Here are this week’s must-reads:
+ Rest in Prayer: Rest in prayer is still something I’m working on. It can feel uncomfortable to sit in silence with the Lord. Your mind wanders off. You work your way through your prayer petitions.
And then what? More silence. But that’s a space where God can work, where He can speak, and where we can receive. And that’s the key to resting in prayer: receiving.
What did Jesus receive when He left to pray? I have no idea, but I believe it’s worthwhile to try and see for ourselves what we might receive if we leave our crowds to pray, too.
+ “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grains to give bread, broken bread to give strength.” — Vance Havner
+ “Our only desire and one choice should be this: I want and choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.” — St. Ignatius of Loyola
+ “The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God’s things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak—even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. He speaks, I believe, and the words he speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys. We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music. Sometimes we avoid listening for fear of what we may hear, sometimes for fear that we may hear nothing at all but the empty rattle of our own feet on the pavement. ‘Be not afraid, for lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ He says he is with us on our journeys. He says he has been with us since each of our journeys began. Listen for him. Listen to the sweet and bitter airs of your present and your past for the sound of him.“ — Frederick Buechner
+ “If we give ourselves over to the love of Christ, everything will be altered,
everything will be remade,
everything will be transformed.” — Saint Porphyrios
+ “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” – Orthodoxy
+ “To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” — Henri Nouwen
+ “Winter makes the most beauty from the coldest nights, and what looks like death is often the beginning.
I stared up into frozen trees for five full minutes, looking like a fool, and I stared into tiny roots of the dying seed for even longer.
Here was God whispering the same truth, with wind blown ice crystals and wheat stalk seeds. You can only glimpse a sliver of the creation you are becoming. Just wait till the wild full bloom is born.” — Laura Kelly Fanucci
+ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter. I 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.