The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

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Amidst the fire’s wreckage, much of the treasures of Notre Dame were saved.

Source: The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

While the damage to le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris from Monday’s fire was very severe, not only the structure of the Cathedral, but many of the priceless, irreplaceable artifacts and relics contained within were preserved. In fact, it is remarkable, gratifying, and – I would maintain – miraculous, how much has been saved!

The roof and the spire are gone, of course (and the current plans to update the spire – rather than restoring it – are very concerning, to those of us who care about tradition, heritage, and aesthetics); but the treasures that remain include:

  • The High Altar and its Cross:

“However, amidst the chaos, the cross suspended above the altar remains intact, “painful and luminous at the same time,” in the words of Fr. Grosjean, a priest of the diocese of Versailles.”

  • Many statues, including three of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The largest and most famous of the Cathedral’s four organs, dating back to the 13th century
  • Incredibly, the Rose Windows and much of the Cathedral’s stained glass, including all or nearly all of its medieval stained glass
  • Furthermore, all of the major Christian relics appear to have been saved:

“The tunic of St. Louis and the Crown of Thorns were saved, said Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, on Monday evening. Two other relics kept at Notre Dame, a piece of the Cross and a nail from the Passion, also escaped the flames, thanks to the work of the firefighters.”

  • Even the rooster-shaped bronze reliquary that topped the Cathedral’s spiral survived both the inferno that consumed the spire, and the long fall that followed, and

“was found intact on Tuesday—damaged, but whole, according to Bishop Patrick Chauvet. The three relics that were miraculously saved within it are a piece of the Holy Crown of Thorns and relics of St. Denis and St. Genevieve, patrons of Paris.”

Follow the link for more details. But if this – both the fire itself, and what has by God’s grace survived it – is not an allegory for the times we are living in, and an inspiration to Christians concerned by the decline of Western Christendom, I do not know what is!

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Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

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Image by Getty.

What should make us tremble is that to truly rebuild Notre Dame will require becoming the kind of people who built her in the first place.

Source: Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was built out of stone and wood and glass without electricity or computers. It was not built by committee, or consultants or according to state regulations. It was built by a culture superior to our own. And we know it..

“As the spire cracked and buckled, millions of us felt civilization trembling…

“We tremble because we know that the world has been drawing down a Christian inheritance for centuries, drawing down the cultural wealth of the Faith into rampant prodigal decadence.

“The proximate cause of the fire is not yet known, but the symbolic cause is hundreds of years in the making…”

 

Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris

Source: Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Deo gratias!!! Thanks be to God! The interior damage to Notre Dame seems to have been much less severe than feared. The Altar and Great Cross are intact, along with much else (including woodwork!); even the very candles seem to have survived un-melted! You can say what you want, I call that a miracle. Again, thanks be to God!

“Photos from inside Notre Dame show the central part of the historic Gothic cathedral still intact. Rows of wooden pews and much of the nave appears to have been saved, according to the images. ‘Only a small part of the vault collapsed. Interior seems relatively untouched. Hallelujah!’ wrote @CathedralNotre

“Still, a massive hole can be seen in the 850-year-old cathedral’s roof. The pictures also show smoke emanating from the chancel, the area around the altar. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told Le Monde there was ‘a big hole in the roof.'” However, “‘The altar and its cross are preserved. It’s not as bad as I feared,’ she told Le Monde.”

That’s not to say there isn’t severe damage; there is. The spire and most of the roof is gone; there are several honking great holes in the vaulted ceiling. But the medieval stone-masons who built it, 800 years ago, did their work well! It holds, it stands; it appears to be, in fact, significantly intact. God grant it remains that way!

I go to bed with a much lighter and very grateful heart!

Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019 afternoon.

The famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire.

Source: Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Horrific. I am – uncharacteristically – all but speechless. And heartbroken.

