Have you ever wondered why churches are physically designed the way they are? Why are modern churches so different than the churches of old? If you look at many older "ad orientam" (eastern facing) cruciform (cross shaped) churches you'll notice the baptismal font was traditionally placed near the western entrance and the crucifix is always on the eastern wall behind the altar.
Though I have no empirical evidence on hand, I believe it is a very intentional design to remind us of our life with Christ. God provides us with such rich graces throughout our lives but we often forget the meanings and subtle reminders that we have given ourselves. In our own baptism we become Christians and enter into the Body of Jesus Christ. We are called to walk with him all our days and in our baptism we are born into and share in His life, death and Resurrection.
Walking into an ad-orientam cruciform church of old from the west and blessing ourselves with the sacramental of Holy Water at the door reminds us of our own baptism and our first steps into the Body of Christ (the Church) where we share in His life through His words (the liturgy), share in His death and sacrifice of the Mass through the Most Holy Eucharist, and share in His Resurrection as we take what God has given us and go forth into the world to Love and serve God and one another.
The physical church is a real and visible reminder of God's graces and eternal Love for us and she is the embodiment of our salvation history itself!
Our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is at once, many things;
She is the Ark of Noah by which the righteous were saved;
She is the Ark of the Covenant carrying God's law throughout the land;
She is the New Ark and perfect unstained womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary from which was born our Salvation;
She is Christ's Baptism and salvation for all who are entered into it with Him;
She is the Barque of St. Peter outside of which there is no salvation;
She is the voice of the Blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ from which spring forth God's commands of Love and Mercy;
She is the irrefutable witness to Jesus Christ, who Himself came to bear witness to the truth;
She is the Dispenser of the Sacraments, visible signs of God's merciful and loving graces and no less miracles than those shown to us by Christ Himself;
She is the Way of the Cross, bearing the humiliation, scorn and sufferings as Christ was hated;
She is Calvary and the Cross, the altar upon which the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God was crucified and died so our sins may be forgiven;
She is the tomb where HE was resurrected and where we are all resurrected with Him and from which we go forth to make disciples of all the nations, to Love and serve the Lord through one another.
She is the living Bride of Christ for which HE will return.
The Catholic Church my friends is herself continuing proof of God's Love for each and every one of us and she is as eternal as is God's Love for us, his children.