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Here are this week’s must-reads, many in preparation for Mother’s Day:

+ Here’s my gift guide for pretty much any woman you love.

+ Also, be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post! I’m talking about a beautiful dress collection (Gal Meets Glam, have you heard of them??) and a handful of much more affordable lookalike dresses that I’m loving! They’re beautiful, machine-washable, and won’t break your budget. 💕

+Mother’s Day and how Mary Stands at the Foot of our CrossMary responds to our heartaches. Like our closest friends, she sits across from us and says, “Me too. I get it. I’ve felt it.” She’s not just sympathetic with our hurting. She is empathetic. She is willing to look at our crosses and to stand with us while we hold it today, just as she did for Jesus… She is at the foot of our cross. She is here to offer us her love, her comfort and her prayers. I hope that this reminder can help lessen the weight on your shoulders today. You are not alone.

+ Please join me in praying for all the women who are struggling and suffering this upcoming Mother’s Day, because Mother’s Day isn’t a celebration for everyone.

+ Here are some pretty heartfelt posts to share with you about Mother’s Day here — whether you’re the mom or your mom is the mom! 😉 Included is a pic of my mom & me from my college graduation. “Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centered individualism.” – Pope Francis

+ “We make a mistake if we think that because Mary is the Mother of God that this somehow meant that she escaped the more painful experiences of life. In fact, it is better to think that because of the depth of her relationship with Christ, the sad facts of life were enhanced for her rather than dulled. She experienced life knowing the full cost of humanity’s refusal to love, and saw for herself the terrible cost in the manner that her beloved Son suffered and died.

“All the while in the midst of the pain filled way of the cross she trusted that God was present, even if such a presence could not be felt or offered little in the way of relief or consolation.” (Fr. Steve Grunow, Word On Fire Catholic Ministries)

I love this.

This is something we can all relate to — either in something we’ve experienced in the past or have yet to come across, I believe each of us will experience something very similar to this in our lifetime.

And, “Like the Mother of God, the events and circumstances of life will offer us not only love, but sorrow. In these moments the witness of the Mother of Sorrows will demonstrate to us that genuine faith is not a merely a comfort, a crutch or a diversion. Faith in Christ does not bring with it exemption from the reality of our existence but grants us access to the divine life in all things- even suffering and even death and it is through precisely these experiences that we learn the extremity of true love.” (read the rest here)

+ “If you don’t have children, for goodness sake don’t believe that you have to give up motherhood. Motherhood is not only biological maternity. It is spiritual maternity. There are hundreds of people all around who are desperately looking for a mother. A number of people have come to me to tell me about their problems. I listen to them. And I love them. And I say very little. But they know that I care for them. In this sense, I have become their mother.” – Spiritual Motherhood, Every Woman’s Calling, Alice von Hildebrand 

+ “Why do we have to make every holiday so complicated?” they ask. “Why can’t we just celebrate without worrying that we’re offending anyone?” Because we are called to love our neighbor. And our neighbor is not only the proud mom who loves Mother’s Day because she finally hears a word of blessing and support for her calling. Our neighbor is also the woman who prayed for children every night and never got pregnant.” – Laura Kelly Fanucci 

+ “The role of a Catholic woman might be summed up in a word: MARY.

Motherhood (physical and spiritual)
Adoration (first duty to God)
Resourceful (wise, creative)
Yes to God (serving the divine will)

Some women will transmit life physically but all women of faith can be life bearers: Christ-bearers.” – Kathleen Beckman

+ Catholic Patron Saints of Fertiliy, Infertility, Miscarriage, and Trying to Conceive

Gal Meets Glam Dresses & Much More Affordable Lookalike Options

+ Anyone else a huge fan of Gal Meets Glam dresses? 👗 They’re beautiful, but definitely a little pricey! In my weekly Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter, I shared twelve Gal Meets Glam lookalike dresses that won’t break your budget. And they’re just as beautiful!

💕Extra Bonus: most of them are also machine-washable, because #life.

Here are some pics of those dresses below — the actual Gal Meets Glam one and its more affordable counterpart, including the one I’m wearing here. 💕

You can sign up for the newsletter, which links to all of these dresses, right here.

And here’s a look at one of the past newsletters, so you can get an idea of what I include in it every week 🙂

You can sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

I share the newsletter every Monday on Patreon — and this is stuff I’m not sharing on my blog (you do have to sign up for it separately).

The newsletter includes:

+ two recipes to try (mostly paleo and gluten-free)
+ a prayer tip based on Sunday’s Mass readings
+ links to budget-friendly fashion & catholic home decor

Sign up here!

Here’s a look at one of the past newsletters, so you can get an idea of what I include in it every week 🙂