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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “The cross means there is no shipwreck without hope; there is no dark without dawn; nor storm without heaven.” (JPII) St. John Paul II, Pray for us.

+ Happy Easter, friends! 💜 “Death, solitude, and fear are not the last word. There is a word that transcends them, a word that only God can speak: it is the word of the Resurrection” (Pope Francis). Christ has made good on all he promised. He is truly risen.” (From the 2020 Magnificat)

+ “Saint Thomas has, unfortunately, I would argue, unfairly, been given the nickname: “Doubting Thomas”. But doubting refers to who he was at the beginning of this story, not at the end. Again, the title of this painting is The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. Incredulity is defined as the state of being unwilling or unable to believe something. And that’s exactly what Thomas says at the beginning of this scene. Until I see, I will not believe. He begins unwilling, and we call him “Doubting Thomas”, we remember where he began. But when we acknowledge him as Saint Thomas, we remember where he went: to the ends of the earth, proclaiming Christ as my Lord and my God.” — Kevin Heider

+ This picture of Jesus carrying the cross is one of my favorite statue depictions of Him doing so; at the very bottom, there’s a Latin inscription that translates to “Lift up your hearts.” A reminder that death does not win — that death is not the end. And maybe, perhaps too, that the little deaths we suffer along the way will be worth it.

+ When Easter Sunday Feels like Good Friday

+ “Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.” – Saint Faustina

+ Ways to make time for prayer in every season of life

+ “A lot of what I’ve learned about suffering, I’ve learned through marriage. 😲 Wait! Let me explain! Vinnie and I each have a tiny black diamond welded on the inside of our wedding bands to symbolize how, in marriage, we’re called to die to ourselves – to sacrifice our wants for the good of the other. 🖤 And dang. It’s not easy. But putting yourself aside for the sake of your best friend is so worth it – and I’m sure that is exactly what Jesus was thinking when he sacrificed his life for me and you.” — Lindsay, Just Love Prints

+ “Easter Monday is for the rest of us.

The slow to believe.
The skeptics. The doubters.

The ones who can’t run to see for themselves.

The stuck. The uncertain.
The lost or forgotten.

The quiet who shy away from the crowds.

Easter was spotlights and sugar and singing. But remember: this season is only beginning.

You are not too late, too lost, or too gone…” — Laura Kelly Fanucci

+ “Small resurrections (can) happen every day.” — Jeannie Ewing

+ I shared this picture four years ago. I was sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s office — desperate and in pain. Melody over at @theessentialmother commented on that post and said, “Hang in there. ❤ He allows it. There must be an Easter so beautiful coming that you could never imagine.” Those words really meant the world to me. So I wanted to share that same message with you in case no one else has: if you’re carrying a particularly heavy cross right now, hang in there. There must be an Easter so beautiful coming that you could never imagine. The Lord redeemed all of our suffering — all of our sin and its effects, and all of the imperfections and sufferings in this life — and gives us hope. Our cross is not the end, just like the cross Jesus carried for us was not the end either.

+ 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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