Monday, July 4, 2011

Jacob's Ladder: House of God and Gate of Heaven where Prayers Rise and Grace Falls

On the doorway of old churches there is usually an inscription which reads, Hic Domus Dei Est et Porta Coeli (here is the house of God and the gate of heaven). This is what Jacob said in one of today's readings for mass about Bethel after having the vision of the ladder upon which angels where ascending and descending from earth to heaven.

The Holy Eucharist is this ladder from which ascends to heaven the pleasing sacrifice of the Lamb of God and from which descends from the Father the grace of our redemption. In this mystery the faithful unite to the offering their own prayers and sacrifices, and they receive the grace to faithful to their calling. The Eucharist makes the Church. The faithful who receive him are transformed into the Body of Christ which they receive.

In Christ the faithful are given all sorts of blessings and graces, one of which is healing. Most of the miraculous healings that we hear about are in some way associated with the Eucharist. Yet each of the faithful is called to not only experience the healing of Christ but also be an instrument of his healing.

I knew a priest who had this gift and also had actually raised people from the dead, and this was documented. He told me that every baptized person has a gift of healing - like singing. Most everyone can sing, at least poorly, and there are some who are finely gifted with operatic voices while most can at least squeak out a few notes. Also he said that it is divine love that heals. How true this is when a group of individuals start to resemble the Most Holy Trinity, living in a communion where they may love and be loved, that there starts to be the presence of restorative, reparative, healing love. The holy sacrament of matrimony for many, not just the spouses, is a place of healing and growth. A kind of Christian greenhouse is created in the sacramental bond between man and woman where anyone may feel the warmth of love that heals. Not only families that live their vocation but also communities can become healed and healing communities. This is most especially true in the lives of the saints, for out of the bond between a person and God there is a kind of communion which is superabundant in healing grace for mankind.

Our Lady's Immaculate Heart is also a kind of Jacob's Ladder, from which ascend mighty intercession and descends from God graces for all mankind. In her Heart is the motherly love and tenderness that heals. May she obtain for us the grace to be sources of healing for others.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know many old churches say this! The beautiful old church a block from me has that on a stone above the front entrance: "Domus Dei et Porta Coeli" I love that, and I also thought of that when I read the July 4th reading of Jacob's ladder.