Make Your Heart a Tabernacle for God

News: Commentary
by Fr. Paul John Kalchik  •  •  March 21, 2020   

Christ's promise endures: 'I will be with you until the end of the age.'

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"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own!" Saint Paul's words in this pandemic and time of crisis for our world are consoling words for each of us to take to heart — literally.

"Christ and the Thief" by Russian realist painter Nikolai Ge

We who are created in his image and likeness are made for God to dwell within us, within our hearts made after His own heart. Ponder this truth and let its ramifications give you comfort.

If your heart is filled with God the Holy Spirit and it wells up with that same love Our Lord has for us, which is limitless, what have you to fear? A disease, death? Not at all! As Our Lord promised us just before His ascension into Heaven: "I will be with you until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

During this crisis, keep this truth forefront in your mind: Outside forces can restrict you to your home and limit your reception of the Church's sacraments and so forth, but absolutely no one and nothing can restrict you from opening wide your heart to God. So, please, please do so! Like the good thief who recognized his sinfulness before his execution alongside Our Lord on Calvary, take some time immediately to assess your heart, and in a sincere and contrite manner ask God for forgiveness for all sin.

The sins of your youth, the sins of your adulthood — put all these into the hands of Jesus, just like the good thief did on Golgotha! Down the road, after this crisis has passed and the Church is restored to some semblance of normalcy, you will be able to make an individual sacramental confession with a priest, but until that day, don't hesitate today to make a good confession on your knees.

And after so doing, with a heart newly shriven, welcome Christ to reside completely unfettered within you. All of us are made to be a tabernacle for the Almighty, which death cannot alter. Make your heart today one of these resplendent tabernacles!

Our churches may be shuttered and the borders of many countries locked down entirely, but with hearts shriven and overflowing with God's divine presence, the Church's exultation will be complete and the faithful prepared for Our Lord's Second Coming and return.

Let us pray fervently that we meet this challenge as men and women of faith, our hearts reconfigured to be tabernacles of the Almighty!

During these last couple of days in particular, as one depressing story after another has reached me — friends being tested because of their work in hospitals, family members losing their livelihoods because of the shutdowns and so forth — it is easy to succumb to doubt and despair. Don't fall prey to this! And don't let the devil win! As St. Paul said in his letter to the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4).

This trial will pass. Let us pray fervently that we meet this challenge as men and women of faith, our hearts reconfigured to be tabernacles of the Almighty! And because of our valiant fight and our hearts joined to Our Lord, we will, when our death comes, be admitted to God's presence for eternity!

And really, what else is more important? Life in this fallen world is passing. Life with God in Heaven is not. Run this race to win it! And as Pope St. John Paul II said echoing Our Lord repeatedly during the course of his long pontificate: "Be not afraid!"

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