Even many who are little disposed to viewing life’s vicissitudes symbolically found themselves wondering about the meaning of the inferno that consumed much of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during Holy Week. What does the gutting of this magnificent architectural symbol of man’s adoration of the Creator of all things beautiful signify?
What we know is that France, indeed all Western Europe, has lost its spiritual way. While man-made symbols fashioned of wood and stone remain of a once-substantive and sustaining faith, the substance of that faith is long gone, burned away by impoverished philosophies and fallen man’s appetites. All that has remained of the fervent faith that animated the early church is a burned-out shell.
Truth was replaced with truthiness. Beauty was replaced with ugliness. Love that means death to our fallen natures and much that they desire was replaced with saccharine affirmation of any and all God-denying confusion and libidinous hunger.