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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “If the last year has shown us anything, it has shown us that we are not in control. As someone who regularly struggles with anxiety, the fear of the unknown, and the inability to control outcomes of unfamiliar situations, 2020 forced me to come face to face with a lot of uncomfortable realities… Our settled rhythms and expectations of 2020 were overturned, and we would be foolish to expect 2021 to be any different. The only thing that is predicated is that our lives this side of Heaven will be filled with disruptions until we return to the Father. Let us face these overturned conventional expectations and best laid plans of ours as Mary did by saying to God, “let it be”.” — Two Become Family

+ “Most of us consider waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. The bus is late? We cannot do anything about it, so we have to sit there and just wait. It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when somebody says, “Just wait.” Words like that push us into passivity.

But there is none of this passivity in Scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. Right here is a secret for us about waiting. If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted and that something has already begun, it changes the way we wait. Active waiting implies being fully present to the moment with the conviction that something is happening where we are and that we want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, believing that moment is the moment.” – Henri Nouwen

+ “Oh what a year it’s been. I look back at these posts and I see the suffering in the past interwoven with great hope for the future. That’s life isn’t it? Everything good and bad rolled up into one… Hope is a choice I make everyday. It’s a statement of faith that God’s got this well in hand snd my job is to go snd love as He directs. To love means you are open to hurt and rejection and sometimes I stumble and fall and it gets ugly. But even then, God walks with me and offers a hand to help me up.” — Mary Lenaburg

+ “What is the alternative to grief? We will lose people we love; that’s a given. The only way to avoid that is not to love at all. A life of meaning is going to involve pain. There’s no way around that pain, for the mothers in the Gospel or for us today.” — Blessed is She

+ Saints who struggled with addiction

+ “Knowing who you are has to be loved into you, not earned by you”

+ “God chose this method – incarnation – so we can have a relationship with somebody in which meaning is revealed. Instead of sending us what the meaning of life is, he became man to show us what the meaning of life is … This kind of freedom (in the witness we met), this kind of intensity, this kind of mercy, this kind of forgiveness, this kind of surplus, the intensity of humanity that we couldn’t imagine before. Even 2,000 years later, we met somebody who lives in such a way, and we ask, ‘Who is this? Can you explain how you can live in such a way?’ We are struck like the first time … This is the continuation of the Incarnation.” – Fr. Julián Carrón

+ “The shepherds made haste. Holy curiosity and holy joy impelled them. In our case, it is probably not very often that we make haste for the things of God. God does not feature among the things that require haste. The things of God can wait, we think and we say. And yet he is the most important thing, ultimately the one truly important thing. Why should we not also be moved by curiosity to see more closely and to know what God has said to us? At this hour, let us ask him to touch our hearts with the holy curiosity and the holy joy of the shepherds, and thus let us go over joyfully to Bethlehem, to the Lord who today once more comes to meet us. Amen.”
Pope Benedict XVI

+ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life NewsletterI share these every Monday and they always include: two gluten-free recipes, a reflection & prayer based on Sunday’s Mass readings, and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor.

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