Becoming the holy doors of Christ’s mercy

| Alyssa Bormes | October 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

During this jubilee Year of Mercy, there is a particular gift we have been given — Holy Doors!

Since only a few of us will be able to walk through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, there are holy doors in each diocese throughout the world, including our own at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

So what is it about walking through doors?

Let’s turn to St. John the Evangelist for the answer: “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep … . I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved … .” Jesus is the door!

We pass through so many doors in our life. In order to be here in the first place, we entered through the door of birth, then the door of the sacraments, those of the first day of school, of a new house, a new job, a vocation, and we will all pass through the final door — that of death, when we will meet our maker.

Doors are thresholds to something different. Physically, we have traveled from the outside to the inside, or vice versa. There are different atmospheres on each side of the door. It might be the change from public to private space as in a home, or it might have the sensation of heat and cold, as is so common in our extreme seasons.

Thresholds often have a spiritual dimension. How often have we been able to breathe more easily when at last entering our homes at the end of a day? Conversely, how often have we crossed a threshold that we know we shouldn’t cross? Darkness is on the other side, like the darkness of gossip, or impurity, or covetousness, or any other sin.

We are now invited to physically and spiritually walk through holy doors. We walk through them first leaving the world and entering the sacred. This year, mercy is the door. Perhaps we then choose the door to the confessional, where we meet mercy, and then we exit that same door having to be merciful to ourselves — forgiving ourselves for our sins. We are asked to wander through the sacred place, linger in the beauty, meet the saints, walk the Way of the Cross and enter into the Mass. While we are there, we can meet our neighbors who are there with us.

Then, we are asked to depart through that same holy door, returning to the world, but taking the sacred with us to the rest of our neighbors — being a sort of door, being Christ to them.

Although the Holy Doors will soon close here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and in Rome, all of our doors — to home, to work, to our heart — are to become holy doors. In a sense, the jubilee Year of Mercy was just a renewed kick-start to what always should be, a meeting with mercy, a meeting with Christ.

Bormes, a member of Holy Family in St. Louis Park, is the author of the book “The Catechism of Hockey.”

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Category: Everyday Mercies