Let the upright… come in,
All of these beautiful church doors have one thing in common.
They are closed.
Ok, I accept that the photographer appreciates the beauty of the doors themselves, and if the doors were open they wouldn’t be as easily seen in the pics.
While these closed doors are beautiful, open doors, as open gates, indicate an invitation to enter, which is why the cry to OPEN that all may enter features in today’s first reading.
A couple of months ago Pope Francis wrote a letter on Liturgy (at this link) in which he makes significant mention of Romano Guardini (1885-1961) much of whose writing has become inspiring spiritual classic including his (available here as pdf) work entitled Sacred Signs.
Here’s a bit from the The Doors section of Guardini’s little book:
“A church is a similitude [ie similar to or reminder] of the heavenly dwelling place of God. Mountains indeed are higher, the wide blue sky outside stretches immeasurably further. But whereas outside space is unconfined and formless, the portion of space set aside for the church has been formed, fashioned, designed at every point with God in view. The long pillared aisles, the width and solidity of the walls, the high arched and vaulted roof, bring home to us that this is God’s house and the seat of his hidden presence. It is the doors that admit us to this mysterious place. Lay aside, they say, all that cramps and narrows, all that sinks the mind. Open your heart, lift up your eyes. Let your soul be free, for this is God’s temple.
“It is likewise the representation of you, yourself. For you, your soul and your body, are the living temple of God. Open up that temple, make it spacious, give it height.
“Heed the cry of the doors. Of small use to you is a house of wood and stone unless you yourself are God’s living dwelling. The high arched gates may be lifted up, and the portals parted wide, but unless the doors of your heart are open, how can the King of Glory enter in?
I like that!
Each one of us is God’s living dwelling, God’s temple. Open up that temple, make it spacious, portals parted wide, inviting and welcoming. Give it height that those who walk upright may enter and feel at home.