Chapter Fourteen: A New Beginning.
What is the true doorway to God’s mercy and forgiveness? To search for answers, please consider joining women from around the Archdiocese of New Orleans (and from all around the country) as they encounter God’s boundless love and mercy!
John 10:9. Jesus said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe.”
Spotlight Event: WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Women’s Conference. Mercy: Encountering Boundless Love. A day of inspiration, faith, fellowship and fun, held in Metairie, LA on Saturday, October 15 from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Visit http://www.NewOrleansWINE-2016.eventbrite.com to register and learn more about our wonderful speakers, including Kelly Wahlquist, Teresa Tomeo, Kitty Cleveland and Judy Klein.
Virtual Pilgrimage Location: St. Peter’s Holy Door in Rome and Abraham’s Gate in northern Israel. No passport needed. Just sit back, relax and experience a spiritual journey towards the Doorway of Mercy.
A sneak peak into Karen’s upcoming book.
The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love.
Chapter Fourteen: A New Beginning
Luke 3:3-6. He went about the entire region of Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins, as is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “A herald’s voice in the desert, crying, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be leveled. The windings shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.'”
The estranged couple’s ride home from the beach that weekend was uneventful. Unaware of his wife’s deep rooted despair, he was in his typical cold and distant mood. Only after discussing her marital concerns did he return to his old pattern of rage and abuse. Desperate to save her marriage, she pleaded with him to attend counseling sessions. Unfortunately, he refused and within a month their marriage was over. Deeply wounded, she returned home to discuss the Catholic annulment process with Fr. T., an old family friend, lawyer and priest. To the recent divorcee, an annulment was not merely “Catholic divorce”, or a formality of Catholic canon law, but her personal pathway towards spiritual healing. She longed for the peace and forgiveness that this process would provide. Filled with hope, she entered the Parish Center, greeted Fr. T., and followed him through the doorway of mercy.
Virtual Pilgrimage: St. Peter’s Holy Door in Rome and Abraham’s Gate in northern Israel. No passport needed.
We pass through many doorways throughout our lifetime. At birth, we pass through a physical gateway to life, and later, we rise to eternal live through Christ in the Sacrament of Baptism. We enter doorways to new schools, friendships, homes and vocations. Eventually, we pass through the final gateway, the doorway from this world to the next. However, traditionally, when speaking about a Holy Door, we mainly think of the entrance or doorway to one of the major basilicas in Rome. Sealed by mortar or cement from the inside, the Holy Doors in Rome are only opened during a Jubilee Year.
Generally, the Catholic Jubilee is celebrated every 25-50 years, however, in December of 2015, Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Year of Mercy or Jubilee. Breaking with tradition, he instructed each diocese, throughout the world, to designate one or more local Holy Doors so that Catholics could readily obtain the plenary indulgences or forgiveness of sins granted during such a celebration. Therefore, the Church encourages each of us to journey towards the Holy Door, either in Rome or in another location throughout the world, because this earthly pilgrimage reflects, in many ways, our own inner sacrifice, dedication, and desire for God. According to Pope Francis, by passing through the Door of Mercy, “All will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” Renewed and filled with love, we are called to conversion and to reflect God’s boundless love and abundant mercy to others.
Abraham, our father in faith, entered this gateway when rescuing his nephew, Lot, from the hands of marauders. Pursuing them as far as Damascus (in modern day Syria), he finally freed Lot from the forces of darkness. When Abraham returned, the High Priest, Melchizedek, brought out bread and wine, then blessed Abraham saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High and blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hands,” (Genesis 14:14016). Here, we learn that, having passed through the door of mercy, we, like Abraham, are called to worship and praise God, the Most High. Through the breaking of the bread, we encounter God in a very intimate manner. Then, filled with gratitude and hope, we must strive to reflect His boundless love and abundant mercy to those we meet along the way. In closing, let us pray for the strength, courage and endurance of Abraham, so that we too, may be, “Merciful just as the Father is merciful,” (Luke 6:36). Amen
Today’s Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You.
To learn more about my new book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, please click on the link below.