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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ For Holy Week — here’s a guided prayer: A Meditation On the Wounds of Christ // Beth walks us through a guided prayer here, meditating on the wounds of Christ. It’s really beautiful. If you don’t have time for it now, bookmark it to come back later — I really think it can add something beautiful to these last days of Lent.

+ “The season you are in might not be where you want to be, but it is where God needs you to be.” — Laura Phelps

+ “Breakdowns usually happen before breakthroughs. God will help me persevere and when this season passes, my faith will be stronger.” — Cleerely

+ “So many of us growing up saying, “I want to change the world!” We should be saying, “God, how much of the world do you care that I change?” and let me do just that: no more, no less.” — Pat Lencioni

+ Giving Something to Jesus to Conquer & Redeem:

I read a powerful reflection a few years ago that suggested coming up with something in your life that you struggle or suffer from and asking Jesus to let it die, too, on the cross on Good Friday. To offer it to Him in prayer and to ask Him to conquer this particular thing in your life, and to redeem it. To renew and transform this wound or this pain. I shared about this here. It’s been powerful for me to do this over the last few years so I wanted to share it with you in case it could be helpful for you too.

+ The Foundation of Our Identity

Remember that Gospel from Luke where Jesus heals the woman whose been bent over for 18 years? I read it the other day and something really stood out to me that I wanted to share with you. When Jesus spoke to this woman, I noticed that he calls her “woman” — not “bent-over woman” not “cursed woman.” He separates her infirmity from her identity.

He sees that she exists apart from it. He even goes on later to say to the other people in the synagogue — the people complaining that he’s doing this healing work on the sabbath — He tells them: she’s a daughter of Abraham. He says this in a way that suggests it’s the more important part of her… Her daughtership. Not her wound. Not her struggle. Not her sins.

It tells me that this is true for us as well. Our daughtership comes first. That’s the foundation of our identity. Even when everyone else says otherwise.

We are more than our jobs, more than what relationships we have… We are more than our sins and more than our our wounds. And when nobody else seems to affirm this, remember that Jesus does. He sees you as more than these things. He sees you as the beloved. “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.”

+ About Palm Sunday: “Palm branches are widely recognized symbol of peace and victory, hence their preferred use on Palm Sunday. The use of a donkey instead of a horse is highly symbolic, it represents the humble arrival of someone in peace, as opposed to arriving on a steed in war.

+ “May Palm Sunday be a day of decision for you, the decision to say yes to the Lord and to follow him all the way, the decision to make his Passover, his death and resurrection, the very focus of your Christian lives. It is the decision that leads to true joy… — Pope Benedict XVI

+ Mary of Bethany was generous with the Lord — anointing His feet with the perfumed oil in today’s Godpel reading, at that dinner together. And it brought Jesus comfort. Maybe the smallest touch of peace. How can we be extravagant with God this week? How can we be lavish with Him? How can we abandon practicality in the name of Love? To comfort Him. To love Him.

+ Where “The Passion” got its name

+ “Whenever, in his human nature, Jesus wanted to give up… God the father allowed Jesus to see you. In that moment, God allowed Him to see you..” — Fr. Mike Schmitz

Embracing penance while maintaining mental health

+ “He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to Him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross, and you will find yourself entirely.” — St. Catherine of Siena

+ I love to read through marriage advice. 💕 What’s interesting about a lot of them though is that it all really depends on you and your husband, and the relationship the two of you have. Not every piece of advice really suits and works for every couple, but some do. ✨ In this post, I shared two pieces of solid marriage advice I came across this week . One of them was something you don’t hear too often — I also loved reading through your comments and seeing what advice you recommend!

+ “Marriage challenges us to trade in so many ways. To trade selfishness for sacrifice, business for presence, chaos for company, fear for friendship, distance for discomfort, and conflict for communion. The list may seem like the choice is easy. But the lived experience is not always as clear or simple… Trade for the good. Give up a little and see how much you gain. Pause to really listen. Slow down and enjoy your spouse. Bring up the tough stuff. Be willing to be authentic. Commit to resolution.” — Two Become Family

+ Three things that help us cultivate a thriving marriage and family life

+ The journey of forgiveness in a marriage — a podcast

+ “A marriage will thrive when a husband and wife both resist the temptation of selfishness. The ideal is submission to God first and then to one another.” // “Love is intentional. It doesn’t take care of itself. Like tending a garden, it requires consistent work.” — Stronger Marriages

+ A short story of intentionally starting thoughtful habits with your spouse

+ Our friends at Catholic Revival Ministries are hosting a Prayer Workshop online next week — check out the details here.

+ “Wish you had a life coach? Try St. Joan of Arc”

+ “True love isn’t found but it’s build. One day. One kiss. One conversation at a time.” — Maggie Reyes

+ 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 Jesus’ words spoken from the cross and the significance of them — how He’s quoting scripture, Psalm 22, and how that psalm does not end in defeat or abandonment from the Lord — but in His prayer, and ours, being answered.

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