Over $600 Million Donated to Notre Dame Church for Restoration – Is This a Good or Bad Thing?

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Lent Day 38 – Over $600 Million Donated to Notre Dame Church for Restoration  – Is This a Good or Bad Thing?

This week, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France caught on fire. Over 800 years old, this Catholic treasure is the most famous of the gothic cathedrals of the middle ages. Notre Dame features fascinating French gothic architecture and is massive in size. The Notre Dame cathedral caught on  fire on April 15, 2019. Millions of dollars have poured in to restore the church, but should people donate to restore the church? This has been a hot topic this past week. Let’s look at the history of the Notre Dame church, what the significance of this gothic cathedral stands for and thoughts on radical love and WWJD. 

About Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Church holds a significant place in history. Notre Dame is often called “Our Lady.”  Construction began in 1163 under King Louis VII and was completed in 1345. (New York Times) Can you imagine a 182 year long construction project? This should show the state of how much work and history this gothic cathedral represents.

notre dame church cathedral
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The Notre Dame Cathedral houses many historical artifacts including Crown of Thorns, which some believe was placed on the head of Jesus and which the cathedral calls its “most precious and most venerated relic.” Other artifacts include the linen Tunic of St Louis, which thankfully was also saved. The cathedral houses a 17th century organ with all of its parts still functional. There are also drawings, plans and engravings which showed the old and hidden mysteries of several of the church developments and how the city of Paris came into being. 

inside notre dame cathedral cross
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Notre Dame Location

The Notre Dame church is located in Paris, France. The cathedral is surrounded by the Louvre, Pompidou Museum, Pantheon and Luxembourg Gardens with the Seine running right through the middle.

Official Address: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II 75004 Paris, France

Make sure to check out the links below to read more about the history of Notre Dame Cathedral and the latest on fire and restoration.

How Did Notre Dame Catch on Fire?

When I saw the news coverage – I was shocked. My first thought was how did Notre Dame catch on fire? From what I’ve read, it is unclear but from early investigations appears to be accidental. The cathedral was under restoration, which leads people to believe a fire broke out during construction. 

Notre Dame Cross Still Stands

This photo from the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire leaves me with only one word God

notre dame cross still standing after fire at cathedral on april 15, 2019 in paris, france
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Donations for Restoration

Millions of dollars have poured in to restore Notre Dame cathedral. It is guessed that there has currently been $680 million donated to restoration. The fire happened on Monday and $680 million from around the world has poured into rebuild this relic. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Let’s look at what the internets are saying. 

Would Jesus Rebuild Notre Dame? WWJD

All of this money being donated. $680 million is a TON of money. You do have to think about the history of this beautiful cathedral, but you also have to wonder what could $680 million in the right hands do to change the lives of so many. WWJD. What would Jesus do if he was given $680 million. Would he “REBUILD!” This tweet has been going around social media and you do have to admit, she has a serious valid point.

speaking as a catholic here please don't donate to help notre dame. the church is worth $30 billion. Donate to help Puerto Rico recover. Donate to let the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn't care about stained glass. He cared about humans.
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Kristan has since deleted the tweet and I TOTALLY GET IT. The internet if full of trolls and you say something that goes crazy viral, what happens? The haters come out. I respect her decision, but her words are so true. I have watched the Facebook comments and read things such as:

  • If you’re so sanctimonious as to cherry pick how people donate and what charities get money, then why are you not donating every last red cent you have instead of virtue-signaling on your $800 phone using your $100 per month high speed internet from the comfort of your $1500 one bedroom apartment? 
  • Tax the rich, feed the poor ‘Till there are no rich no more.
  • I take critiques from people who actually donate. But only them. And being that conservatives give out of their own pockets to the poor willingly FAR more often than Democrats who ironically insist on forcing people to give, I bet this broad and everyone liking her comment have rarely ever given to anything other than their own selfish desires. So off to Notre Dame my money goes…
  • The church is people not a location so if you’re donating to a location you’re not helping Jesus in any way and I do donate every week to help people through the church
  • Amen. There’s no excuse.

Radical Love of Jesus

And then there is this. The radical love of Jesus…

notre dame donations
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I sat last night, weeping as I watched Notre Dame burn. My heart ached for reasons I am not really certain I can even name. This morning I read that over $400 million had already been donated for repairing and rebuilding this magnificent testament to humanity: I am glad that will happen. But…

I wonder why we are the human race were not also moved to massive donations so that Flint could have water, Puerto Rico could have electricity and hospitals, Black Churches could be rebuilt, children could be released from cages, the homeless could be housed, veterans could have health care, and the list goes on…

Why are our hearts more moved by a building which represents humanity rather than fro humanity itself. 

As we make our way to the cross during Holy Week, may we be moved by the radical love which Christ taught, lived and commanded. Any may we come to realize that love is only radical when it is given to all. 

Don’t worry folks, the Facebook comments DID NOT disappoint:

  • Flint has been provided access to over $100million for repairs and updating, also it is testing “safe” for lead levels and water filters are still being provided for residents and bottled water only recently stopped being distributed freely. 
    There is $2.8 Billion, yes million with a B, set to be used for aiding the homeless in the US.
    $41Billion for Puerto Rico so far. 
    $200B for the VA for 2019. The list goes on and on… 
    Nearly all of the issues listed already receive a stupid large amount of money that makes the $400million donated by private parties look like a drop in the bucket. Also, it is very probable that the people donating to this issue also donate to others. People should stop whining about people helping when something bad happens just because other bad things have happened too.
  •  To be fair France has clean water and universal health care. The rich there can afford philanthropy. Perhaps if the USA had clean water and universal health care you could also have culture?
  • People should definitely help those in need. But this cathedral represents a world culture that’s over 800 years old. Generations of people built it and what it represents is important not only to history but to us today.
  • Way to take a tragedy for Christians and make it about everyone but Christians.
  • It would be a shame to miss the beauty and wisdom of your message thru a grammatical error. Why is Flint capitalized ? Why is Puerto Rico capitalized ? Why is Black Churches not capitalized. Some could take offense. Peace and power. (I capitalized when re-writing.)

Unite Not Divide

I write this to unite not divide. Personally, I know that everything that I do and even write – no matter how silly it is, ends up being for a reason – even if it’s personal to only me. The conversation behind this topic of restoring Notre Dame Cathedral and the millions of dollars in donations is just another political topic. Just like universal health care, property taxes, school spending – it’s all up for debate. 

So what can we take from this? I think the take away is this. In your heart of hearts, if you are a Christian –  do what you feel that God would want you to do with your money and time. I’m not Jesus, not here to judge if you give your money to Notre Dame, or donate money to a circus. Personally, if given the opportunity to give millions, it wouldn’t be to rebuild a symbol. But as with all things, your opinion is your’s and mine is mine. 

Read More on the Notre Dame Cathedral’s History and the  Fire

Day 38 of Lent

On a personal note, we are coming to a close here quickly on our Lent Experiment. I’ll write more on day 40, but I do have to say how therapeutic it is to just write about what is on my heart. As blogging has evolved, less of writing from the heart has happened. 

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday – also known as Holy Thursday. I wasn’t familiar with this day but researching, it’s a significant day during holy week. Here is what Wikipedia says:

Maundy (from the Vulgate of John 13:34 mandatum meaning “command”), or the Washing of the Feet, is a religious rite observed by various Christian denominations. The name is taken from the first few Latin words sung at the ceremony of the washing of the feet, “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“I give you a new commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you”) (John 13:34), and from the Latin form of the commandment of Christ that we should imitate His loving humility in the washing of the feet. 

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34 Love One Another Bible Verse
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A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34

What better representation of radical love than washing of the feet. In this video, the Pope explains the feet washing ritual. I initially just wanted to find a good explanation, but I found what he said to be so significant and so in line with showing unexpected love

Love isn’t words, but works and service, a humble service performed in silence and in a hidden manner, as Jesus himself said: “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Moreover, it is expressed in the sharing of material goods, so that no one is in need. The sharing and dedication to those in need is a way of life that God suggests also to many non-Christians as a path to true humanity.

 

Love isn't words, but works and service, a humble service performed in silence and in a hidden manner, as Jesus himself said: "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Moreover, it is expressed in the sharing of material goods, so that no one is in need. The sharing and dedication to those in need is a way of life that God suggests also to many non-Christians as a path to true humanity. Pope Francis quote on washing feet maundy thursday
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Go love some people, radically y’all.

See you tomorrow on day 39 of Lent.

Want to read more on Life, Faith, Culture and Lent.

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