Of Holy Doors and Thanksgiving



I think it’s fate. The way that it happened, I mean. Last Saturday, I was casually texting my friend Nelly, when she asked me – “are you going to the last day of the Holy Doors today?”

“The what?” I asked.

“The Year of Mercy ends today. The Holy Doors are closing.”

After spending a few minutes going back and forth, incensed by the fact that as a regular (no miss) church goer I had no idea what she was talking about, I finally looked it up.

“Oh, I see,” I texted. “I had no idea.”

I had no clue that the Pope declared specific churches around the world as Holy Doors.  Simply put, “the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.”

People were making pilgrimages. Passing through a Holy Door and being absolved from all sin.

But most of them had closed over the weekend.

Except one little church tucked in the far northern corner of our state, more than an hour away from where we lived.

We dropped all our plans for the day and made it through those doors. Needless to say, the experience was intense.

And as I write this Thanksgiving post, it begins to dawn on me. That event last weekend was the culmination of the decisions I’ve made in the past few weeks. It was given to me as a gift of closure, of understanding. That the past two years were necessary. That I had to go there, to get here.

I am filled with a profound sense of peace.

Because I’ve found my way back. Because I can see clearly. Because I am forgiven.

And so now, more than ever, I am thankful:

For the hardships and the darkness that help me to appreciate the comedy of life.

For the crisp air of winter that reminds me I’m alive.

For the people who hurt me and make me want to be with the people who love me.

For the family who stands by me and shows me the virtue of patience.

For the job that sustains me, for the career that challenges and nurtures me when all confidence is lost.

For the gift of words that we share with each other.

And for the people who have graced my life, whether they’re still around or not.  They fill my life with so many colors.


And finally, for the peace that this clean slate has given me.


May peace and gratitude fill your season with so much joy.