THE HOLY DOOR
Holy Doors symbolically represent Jesus, who said, “I am the door.” (John 10:7).
The Holy Door or ‘Porta Sancta’ is only open during a Holy Year (Jubilee), which occur every 25 years (the last one in 2000). On the first day of a holy year, the Pope strikes the brick wall with a silver hammer and opens it to the pilgrims.
The message imparted by the Holy Door is that God’s mercy reaches out to mankind’s frailty.
Traditionally, there are holy doors only in the four basilicas of Rome: St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Until 1975, the Holy Doors in Rome were enclosed by a cement wall that the pope broke down using a hammer. When cement fragments fell too close to Pope Paul VI during the opening of the Holy Door on Christmas Eve in 1974, this practice was abandoned, and now bronze doors have replaced the wall.
Walking through the Holy Doors means that you receive an indulgence, which is a lessening of the consequences attached to sin.
According to the Catholic Church, when you sin, you must go to confession and you are forgiven. But forgiveness only applies to the guilt of your sin; there may still be consequences of your sin that you may have to pay for in this life or after you die. An indulgence is a way to lessen that penalty.
As an analogy, if someone commits a crime, he is sentenced to jail time as punishment. He may be sorry for his crime and apologize, but he still must serve his sentence and deal with the consequences of his crime.
To receive a full indulgence (called a plenary indulgence), you must:
- Walk through the Holy Doors.
- Go to confession.
- Receive communion.
- Pray for the intentions of the pope.
Door of Mercy
“[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me.
To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy.
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…” (Diary, 1146)
Divine Mercy, which has been part of the patrimony of the Faith from the beginning, as well as request new devotional and liturgical expressions of it? In His revelations to St. Faustina Jesus answers this question, connecting it to another doctrine, also sometimes little emphasized, that of His Second Coming. In the Gospel the Lord shows us that His first coming was in humility, as a Servant, to free the world from sin. Yet, He promises to return in glory to judge the world on love, as He makes clear in his discourses on the Kingdom in Matthew chapters 13 and 25. In between these Comings we have the end times or era of the Church, in which the Church ministers reconciliation to the world until the great and terrible Day of the Lord, the Day of Justice. Every Catholic should be familiar with the teaching of the Church on this matter, contained in paragraphs 668 to 679 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Only in the context of public revelation as taught by the Magisterium can we situate the words of private revelation given to Sr. Faustina.
You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)
Speak to the world about My mercy … It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)
Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)
Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).
In addition to these words of Our Lord Sr. Faustina gives us the Words of the Mother of Mercy, the Blessed Virgin,
You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy. (Diary 635).
The Holy Door…
From the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta
Book of Heaven 30, A.D, 1925
The free will in the Blessed in Heaven and in the soul who lives in the Divine Will on earth. Knowledge opens the doors of the good which is known, in order to possess it.
… “My daughter, do not fear, It is I, and I do not leave you. And besides, how could I leave you? The living in my Will renders the soul inseparable from Me. My Life is for her more than the soul to the body; and just as the body without the soul turns into dust, because it lacks the life that sustains it, in the same way, without my Life within yourself, you would remain empty of all the acts of my Will in you. You would no longer hear my voice in the depth of your soul, repeating and whispering to you the way to have you carry out your office in my Will. If there is my voice, there is also my Life which emits it. How easily you think that I might leave you – I cannot do it; first you would have to leave my Will, and then you could think that I have left you. But for you to leave my Will will also be difficult, not to say almost impossible.
You are in the condition which is almost similar to that of the Blessed in Heaven. They have not lost their free will; this is a gift which I gave man, and what I give once, I never take back. Slavery has never entered Heaven; I am the God of sons and daughters, not of slaves; I am the King who makes everyone reign – there is no division between Me and them. But the knowledge of my goods, of my Will and of my happiness is so great and so vast, that they are filled with it to the brim, to the point of overflowing outside, and their will finds no place to act. And while they are free, the knowledge of an infinite Will and of the infinite goods in which they are immersed, leads them with an irresistible force to use their will as if they did not have it, considering this their greatest fortune and happiness, but spontaneously free, and of their own will.
The same for you, my daughter. Making my Will known to you has been the greatest grace I have given you; and while you are free to do your will or not, before Mine your will feels incapable of operating – it feels annihilated.
And knowing the great good of my Will, you abhor yours, and without anyone forcing you, you love to do my Will in view of the great good which comes to you from It. The many knowledges which I have manifested to you about my Will are divine bonds, eternal chains that surround you, possessions of celestial goods. And if it tries to escape from these eternal chains, break these divine bonds, lose these celestial possessions also in this life, your will, though free, does not find its way out, it becomes confused, it sees its littleness, and fearing itself – some trick of its own, it dives and plunges itself into my Will with more spontaneous love. Knowledge opens the doors of the good which is known, and the more knowledges I have manifested to you about my Will, the more different doors of goods, of light, of grace and of divine sharings, I have opened for you. These doors are open for you; and as these knowledges reach into the midst of creatures, these doors will open for them, because knowledge makes love arise for the good which is known. And the first door I will open will be my Will, in order to close the little door of theirs. My Will will make them abhor their own, because before my Will the human will is incapable of acting; with the light of my Will it sees how insignificant and good at nothing it is; therefore, as though consequently, they will put their will aside. Moreover, you must know that when I manifest to you one knowledge about my Will, only when you have let all the good of what I have manifested to you enter into your soul – then do I decide to open for you another door of my knowledge. If I did not do so, yours would only be the news of that good, but not the possession of it. I do not know how to do this; whenever I speak, I want the good which I manifest to be possessed.
Therefore, be attentive in the exercise of my Will, that I may open for you more doors of my knowledges, and you may enter more into the divine possessions.”
“The Holy Door is Jesus Christ” (Fr. Gobbi, Jan.1, 2001), and to enter the Holy Door – not to pass through It, but to enter into It – is to enter into Jesus, and “know Him as He is”, that is, to know how His Divinity operated within His Humanity, to know His interior acts done in His Divine Will, in order to repeat them within ourselves, to possess them, to be transformed into Him. “…So we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God…” (Eph 4,13)
Than shall man be able to say, truly and with full meaning: “…For what is life? To me, to live is Christ!”