Friday, February 12, 2016

Daily Thought For February 12, 2016

Transformation Through The Doors of Repentance

The Holy Door of Jubilee is one of the symbols most deeply imprinted in our minds. All of us are searching, so to speak, for the road that leads to freedom, for the door through which we finally emerge into freedom. But we are, at the same time, searching for the door that leads to security. We are searching for the place where freedom and security coexist. In our innermost being we are looking for the paradise that was lost to us, that is, as it were, inscribed as a primeval memory in every human heart. The Holy Door of Jubilee does not, it is true, immediately symbolize the Gate of Paradise, but it is a reminder of the door that was opened to us in the morning of our life, the door of holy Baptism. In our lives, the door of Baptism is above all the Door of Repentance. If we are to be truly numbered among the baptized, we must, as it were, bow our heads again and again in order to enter by this Door of Repentance. How consoling it is when we can say of another man that he tries to improve himself, that he knows his faults and tries to correct them. He seeks a transformation not only in me, but also in himself, and tomorrow I can begin again with him. How terrible, on the other hand, when an individual is no longer even aware of his faults. The Door of Repentance requires that we let our eyes be opened, that our self-righteousness be shattered, that we learn to bow down and, in doing so, become new persons—persons who have been redeemed. We are told that the Gate of Paradise is guarded by a cherub with a flaming sword. Penance means that in the grace of forgiveness we can pass through the flames without being consumed. To be sure, we will be burned, because there is much in us that must be burned away. That is why I earnestly pray that I may pass through this door.

Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (pp. 80–81). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.