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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “At first, after her conversion she thought she would have to renounce all that was secular and live totally immersed in God, but then she realized that, even in the contemplative life, you cannot sever all connection with the world, that the deeper you are drawn into God, the more you must go out of yourself to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.” – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein

+ The Pray More Healing Retreat begins tomorrow!

It’s an online retreat — sort of like a DIY retreat, actually: this year, we have six speakers and 19 talks altogether. The focus is on healing — the type of healing God can offer us, how to pursue that healing, how to move forward from painful and past situations into a place of more peace.

God wants to love you and we want to help you hurt a little less.
That’s what this retreat is all about.

I always like to share with you here one full talk from the retreat right before it begins. Here’s “Calm in the Storm: Finding God in the Hard Times” with Karen May:

“I’m going to give you three ways that we’re going to help you to see Jesus, to find Him in this storm, to find your peace and to be able to walk through. Even if the storm doesn’t go away, to be able to walk through with peace and with confidence.”

You can sign up for the retreat here.

+ “There is great beauty in praising God before your breakthrough.” (Made in His Image) “And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of Heaven. And the name of that river was suffering. And I saw the boat which carries souls across the river. And the name of that boat was Love.” — St. John of the Cross

+ “Bravery is not the opposite of fear. Courage is doing the hard thing in the face of trepidation. Virtue is often acting counter to our feelings. It is the freedoms, the mastery of our impulses. It is the choice to do what is right even when it doesn’t feel the best. Virtue is rarely easy.” — Two Become Family

+ “On today’s episode, we welcome a very special guest (and first ever) to the podcast: Heather Khym. She and Jake share the powerful story of how they found restoration in their marriage after Jake’s struggle with addiction came to light early in their marriage. This is a “must listen” conversation for married couples as Jake and Heather share from both the husband and wife’s perspective on dealing with tough issues and coming out stronger on the other side. Listen now at

+ “When I begin to feel jealousy creep into the territory of envy, I turn to the story of Mary and Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1. Elizabeth could have been jealous that Mary was younger and conceived the Messiah after Elizabeth’s long wait for a baby. Mary could have been jealous that Elizabeth would have her son, a great prophet, first while Mary’s pregnancy involved a long journey and birthing away from home. Instead, they both gave glory to God and believed in His plan for their lives.

When we hear or see the goodness of God in the lives of others and feel envy, let’s acknowledge and invite Our Lord into our feelings. Let’s ask Mary and Elizabeth to help us to remember our blessings and to give God glory for what He is doing in the lives of our sisters and brothers.” — Chika, Blessed is She

+ “Suffering is never meaningless; it is intended for the sanctification of our souls to prepare us for heaven, no matter what form it comes in: sickness, loss of a loved one, relationship trouble, financial hardship, etc. ​​When Jesus took on human flesh in the Incarnation, He forever redeemed our human suffering. Therefore, suffering always teaches us about God, about ourselves, and about our relationship with him. If we “offer it up” we surrender all the pain to the redeeming power of the cross of Christ.​​And those who have done this well—the saints—tell us that their suffering was always worth it.” — The Catholic Company

+ “ The call to holiness is accepted and can be cultivated only in the silence of adoration before the infinite transcendence of God… All, believers and non-believers alike, need to learn a silence that allows the Other to speak when and how he wishes, and allows us to understand his words”. In practice this involves great fidelity to liturgical and personal prayer, to periods devoted to mental prayer and contemplation, to Eucharistic adoration, to monthly retreats and to spiritual exercises.” — St. John Paul II

+ Healing the Family Tree — with Deacon Harold Burke-Silvers

+ 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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