This morning before Divine Liturgy, I was praying with the Gospel accounts of Christ's coming among the Eleven in the Upper Room, both on the first day of the week, and eight days later (John 20). I was struck by the fact that He entered, "though the doors were shut," so I prayed about the shut doors in my heart. I've become aware since entering the monastic life that I cannot heal myself. Some of my wounds are so deeply buried that I can't identify them; therefore I cannot open them to the balm of the Spirit. I have to trust the Father to bring them to light in His timing, and to minister to my broken soul in the ways He knows will most heal and purify me.
During Bright Week--from Pascha through Thomas Sunday--the priest leaves the Royal Doors and the deacon doors on our iconostasis open as a reminder that Jesus Christ has burst asunder the doors of Hades and opened to us the way to eternal life. During all our services this past week, I delighted in the unusual sight. At the end of Liturgy today, as our chaplain moved to close the doors, I prayed, "Jesus, every year this makes me sad..." And suddenly, my desire to have access to Christ in the holy place was suffused with the glorious truth of the Resurrection: We worship the Risen Lord Who walks through shut doors. And in His Love, He enters into our hiding places where we cower in fear.
My prayer for you during this Paschal season is that you, too, would give the Lord permission to penetrate your defenses, to enter into the secret places of your hearts and abide with you, too.