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This week’s reads. Enjoy! If there’s anything you think I missed in this round-up, please link to it in the comments!

1. “We must cultivate zones of silence in our daily lives, even though many of us have to combine the Martha and Mary (The Active and the Contemplative) in a harmonious balance. Still, the danger is to launch ourselves into a frenetic activism whereby there is little time for prayer and much less for silence. The Holy Spirit speaks to a heart that is ready to listen in silence. With Samuel in the temple we should pray: “Speak O Lord for your servant is listening.” – Fr. Ed Broom, OMV

2. “Brokenness needs with-ness and witness — someone to stand with us and someone to see us.” – Ann Voskamp

3. “Fr. Michael reminded us that love develops daily and our wedding day should be the time in our lives and our relationship where we love one another the least we’ll ever love one another.” – Hail Marry

4. In the Mary, Undoer of Knots Novena, we asked Mary earlier this week to undo the knot of contraception in our culture. Here’s why I don’t & won’t use contraception. And here’s a good explanation of why the Church is against contraception. Also, here’s the history behind that beautiful painting depicting Mary, Undoer of Knots.

5. 50 Years Later: Humanae Vitae and Its Challenge To Our Generation

6. “As I have learned most of all through the Eucharist, Kara and I were not married for ourselves. We were married that our lives might become an offering of love for the world. For our nieces, for our nephews, for a child not biologically our own but whom we hope one day to welcome. Even our infertility is not about us. It’s about how God can transform our sorrow into joy, how even in the shadow of this cross, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it. Of course, our woundedness remains. But prayer has given it a shape, a reason, a participation in God’s very life. Even through this suffering, the Word desires to become flesh in my life through a prayerful obedience to the will of a God whom I cannot quite comprehend.” – Timothy P. O’Malley

7. The Cross of Infertility and How We Can Help (it’s National Infertility Awareness Week) “To couples who cannot have children of their own, you are no less loved by God; your love for each other is complete and fruitful when it is open to others.” – St. John Paul II 

8. “Just as we revisit pictures to refresh our memory of the faces of those we love; we must revisit scripture often to keep it crystal clear in our minds.” – Allison Gingras

9. “Many people don’t understand the beauty of redemptive suffering or the graces that come with such suffering. In our society, where comfort is paramount, it is a very difficult idea to understand. Suffering makes us stronger, just as the pain of running tones and strengthens our bodies. Paul tried to fast at least twice a week for most, if not all, the years of our marriage. He knew the value of denying his own desires so that he could grow in spiritual strength. Paul was joyful, athletic, charismatic. Everyone wanted to be with him. He reminded people to live the life that God has intended for us.” – Ann Coakley

10. A powerful litany for the sick & suffering

11. “Today’s prayer: Jesus, fill me with your Joy, Peace and Love today. I need not worry or want for anything. You already have everything taken care of. I only need to hand over complete control to You and allow You to fulfill Your beautiful and amazing will for my life. Thank you, Jesus, for all Your blessings and for allowing me to live in complete freedom in the midst of uncertainty.” – Healing Hearts of Jesus

12. Five Mistakes I Continue to Make in My Marriage

13. “Maybe I don’t have a mother’s womb, but I have a mother’s heart. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and it will happen one day. I’m just not sure when or how. In the meantime, I will continue to help women and meet them where they are on their own journey.” – Dr. Natalie Marshall, PT