Thursday, April 18, 2013


It seems that doors have been slipping in and out of my thoughts of late.  Kind of random, I know.

Last Saturday, as I quietly entered the adoration chapel, I took note of the door.  A keypad on the outside.  Then carefully, slowly, closing the door behind me as I entered, so as not to disturb the others.

It reminded me of the way I enter the confessional, minus the keypad.  Stepping inside and quietly closing the door behind myself.  And in both cases, it is Jesus who waits on the other side of the door.   In the Chapel in the Eucharistic Presence.  In the confessional, in Persona Christi –  in the person of Christ present through the priest who offers counsel, mercy, absolution.  Grace and peace available in both places – overflowing grace and mercy and peace.

During the Triduum and sometimes during Communion at Mass, I am struck by the open tabernacle.  It was about the doors again.  During the Triduum, the Tabernacle is open, empty.  When Mass begins on Holy Thursday, the Tabernacle is empty.  After the Eucharistic procession, the Blessed Sacrament is placed in the Tabernacle during Adoration, but the end of the appointed time, it is removed, and again the Tabernacle is vacant.  There is a feeling that all is not quite right in the world.  On Good Friday and on into the Easter Vigil, the Tabernacle is empty and its emptiness in there for all to behold.  When finally, at the end of the Easter Vigil Celebration, the Eucharist is placed in the Tabernacle, and the door is closed, there is a sense that order has returned to the world.  During Communion last week, it occurred to me that the empty Tabernacle is rather like the empty tomb.  Jesus is among us.

The weekend after Easter, the Gospel is the one for Divine Mercy Sunday.  The one where the  Apostles are gathered behind locked doors.  My priest chose to concentrate on the "locked doors" for his homily.  We all hide behind "locked doors" of some kind.  Whether its a locked door of impatience, unforgiveness, fear, addiction, anxiety, etc.  God is with us - as he was with the Apostles - behind the locked doors.  Later that afternoon, I emailed my pastor about the possibility of blessing the Eagle project detailed in the previous post.  He knows my struggles and my situation well, and I signed my email with something along the lines of  "unlocking doors, one deadbolt at a time".  He replied that he would indeed bless the project and that I could "start with the hinges if the lock was very difficult to turn".  This made me smile, and I thought for a minute, that maybe he was talking about someone else in my life who is very difficult, but then I realized that I don't have the keys to that person's locks.  It must be my own hinges that I need to start with.

There is a door that I often stand in front of.  It is the door to the tabernacle at a church near where I currently work.  There are images of wheat there.  The Bread of Life within.  Me, just a grain of wheat.

Sometimes, when no one else is in the church, I feel myself drawn to the Tabernacle.  I kneel in front and try to open myself to the graces He has to give.  Sometimes my prayer is, "Lord, fill me."  So much strength and peace comes from those quiet moments.  When school is out, and I am no longer in that area on a daily basis, I miss these minutes very much.

I began this post a week or so ago, and tonight another door image floated into my consciousness.  It has been a very difficult year at work.  We changed principals at midterm and our new principal proposed that she be allowed to "reconstitute" the school.  Last night her proposal was approved by the school board. This means that all staff must reapply for their jobs.  Most are seeing it as an opportunity to leave.  I am viewing it with mixed emotions.  I have been at this school for half of my life.  The friendships I have made there will endure, I think.  People have come and gone, but we have always been a family.  There is the feeling that the door on this chapter of my life is clanging shut a little sooner than I would have liked.  I have 3.5 years to retirement.  But, I have confidence that God will put me where I need to be.  When one door closes, another tends to open.

Knock, and the door shall be opened.

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