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Uniting with Christ Through our Senses

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How do we perceive the Divine and communicate with God as beings who possess both physical and spiritual senses?
Some ascetics might try to starve their physical senses to sharpen their inner senses, but such a notion seems to me to be contrary to Catholic wisdom and practice. The Catholic Church  repudiates Gnosticism, realizing that believers come to a fuller sense of Christ through the totality of their human person. The first time I walked into a Catholic Church as a child, I was hit by a sense of a Holy Presence.  Overwhelmed by awe, I tip-toed  around this foreign Church. The whole atmosphere seemed exotic, with dim, soft lighting coming through gorgeous stained glass windows and a few votive candles. Incense assaulted my nostrils, countless paintings and statues begged for my visual attention and the holy waterin the font felt holy. This encounter was an experience of both sensory and spiritual overload, a profound experience of the Holy.  God touched that little child’s inner …