Did you get to see any of the coverage of Pope Francis opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s to inaugurate the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on Tuesday? Even if you did, here is another look. That I found the video so moving took me by surprise. Of course the dramatic opening of the doors, which apparently was hard to do from the looks of it, to the shift from seeing the doors open from the inside. What an image of Christ – the inbreaking of the kingdom. Powerful.
The scene that really had my emotions running was when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI enters St. Peter’s, at about 1:20. Good Lord, the man cannot walk without assistance, how frail he seemed. Yet he was there, and it was beautiful to me. Fodder for another post, but I always believe he got a worse rap than he deserved. Anyway, I remain grateful for his courage to resign. In doing so, he opened a door of mercy for the Church, and then God opened another door of mercy when Pope Francis was elected. On Tuesday, two men walked through the Door of Mercy, and and embraced.
Here is the video:
Did you know that there was an official hymn for the Year of Mercy? Misericordes sicut Pater, or Merciful Like the Father, was composed by Paul Inwood. Here is a link to the text in English. The refrain in Latin means, “His mercy endures forever.” Here is a video of the music, which I hope you enjoy. I think it is gorgeous.
Now we begin a special year of grace. We are all pass through many doors, some of them not of our own choosing, but this year, we can choose to walk through the door of mercy in our own lives. When we enter, passing through the doors of our lives, will we bring with us a spirit of hope and comfort? Will we bring a spirit of promise and healing? Will we bring with us mercy, ever merciful as God is merciful?
As a person who considers their most rigorous form of physical exercise jumping to conclusions, and as a person who has raised thinking the worst to high art, let me tell you, I feel like a tiny child about to learn to read. When it comes to mercy, I have a lot to learn. As most of us do, I suppose. Pope Francis said in his homily, “How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy!”
So as we pass through these holy doors, all kinds of doors, portals of every kind of encounter, what will we give, and what will we find? What if in our prayer, we imagine and pray with our own “holy door,” the one in our hearts? What kind of door will you create? Will the doors open in or out? Think about that and what the implications of direction might be. Will we walk through those doors to encounter mercy? Will we walk out to share grace? Given my propensity for my aforementioned propensity for jumping to conclusions, I think maybe I’ll work on that as part of my door project. What kind of holy door will you make? What kind of holy door would you like to see?
Whatever images come up in your heart and mind can be explored this year. No matter, whether we can imagine our own Holy Door or not, the Holy Door of Mercy is now open. The instruction is clear if we can abide. Now, open!