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Fire and prayer

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Fire and prayer

The best, lightest reaction to the fire in the cathedral that I saw: Parisians pray together at the burning cathedral.

When I watched the footage from the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral, I was really bitter. And at the same time I thought: now I’ll open social networks, and there the expected, but no less terrible, are “self-guilty”: the damned gay men, secular bastards, turned their backs on God, let the Islamists in the heart of Christian civilization, profiled their heritage – here you are, receive, damned by Sodom, you were not worthy of this shrine! That is, instead of sympathy, instead of condolences, I will see how people experience natural satisfaction (if not worse – “joy”) from the grief of their neighbor and gloatingly “prophesy” about the last times.

When the Russian Tu-154 crashed in 2016, I watched the same wave engulfing the social networks. Only there, people commented on things in Russia: according to some commentators, God punished the passengers of the crashing plane for rampant liberalism in Russia – for others, the wise Universe punished the passengers of the crashing plane for the bloody authoritarian regime in Russia and the war in Syria. And all, of course, in the name of good. Then I wrote about it:

"This" God-love "is to violators who honor him not well enough, and destroys, destroys, destroys! And then, when everyone, pushed down, glorify, condescendingly returns to his cloud and casts rays of his greatness and wisdom. He takes out a ledger and carefully records the crimes and punishments. Actually, he says, I'm love. It’s your own fault. Sometimes you bring me, and I become "wisdom and justice." And then – hold on! Such gods on the cross, of course, have nothing to do. Sorry, people, I have a different God. My God was also on this plane. He is crying now. He wants to enter the hearts of people who forget their tribal feuds and unite in the face of terrible grief. They will cry, embrace the "enemy" and say, "I'm sorry, because it is my fault too!" No, they do not allow me to enter. Cornered. Squeezed through the teeth "samovinovty" They sing the hosanna to their "gods" – who wisely and justly punished. "

Of course, I perfectly understand this almost reflex reaction of people to such disasters. Itself is not a saint, and somewhere on the outskirts of consciousness I also see this “self-blame”. But I’m not ready to let this reflex reaction crawl out of the dark depths of my mind and take shape in a public position, I never admit that this damned thought in my head is “in my own right”. Who am I to judge someone?

If we go back to the gospel story, what does God do when he sees that the world lies in evil? No, he doesn’t arrange a new flood and doesn’t burn everything clean, obeying the principle “Lord, burn, there’s nothing to be fixed!” Not. He comes into this world and brings joy, love, hope into it. Although, in fact, people did not deserve this at all! But God understands that you cannot help with a fair trial, and the most important thing that is lacking in the world is love and forgiveness. There is no love in people, no strength and hope, they are tired and lowered their hands, cannot find meaning and happiness – and therefore they got angry and blame everyone around. And God chooses to save these broken and lost people – by love. Do not break the “broken cane” and extinguish the “smoking flax”, but heal the wounds and light a new fire with your endless acceptance and forgiveness.

Even a “fair” mother with her quibbles and endless “I told you”, “you have to be the best”, “well, have you played out?”, “That's what you need, I didn’t listen to my mother!” She can bring a good child. But God does not gloat in the spirit: “Well, I said, did not obey – and get it now! And why did I create you, ruined all my eternal life! ” Mankind for God is like an orphan from a shelter: often behaves ugly, but you can’t help him with moralizing and punishment (life taught him to be like that). And just as adoptive parents learn to love this orphan and surround him with love, to console, showing him that life does not have to be a “war of all against all”, so God, as a loving Father, “adopts” a person who has abandoned Him. And He says: “Well, come here, my good one, do not be afraid, you can no longer be angry and not show your teeth – I love you! "Let me blow on my broken knee … Well, look, doesn’t it hurt anymore?"

When we look for a rational explanation for the tragedy of our neighbor, when we seal it with our fast trial, we secretly rejoice secretly at heart, like angry disliked children: yeah, he, he was mistaken, that means he is even worse than me, I'm not the worst! And this joy of simply being “not the worst” remains our only joy – so much inside we are not confident in ourselves and do not love ourselves. And even more so, we often do not have enough love to console and help. But we can rejoice when the “fire comes down from heaven” at someone’s shrine, and cheerfully cut the ears of others, protecting Christ. But Christ only sighs – “you don’t know what spirit you are” – and this heals the neighbor’s ear, which we cut off. He is like a tired adult who is taking apart children fighting on the playground.

The best, lightest reaction to the fire in the cathedral that I saw: Parisians pray together at the burning cathedral. As shots with a burning cathedral hurt, so are shots of joint prayer. The Lord acts and admits something “not for some reason” and not “punishment of sinners”. No, just like during the crucifixion, He, at the cost of a great sacrifice, gives us hope, gives us the opportunity to become shoulder to shoulder in a single burst of love. God living outside of time does not act “to punish the past,” but to discover a new future. And in this future, people who believe in “God who is love”, at least temporarily forget about the disagreement, sympathize with their brothers, pray with them. God offers us a world in which at last people spontaneously gather together in Paris Square and pray. A world in which people join forces to rebuild the cathedral. A world in which Christians of different countries and denominations do not measure themselves, which of them further went from God, but say: “We, brothers, feel your pain and pray for you.”

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