God’s Living Temple – Part 1 of 3

Father Cassilly distinguishes two kinds of temples: those made of stone and those that are alive. He writes: “God’s dwelling place is called a temple. Since the just soul, as we have seen, is God’s abode, it can very properly be styled His temple. And this is the very appellation given it by St. Paul, who tells the Corinthians: ‘You are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’ (2 Cor 6:16). In another epistle he speaks thus: ‘Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ (1 Cor 3:16)”

“In the days of good King David God complained to him that He had no permanent dwelling place, but that, from the day He brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, He had been forced to dwell in a tabernacle or a tent. (2 Sam 7:6-7) David then began to prepare for the building of the temple, which was undertaken and finished by King Solomon. Solomon built it on a most magnificent scale, as can be seen from the fact that he had seventy thousand men to carry burdens, eighty thousand to hew stones in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them. And he gathered workers in gold and silver, in brass and iron, marble and wood, and in purple and scarlet and blue.”

“And after the destruction of the first temple the Lord complained by the mouth of the prophet, Aggeus, that the people dwelt in ceiled houses while His own house lay desolate. This reproach moved the chosen people to begin the construction of the second temple which, however, seemed so inferior in comparison with the grandeur of the first that old men, who had seen both, wept on beholding its foundations. To encourage the builders, the prophet foretold: ‘Great shall be the glory of this house more than of the first,’ for into it would come ‘the Desired of all nations,’ meaning by this Jesus Christ.”

Quotations from Francis Cassilly, A Story of Love, 2d ed. (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1917).

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