“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved,” (John 10:9)
While sitting on my deck, my cat will sometimes put her nose on the glass door asking to come out with me. I’m hesitant to get up and open the door since I know the drill: I walk to the door, open it, and she backs away apparently frightened by the possibility, sometimes darting away.
I go sit back down and she returns with a meow. I get back up, open the door again, she backs away, I give up.
This kind of inertia affects us all at different points in our life. A door will open and we are too afraid to walk through it. It’s something we think we want, but when the door swings wide, we retract. It could be fear of failure, the unknown, or change. And sometimes we don’t realize the door is open until we look back and recognize it.
When we fail to walk through a door that could have been a great opportunity for us, it’s tempting to look back with regret, but that isn’t helpful either. It can create even more inertia because we focus on “what if?” rather than trying to identify new doors to step through.
Discerning doors is one of life’s biggest challenges. Some doors may be wide open, but may not be the Narnia we are looking for. Others may be closed but we try to pry them open and miss the ones that God is nudging us toward.
One that is always open for us is the door of mercy. God grants us a sanctifying grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but often we are like my cat dancing around the door trying to gather the courage to walk through, yet never taking that step of faith.
As we draw closer to the end of this great Jubilee Year, may we all run to the door of mercy and allow God to bind up the wounds that keep us walking in fear rather than faith.
Chuck Frost is Pastoral Associate at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Chuck was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 2000 after spending 10 years as a United Methodist Pastor in Mississippi and Alaska. After becoming Catholic, Chuck served for 9 years as Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Savannah, GA. Chuck has a MDiv from Duke Divinity School.