God’s Living Temple – Part 3 of 3

Father Cassilly writes: “We must learn to regard creatures only as passing manifestations of creative power, to look through and behind them to the Creator Himself. Beautiful indeed and ravishing of spirit are created things, when regarded with a pure and simple eye as reflections of their Maker and messengers of His eternal love, but death-provoking and sinful when they wean us from God to the worship of themselves. Then they become but false gods; and we, their idolatrous worshippers. . . . Not that we are called on to eradicate or destroy our natural affections, but rather to elevate and supernaturalize them by the principles of faith and charity. Natural love which leads us away from God to rest in creatures for their own sake, is an enemy to the soul. We must learn so to love our neighbor and the good things of life that in and through them we love their Creator and use or cherish them but for Him. And so it will come to pass that the more we love God, the more tender, intense and absorbing will be our affection for all His creatures.”

“A temple is a place of silence and prayer. We escape from the turbulent tide, that ebbs and flows in the crowded city streets, into the quiet recesses of the Christian church, where the noises of life are hushed or subdued into a distant murmur. There the glow of the sanctuary lamp speaks to us of the Unseen Presence, and we whisper our sentiments of love and devotion. The temple of our soul, too, must be barred to the profane, unholy things without, it must ever be redolent of the lingering incense of prayer, and its aisles must echo only to the voice of praise and adoration. Its silence must not be disturbed by the jangling noises and discord of daily life.”

“What consolation, when harassed by the worries and trials of life, to know that we are not forced to seek rest and refreshment of spirit in a temple made with hands; that we can instantly have recourse to the hallowed sanctuary of our own soul where dwells the ineffable presence of the Triune God, to Whom we can speak in all the fulness of love, and from Whom will come an answer, soft, melodious and clear as the distant peal of an angelus bell on a still and tranquil evening!”

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

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