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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Sometimes the mountains don’t move. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t doing a thing. Sometimes His action is protective; bringing us back within our boundaries. (Psalm 16:6) St. Gianna Molla wanted to be a missionary doctor in Brazil and help poor pregnant women and their babies–but the doors just didn’t open. Her spiritual director helped her realize that God was protecting her vocation to be a wife, a mom–and ultimately, a saint. The beautiful thing is that this earthly life is only the beginning. And doors wider than we can imagine will swing open when we step into heaven. The miracles needed for St. Gianna’s beatification and canonization? Both cases involved pregnant or post-partum women–in Brazil.” — Claire Dwyer

+ “Trusting God (doesn’t) mean I think He‘ll protect me from suffering, failing, or having my heart ripped in two. I don’t. I actually think the opposite. I trust I will suffer. I trust I will fail. I trust my heart will be ripped in two. “In this world, you will know trouble.” That’s what Jesus said. I’m pretty sure I’m not the exception.⁣ But I’m also sure He meant what He said next. “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”⁣ That’s what I trust. I trust in His mercy, kindness, wisdom, and love. I trust that this suffering is not the end of my story. I trust that my life is not the sum of its sorrows. I trust that whatever pain, loss, or failure I experience, somehow, in Jesus’ hands, will be transformed: it will become part of the story of how He made us forever His own.⁣..” — Emily Stimpson-Chapman

⁣+ Why Jesus Called God Abba and What it Means for Us

+ “When hard times come our way that we desperately wish God would have stopped, let’s remember that He is a God who promises He can use hurt for good. It’s okay to tell Him you don’t like any of this pain. But don’t let the pain cause you to pull away from Him. We can trust Him, even when we don’t understand Him.” — Lysa T

+ A Season of Prayers of Gratitude:

A few years ago, when I was going through a really difficult season, I changed my prayer life — because I needed something to help me get through that time, and I changed my prayers. I began to start every prayer with a prayer of gratitude — thanking God for something that day. And it often was the same thing every single day… But even so, it did feel like it changed things for me and helped me get through that season, and I haven’t been able to look at prayers of gratitude the same since. They’ve become kind of like a lifeline — a recognizing of God around us every single day, and thanking Him for His presence every single day… What are you grateful for today? Tell God, tell your spouse, tell your family: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” It may not change our circumstances right away, but it’ll change our hearts, and that goes a long way towards helping the heavy days feel lighter..

+ “We don’t have to let what breaks our hearts destroy our lives.” — Lysa Terkeurst

+ Mother Teresa’s One-Day Express Novena — also called The Flying Novena

+ “Journey to Peace in Six Steps: 1) Know you’re not alone. 2) Pray in daily life. 3) Center your life around God. 4) Clarify your yeses. 5) Choose between goods. 6) Walk boldly in peace.” — Becky Eldredge

+ “Loving Jesus more than anything (even more than your spouse) does not diminish your love. In fact, it refines it. Increases it. Heals it. Inspires it. We only know how to love because Christ loved us first. So, love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind all your body and strength. It won’t diminish anything, but it will transform everything.” — Jackie Francois

+ Here’s something I learned about marriage from a friend of ours who’s a nun.

+ “The purpose of marriage is to help married people sanctify themselves and others. For this reason they receive a special grace in the sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted. Those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy, to identify themselves each day more with Jesus Christ, and to lead those with whom they live to God.” — St. Josemaria Escriva

+ Love is not a feeling, but an action. Find a small, thoughtful way to show active love to your spouse today. // In marriage, you don’t have to agree on everything. But values and goals that don’t match will inevitably lead to conflict.” — Stronger Marriages

+ “St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) is the patron saint of lost items because he once lost his cherished book of psalms that contained his comments and notes stretching years of prayer. The cover of the book had the image of the infant Jesus on it. Upon losing it, he prayed fervently to God that it would be returned to his hand, and his prayer was answered. When he found the book, baby Jesus was mystically present resting upon it…

St. Anthony invites us to ask for what we need more than anything: to acknowledge that we have lost the sense that we are children in need of our Father’s help. May that be renewed within us. Because we were all found before we were lost. For many of us we have lost the child within. Through difficult experiences, stress, internal and external pressures, we’ve lost the ability to live with the freedom, peace, and abandonment of a child. Let’s spend sometime praying about this today.” — Amber, CFR

+ The Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony. I’ve felt a nudge in the last few years to a devotion to St. Anthony. He is the patron Saint of lost items and I especially love to consider that in light of lost dreams — our lives not going the way we planned, the losses we’ve all endured in our lives, hearts or minds. I imagine he’s praying for all these losses too. 💜🙏 With a gentleness.

+ The canonization process is now opened to consider a FOCUS missionary a possible saint

+ We are so grateful for the inspiration and prayers of the many saints in the Catholic Church. They want heaven for us! We can ask them to pray for us anytime, every day. From the Catechism: “The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.” — here

+ Every saint had bad days….

+ “Forgiveness is the restoration of freedom to oneself: it is the key held in our own hand to our prison cell.” — St. John Paul the Great // “The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises ever wider horizons!” — St. JP II

+ The Ache in our Hearts

+ 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. 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!

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