One of my favorite pictures from my wedding is of my husband and I holding hands. The picture is a close-up of our hands, and in black-and-white, it seems to boil down to the essence of what marriage means to me. It’s a gripping, a clinging, a voluntary holding and clasping.

There’s a story in people’s hands: the work they do and have done, the beauty in contrasting ages and sizes, the intimacy between a long-married couple. I find few things as beautiful as the sight of two hands interwoven, fingers a mesh of togetherness.


Maybe it’s my fascination with hands that makes me think of the rosary in my pocket as a link to holding Mary’s hand. These days, I’m on an audio kick, so I don’t usually have a rosary in my hand; even so, the string of prayers feels like a connection of fingers interlaced, of comfort interspersed with squeezes.

I’ve wondered before what Mary’s hands looked like, and I suspect they would look a lot different than mine. Holding her hand would remind me of the ease of my modern life, of the way I don’t use my hands, of the hard life she led.

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