47.âThe Church is called to be the house of the
Father, with doors always wide open. One con-
crete sign of such openness is that our church
doors should always be open, so that if some-
one, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking
for God, he or she will not find a closed door.
There are other doors that should not be closed
either. Everyone can share in some way in the
life of the Church; everyone can be part of the
community, nor should the doors of the sacra-
ments be closed for simply any reason. This is
especially true of the sacrament which is itself
âthe doorâ: baptism. The Eucharist, although it
is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize
for the perfect but a powerful medicine and
nourishment for the weak.
have pastoral consequences that we are called to
consider with prudence and boldness. Frequent-
ly, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its fa-
cilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is
, IV, 6, 28: PL 16,
464: âI must receive it always, so that it may always forgive my
sins. If I sin continually, I must always have a remedyâ; ID., op.
cit., IV, 5, 24: PL 16, 463: âThose who ate manna died; those
who eat this body will obtain the forgiveness of their sinsâ;
In Joh. Evang.
, IV, 2: PG 73, 584-
585: âI examined myself and I found myself unworthy. To
those who speak thus I say: when will you be worthy? When
at last you present yourself before Christ? And if your sins
prevent you from drawing nigh, and you never cease to fall â
for, as the Psalm says, âwhat man knows his faults?â â will you
remain without partaking of the sanctification that gives life for