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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Gentleness and humility are not my default settings. I must work very hard to live them out. When I do not ask for God’s help, I always resort back to my old ways of anger and pride—every single time. I realize that I will have to work on this everyday of my life and I need God’s help. But, it’s worth it to work on it, struggle though it may be. It is unfair to tell people, “Deal. I refuse to change and grow for you.” Putting forth the effort helps me to love my husband better, my kids, the rest of my family, and people I meet in the world. I wish I was born with natural gentleness and humility, but this is one of many areas where God wants me to realize my dependence on Him to be better.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ It’s been 10 years since my husband & I got engaged! Here’s the sweet story.

+ ““Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” What are children capable of? They are capable of being commanded. They have not yet learned the path of disobedience. Also, little children are able to live radically in the present moment, to be lost in play or in the contemplation of something beautiful. Most of us live either in the past (savoring faded glory or licking old wounds) or in the future (aspiring, hoping, fearing what might come). But God is available, grace is available now.” — Bishop Barron

+ “The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien: “Our purpose is to know God, to love him, and to live every day with gratitude and praise.”

+ “We are not forgotten, sweet friend. And our longsuffering won’t seem nearly as long or nearly as painful when we know God’s perspective is to use every single second of our suffering for good.” — Lysa Terkeurst

+ “Why do Catholics keep Jesus on the Cross? … Because it wasn’t the Cross that saved us.”

+ “We must keep the eye of faith fixed on Jesus Christ who climbs the hill of Calvary loaded with his Cross, and as he toils painfully up the steep slope of Golgotha we should see him followed by an immense throng of souls carrying their own crosses and treading the same path. We should not separate ourselves from this fine company; we must refuse to follow any other way than the one they tread.” –Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) 

+ “I think the Holy Spirit really invites us to dig deep and to be very honest about the grief and the lamentation that those things evoke and also to choose to surrender, to surrender over and over and over and over again. And I tell you in my own life, I never regret surrendering. I always regret trying to grasp and manipulate and control. I will always regret that, but I never regret surrendering to Jesus.” – Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT

+ “Holiness is less a fixed state and more a continual, lifelong process – a process where we allow Him to set us apart, not because of any great merit of our own, but because of His endless love

“Holiness is not glamorous. It is not floating through life on an ethereal cloud, continually buoyed up by mystical visions and consolations. Holiness looks less fantastic, and more often than not, it looks rather ordinary and unremarkable.

“Holiness is washing the dish for love of the next person who will use it. Holiness is responding with patience to your spouse when you feel like snapping at them. Holiness is snapping at your spouse – but immediately recognizing the mistake, asking their forgiveness, and taking the failure to God in prayer.” — The Contemplative Homemaker

+ “Lord, show me the way: it doesn’t matter if you want me as a mother or a nun, what really matters is that I always do your will.” — Venerable Maria Moccellin // “I believe that God would not allow pain if he did not want to obtain a secret and mysterious but real good,” she wrote. “I believe that one day I will understand the meaning of my suffering and I will thank God for it.”

+ The Gift of St. Therese and Her Weakness

+ Here’s one of my favorite quotes from St. Therese.

+ How Sts. Zelie & Louis met: “They met, fell in love, and were married 3 months later on July 13th. I think one of the things I love most about their love story is the parallel paths they took, not knowing their beloved was going through the same thing. The pursuits, the rejections, the waiting, the anticipation, the unrelenting pursuit for holiness – they experienced it together long before they knew each other’s name. What a stunning tapestry God weaves with our lives.”

+ 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.

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