Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens et misericors Deus,
ut Spiritus Sanctus adveniens
templum nos gloriae suae dignanter inhabitando perficiat.
Grant, we beseech You, Almighty and merciful God,
that the Holy Spirit, now coming,
will by the indwelling of His glory worthily perfect us as a temple.
Many times in the WDTPRS columns in the paper we have seen how gloria expresses Greek doxa and Hebrew kabod. St. Hilary of Poitier, taught about gloria as that divine characteristic which God will share with us in the life to come and which will continually transform us for eternity. Something of the gloria was shown to Peter, John and James on Mount Tabor. When the cloud descended upon the mountain or upon the tent where the Ark was kept and Moses entered within to speak with God, he would emerge with face so bright that he had to wear a veil.
Is not reception of Holy Communion in some ways more profound an encounter with God than what Moses experienced?
Our encounters with God in His glory transform us. God’s Real Presence in the Eucharist must result in His glory shining through to others in our actions and words. However, the transforming glory of the Lord is not something that makes us hard to look at. Instead, it makes us that much more amazing to others. Whatever we have of physical attractiveness is dust in the wind compared to the beauty of a soul in the state of grace which has cultivated the life of virtue.
This is not merely an individual endeavor. Our prayer today asks that the Holy Spirit make us (plural) into a temple (singular). We are all in this together. If by our sins we harm others in the whole Church, nay rather human family, so too by our meritorious actions do we build up the whole Body. Even in the face of adversity we by our sacrifices, united to the Cross, can be of great service to others even though we live the most reclusive of lives. The smallest of stones, chipped and battered, can still have its perfect place in the building of the temple. God makes us the shape He needs us to be by knocking off what isn’t part of his blueprint. We read in 1 Peter 2:1-6:
So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander. Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."