Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Work In Progress

Tim Lilley

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

I got up early one recent Sunday morning and went to the 6 a.m. Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville. I knew that ongoing renovation work had transformed the sanctuary into a construction zone of sorts, but I did not expect the spiritual lesson it provided.

Surrounded by scaffolding and scores of chairs that serve as temporary seating, I embraced the symbolism as it relates to the passage from 1 Corinthians above. Our cathedral is a temple of God, and the spirit of God dwells within it – even in its current state.

It occurred to me that all of us face similar, ongoing renovation to ourselves – temples of God, with the spirit of God dwelling within us. Ours is a lifetime journey toward eternal happiness. At any time in our lives, we could apply the image of St. Benedict Cathedral under renovation to our own personal temples.

In fact, we must apply that image, in my opinion. We are all works in progress.

I’m confident that everyone reading this has heard some form or another of the concept that relationships take work. Our relationship with God is no different. If our bodies are to be his temples, we must work at making them as tidy and welcoming as possible. Without question, that takes a never-ending effort of renovation and improvement.

God provides us with the tools for this ongoing spiritual/interior work. We know them as the sacraments, prayers like the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet, and opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration to name a few. Assisting us in our never-ending personal remodeling are the saints, and our families and friends.

Make no mistake, friends; our “construction work” must be ongoing.

“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13).

As for our personal “renovation blueprint,” we need turn only to the Bible for all of the design and direction we need.

If you want to see what your construction zone might look like, just go to Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral sometime soon. You will see that the holy foundation remains in the midst of significant ongoing work. We all have similar spiritual landscapes inside us.

The holy foundation is there, but each of us must work on our personal temples on a daily basis.

Frequent personal confession and regular reception of Holy Communion will help tremendously. Daily prayer – the Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet mentioned earlier, or whatever you prefer – also will contribute to the renovation work in a major way.

Now that Lent has begun, there is no better time to roll up your spiritual sleeves and get to work on your own personal renovation. Make your temple new again, and welcome God.