Yesterday, I opened my theology classes with a slide show of many different ways Our Lady of Sorrows has been depicted throughout the centuries. The freshmen and sophomore gentlemen were invited to look for the key symbols that made the various icons an honor to Our Sorrowful Mother. It was amazing what they noticed once they started looking into the slides for special signs or empty spaces.
This particular image of a standing pieta I kept for myself. On the rolling foothills of the Swiss Alps, our sisters of Marienburg honor this statue, which according to tradition, is older than the castle that was their Abbey's first home on the hillside. I was drawn back to her several times during the few days we were there in the summer of 2010.
Her eyes are locked on her son's face. Her hands brace his body against hers. This moment of deep love and sorrow of a mother; it was an invitation to step into that moment myself. I think it was her hand on his shoulder that touched me the most; a simple motherly gesture, a touch I myself have been blessed to feel, a touch I hope to pass on to another in need. Mostly, I love the statue because it reminds me that she understands; all the struggles, prayers, pleas...she understands.