For some reason, the promises to the churches keep snatching me during my reflections lately. This passage speaks with particularly vivid imagery: people as pillars in the temple of God. As I did for the last letter, I allowed myself to imagine what this must be like. (This little exercise comes from the spirituality of the great saint Ignatius of Loyola. He taught that we should use our imaginations a holy tool to understanding Scripture and experience the love, joy and peace of God. Cool, huh?) As I closed my eyes and thought of great pillars of temples, my mind zoomed in on the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. If you’ve ever been there, you know how awe-inspiring these Ionian columns appear. They intimidate, impress, humble, and inspire the visitor. When I touched those columns, I didn’t just observe them; I felt them drawing me into their strength and grandeur. It wasn’t weird or creepy, just peaceful in their giant shadows.
The thought that the great saints of the faith (I certainly would not be included among them) make up the pillars of the temple of God fills me with a strange consolation. Occasionally, I have been privileged to enjoy a meal or coffee with people I would consider great saints. They illicit a similar humbling and inspiring feeling to the columns of the Supreme Court. Unlike that cold marble, however, these people also filled me with a warm joy and love that radiated from their spirits. The thought of enjoying this feeling for eternity fills me with that warm joy and the excitement of anticipation. Come Lord Jesus!