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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Storms and winds swept through our lives so many times. We grew from immaturity and selfishness toward humility, grace, and selflessness in a long process of obedience, admitting our flaws, straining to understand how to love and commitment.

But there had to be anchors that held us fast in storms. Anchors keep the ship from spinning away, from losing its destination. Our vows were one of the anchors that kept us going, one day, one year at a time. How grateful I am that Clay stood by me through all of my fits and starts, my moments of immaturity.

Marriage is meant to be a picture of the love Christ has for the church; His commitment and persevering faithfulness to us. He said He would never leave us or forsake us. He laid down his life for us…” — Sally Clarkson

+ “St. Augustine’s complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break. Struggling with an addiction? A habit that keeps coming back to knock you down? Feeling hopeless that you’ll ever be able to break free? Ask for St. Augustine to pray for you today!” — Burning Hearts Disciples

+ “In Augustine it was this very restlessness in his heart which brought him to a personal encounter with Christ, brought him to understand that the remote God he was seeking was the God who is close to every human being, the God close to our heart, who was ‘more inward than my innermost self.’ However even in the discovery of and encounter with God, Augustine did not stop, he did not give up, he did not withdraw into himself like those who have already arrived, but continued his search. The restlessness of seeking the truth, of seeking God, became the restlessness to know him ever better and of coming out of himself to make others know him. It was precisely the restlessness of love.” — Pope Francis

+ There is no hopeless cause with the Lord

+ Healing the Mother & Father Wounds: “God is always speaking; He wants to communicate to you. He wants to tell you His love for you and his care for you. It can be hard to hear because there’s other voices in the way, voices like lies from the wounds, and healing these wounds are so important because God wants to be our Father…

+ “St. Alphonsus Rodriguez took on humble tasks with great love. He answered each call to the door with, “I’m coming, Lord.” His conquests were not on full display with shield and trumpet, but were instead quietly and heroically interior. In time, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez would offer spiritual direction and make a profound impact on a young Fr. Peter Claver, who would ultimately become a “slave of the slaves,” bringing thousands of enslaved West Africans to Christ in South America. It took the doorman of Majorca to teach the great St. Peter Claver how to open wide the door to Christ for thousands of the lowly and abused…To be sure, in our weakness and humility, we are made strong.” — Dr. Tod Worner

+ “The greatest mistake we can make in our spiritual life is to believe that genuine intimacy with God can only exist in a life that is set apart from this world and all its concerns. In this mindset, cloistered monks and nuns are the “chosen people” who can enjoy a life of serenity and delight in God, while the rest of us must continually struggle and be content with little to no experience of God’s presence…

Regardless of one’s vocation, the presence of God is available to everyone at every moment. To experience that presence more intimately one does not have to enter a monastery or a convent. What one must do however, if they wish to encounter God more deeply, is to live more fully in the present moment.

“The reason for this is simple: God is always meeting us where we are, not where we think we should be, where we would like to be or even where we are supposed to be. It is the present moment that anchors us in reality and reveals to us the truth about our lives. Hence, it is the one place where God always is.” — CFR

+ “Optionality is not actuality” — When I watched this, it read to me like — we have to live in our realities, in what truly *is* right now rather than in what could have been or what we wish it were… 🙏 That’s something I struggle with at times, but it’s a good reminder above that God is in the present moment and in our present circumstances — not in what could have been.

+ Q & A with a Catholic Pelvic Floor Therapist

+ 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 & home decor.

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