God in His infinite love has endowed each and every one of us with a body and a soul. How great God is in His wonderful gifts to humanity and to each and every one of us individually! The Psalmist praises God: God I am wonderfully created… I am your handiwork… I am the work of your hands.
Indeed, we were created in the image and likeness of God. We have both an intellect and a will. The primary purpose of our intellect is to know the Truth. Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The primary purpose of the will is to love God with all of the fiber of our being.
Saint Paul reminds us of an indispensable command of God: Glorify God in your body. Therefore, the basic purpose of this short article is to learn, and then apply, how we can truly glorify God in our bodies, now and for all eternity!
1. RECOGNIZE YOUR INCREDIBLE DIGNITY!!! Saint Pope Leo the Great, in his Christmas Sermon exhorts all of us with these words: Christians recognize your dignity. Saint Pope John Paul II insisted in his teachings of the great importance and dignity of every human person. As soon as we receive the Sacrament of Baptism, God literally floods us with sublime and ineffable gifts. First and foremost, Baptism transforms us into living Tabernacles of the Blessed Trinity. We become a son/daughter of God, brother/sister of Jesus Christ, and intimate friend of the Holy Spirit. If we would only call to mind often our dignity that flows from the Sacrament of Baptism, we would avoid committing many sins. Indeed, sin degrades our dignity!
2. RECOGNIZE YOUR DESTINY! Not only should we call to mind constantly our dignity, but we should at the same time call to mind our DESTINY!! We are destined to eternal glory in heaven, of course, if we live up to the dignity that God has bestowed upon us! In other words, heaven is ours if we glorify God in our bodies in this brief, ephemeral, and transitory pilgrimage on earth. Indeed, we are pilgrim people advancing towards our true and eternal homeland and that is Heaven. We should never be spiritually like the proverbial chicken with his head cut off!!! No! We know our destiny is heaven, and we should do all in our power by glorifying God in our bodies, to arrive safe and sound in the arms of our loving Father. (Luke 15—Parable of the Prodigal Son)
3. BEG MARY FOR THE VIRTUE OF PURITY. Our Lady of Fatima sadly announced 100 years ago that most souls are lost as a result of the sins against the virtue of purity. We should consecrate our whole beings to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and renew this consecration every morning as we rise from sleep. We should pray our prayer of consecration to Mary and kiss our Scapular. Then we should beg through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary the grace to live a life of purity, in all its aspects! Beg Mary for pure eyes to live out the Beatitude: Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God. (Mt. 5:8) Beg Mary for a mind, memory, understanding, and imagination that are noble and pure. As Saint Paul reminds us: Fix your attention on the things on high and not on those of the earth. (Col. 3:2) Beg Mary for purity of speech, as well as listening. May we put into practice the words of Jesus: Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Mt. 12:34) May our words reflect our dignity, our destiny, and our belonging to Jesus and Mary. Listening? Yes! May Our Lady attain for us the grace to associate with persons who are noble and pure and dignified! Beg Mary for purity of your body which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. May your body, through the intercession of Mary most holy, serve only to glorify and praise God. May Our Lady attain for you purity of heart! By consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your heart becomes transformed into imitating the sublime virtues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the most pure Heart of Mary. May our Lady even attain for you purity of intention. Once again calling to mind the words of Saint Paul: Whether you eat or drink, do all for the honor and glory of God.(I Cor. 10:31)
4. PURIFY YOUR WHOLE BEING BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB OF GOD. Despite our best of efforts, even the just man falls seven times a day. Upon falling let us never give into discouragement, much less, despair. On the contrary, may we place a limitless trust in God’s infinite mercy! Like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) let us run to the Father and launch ourselves into His loving and merciful arms. As the Prophet Isaiah gently encourages us: Though your sins be like scarlet, they will be transformed and become as white as the snow. (Is. 1:18)) Jesus promised to Saint Faustina in the Diary of Divine Mercy in My Soul: The greatest sinners can become the greatest saints if they simply trust in my infinite mercy.
5. RECEIVE THE HOLY EUCHARIST. The greatest action that a human person can carry out on earth is to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion. Your body, upon receiving Holy Communion, becomes a living tabernacle, a living sanctuary, a living castle or palace of Jesus the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father. If received properly, your whole being is transformed. Your memory is purified; your understanding is enlightened; your will is fortified; your heart is enflamed with divine love; and your body is filled with peace and joy—a presage of eternal life in heaven.
6. DEFEND LIFE OF THE BABY IN THE WOMB. Of course, if we truly love God then we should love what God loves—He loves the little children in the womb. Jesus said: Let the little children come to me… Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven. (Mt 19:14) We should do all that is in our power to promote the Pro-Life cause. How? By prayer, penance, word and action. We should all, in the depths of quiet prayer, ask the Lord and Mary His Mother, what we can do to glorify God in our bodies and the bodies of others by becoming involved in the Pro-life movement and work!
7. REJOICE IN THE LORD THROUGH THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. Our Lady went in haste to visit Saint Elizabeth, who was with child in her old age. After the greeting and the baby leaping in the womb of Saint Elizabeth, Mary rejoiced in her profound canticle that the Church calls The Magnificat:My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. With our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls, with Mary let us glorify our bodies by rejoicing in the Lord!!! (Lk. 1:46-56)
Father Ed Broom, OMV, is Associate Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California. He is a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and was ordained by Saint John Paul II on May 25, 1986. Fr. Ed teaches Catholic Ignatian Marian Spirituality through articles, podcasts, a radio show, retreats and spiritual direction.