You can't have missed that the Notre Dame in Paris burned yesterday. It raged. Its outer walls still stand, but it's hollow and so much has been lost. I've cried bitter tears. So, today, I want to remind everyone affected, everyone in Paris, of the Parthenon in Athens.

The Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens is perhaps the most famous of ancient Hellenic monuments. It was the focal point of Athena's worship and is a major tourist attraction to this day. Because of its cultural significance--back then as well as now--it's part of the official seven wonders of the ancient world.

The building that has survived to this day was not the first temple to Athena to grace the mountain. There was an older temple, but it was leveled by the Persians in 480 BC. After that, steps were undertaken to bring about an even more impressive temple for the patron Goddess of Athens. Despite a huge statue and a small altar, the Parthenon never housed the cult of Athena's worship. It was a status symbol for the city, and a show of devotion. Any religious rites concerning Athena--like the Panathenaia--were executed in or around another, smaller, building on the northern side of the Acropolis.

Like so many Hellenic monuments, fire, war, and conquest wreaked havoc on the temple. The treasures that were housed within it were robbed, mostly by the Romans, and the temple fell into disrepair. The stone that remains now is mostly the outer shell of the building, but as someone who has seen it with her own eyes, I can tell you it's breathtaking. I would have loved to see it in all its grander. It may not have been a major religious hub, but it was--and is--one of the best know structures dedicated to a Deity. For that alone, it is rightfully called a wonder.

The Notre Dame is more than a building. It lives--restored or not--in the heart of its people. No fire can take that away. The Notre Dame is as eternal as the Parthenon, and it shall live forever.