question – What’s the rush to build it?
She also put forth the following argument and here I quote as follows:
“In every major city in the world, cathedrals are full of tourists shuffling through, photographing everything in sight. They are hardly reverential spaces for quiet contemplation, but have been turned into flashy tourist attractions with guides and souvenirs.”
“The burnt-out building should be left as a poignant reminder of its’ former glory days. A reminder that man-made structures are temporary but true belief transcends it’s surroundings.”
“After the war, cathedrals were bombed, some were restored, but others left as reminders of man’s cruelty to man.”
As a Christian, This points me to a comment that my dear friend pointed out to me while discussing such issue that when Jesus saw the commercialization of the temple, he threw them all out.
And on further reflection. Look at the state of the earth with the latest dire warning from scientists, that if we don’t do something in the next 12 years about climate change, we will be setting ourselves on the path of extinction. Notwithstanding, that because of the current “global” individualistic consumerist market ideology tons of food and other basic resources are thrown away or misused, to keep such consumerist ideology going which benefits the few as it fuels their power. With the latest statistics point out an estimate that about 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world are in hunger. Reflecting on such why all the waste why such consumerist market ideology? Which on reflection is seemingly creating an endless self-perpetuating cycle of pain and suffering.
This brings us to the point. Considering such what would Jesus and God do? What would Jesus and God want? When their essential nature is the unbound love and compassion, of a father towards each and every one of us. The rebuilding of a cathedral? Or using such funds and together directing our common humanity towards other more pressing issues? So no one in the world is in a state of suffering.
As Janet Street-Potter (2019) well comments and I quote “Let’s face reality – a building which is over 700 years old will always be falling down and require a bottomless pit to keep safe.”
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.
Janet Street-Potter (2019) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6929557/JANET-STREET-PORTER-Frances-fashion-emperors-money-use-people-need-it.html