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This week’s round-up of great Lenten Links:

1. We had a family brunch at my in-laws’ over the weekend and it made me think a little bit about Sunday’s first reading where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. The connection in my mind? How God also asks of us to trust Him in extreme ways… with our fertility, for one; to trust in His plan, to be open to His will — life and/or death. The missalette had a question paired with today’s readings, and it was this: “When have you had to trust God in without knowing His plans?” And it just made me think of how we’re asked to trust His plans for our families, whatever those may be… More Mass Takeaways here

2. “The account of God’s call to Abraham and the near-sacrifice of Isaac cannot fail to rattle us, especially in this time of Lent, when we’re reminded more frequently God calls us to sacrifice. There are three things that really call our attention about the whole scene: first, that initial call from God and Abraham’s response, second, the way God describes Isaac, and, third, the reward that Abraham receives for his willingness to sacrifice. In turn, we can apply each of these to our lives, and consider how we respond to the sacrifices that God asks of us...” – Fr. Nathaniel Dreyer

3. “In any season there are challenges and in every season there are such delicious blessings that they take your breath away and leave you searching (and often failing) to find words of gratitude that are sufficient. So we have a choice: Will we fear the future or will we rejoice in the present, appreciating the challenges and gifts both? We will rejoice.” – Hallie Lord

4. “Work can be prayer…if we offer to the Lord all that we perform so that they might serve His glory. Whatever we say or do should be done in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Mary Wallace, PHD

5. “The suffering borne by women and children in the wake of the contraceptive revolution should make us impatient to articulate that Catholic teaching is not against reason, modernity, or women. It’s prophetic, pro-woman — and about time.” – Erika Bachiochi

6. “Our deepest pain often is the tapestry where Jesus writes a bigger story of healing, hope, and redemption. And that story He re-writes is the one He wants you to proclaim with your life.” – Patty Breen 

7. “If you want to go to Heaven with me, you must ask forgiveness.”

8. Want to Fall In Love With Your (Husband) Again? Science Says to Ask Them These 36 Questions

9. “The father says about (Jesus), “This is My son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” You can hear the father’s pleasure, speaking over Jesus. This is His pride and joy. And Jesus hasn’t done anything, and the father is well pleased because of who He is. Not what He’s done. The same is true for us, friends. You and I are the beloved of God. Not by virtue of anything we’ve said or done. You don’t have to have any special gifts, you don’t have to perform to be loved by God. It’s simply because we are His that He calls us His beloved. He created us, because He wanted us. There’s no performing necessary.” – Beth Davis

10. “I am a Zechariah, but I want to be a Simeon. I have the prayer life of a Zechariah, or I try to do my thing, I try to do my prayer. But I wonder how much faith I actually have, and I wonder how I would respond if God said “Now is the moment.” But I want to be a Simeon. I want to have the eyes of faith that sees even when it’s not faith, even when there’s a veil over it. Because that’s how God likes to act. He doesn’t come to us in lightning bolts and thunder cracks from the sky, and speaking to us from the clouds saying “Hey, Scott.” No, He comes to us veiled, He comes to us in the hidden ways. And we need to develop the eyes of Simeon to see Him when He comes.

“That’s my prayer, that’s my prayer for you. Those of us that are Zechariahs, those of us who have got a little bit of a chip on our prayer shoulder, that we could have the eyes of faith and be like Simeon, even though we’ve been waiting for a long time, even though we might be tired and fatigued, when we see the presence of God at work in the world, that we have the courage and the grace to say “Yes, there. Thank You, Lord. Now my eyes have seen.” May we all be people with eyes who can see.” – Dr. Scott Powell