Here is another guest post from the lovely Carol:
One of my friends during college loved giving hugs. This sign of affection was used often by her. One time she told me the story of her parents who used to say “I love you THIS MUCH,” stretching out their arms to wrap her into a big hug.
She then explained to me her theology of a hug. When Jesus was crucified He stretched out His arms on the cross….because He loved us THIS MUCH. It was the most profound outpouring of love. For my friend, a hug given and received expresses the love which Jesus showed us through the cross.
I was reminded of this story about 2 weeks ago when I was on Notre Dame’s campus. After a trek to the grotto to pray in less than glorious weather, I walked across God Quad towards my car in the parking lot. I realized I was walking directly into the arms of Jesus. On God Quad is beautiful statute called The Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the midst of feeling overwhelmed by academics, I remembered how much Jesus loves me. THIS MUCH.
As I walked towards the open arms of Jesus, I glanced behind me to look at the Golden Dome (which I often do when I’m walking around campus in the evening). The Dome faces The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue. The Blessed Mother sits upon the Dome, as patroness of the university, she watches over and intercedes for our community. As I looked at Mary, I saw how she is always facing Jesus and always faithful to Him.
As Lent progresses it is good to remind ourselves the importance of growing in our relationship with Jesus. And if we ever feel lost from Him, we should look to Mary. Because just as the Golden Dome faces the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mary will always point us back to her Son.