The Grotto

The Grotto at the University of Notre Dame

The lack of worship gatherings during this time leaves an empty spot in the Easter season. My daughter in particular seems to need a set-apart place for that. She’s found that in the Grotto on the University of Notre Dame campus.

We’ve lingered here several times during the past few weeks. It’s a natural setting for prayer and reflection. And — unlike churches and cathedrals, chapels and basilicas — it isn’t closed. A number of park benches circle the outer edge of the piazza at its approach. Almost always two or three others have gathered there as well, all scattered apart in respect of social distancing. Often a congregant will kneel in prayer along the fence.

We’ve lit candles too. There is a sense, in that physical act, of having done something tangible to mark the prayer that has been said. The rocks that form the Grotto are solid and secure, and isn’t that what we all want more of right now? Something solid to lean on.

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