The Flames over Notre Dame Cathedral

a poem by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark


The flames eat up the glory of Notre Dame
Fire rages in fury and more than 400 firefighters
are not able to assuage quickly its raging fury
that is about to devour Notre Dame -
the cultural pride of Paris,
the relics of France’s history,
built and renovated for God’s glory!

The tower falls down, melted and consumed by fire
Its spire gone, like a maiden, surrendering
all her strength, fallen and conquered by
its own enemy beyond control, displaying labours
of grandeur as vain glory that can disappear
at any moment, or at a wink of an eye.

Notre Dame Cathedral is window
to a great masterpiece of art -
laboured and perfected in decades and centuries :
a destination for pilgrims, believers and art lovers
a meeting point of beauty and mystery
before the human eyes and human hearts
on Sunday mass and eucharist of
Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

And yet Notre Dame Cathedral is also a
symbol of God’s presence in history:
A witness to the human spirit
in spite of falls and destruction
For in the heart of Nortre Dame in Paris,
humanity remembers the Virgin Mary
who in humility and complete obedience,
offered her life to the sole purpose of God.

Let the fires and enemies arise
but the spirit of God dwells and remains
in the Living Notre Dame in people’s hearts.

________
April 15, 2019

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