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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Marriage, like all vocations, requires that — that death to self, to pride, to self-serving behaviors and attitudes. And this can then lead to deeper intimacy, greater love and joy — with your spouse and with the Lord. Our life is sweeter when we serve others with all the Lord has given us — that’s where I’ve found fulfillment, longer-lasting happiness; in service to my husband & others. It’s a beautiful and empowering thing to see how or why the Lord has given you this experience or that one — this gift or that talent, to love others. It’s a healing thing too. It makes what you may have suffered through tolerable, to see how it may help heal another’s’ wounds. ❤️ — read here

+ Enduring suffering with the graces present to us in prayer

+ “It feels good to use your strengths & talents to serve others — and to see how they were given to you to do so. But it’s another level of good to see how your weaknesses can serve others, how your painful past can help someone hurt just a little less. / Someone recently asked me about how to discern making a change in their career. The only thing I could think to tell them was to consider where they could serve better & where they would love better. Yes, we need to pay the bills, but if that’s taken care of, the jobs where we’ll flourish are those where we’ll get to serve & love.” — read more here

+ Something really beautiful about how St. Joseph carried out his mission and vocation in life is that he threw himself into it — dedicated himself to it completely, so much so that you might say he disappeared into it.

Father Steve Grunow of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries has written, “Perhaps the silence of Saint Joseph is his most profound witness. Saints are not celebrities, who leverage every detail about their lives as means to be known and recognized. A saint is someone who in their desire to be like Christ is able and willing to disappear into the mission God gives to them.”

I love to reflect on this. I think we can relate to this at times — feeling a little like we’ve disappeared into our families and homes, maybe at times feeling insignificant because of the unnoticed and unknown ways we love and serve our families at home. But. St. Joseph reminds us, like so many other saints do too, that our unnoticed love and service to others, may be exactly what we’re called to do for a very, very specific purpose. 💜 — read here

+ “Jesus’ sign is the sign of the cross—the death that leads to transfiguration.”

+ “A good biological mother can’t always be present. But God has designed each woman with a unique and tender ability to communicate the gift of motherhood to a variety of different people in a variety of different ways throughout a variety of different lifetimes. It’s an act of love satisfying to everyone involved. And that desire runs through our veins. (A woman’s) willingness to say “yes” in service of others (makes her a mother).” — Taking back the terms

+ “I wish more women talked about how porn can destroy a relationship, a marriage, a life. People aren’t products. And your love shouldn’t be objectified.” — Kathryn Whitaker

+ “It is only in dying to ourselves and following the life that Jesus has set before us that we can bear true and honest witness to his love, and that we can convert hearts to him. In this self-denial, we produce the fruits of faith, good will, charity, and peace. How does your Lenten fasting help you detach from your life in this world so that you can preserve it in the next?” — Unleash the Gospel

+ The Fiat of St. Joseph

+ “It was no accident that Joseph was a poor man, no accident that he didn’t have the resources to defend his child from a murderous king, no accident that he raised the son of God as a laborer’s child.” – Meg Hunter-Kilmer

+ “While Mary’s life was the bringing to fullness of that fiat first spoken at the Annunciation, at the moment of Joseph’s own “annunciation” he said nothing; instead he simply “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). And this first “doing” became the beginning of “Joseph’s way.” The Gospels do not record any word ever spoken by Joseph along that way. But the silence of Joseph has its own special eloquence, for thanks to that silence we can understand the truth of the Gospel’s judgment that he was “a just man” (Mt 1:19).” — Saint John Paul II

+ 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 (this week, it’s about the fruits that come when we die to ourselves), and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor.

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