The Temple of the Holy Spirit

Each of us is a Temple of the Holy Spirit because we are anointed by the Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2000, para. 1226) and Confirmation (CCC, 2000, para. 1287-1289). In addition, we receive the Spiritual Gifts from the Spirit.

The drawing to the right shows the artist depiction of the scene in Acts of the Apostles. It shows the awesome power of the Holy Spirit given as a gift from God to the Apostles.

That gift changes us, just like it changed the Apostles, because the Holy Spirit—the Third Person of the Holy Trinity—now lives within us. Please take some time to let that thought sink in.  If you ever thought that God was in Heaven looking down on us from afar, it is quite a revelation when you to realize the Holy Spirit actually lives in each of us who were baptized with water “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Holy Spirit Descending on the Apostles

Holy Spirit Descending on the Apostles

In 1 Corinthians we find a very explicit reminder from St. Paul.  He states:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.
— New American Bible (Revised Edition), 2011, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But there is more to our being temples of the Holy Spirit.  For one thing, “We are the temple of the living God” [1 Corinthians 6: 16]; that is to say, the Holy Spirit resides within the community of the baptized. There is both a communal and a personal aspect to this presence within the community: “The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful as in a temple” [Constitution on the Church, 4]. The Church is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and each member of the Church is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We speak in a special way of “the Mother of the Son of God [as] the temple of the Holy Spirit” [Constitution on the Church, 53] because she carried God within her womb. This is the model for us to follow: carrying Christ within our hearts so that we can share him with others.
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