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Here’s this week’s must-reads:

+ “My favorite thing to do in a sea of strangers is what I call “practicing imago Dei.” Start looking at one face. Remember that they are wildly beloved by God. Keep searching if it’s hard to find the truth—behind the face or the clothes or their behavior or whatever holds you back. Keep looking.

Eventually, I promise, you will find it
—even just a glimpse of holy, a spark of beauty, a moment and then it’s gone. But when you see it, the stranger shifts before your eyes. You start to behold how they hold God within them. It’s a startling thing, hidden behind frowns or wrinkles or makeup or fear. It shakes up all kinds of comfortable assumptions you carry. Once you find it there, you can dwell in thanks and praise—but then look at the stranger next to them. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It will start to spin your brain, the million myriad ways we are made and loved and live and move and have our being.” — Laura Kelly Fanucci

+ “Yes, his will for us is where our greatest joy and peace will ultimately be, but he didn’t make us puppets or slaves, he made us children. And he trusts us to make our own choices.

Spend time in silent prayer every day. Receive the Sacraments. Get a spiritual director. But then *choose*.

Don’t wait for a sign, don’t assume God’s plan will just happen to you, don’t ignore the need to act and join the Order of Perpetual Discerners. Do something.” — Meg Hunter-Kilmer

+ Questions you can ask instead of “how are you?”

+ “God exists in gift form. Therefore, if you want his life in you, you have to learn to give it away. Think of the talents as everything that we’ve received from God—life, breath, being, powers. Because they come from God, they are meant to become gifts. If you cling to them, in the manner of the third servant, they don’t grow; in fact, they wither away.” – Bishop Robert Barron

+ Talking to kids about Jesus’ suffering

+ “Whenever you feel guilty, even if it is because you have consciously committed a sin, a serious sin, something you have kept doing many, many times, never let the devil deceive you by allowing him to discourage you. Whenever you feel guilty, offer all your guilt to the Immaculate, without analyzing it or examining it, as something that belongs to her…

My beloved, may every fall, even if it is serious and habitual sin, always become for us a small step toward a higher degree of perfection.

In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces.

The devil, instead, tries to inject in us discouragement and internal depression in those circumstances, which is, in fact, nothing else than our pride surfacing again.

If we knew the depth of our poverty, we would not be at all surprised by our falls, but rather astonished, and we would thank God, after sinning, for not allowing us to fall even deeper and still more frequently.” — St. Maximilan Kolbe

+ I published my latest Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter on Patreon yesterday and it included (as it always does):

  • two gluten-free recipes
  • a prayer reflection based on Sunday’s Mass readings (this week, I wrote all about humility)
  • links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor

Here are some pics of what was included in this week’s newsletter: