Since the tragic fire of Notre-Dame de Paris, no one talks about anything other than its reconstruction. It is a noble project. It will be a spectacular project. But it is also the sign of great ingenuity, even pretentious naivety.
Certainly, we have the necessary materials: the oaks for the framework devastated by the flames, the stones for the walls weakened by all the water discharged. Admittedly, French craftsmen are not lacking in know-how: carpenters, masons, master glassmakers, etc.. But do we have the faith to be the builders of a cathedral? For it was faith that enabled the craftsmen of the Middle Ages to raise this stone prayer, to build this vaulted prayer. Without it, we can restore materially, but not build spiritually.
Notre-Dame de Paris was built for the glory of God, for the honor of the Blessed Virgin, and not for a simple tourist visit, between the Eiffel Tower and the mona-lisa at the Louvre.
There we can clearly see that we cannot reconstruct it, if it has not reconstructed us internally. Like all medieval cathedrals, Notre-Dame de Paris is a nave, a vast vessel whose prow is the cross of the high altar. It is in this direction that it guides our eyes, orients our lives, elevates our hearts. Sursum cordia! Habemus ad Dominum. We turn them to the Lord who gave his life on this cross for our salvation. O Crux Ave, spes unica. Greetings, O Cross, our only hope!
Our time is narcissistic. Postmodern man refuses a transcendence greater than his constricted ego. The new liturgy, celebrated around a table, does not help anyone to get up. Everything is centered on the priest and the faithful; they keep to themselves.
It is rightly said that the liturgy is the expression of Faith, also the manifestation of a life of faith: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. To be rebuilt, Notre-Dame requires the true conversion of each: to return to her divine Son, to reorient body and soul ad orientem, to Him who is the Light come into this world. Then springs the filial prayer of the Salver Regina, “Show us, the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Prof. Alain Lorans