The Choice

many-doorsMany of my friends, like me, are amateur photographers. Now that we all carry smart phones, knowing why it isn’t that difficult. Just for fun, many people take photos  of doors. Having quite a collection now myself, I  wonder when I will have enough and move on to another subject.  “Not yet,” is always the answer coming from my soul, Why the fascination? Because the door is one of the most powerful symbols of the divine invitation. No force involved, God allows us the ultimate freedom to choose a sacred path or not.  The door is always open and we are always given the choice to step over the threshold of mystery,  any time and anywhere, or not.  That crossover step may first be one of trust and seeking, then later openness and real discipleship.  The courage to continue moving inward remains the same.  As long as are pilgrims on this Earth, there is always another threshold and another divine invitation.

by DC

Security Doors

security-doorIn my day to day travels I drive through a lot of different neighborhoods. In some parts of town, the front doors of homes are reinforced with heavy gauge steel and have bars on the windows.  Other homes have triple security, being ensconced within guard gated communities, locked outer courtyards and dead-bolted but wonderfully ornate front doors.  When we remodeled our home some years ago, we chose a large front door that has rain glass framed by dark wood.  It lets light in yet protects our privacy.  The doors I choose depend on the threat level I perceive from my fellow children of God.  What are the causes and conditions that cause me to feel so imperiled?  What can I do today to create a world where doors are only meant to keep the cold out?

by Andrew

Shut Doors

shutterstock_226990162“If God shuts a door, stop banging on it. Trust that whatever is behind you was not meant for you and move on.” What a great quote! How many of us have refused to let a door stay shut in our lives? We bang on it, weep near it, try to peek through to see if “it” is still there, instead of just letting go and trusting God to point the way and open a new door. Sometimes that new door may be “camouflaged” and require more rigorous discernment, especially if we are still longing for what is behind that shut door. I pray for guidance: “Holy Spirit, I need help. I long to experience everything you have for me in my life. I want to see things happen, but I can’t open doors myself. Please give me wisdom and help me walk through the doors and opportunities you bring.”

by JAM

The Doorway to the Spiritual Life

shutterstock_63620233A long time ago, when I was in the first stages of spiritual growth, someone quizzically asked me, “Is God knocking on the door of your heart?”  I was dumb-struck. After nervously joking, I went home and wept, something I had been doing frequently then. Anything could set me off – seeing the breath-taking sunsets over the ocean, looking at the faces of my infant daughters, listening to a piece of music, praying the Our Father at mass, reading a poem.  What I didn’t realize then was that yes, indeed, an inner, spiritual doorway was opening, brought on primarily by the outer experiences of beauty all around me. Philosophers, mystics, artists and theologians all agree. Beauty gets us in touch with something deeper, beyond ourselves, the experience of the Transcendent, the Holy Other, who constantly surrounds us with transforming, divine Presence.  Beauty, “ever-ancient, ever-new,” as Augustine so brilliantly stated, IS the doorway to the spiritual life, the divine gift that never ends.

by DC

Celebrating Community

 

40-anniversaryjpgSeptember 18 was the 40th anniversary for the Diocese of Orange. A community of 3000 people, along with Bishop Kevin Vann, celebrated the mass on the grounds of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Each parish (there are 60) had representatives who processed down the aisles with banners naming the parish and city. The folks who carried the banners wore native costumes from their respective cultures – Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, Austrian, and more.  I wondered if this union of many cultures, under Christ, would open doors of reconciliation amongst viewers struggling with healing cultural divisions. One of the songs, “One Faith, One Hope, One Lord,” has lyrics which say, “Though we are many people, diverse with various gifts, we are given to each other, for the unity of faith, that we grow in the knowledge of the Son of God, in the fullness of Christ.” My take away: though we are many people, we are given to each other as one in faith, through Christ. Please enjoy, “One Faith, One Hope, One Lord.” by Craig Courtney

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD7oXJrIZWk

by Gracie

 

Waiting in the Hallway

hallway-lighting-ceilingI am realizing that selling a home can be a very spiritual experience. You prepare your home to be listed, making sure it looks its best. Then it goes on the market and you enter into this “for sale” world. But there is another world that I have entered; it’s a place of trust and waiting. It’s as if God is saying “you are not crossing your new threshold yet, I am asking you to wait in the hallway for now.”.“There will be new doors to open and experience, but not yet.” This is a liminal space, somewhat uncomfortable. I am sure many of you too are experiencing this liminal space as well, as it has many forms. I pray this prayer today for all of you and myself too. “Lord, all I have is yours, all I have is gift. I stand expectantly in the hallway of life, waiting for your invitation to move forward. I trust in you.” Amen.

by Cathy

Welcome Bells

lizs-bellI have had a big red bell on a rope, along with a strand of little jingle bells on a ribbon, hanging on the inside of my front door. It has been over 20 years that those same bells have rung at every opening of the door for  our family, friends and guests.  I put them there when the boys were toddlers to alert me when they would try to escape out the front door. Through the teenage years, I would hear those same bells and know they were home or late for their curfew. I am very fond of those bells at my door and I am reminded of God’s entrance into my interior daily door. I sometimes hear a slight jingle and know God has just opened it a crack letting me know He is there waiting for me to listen, to embrace, to feel, to be open and to just be. Every day when I pass through the doors, I crack a sideways smile at God  as He jingles a song into my soul.

by Liz

Neighbors

shutterstock_446989552My husband and I moved into our first home in the summer heat of 2012. As proud homeowners, we both had high expectations of what belonging to a neighborhood community would be like. Both of our parents have neighbors who are lifelong friends, even considered family, who don’t have to knock before coming through the doors. We dreamed of building the same kind of relationships… and they never materialized. Although we have a few wonderful neighbors who interact with us casually, I still don’t feel comfortable asking for an emergency cup of sugar. I feel partly to blame for this. It seems as if I come home and close our door, shutting myself off to the outside world. I know I am called to share God’s light and love with the world, and yet I struggle to reach out to my own neighbors. I pray for more open doors that can lead to nourishing friendships, sweeter than sugar.

by CMM