Posts Tagged ‘A Temple of the Holy Ghost’

Introduction:  Our Bible class at the Mission is  studying in these Sundays after the Epiphany the Epistle Readings, which are all from  1 Corinthians.  The reading for this Sunday (2/23/14) is 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 in which the Apostle flat out wrote to them, You are a temple of the Holy Spirit which he identifies as their  bodies in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

Below is a quote from Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “A Temple of the Holy Ghost” which I think is  great illustration of the Scripture verses cited above.   The quote is from the beginning of the story in which a mother and her daughter go to pick-up two two younger female cousins from the convent school, Mount St. Scholastica where the cousins are students. The girls are into boys and clothes and are quite silly, all the while they keep on giggling as they keep on calling each other, “Temple One” and “Temple Two”.  When the daughter and her cousins are now laughing at someone else, finally the Mother has enough with this silliness:         

                 “Her mother thought this was funny too but she said, “That’ll be about enough out of you,” and changed the subject. She asked them why they called each other Temple One and Temple Two and this sent them off into gales of giggles. Finally they managed to explain. Sister Perpetua, the oldest nun at the Sisters of Mercy in Mayville, had given them a lecture on what to do if a young man should—here they laughed so hard they were not able to go on without going back to the beginning—on what to do if a young man should—they put their heads in their laps—on what to do if —they finally managed to shout it out—if he should “behave in an ungentlemanly manner with them in the back of an automobile.” Sister Perpetua said they were to say, “Stop sir! I am a Temple of the Holy Ghost!” and that would put an end to it. The child sat up off the floor with a blank face. She didn’t see anything so funny in this. What was really funny was the idea of Mr. Cheatam or Alonzo Myers beauing them around. That killed her.

            Her mother didn’t laugh at what they had said. “I think you girls are pretty silly,” she said. “After all, that’s what you are—Temples of the Holy Ghost.”

           The two of them looked up at her, politely concealing their giggles, but with astonished faces as if they were beginning to realize that she was made of the same stuff as Sister Perpetua.  Miss Kirby preserved her set expression and the child thought, it’s all over her head anyhow. I am a Temple of the Holy Ghost, she said to herself, and was pleased with the phrase. It made her feel as if somebody had given her a present.”

 1)      In the New Testament, “present” is called by another name:  what is that name?

2)      Is the Apostle saying that being “temple of the Holy Ghost” is a gift?  If so, how?  Why?

3)    Anthropology is the study of man, human beings.  What is the Lord’s anthropology in 1 Corinthians and as dramatized in O’Connor’s short story above? What is our own view of man  and how does it compare with the Lord’s?

 Almighty and everlasting God,  You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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