Cathedral of You™
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit . . . ?” —1 Corinthians 6:19
A temple is a place of worship, a house of prayer. Christians call their temples churches, and the most magnificent ones—the ones that house the seat of a diocesan bishop—are known as cathedrals. Historically, a cathedral was placed in a central location in a city and built to amazing heights, making it visible from anywhere in town. The cathedral served as a visual reminder for the community of the physical presence of Christ inside in the tabernacle. It also inspired awareness of spiritual realities. A well-built cathedral is structurally sound and attractive in form, but it also has a sacred function. It houses the Holy Eucharist and is meant to be filled with adoration, prayer, and worship. A cathedral is a hallowed place of union between God and man. Much like the cathedrals of stone and marble, you have been created to glorify God with your whole person—reaching toward heaven and testifying to spiritual truths.
“God created mankind in his image . . .”—Genesis 1:27Since man was created in the image and likeness of God, it makes sense to say that the human person is—or at least was created to be—magnificent. In fact, upon contemplating the presence of the Three Divine Persons in her soul, St. Teresa of Avila said she was “amazed at seeing so much majesty in a thing as lowly as my soul.”1 Then Our Lord filled her heart with consolation and said, “It is not lowly, my daughter, because it is made in my own image.”2 Yes, you are wonderfully made.3 In fact, as a Catholic, you are a living cathedral with Our Lord enthroned in your heart.
Cathedral of YouArchitect: God the Father Foundation, Cornerstone, Exemplar & Plan: Jesus Christ Breath of Life: Holy Spirit Structure: Your body Tabernacle: Your soul Caretaker & Steward: Your intellect and will
“We never lose hope as long as we realize that we are weak, full of defects, and dirt. Our Lord never leaves us; we just need to use the means and not reject the hand that He offers us.”4Despite our original grandeur, many of our cathedrals have fallen into disrepair. Some of us need God’s grace to bear the crosses of aging, accidents, and illness that afflict our structure and diminish our physical strength. Some of us are in desperate need of care due to our own persistent disordered choices and actions. Overindulgence, extreme schedules, convenience, and a lack of self-control are breaking our structures and ransacking our tabernacles. For many of us, repairs or renovations are sorely needed. No matter how our structures have been compromised, we must continually repent and begin anew with God’s gift of grace—striving to be the beautiful, dignified, holy temples He created each of us to be.
“Rebuild my Church.” —God, to St. Francis of AssisiA good caretaker is knowledgeable and adept, providing routine maintenance and repairing minor problems before they become big ones. As caretakers of our cathedrals, it is our responsibility to maintain our structures and our interior lives. Everything we do—our sleeping and eating habits, choices of friends and entertainment, pursuing virtue or neglecting vice—has an impact on our cathedral, the people in our lives, and the Church at large. In each of your decisions, ask yourself:
- “Am I neglecting my cathedral or restoring it?”
- “Am I putting my cathedral at risk, or am I protecting it?”
- “What result will this have on my cathedral and others?”
- Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God, (London: Scepter, 2017), Vol. 6, 255
- Psalm 139:14
- Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God, (London: Scepter, 2017), Vol. 4, 187
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