Temples of Holiness

St. Cyprian of Carthage reflects on the source of our holiness in this way:

“We should live as temples of God that it may be plain to all that God dwells in us. It is important that our conduct should not degenerate and we become unworthy of the Spirit. Rather let us who have set out to be heavenly and spiritual, entertain only heavenly and spiritual thoughts and behaviour. For as the Lord God himself has declared: ‘I will glorify those who glorify me; but those that despise me, I shall despise.’ The blessed apostle Paul has also stated in one of his letters: ‘You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.’

In the Lord’s Prayer we go on to say: ‘Hallowed be your name.’ We are not envisaging that God will be made holy by our prayers: we are asking rather that his holiness should shine in us. Anyway, by whom could God be sanctified since it is God himself who sanctifies? But observe that in Scripture it is also written: ‘Be holy because I am holy.’ Thus it should be our earnest desire that we, who have been made holy in baptism, should continue to grow in what we have begun to be; and for this we pray every day. We certainly need to be made holy daily because every day we sin, and every day we need to have those sins washed away. In this way we are engaged in a process that makes us ever more deeply sanctified.” Celebrating the Seasons, by Robert Atwell

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