Your Heart Has Two Doors

By Father James Chelich

Your heart was made with two doors, because you are to be God’s partner in God’s great work of giving life. One door of your heart opens up to God. The other door opens up to the world and the people around you. Jesus taught us this: “One of the teachers of the people came up to Jesus. He asked Jesus: ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied: ‘This is the first…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the second, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:29-31 The two doors of your heart make you unique among all God’s creatures. If want to be happy you will have to open both doors of your heart and keep them open. The Names of the Doors Saint Paul, the apostle of Jesus, taught about the two doors of the heart. He gave each door a name: “May Christ dwell in your hearts through FAITH, and may CHARITY be the root and foundation of your life. Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length, height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19 One door of your heart is called, “Faith”. It is the door that opens up to God. The other door is called, “Charity”. It opens up to your family and friends, to the people in your neighborhood, at work and at school, and to the things and creatures in the world around you. About the Door called Charity The door that opens up to the world and to the people around you often draws most of your attention and gets most of your energy. It takes lots of time and energy to open your mind to new ideas and to understand new thoughts; to open your heart to new people and to discover and deal with your emotions. It is right that all of this should take a great deal of your attention and energy. Sometimes you may find that you have a hard time keeping this door of your heart open. It can become very hard to keep your mind open, to be tolerant, to learn and grow. Work or study can become difficult and the goals that you set for yourself can seem very distant. It may happen that in struggling to achieve your goals you meet defeat. You may then find yourself wanting to give up, to turn and run away. It can also become very hard to keep this door of your heart open to others. Relationships can become difficult and painful — even with your family and others close to you. You can begin to feel that no one cares about you. When you find these things happening there will be lots of people advising you to get help: to see a tutor to help you learn, to see an advisor to help you make decisions, to see a counsellor to help you deal with your relationships and your emotions. These are not bad ideas, but none of these things are going to work unless you remember what every true Christian knows: that your heart has another door! You cannot expect to receive through the Door of Charity what can only come through the Door of Faith. This has only caused great frustration and much unhappiness for many. About the Door called Faith The Bible tells us who stands behind the other door of your heart: “Here I stand, knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will enter their house, and have supper with them, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20 If you are experiencing pain and difficulty in dealing with others or the world around you, open the door of your heart called Faith. If you open it, you will find Jesus behind it. If you invite him, he will enter your heart. He will bring peace within you. He will remind you of how much you are worth and show you the goodness and strength that lies within you. You will find in Jesus a love that makes you whole and confident again. Together with Jesus you will find that you can again open the Door of Charity and face the world and the people around you. Together with Jesus you will find that you are ready to move forward and grow. You will find that a counsellor’s guidance can now help you put your feelings together. You will find that a tutor’s assistance can help you understand the ideas and connect the concepts necessary to help you learn. You will even find that what appeared to be defeat no longer makes you want to run away but now makes you want to stand tall, face reality and walk through it to your future. The River of Life The River of Life flows from God right up to the door of your heart (Ezekiel 47:1-12). This river is full of life-giving things — things like acceptance, honesty, understanding, the truth, compassion, the right kind of support, strength and faithful love. These things God delivers personally to the door of your heart. They are there for you. They lie behind the Door of Faith. You open the Door of Faith when you give your life to Jesus, when you read the Word of God and take time for personal prayer, when you worship at Mass and receive the Sacraments. Pray every day — for at least five minutes. You can say your favorite prayers but always try to a say a prayer like this: Jesus, I give my life to you: the good and the bad, my joy and my tears, my heartaches and my struggles. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Read the Bible for five minutes every day, and come to church and worshiping God at Mass every weekend. The River of Life must flow! Once it gets inside a human heart it must continue its flow. If all it does is just get in, then it ceases to flow and none of its blessings have the power to change your life. The River of Life, with all the blessing it carries for you, wants to flow through you. The River pushes against the other door of your heart, the Door of Charity. It wants to flow out through this door into the lives of the people and world around you. You open the Door of Charity by learning to see the faces and know the names of the least of your brothers and sisters, near and far, throughout the world (Luke 16:19-31), by doing repeated acts of kindness for those around you (Matthew 7:12), by tithing a full portion (10%) of what you earn (Malachi 3:7-12). Let all you are, all you have, and everything that comes to you flow as a river through you. The Importance of Keeping Both Doors Open If you keep only the Door of Faith open, you will become proud. You will think that God likes you more than others and you will become jealous of the blessings that others have. If you keep only the Door of Charity open, you will become proud too, but in a different way. You will think that what you give to others is yours. You will become critical of others who don’t do what you do. In time, you will grow tired and “burn out”. This will leave you bitter and resentful. If you don’t open either of the doors of your heart, you will die. You will feel painfully, desperately alone and may readily turn to any narcotic substance or act to make the pain go away. Spiritual power — the power for personal healing and transformation as well as the power to change the world — lies in keeping both of the doors of your heart open. “I tell you all this that in me you may find peace…My peace is my gift to you.” John 16:33; 14:27