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Caring for the temple of the Spirit


It has been said, by many, that we are souls who happen for this brief span on earth to inhabit physical, mortal bodies. These come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of well-being, each with a unique mind and personality. This body is not something to be ignored or wasted, simply because it is temporary.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own é” (1 Cor. 6:19).

Our bodies are sacred spaces dwelling places of the Most High. We are called to care for these physical beings as holy and sacred places are cared for.

When we enter churches, temples, places of honor, how do they appear? How do they smell, feel, sound? Do we feel and experience the presence of the sacred there? Why?

Our faith family went all out in our church for Christmas;...the grounds, the foyer, and sanctuary were resplendent, cleaned and adorned with bright decorations and lights. Many hours by volunteers were dedicated to the task cleaning, sorting materials, decorating, stringing lights, installing Nativity sets, and more.

Hours. Days. Inside and out.

It’s the same throughout the year. When we enter churches, sanctuaries, holy places, we experience their sanctity on multiple levels, partly because we care for these places. We keep them clean and in good repair, fixing the roof, maintaining the plumbing, installing heat or air conditioning, raising money and budgeting for these needs. We decorate them, and cultivate silence or fill them with beautiful music; we add candles and pleasing fragrances, all to honor and glorify our Lord, and to make people feel welcome, to experience God’s presence, in the sacred space.

Do we keep ourselves ...the temples of the Holy Spirit cleaned, maintained, adorned as a holy space? Do we fill our bodies with good and nutritious things, fill our hearts and minds with His Word, keep our bodies in good working order with diet and exercise, cultivate welcoming silence in our souls, or add beautiful music to praise and worship Him? Do we make others welcome in this sacred space by caring for ourselves, making our interior selves and exterior shells pleasing and welcoming? Do we welcome and recognize others as sacred space, Temples of the living God? How do we reflect ourselves as God’s holy dwelling places? Are there things we can do to make of these earthly shells and lives better, more fitting places for the Holy Spirit, received from God?

Where do we start?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” And “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

When we begin with love for You, we then love ourselves and others. When we care for ourselves on all levels spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, financial we become welcoming sacred spaces and witness this in others, and we truly are Temples of your Holy Spirit. We are ready to serve.

As this year begins, many have made resolutions to lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, spend more time with family, read some good books, create and live on a budget, save money, join a Bible study, develop our prayer lives, give more time or money to charity, learn a new skill, or quit a bad habit.

These will help make us more worthy temples of your Holy Spirit. May we, as St. Paul encourages, think and act on “... whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, and if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise é” (Phil. 4:8).

May we pray with King Solomon, dedicating ourselves as he dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem: “May your eyes watch day and night over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored é” (2 Chron. 6:20).

Worship with St. Ann’s, www.stannlv.org.

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