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 | By Adam Cross

God in your lungs

Take a deep breath. What happens when you do? Your lungs fill with air, your body moves as you breathe, perhaps you feel more calm. Every time you breathe, it is a reminder that God is breathing life into you. God is working in and through your physical body. You, as a physical being, are an essential part of God’s creation.


Not angels

If you think about it, God didn’t have to give you a body. He made angels to be purely spiritual beings, and yet God found beauty and goodness in making humans physical and bodily. In Genesis we hear that God breathed life into Adam after forming him from the earth. This means that when we breathe or engage in exercise, sports or even video games, we are utilizing God’s gift of creation and breath of life.

Here and now

Knowing that our bodies are not only good, but formed and enlivened by God, can change how we think about ourselves. God calls us to not be stuck in our heads worrying about that test coming up next week or the tournament next month. He calls us to be truly present now. The Gospels remind us that God is caring for every need of the lilies of the field and the sparrows of the air, and he calls us to reflect on how much more he is caring for us as his beloved children. If our minds get stuck in anxiety and negative thinking, our bodies can bring us back to the present moment where God is as a loving Father, here and now.

Body language

When we tune in and notice how we are feeling physically, our bodies can tell us a lot about ourselves. In the same way our bodies can reveal our physical needs when we are tired, hungry or sore, and our mental needs when we are anxious, shaky or unmotivated, our bodies can also reveal our spiritual needs when we feel restless and are in need of prayer and mercy. Jesus, as the Incarnation, truly sanctified our bodily and human experiences. Jesus shared in all that we do as physical beings by eating food and being cold and tired. Jesus, who is God’s plan for salvation, redeems humanity and transforms even our bodies into real, tangible expressions of God’s saving grace.

Holding holiness

Jesus as a physical human being also gave us tangible sacraments that reveal God’s love to us. Each sacrament is an encounter, reminding us in real ways of God’s love and mercy. The sacraments as outward and visible signs of God’s grace allow us to be fully present with our bodies – to breathe and to receive his love. They present us with the reality that we are in the family of God, are audibly forgiven when we fall, are anointed with power, healing and mission, and can have deep personal intimacy and communion with God. The sacraments bring us to the tangible reality that Jesus is working in and through our bodies and our lives, each and every day.

So take a breath. Remember that God is calling you to encounter him in a real way here and now, as his physical creation. Invite him into all you do because God wants to dwell within you as you walk, eat, stretch, exercise and hug a family member or friend. God is longing to reveal himself to you through your body and the creation around you as you become a living temple of his Holy Spirit each day.

Adam Cross is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and he worked as a youth minister at his local parish for 8 years. Adam loves to integrate the Catholic faith into his therapy practice.

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