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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “How do we make ourselves available as Mary made herself available? That’s what we’re called to do this Advent: We are called to focus on Christ, to focus on His face, to focus on loving him and allowing him to love us. Wherever you are in your prayer life, I invite you to take one step further and ask Jesus to reveal His presence to you.” — The Pray More Advent Retreat // The Advent Retreat is now available! You can sign up for it here.

+ “No one ever comes to Christ and goes back the same way he came… The whole purpose (of being a Christian) is transformation.” — Ven. Fulton Sheen

+ “Advent, in a particular way, invites us to consider the restoration of the family. We see within our family lines, the traces of the rupture of Adam and Eve. We see, factions, divisions, loss, and sin. We ache for the restoration of marriages, children, grandchildren. We long for our families to bear the marks of the Holy Family: love, fidelity, joy, truth, safety, belonging, rest, peace. These longings are beautiful, dear friends. They are the marks of eternity. The more we can allow God to heal us as children and parents, the more our families will take on the likeness of the Holy Family.” – Sr. Miriam James Heidland

+ Using flowers as a Liturgical decoration at home

+ “I found Silence to be such a fitting virtue to cultivate during Advent, but especially for Homemakers. As we attempt to bring tradition and Christ’s love into our homes, what better way to do this than through silence. Now, of course silence doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to speak or are constantly yell at the kids to be quiet (no matter how tempting this is). Rather, we are to cultivate silence in our person and in our soul. Our Lady is a perfect example of a woman who exhibited silence. There are moments to reflect, moments to speak, and moments to be active. But each of these moments, as Homemakers, are moments for prayer.” — The HomeMaker’s Little Way

“Three ways our feminine gifts can help us prepare our hearts for Christmas this Advent season:⁣ I. Receptivity⁣,
II. Poverty of Spirit,⁣ III. Silence⁣.” — Megan, A Mother’s Lace

+ A Litany of Hope and Healing.

This week of Advent reminds us to put our hope in Jesus. It’s where our hope belongs! No other security will satisfy our souls. If you’re in the thick of something that feels overwhelming, difficult or even hopeless right now—know that hope is always available to you in and through Him, our greatest gift and humble King. Nothing that we offer Him is ever past His restoration or healing—not sin, not weakness, not brokenness. Whatever you may be struggling with, Jesus brings real hope in who He is: Healer and King. This Advent, we’re celebrating again that He came into this world to save us. And we prepare our hearts and souls knowing that He will come again.” — Hannah Marie

+ 7 Ways to Prepare Your Heart During Christmas

+ “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” ― Deitrich Bonhoeffer

+ “You can be grateful and sad at the same time. You can count your blessings and be all too well aware of the cost. You can be hurt and smile anyway. You can feel both grief and joy. You can notice the light in the darkness.

“Express yourself, let go of grudges, adjust expectations, acknowledge the losses, and forgive fully and freely. Make a decision to soften into sweetness, lest you be bitter. Guard against bitterness with all your heart. It’s the bitterness that erodes all that is good.” — Elizabeth Foss

+ Homemaking is not just for mothers: “Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.” — Cheryl Mendelson

+ “This vocation is real work. I don’t think I’ve ever been more aware of that reality than I have been lately, keeping three little people alive and healthy, tending to their constant and ever-changing needs, running a house, and keeping my own heart and soul at peace and centered. As I’ve been leaning into the work of it all, this has been made clear. He sees us, though we may be hidden. Our broken-down, battered, tired, aching bodies and souls. He is with us in these days of hiddenness. In these days of waiting. He is helping us carry our invisible crosses. He is carrying them for us. I’m praying for you today from my kitchen sink. Pray for me from yours, too.” — Emily B Hannon

⭐ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Collection.

I 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!

Those who sign up for the newsletter now also get:

+ a 25% off promo code to use with The Catholic Company! 
+ a 15% off promo code with House of Joppa
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Rose Shop
+ a 15% off promo code off $40 purchases with Telos Art.
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Catholic
+ a 15% off promo code with West Coast Catholic

+ a 15% off promo code with January Jane Shop
+ a 15% off promo code with Annunciation Designs.
+ A free download of this black & white Our Lady of Czestachowa image.

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You can sign up for the Collection here.