Here's a photo of Pope Francis recently opening the Holy Doors of Saint Peter's Basilica at the start of the Holy Year of Mercy. And then this morning, a Catholic News Feed asked (with a chance to click on yes or no) "Will you visit a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy?" And I wondered: Hmm, the souvenir sellers, restaurateurs, hoteliers and airline industrialists would love to know how many people will be coming to Rome (or whatever major city with holy doors), so they can plan ahead.
But going through the Holy Door (whether in Rome, Manhattan, Quebec, Paris, Barcelona...) is a metaphor for growth, change, transformation ~ the real stuff of spiritual-religious living.
- Even reading a book that awakens something creative and humanly new in me, is stepping over the threshold of a Holy Door.
- Responding to misery in a heart-felt place instead of changing the channel and all the more getting off the couch to make a gift for the sake of the child on the screen, that's stepping through the Holy Door
- Getting a mind of my own, thinking for myself, instead of following the rhetoric leader, is stepping through a Holy Door.
- Feeling sick and tired of being sick and tired and copping to the place that's been begging for the inner light of change, is stepping through the Holy Door.
- Taking on an addiction seriously, with resolve and commitment, is stepping over the Holy Door threshold.
- Can you believe it? Some Christians have never read the four Gospels. Making that happen in a systematic way in 2016 with pause, silence, consideration, even study, is stepping through the Holy Door.
- I was talking with someone who is many decades old and who still feels like an inner baby, and who has set out in real effort to grow that inner stunted place. Wow, that's stepping through the Holy Door.
- Treating soul-destroying resentments (which we all have, otherwise Jesus would never have alluded to them), is stepping through the Holy Door.
- Stepping through the Holy Door is realizing in a new lived-practice that Jesus' religious litmus-test isn't the Ten Commandments but the Corporal and Spiritual Works of mercy, and that when it says, Instruct the ignorant and Counsel the doubtful, it might well mean first of all - myself!
- And then of course there is that very hidden and deep place where I feel perhaps God is still holding a grudge against me, or where I feel (or have been told) I have disappointed God terribly, or where I hold a serious grudge against myself. Enough of that! It's getting on Christmas, and Jesus has shown us that God holds no grudges. Step over the threshold of the Holy Door of Divine Mercy! Tip-toe into the cave of Bethlehem, huddled with the shepherds, the Lord's first guests! How pleased Jesus and Mary are to see you!