CATHOLIC CARTRIDGE – To learn, revive, love and be faithful… to our Catholic Faith!
02 – THE HOLY DOOR OF MERCY
We are in the Jubilee Year of Mercy
>> The year began on Dec 8, 2015 and concludes on Nov 20, 2016.
Among the many gifts and graces showered in this Jubilee…
… one of the prominent one is The Holy Door of Mercy.
We make a reflection on the importance of the Holy Door of Mercy…
… and thus prepare ourselves, to make use of this opportunity given by the Lord.
A. What is the Holy Door?
The Holy Door or “Porta Sancta” has been opened during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, giving an opportunity to receive a Plenary Indulgence , along with various other significances.
>> It was Pope Martin V, who in 1423, at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, opened the Holy Door for the first time in the history of the Jubilee.
>> In the Vatican Basilica, the opening of the Holy Door is first mentioned at Christmas 1499
In every diocese, the Holy Door of Mercy is opened in the Cathedral.
>> Also depending on the Diocese, a Holy Door is opened in Basilicas, Shrines or churches of importance.
The Holy Door of Mercy will close on November 13, 2016.
>> The Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican will close on November 20, 2016.
B. Significance and relevance of Holy Door (Thoughts while entering the Door of Mercy)
1. Our life is a constant journey towards eternity – moving from Sin towards Salvation
>> The crossing of the Holy Door symbolizes that we are ready to leave behind our worldly ways and enter into the life of eternity.
>> It is a passage signifying leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light!
2. Entry into the Holy Presence of God
>> In the Old Testament, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies once in a year, which was behind the large and heavy Veil
>> The passing through the Holy Door signifies, the Veil, which was torn down by Christ’s Death, is now opened, and we are to enter into the Holy Presence of God
3. Christ is the Door
>> Jesus says in Jn 10:7, “I am the gate for the sheep”
>> He is the Door through which we need to enter, to receive eternal life
4. We respond to Christ’s invitation
>> In Jn 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…”
>> By entering through the Door of Mercy, we are responding to this invitation of Jesus to “dine with Him”
5. The Door signifies waters of mercy gushing forth
>> In the Old Testament, we read Moses stuck at the rock and the waters gushed forth
>> The Door of Mercy is opened now for us, and the waters of God’s Grace and Mercy flow into us
6. The open Door signifies our hearts and minds
>> By entering through the Holy Door, we are also telling that I am ready to open the door of my mind and heart, to all others – in order to give them God’s mercy and compassion
7. The Door of Mercy is an experience of the Love of God
>> Pope Francis exhorts that ” the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.”
8. The Holy Door is a reminder to revive and replenish our Sacramental Life
>> Many of the sacramental rituals begin at the Door …
…The parents welcomed as they bring their child for baptism
… The bride and groom blessed as they begin the wedding liturgy
… The catechumens greeted at the rite of acceptance
… The casket received at the beginning of the funeral liturgy.
>> The Holy Door reminds us that Christian Life is strengthened and nurtured by the frequent and worthy reception of the Sacraments of the Church.
C. The Holy Door of Mercy gives an opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence
An Indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.
>> A Plenary Indulgence is one which removes all of the temporary punishments due to sin
(A partial indulgence removes only a part)
What are the conditions to be fulfilled to receive the Plenary Indulgence, while passing through the Holy Door of Mercy?
1. Make a sacramental confession
2. A firm resolution to stay away (complete detachment) from all sins , including venial sins
3. Receive the Holy Communion
4. Pray for the Intentions of the Holy Father (The Our Father and Hail Mary are suggested)
4. Pass through the Holy Door of Mercy with the intention of receiving the Indulgence
5. Perform ANY ONE of the following:
… A work of piety (a pilgrimage or some pious devotion like Rosary, Stations of the Cross or participate in adoration etc)
… A work of mercy or charity
… An act of penance (abstinence or fasting)
Ideally, these are to be done on the same day.
>> But if not possible, it is to be carried out in around 2-3 weeks time
The indulgence, which can be gained only once a day, can be applied…
… either to oneself
… or the souls of the deceased
>> They cannot be applied to other persons living on the earth
We are less than 3 months away from the closing of this Jubilee year.
Have we responded to the invitation of the Church to “pass through” this Holy Door?
If not, let us make earnest efforts…
… or (ideally) as a family or a community
>> To pass through the Holy Door of Mercy and receive the gift of Indulgence!
God Bless! Live Jesus!