When I’m having a really bad day and the pain won’t let up, I appreciate those doors that open. Perhaps I’ll hear from a reader, whose wisdom inspires me to think beyond my own suffering. Or, I’ll spend time in prayer and new insight will gently rest on my heart. Or, maybe the door opening will be as simple as the realization that, when I wasn’t thinking about it, the flare began to lift, the pain lessen.
Open doors can signify new beginnings or a continuation of a profound and wonderful journey. They might lead to something or someone challenging, or the comfort that we need just at the right time. And when we open the door of our heart, when we sit and invite the Spirit to move within us, inviting God’s love ever deeper inside us, we experience ever more grace-filled faith and steely strength that we can turn to the people and things in our life that need our support and encouragement. An open door brings new air, new breath into our lives, renewing and rejuvenating us.
This year, next week, another door will open. I took the picture accompanying this blog post when I was in Washington D.C. for the papal visit. It shows the Jubilee Door at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It’s a beautiful door, decorated with the flourish of faith, but it was closed. As I stood before it, I felt a sense of stuffiness, of stagnant air in the “before opening” of that door. But I can imagine that, when it opens, fresh air and light will pour through it. Just like what happens with us, when we open the door of our heart to God in fresh supplication, attention, and mercy.