Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, March 14

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
—Psalm 139:15

"We are 'cathedrals,'" Episcopal priest Nancy Roth writes in her book Spiritual Exercises, "like the great English cathedrals my husband and I have visited over the years, along with thousands of other pilgrims and tourists." These cathedrals, she says, are holy spaces, not because of some magic formula but because of all the life and worship that has happened in them.

What a great metaphor for our bodies: cathedrals. Roth points out that no one suggests that these beautiful cathedrals be redone, instead, these holy spaces are well cared for and honored for what they are. When we think of our bodies as cathedrals, we understand the importance of good health: breathing in fresh air, strengthening the structure, and marveling at the wonders of our interiors.

Roth quotes Teresa of Avila: "I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms." Then Roth adds her own lovely analysis:

The more I understand myself as a temple or cathedral, the less I worry
about the outward signs of aging, aside from doing my best to maintain my health, strength, and flexibility…the longer I live the more time I am
given to fill this holy space with the life-spirit that is the gift of God.

In a youth-driven culture, this wise woman offers an alternative: treating our bodies as sacred spaces. Working from the inside out, we learn to enjoy maintaining these sacred spaces, tending to their parts, and radiating from within the glory and wonder of God.

Dear God, you knit us together in our mothers' wombs and call us each by our name. Help us to honor this truth, and to honor our body-spirits. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.