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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Prayer is designed to fill us up, we’re designed to pray. When we practice other forms of meditation that are not rooted in the person of Jesus Christ, we can’t be filled up, we empty out and yet we need to be filled up like never before. When we want to encounter Christ in a deeper way, we need to carve out that time. We need to come to know His words, relying on His words, pulling those words in difficult times. Just as I mentioned, John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

“I love to go to Jeremiah 29:11 where it says, “I’ve given you a future of hope, not of woe.””When we are feeling like we need a dose of just encouragement, strength, perspective, turn to the words of Jesus. He does tell us that He is the way, the truth and the life. And we are able to follow Him for He is our shepherd. But being rooted in prayer, being rooted in the scripture, knowing His voice is how we’ll come to encounter Him.” — Emily Jaminet

+ “God does some of His best work behind the scenes. In the quiet. In unknown ways. Keep trusting Him, friend. Just because we can’t see Him moving doesn’t mean He isn’t movinng.” — Lysa Terkeurst

+ Novena FAQ: This is a question we get asked a lot over at Pray More Novenas so I wanted to share 💜🙏 It’s okay if you miss a day of the novena — if you forget or if you start a day late or a few days late. That doesn’t mean your prayers “don’t count” because they weren’t perfect. We always say the most important thing is entering into prayer with a sincere and open heart to God’s will. God will work with your prayers. ✨ Whether it’s one day or all nine or ten of the novena. 💜 Just keep showing up even if you’re “late” or if you missed a day. We’re human, these things happen, but don’t let them keep you from returning to prayer — don’t let them keep you from thinking of throwing in the towel. Your prayers matter. Perfection is not the ultimate goal, Faithfulness and being open to God’s will is. The Lord will do the rest.

+ Why pray to Mary and the saints

+ Later this week: we celebrate the feast of the Annunciation! That’s why you’ll see some pieces and artwork for the Annunciation featured in my newsletter pics below 🙂 I always include Catholic home decor in the newsletter and I like to feature pieces that complement the feast days for the coming week. You can sign up for the newsletters here.

+ God, the WayMaker: “You may not see why your story has gone the way it has — but you can trust the Way Himself sees you — and is still writing a good story in powerful ways for you.The way the WayMaker makes may not make sense to you — but you can’t see how every way is connected to the way of everything else. How can we know how the way this story intersects with the way of that story over there, that changes the way of that story over here, that would totally effect the way of that story over there?” — Ann Voskamp

+ “The Lord responds. When we make room for Him and just only hunger and thirst for Him, He sets a banquet table before us with His presence and He sets a banquet table before us with His mercy. Because I think one of the other things that fasting does is it almost burns out the impurities but it brings them to the surface.” – Michelle Benzinger

+ “Your trauma does not disqualify you from God’s plan of redemption. ​​​​​​​” // “God looks at our world today and sees the trouble and the trauma and the dysfunction, and he looks at you and says, “I want you. You understand m y people.” — Mother Gloria Therese, ocd

+ I’m sharing here how I try to read the daily Mass readings and my other devotionals each morning with coffee. There are so many comments here too about other routines — check them out in case you need some inspiration!

+ “Isn’t it so comforting to know that nothing + no one can steal your peace today? Because if peace = Jesus, and Jesus never leaves you, then peace is always yours.” — Cleerely Stated

+ 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.

+ “His staff with blossoms is a sign that Joseph has been chosen. So as the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, how does Joseph exert his authority? Here in this painting, we see with firmness, with confidence, but also with gentleness… We see a father gently teaching a son patience with patience. Be patient, you can have some fruit, but not yet, it’s not time, the hour has not yet come.” — Kevin Heider

+ The patron saint of, “What am I going to do with my life?”

+ St. Joseph, the silent hero

+ A little bit about forgiveness: how it’s a choice, how you may have to choose it repeatedly, and how it does not mean you have to reconcile and repair a relationship to be what it once was.

+ “Prayer heals our relationship with God, fasting heals our relationship within ourselves…and almsgiving…heals our relationship with others.” – Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

+ “I will allow this to transform me for the better. I will not allow it to defeat me. I receive what the Lord has given me, knowing that His ways are above my ways, His thinking is above my thinking. The Lord has a great plan for my life, and it includes this moment…” — Leah Darrow

+ St. Ignatius of Loyola says, “Love shows itself in deeds more than words.”

+ 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, and links to budget-friendly fashion & Catholic home decor. This week’s reflection is about recognizing Jesus’ presence next to us even in the most casual of settings, i.e. finding holy ground with Him.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

You can sign up for the newsletters here 🙂