From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “open the door”

Lectio Divina: “open the door”

Gospel reading: Luke 12.35-38

[Jesus said] ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.’


Be like the slaves, ready and waiting at the door, to open it as soon as the master arrives. Wait at the door of your heart, holding it open for God, Jesus, the Beloved. Make certain that God has no need to stand at your door and knock (Rev 3.20), because you have anticipated God and hold that door wide open.

Jesus is not only the shepherd who enters by the gate, when it is opened for him by the gatekeeper, but also the gate itself through which the sheep can come in and go out (John 10.1-18). Jesus is my shepherd who enters my heart when I hold it open for him, and the gate through whom I enter my heart, further and further and deeper and deeper, to feed on pastures of which I currently know nothing.

This is paradox. This is the nature of contemplative prayer, con-templing with God, abiding with the Beloved in the temple of my heart.

Teresa of Avila wrote of the seven mansions of the Interior Castle as a metaphor for the soul and how we recognise the path we’re on. The path leads not just through one door, but many: the doorways of prayer further and further into the interior castle, and deeper and deeper into my soul towards union with God.

To be fanciful for a moment… What do these doors look like?

Imagining tiny woodland fairy portals, or Alice in Wonderland doors that it is difficult to squeeze a foot through, make me struggle with feelings of claustrophobia. The great door in the Cathedral West End with gates flung wide to welcome the King of glory awaken a sense of inadequacy in me that is always near at hand. I am not seeking a charmed or grand life. My doors are ordinary, homely doors. And when the Beloved turns up to knock and be welcomed, or I meander in through the gate held wide for me, it is for me to eat with the Beloved and my Beloved to eat with me.


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.