There is one thing I ask of the Lord.
For this I long:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life.
(From the Vigil prayers for the Feast of the Epiphany)
The energy of prayer can fill not only the space set aside for it, but an entire house, and out into the surrounding neighborhood and the cosmos beyond. We sense when this happens and can say with all sincerity that we live now and will live always in the house of the Lord.
This is a constant theme in the Psalms because many dangers awaited the singer outside the Lord’s tent. The journey to the safety of the temple was long and arduous, as is the life journey for each of us. We see this reflected in T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Journey of the Magi.” The journey can be long, the weather sharp, the trek punctuated with regrets and misgivings that the trip could be folly. And yet, in the end we have arrived at our destination, bearing such gifts as we have to offer, here at the small house where the babe rests in the arms of his mother.
We know now that our wish has been granted, that we may remain in this sacred space until our days end, acolytes in the temple of the Lord.