This grotto is located in a secret little spot that is not secret because no one is willing to talk about it, but rather because very few people are interested in hearing about it. It is not a location that has a lot of pizzazz – just a lot of history and quiet beauty. I notice that when things start to crumble in the world it is always these little grottos that are still left standing. I was watching the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last night, and sure enough there was a grotto quite similar to this one still standing amidst a ruins of smoke and ashes where a neighborhood on Staten Island had burned to the ground. Nothing else was left, but the grotto still stood and Mary still prayed.

It seems like nearly everywhere I go, there is a grotto of some sort – usually weed covered and largely ignored, but still standing with Mary still praying. On the surface it doesn’t seem like much, but when I start to reflect on the durability of these grottos relative to everything else I am able to see it as a symbol of the durability of faith. Often faith is largely ignored due to its lack of pizzazz yet when the smoke clears and the ashes are brushed away it is the one thing that still stands amidst the rubble. The bible says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, and so if you are looking at a lot of pizzazz, you are probably not looking at faith. But when everything else fails you, there it is – patiently waiting.

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