Faith Forged In Fire - Thoughts About Notre Dame Burning

Faith Forged In Fire - Thoughts About Notre Dame Burning

There's so much to say, but this is what I'm going to focus on today

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Sirens screamed in the French air this week as the firefighters battled the huge blaze in the Notre Dame Cathedral. The world watched, horrified, as the inferno grew, as the spire fell, and as the smoke plumes kept billowing into the French airspace.

I received a text from a friend of mine about it. At first, he wasn't very clear, so I thought the Notre Dame UNIVERSITY Cathedral was burning. One of my childhood friends goes to that university, and I had the privilege to visit it.

I quickly searched Google for information about the Notre Dame Cathedral to verify... but I was struck with the image of the two Parisian stone towers instead of the golden dome in Indiana, USA.

Tears immediately sprang to my eyes as I watched the footage. I visited Notre Dame (the Paris one) on a school trip with my high school. The rose windows were breathtaking, the songs the mass goers sung reverberated in the rafters, and the relics were awe-inspiring.

France has had a lot of interesting things happen to it in regards to the Catholic church. Our Lady of Lourdes, the Miraculous Medal, the building of Notre Dame, the French Revolution... so many horrible and beautiful things have happened in that country (and I'm only naming a few, here).

My big question is "What if the fire of Notre Dame could be a beautiful thing, too?"

In the Bible, there are many stories about how God destroys, humbles, and grounds things up in order to bring something more beautiful from the ashes. In the Book of Daniel, three men are given the hard choice of proclaiming their faith in God and dying by fire OR worshipping a false god and living a life they do not want to.

They chose to be burned alive instead of renouncing their faith. What happened is their faith was rewarded by God and an angel was sent to protect them from death. In this story, God saved them from destruction. But in other places, God uses destruction (of sorts) to bring about a bigger reward - a growth in faith, virtue, hope, charity, etc.

For example, we read the testimony of Saul being blinded (humbled) by God so he could become Paul, a man who had a true vision of Jesus. We read the story of the Jewish Temple being destroyed TWICE and being rebuilt.

There are so many examples of God letting death become a path of life instead of simple destruction. I mean, all Christians have to do is look at the death and resurrection of Christ to know that is true.

To put it simply, I think this fire was allowed by God to prune something already good to make it even better. The Notre Dame Cathedral is beautiful and has been growing in beauty for 800 or so years.

But God allowed this fire to prune the building so it can bear more fruit. God allowed this fire so the world can remember this is not just a tourist destination, it is the home of Christ and it needs to be restored.

God allowed this fire to help us understand where our hearts lie - are we horrified at the destruction of beauty? Or do we find ourselves indifferent, uncaring, unsympathetic to a house of God burning? (Click on that link, cuz it's important to discuss why beautiful churches should be restored after a fire like this, no matter the cost)

Let our faith be forged in fire, strengthened in the heat of adversity, and stronger for the next time. God, help us restore Your beautiful house of worship in the way You want it done. Guide people to donate only what they are called to by the Holy Spirit, whether it is in prayer, time, money, or fasting. Make beauty, God, from these ashes. We know You have done it before, and You are eager to do it again.

Amen.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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