When my first child was a wee little thing, grasping at other people’s fingers, I took quite a few pictures of her hands.

So maybe I’ve been intrigued by hands at some level for many years. There’s no doubt that my interest in Mary combined with my interest in hands for my latest piece at Catholic Exchange

The Promise of Mary Star of the Sea

Few things are as beautiful as two hands woven together.  There’s the feel of another’s fingers warming your own, and yet the contrast between their hand’s work and your own.

Your hands tell where you’ve been, the battles you’ve fought, the work you’ve done.  What kind of story do your hands tell?

I wonder what Mary’s hands looked like.  In all the representations I’ve seen, her hands are just a minor part, an appendage that’s necessary to make her complete but never the focus.  They are, without fail, perfect hands, but I’ve never seen an image of Mary that focuses on her hands.

These images we see, the different titles and apparitions, are supposed to inspire us, not drag us down, so sometimes I have to remind myself not to let it have the reverse effect.

How can I relate to her across the centuries, living as I do in such a different culture, with such a different understanding of the world?  How do I get past the flawless portraits of her, the idealized images, the pristine hands I see?

You can read the rest, and see how it all ties in (for me) to Mary, Star of the Sea, over at Catholic Exchange.