A sweet reminder from our son during Mass

As we arrive at Mass, we slip into the pew to pray. When Daniel finds himself sandwiched in between his parents—his favorite spot—he reaches over for my hand. Then he reaches over for my husband’s.

Just as he has done many times before, he takes our hands and wraps them around his, gathering a cluster of hands in his lap. Then he looks up at me and smiles.

His simple action melts my heart.

Every time I look down at our hands intertwined on his lap, I am struck by how important our marriage is to our little boy. My love for his father and his father’s love for me don’t just matter to both of us, but also to our children. This child who brings so much joy to our lives sees that—and wants to be part of it.

As I look down at our hands, I remember back to a pre-Cana conversation where the married couple we were paired with told us that our marriage had to take priority over our other relationships—over raising children and all the rest. At the time, as we counted down to our wedding, that seemed so obvious. But, in the busyness of life, it can be easy to lose sight of that.

Seeing our 7-year-old drawing our hands together and then grinning up at us brings it front and center. And time and again, he provides a simple, sweet reminder that our marriage, our love, is a cornerstone for all the rest.

“Pure love … knows that only one thing is needed to please God,” St. Faustina wrote, “to do even the smallest things out of great love—love, and always love.”

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.