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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “How is God asking you to say yes? How do you even know what He’s asking you? Well, we know because of our prayer. Our prayer is us speaking to the Lord, and then, in Holy Scripture, it’s the Lord talking to us.” — Mary Lenaburg // Here’s her full talk: Mary’s Fiat, Saying Yes to God

+ “Being faithful doesn’t always mean being highly visible. Some of the most faithful people are those who are unseen.”Lisa Bevere

+ “We are those brides—waiting for Christmas, waiting for Christ’s return, waiting to see all the ways that God is working in our lives. Sometimes it isn’t obvious what God is doing. It can feel like we are walking this journey alone. Where is He? Why doesn’t He show up? That is when we can look to Mary, who showed us what it looks like to trust in God’s plan even when it makes zero sense. She didn’t understand how a consecrated virgin could bear a child. She was offered no guarantees that Joseph would protect her, that there wouldn’t be scandal and hardship and poverty. But she knew that if this is what God required of her, it would be good.

“I can only imagine what those first few months would have felt like. Did she feel an overwhelming sense of God’s presence? Or was it silent, like kneeling before the Eucharist? But just as she eventually began to experience those first beautiful flutters, so we can begin to see God’s tender care in our lives when we quiet our hearts and listen. Advent is a time to be still, to wait. We look ahead with hope to the day we are fully and finally united with Christ in Heaven, when we can look back and see, ah, You were there all along.”Sacred Art by Tianna

+ “There are times when God feels silent. There are times when God feels far. There are times when we feel dry. There are times when Bible reading and prayer are hard. But Advent reminds us that Jesus is Immanuel. He is God with us. He is near and He is never far away. In the silence and in the waiting…we can choose to worship.” — Kristin Schmucker

+ How Our Lady of Perpetual Help Comforts Jesus — And Can Comfort Us Too

+ If you struggle with praying the Rosary….

“Even if I’m not able to give the rosary my full attention, it’s still worth praying. I might not always be able to completely unplug mentally from the concerns of the day. I might be exhausted, too tired to pray well. I might be distracted and unable to reach the heights of contemplation. But still, the words themselves are biblical and holy. Offering God a decade or two in the midst of my daily life gives him something beautiful, even if I give it withou my full, relaxed, undivided attention. I’m giving God some space in my day and filling it with words of praise for him…

“Moreover, as St. Thomas Aquinas taught, the intention to pray is itself the beginning of prayer. In fact, he wrote in his Summa Theologiae, “It is not necessary that prayer should be attentive throughout; because the force of the original intention with which one sets about praying renders the whole prayer meritorious. If we sincerely desire to give God our best in the rosary, but we lose attention and fervoer, that foundational good intention is still a beautiful gift to God.” — Dr. Edward Sri, “Praying the Rosary like Never Before”

+ “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God.” CCC 27

+ How to Stay Attuned to God’s Presence

+ “What does God say about us? … We could see easily in her the lie that she was believing… It’s not just the Word of God or the Spirit of God, but it’s also the people of God fighting to help us believe the Truth. Because sometimes I can see clearer for you what you can’t see.” — Better Together TV

+ “Nothing quite prepared me, as an untrained young woman, to know how to bear all of the stresses we would face by being a family. It was several years before I realized, “This is it? It is not going to change—these are the defining issues of our marriage, our children, our family and they are not going to change?” And yet, I had been taught to seek God’s word, to pray and to obey and live in wisdom… Here’s some of my best marriage advice: 1. Just like salvation, You should work out your marriage with fear and trembling. Take it slow, seriously—it is one of the most profound legacies, stories you will ever live in reflecting faith, love, and beauty in your lifetime. 2. No one is perfect but everyone wants and needs to be loved. That means you, your spouse, your children, and your friend. Be humble, love generously, forgive often, learn to practice grace as a way of life….” — Sally Clarkson

+ Placing our hope in the Lord and not in our circumstances

+ “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. – Mother Teresa

+ The signs & symbols of Advent and Christmas at home

+ “Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there’s room for Jesus”

+ I began decorating last week — here’s a look at what I’ve done with our fireplace mantle. I love the new Nativity scene I recently purchased — I found nearly the exact same one and shared it in this week’s Collection.

⭐ Here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Collection.

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 & Catholic home decor. When I’m creating them, I always look up the upcoming feast days and find pieces to complement them so that you can have some examples of how to decorate for the different feasts & Liturgical seasons!

Those who sign up for the newsletter now also get:

+ a 25% off promo code to use with The Catholic Company! 
+ a 15% off promo code with House of Joppa
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Rose Shop
+ a 15% off promo code off $40 purchases with Telos Art.
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Catholic
+ a 15% off promo code with West Coast Catholic

+ a 15% off promo code with January Jane Shop
+ a 15% off promo code with Annunciation Designs.
+ A free download of this black & white Our Lady of Czestachowa image.

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