After Notre Dame Cathedral Fire: Could Europe Turn This Disaster into Blessing?

By CCD contributor: Xiao Bin, April 18, 2019 09:04 AM

Early on the evening of April 15, 2019, the famous Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire.

Recently China's popular social media WeChat has been jammed with the horrible news of of Notre Dame Cathedral on fire. From a Christian's feelings, it is absolutely unacceptable to see the world cultural heritage damaged just like that.

Early on the evening of 15, April, 2019, the famous Parisian landmark building was on fire. According to French press, the Paris Police explained the cause of the fire was perhaps related to the restoration work on site the cathedral. The fire caused the collapse of the pointed roof. The upper half of the left side of the roof was destroyed. The world famous therose windows were also damaged.

Today's Catholicism has deeply fallen into the centre of all kinds of public opinions across Euro-America. Today's Catholicism is no brighter than Hugo's Notre Dame Cathedral and may as well be darker.

In the novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Quasimodo ends temporarily the darkness and ugliness of the Church by self-sacrifice, a tragic death. In reality, an individual's power may shake nothing. It is often seen that the Church has turned into a giant machine sounding heavy and cumbersome humming.

In reality what caused the fire is yet to be confirmed. There has been lots of rumour online such as arson by extremists of other religion. Despite the authority has given explanation of an accident, suspicion and mistrust among the divided human society are inevitable.

Notre Dame Cathedral is a representative work of gothic architecture and sculpture of early Europe. It is the first gothic building of Paris. The reason why the Cathedral is famous is also because it is a cross-era symbol in European history. Before the cathedral, most church buildings were simple and blunt posing a sense of stress for visitors. Notre Dame had broken through the old restraints by demonstrating a brand new structure, which reduces the weight of the dome top so that more heights were achieved with ample light-no doubt the crystal of wisdom.

However, the sadness has occurred. No matter how unwilling the people are of the fire, what we can only do is reflecting on the past and moving ahead to future.

The French President has proclaimed that France will rebuild the cathedral meanwhile he urged the whole world to support their work. I think the rebuilding will not be long and we will see the newly restored world heritage again in the near future. It will inherit all the glory of the old cathedral continuously standing there.  

Although many people lament that the restored cathedral is no match to the original, God has allowed the accident to occur just not long before Easter. Of course we should reflect whether the old has gone and all will start anew. "The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house," says the Lord Almighty. And in this place I will grant peace," declares the Lord Almighty.'

The church has been in Europe very long and seems to have turned into a stoop old lady portraying a weak and feeble image. We frequently encounter reports on the decline of the Church in Europe. As it is no smoke without fire even though we are not located in Europe, which has been the centre of Christianity, which needs certainly a reform and revival recharging power for this ancient belief to constantly bring influence to the world.

The proposed restoration cannot be said meaningless. While the fire is emotionless, the people are. The fire on the Cathedral is a disaster but also a chance, i.e., how to gain resurrection without dying first and how to be born again without being destroyed?

Originally, what Christianity community wants is to restore the past, but the fire has given us a smack on the face ruthlessly. We can never grow without cutting off from the glory of the past. Without ridding off the past sinful nature, we can never revive. A brand new world needs a brand new Christianity no matter spiritually or materially.

People think Quasimodo dies in a sad way, but he truly lives - without love he rather die. People think Jesus was crucified and died in shame, but he had sacrificed his life for the world and in three days had resurrected gloriously and constantly influences human civilization.

Today, we think Notre Dame Cathedral was destroyed by the ruthless fire, but will you believe it that soon under the watching of God and under the joint efforts of men, she will stand up again? Let us wait to hear countless stories of love in the current context of Europe.

The divided Europe needs a chance. Can people take this chance to turn the disaster into a blessing, tears into laughter, and sadness into joy? Let us pray for it! 

-  Translated by Charlie Li

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

Visit to Xanadu Christian Nursing Home in Anshan, Liaoning Province

Xanadu nursing home mainly serve elderly Christians with faith support, welfares, and care.

Suffering Women Created by Chinese Christian Writer Lao She

A brief intro to the novels of Lao She which focus on the Chinese women's suffering because of the rigid traditional way of life

Summer Training Course on Religion and Rule of Law Ongoing in Beijing

On July 8, 2019, the opening ceremony of the 2019 summer training course on "religion and rule of law" was held in Beijing.

Biography of Robert Alexander Jaffray: Founder of "The Bible" newspaper

Robert Alexander Jaffray, a Canadian, was a missionary who came to China. He preached in Guangxi and the Southeast Asia for decades, and had remarkable accomplishments in printing textual materials.

Image of Pastors and Missionaries Created by Chinese Christian Writer Lao She

A criticism of the hypocrisy within the church and its leaders by a famous modern Chinese Christian novelist.

Mrs Laurence Thurston, One of the Founders of China's First Women's University

Mrs Laurence Thurston was a female missionary from the American Presbyterian Mission and also one of the founders of Ginling College, someone who made a great contribution to female schools.

Testimony from Five Generation Christian Family: Faith Is Real Experience, Not Just Family Inheritance

Elder Li Jianhua, from Shandong province, lives in a family of five generations who are all Christians, with his grandfather being the first generation down to his grandchildren. He is the third child in his family, and he and his second elder brother are both pastors. They all have set good examples for the locals. Now, his grandfather and father have all passed away. Elder Li, at sixty years of age, says that from his grandfather to his grandson, who are all Christians, all have their own experience in the Lord.

Christian Faith and Literary Works of Famous Chinese Nolivest Lao She

A famous Chinese novelist, Lao She, and his practice of faith in his works

Theological Professor Shares Centenary Impact of Chinese Union Version Bible

A review of the impact on Chinese Christians by the Union Version Bible and its translation.

Ordinary Christian Plumber Donates Blood Over 23 Year Period

Brother Yang Zhihui, an ordinary plumber, has donated blood totalling more than 80,000 milliliters since 1993.