200 years in the making, 800 years old, Notre Dame – the Cathedral of Our Lady – is the heart and soul of Catholic France… arguably, of European Christendom. Even in secular terms, so much priceless, irreplaceable art and architecture embodied in that structure. And the prayers of so many Christian faithful, for so many centuries, have winged heaven-ward from those walls and towers.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Rev. Thomas Harbold’s review of “Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World” | Goodreads

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When Anthony Esolen – among the most able defenders of Western civilization, and Western Christendom in particular, active today – chooses to discourse on a subject, the wise person reads or listens attentively…

Source: Rev. Thomas Harbold’s review of Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World | Goodreads

When Anthony Esolen – among the most able defenders of Western civilization, and Western Christendom in particular, active today – chooses to discourse on a subject, the wise person reads or listens attentively, nor does he or she lack reward for having done so. Esolen writes with exuberance, penetrating insight, and equally-penetrating wit, and Defending Boyhood is no exception to that rule. I was alternately delighted, intrigued, inspired, and moved.

As a former boy myself, I resonate strongly with the former boy that shines through Esolen’s mature, erudite, and engaging writing, and frequently found myself nodding in emphatic agreement. His treatment of boyhood, and boys – what they value, how they view life, and the goals and ideals that are common to boys across time, geography, and culture – has the ring of truth, and stands as a much-needed antidote to the venomous miasma that much of modern culture seems bent on creating around such formerly straightforward concepts as manhood, masculinity, and boyhood…

Read my whole review here.

 

Glories of the West – the Pre-Rafaelites: “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May” (Waterhouse)

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This lovely painting fortuitously came across my newsfeed this morning, posted by a friend of mine, Paul Edward Lafferty Smallwood, who posted it and commented,

“‘Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May,’ 1909, John William Waterhouse, English. John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917) was an English painter known for working first in the Academic style and for then embracing the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s style and subject matter. His artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.”

The reference is to a poem by Robert Herrick (1591-1674), entitled “To the Virgins, to Make Much of TIme”:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

 

QOTD: Courtney Lawes on acceptance

“And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

— (rugby player) Courtney Lawes

Source: Lawes defends Vunipola freedom-of-speech | RugbyPass

Full quote:

“I don’t have a faith like yourself my brother so I don’t share the same views in this matter but I do believe you should be able to voice your own opinions and beliefs as you see fit. 

“To everyone getting worked up about these post I ask you if you don’t believe in the same things as them then what do these statements matter to you? Can we not disagree with someone without calling them a bigot or a homophobe or every other name under the sun?

And by the way If you’re going to say you’re accepting of everyone then be accepting of everyone, not just the people you agree with.”

This is in reference to a specific incident, but it certainly has much wider application! The irony is that it is – as is too-often the case, these days – the supposedly tolerant “liberals” and Leftists that are up-in-arms about supposedly anti-LGBT (actually merely family-friendly, and supportive of traditional mores) comments on social media by a few members of the rugby community.

I have said much the same on a number of occasions and in a number of fora: if you are going to position and present yourself as being in favor of “diversity,” “tolerance,” and “inclusion,” it is a sad irony when you refuse to afford others the right to their own opinions. Yet that is the modus operandi of much of the modern Left.

Those who make no claim to be tolerant of what they see as sins and vices – especially when they are promoted as being worthy of acceptance and even praise – at least have the virtues of consistency, frankness, intellectual honesty, and the courage of their convictions. Those who claim to be tolerant while, in fact, being anything but, have no such authenticity.

Old-school, classical liberals, of the “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it,” would presumably be very disappointed in their present-day successors! At least, I hope they would…


For the record, I am of the opinion that what consenting adults get into, sexually, is their own business, being between them, their understanding of God, and their spiritual counselor or advisor, if any.

Unless, of course, they make it my business, either by requesting my spiritual counsel – in which case I will provide it, honestly but hopefully with compassion – or by throwing it in my face, and the face of society, of which I am a part, insisting that disordered passions be “affirmed” or even “celebrated.”

Then I may have no choice but to speak up.