It has been a testing week for Christians everywhere.
Easter Sunday, in Christian teaching tradition began with a frightening shock. The resurrection.
Jesus of Nazareth’s body was discovered missing from the cave his disciples left it in following his crucifixion days earlier.
It has since become one of the most sacred precious and holy days in the Christian calendar. A moment of spirituality and communion with others in the faith.
This past Monday saw some of those faithful fall to their knees in prayer and hymn as their beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned as they watched.
They gasped as the 150-year-old spire of the iconic cathedral first leaned, then twisted and fell crashing through the roof to the altar below.
As if prayers were answered, the walls held and holy icons including the crown of thorns that many believed Jesus wore at his crucifixion were saved.
Paris prosecutors were investigating if an electrical short-circuit caused the fire in the 850-year-old building, where renovations had been taking place.
Across the Atlantic in New York, police intercepted a would-be arsonist as he stepped into St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s venerated halls. Loaded with cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and lighters, a second cathedral fire in a week was averted.
Not so fortunate in Louisiana a few weeks earlier, an arsonist set fire to three historically black churches. Fires burned at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre on March 26, Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2 and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 4.
All this at a time when the Catholic Church struggles with an abuse scandal that stretches the breadth of the it reach, straddling generations of victims and clerics, throwing up an indigestible litany of wretched wrongdoing and suffering.
Easter this year already had an ecclesiastical cloud hanging over it. The faithful tested in their belief that good will triumph over evil.
The grasp on that faith stretched more on Thursday when one of Northern Ireland’s most promising young journalists was shot dead by teenage dissident Irish republicans.
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SOURCE: CNN, Nic Robertson