Throw open the door of your heart

Door ajar with light. Source unknown.

Read time: 1:20 min.

My first book, Touching the Reign of God  (2019) opens with words of the now sainted John Paul II at his inaugural papal Mass in 1978.

Throw open the door of your heart!” he says.

I continue: “One person familiar with the Italian language … in which the Holy Father spoke, noted that the phrase he used translates literally as: Break the door of your heart off the hinges!

Which suggests that “replacing the door might be a great bother.”

There comes a point, in the spiritual life, when doors become convenient excuses for not opening the unbidden invitation, not stepping up to the moment, not opening the door of the heart.

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Pope Francis observes the despised outsider—the Samaritan—who opens his heart to care for the traveler left for dead on the side of the road.

Francis also observes the innkeeper who opens the hostel door to this bloodied traveler who likely does not fit the “guest” profile.

Doors can be opened. Doors can be closed. We decide.

I’ll be honest with you: The Christ-centered life is inconvenient, and always a surprise. When I say Yes to this way of life, I undergo a transformation.

Ask yourself: What can I say about the door of my heart? Does it swing open? Does it swing shut? Do the hinges creak from disuse?

Read “Throw Open the Door of Your Heart,” and other essays, in Touching the Reign of God.

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