They built Cathedrals not because they could afford Cathedrals but because they afforded Cathedrals.
They made it happen because of their faith, their position to God and a very clear purpose in mind.
Cathedrals: Cavernous, ornate, intense, severe, powerful, BIG, reverent, OTT, tall, enveloping, humbling — created to generate awe, to immerse, to overwhelm, a measuring stick (if this is ‘Gods’ house wow I’m meek, mild and here to worship a hell of a powerful ‘God’).
In the year 313 when they started to build Cathedrals, they were determined to build structures that explained their belief in a God and express his permanence, heft, and scale.
Could they have used those materials and labour in other ways? Yes of course they could of but they didn’t. They made room for, allocated resources and spent 100s of years building these structures for worship.
In New York a whole city block was set aside for a Cathedral. What was going through the minds of the founders in 1810 who purchased this land? What was going through the more recent Catholic minds in 2012 when 170 million was spent on its restoration?
This world is big. Our history is long. Don’t lose sight of what has gone before and what is to come.
Maybe we could ponder — what are we affording for/in our lives?
Are we building things to last? Have we lost sight of permanence?
Is our purpose emerging, partially known or fully framed as we move through this life?