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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ When Jesus told Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch,” Simon felt like he had already done everything he could do — he was tired and exhausted. He said, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” // This really made me think of how this often plays out in family life… How we serve and we love our families day in and day out, but sometimes get tired from it, and sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing — but it isn’t as fruitful as we think it should be, and then we get disappointed. But then the Lord enters our boat and gives us some instructions. A guide to maybe change directions. A renewal. As Bishop Barron wrote in his gospel reflection today, “Will you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?” — read here

+ In last week’s Gospel reading from Luke, Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law. And, “She got up immediately and waited on them.” // Service is such a big part of family life — of the vocation of marriage. It has always made an impression on me that Simon’s mother-in-law *immediately* got up and waited on them. Fr. Barry Braum (his homilies are on youtube!) spoke about this detail in his homily and he said that it tells us that the Lord offers complete healing — full restoration. And I have often looked at this detail as a reminder of what to do after a prayer is answered, after we’ve received some healing: we’re to serve and to love. And as many of us know, in family life, we’re often called to do that even before we have that healing and restoration that we’re seeking. Still, though, we can look to this gospel reading from Luke to remind us to look to Jesus for everything we need in our family life — just as they interceded to Him for Simon’s mother-in-law. — read here

+ “Ever stopped and asked, “God, why am I here?” For what purpose were you created? What unique talents and charisms were you born to share with the world? What makes you happy, right down to your soul?⁠

“When you break it down, we all have two purposes. Our primary purpose is universal, and it’s all bottled up in the first three sentences of the Catechism: “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength” (CCC 1).⁠.. It all comes down to this: You were made in love, for love, to love. That’s the whole reason you’re here. The rest of your life story is unfolding, starting today. How will you begin?” — Reform Wellness

+ “The civilization of love is possible; it is not a utopia. But it is only possible by a constant and ready reference to the ‘Father from whom all fatherhood on earth is named’, from whom every human family comes.” (St. John Paul II)

+ “I have come to accept that life is full of compromises. We simply cannot have it all… It is good for the soul to not be able to have it all – to accept trade offs in life. Perfection is only to be had in Heaven, and it is so much better for us to thank God for His gifts and let go of the can’t haves.” — The Natural Catholic Mom

+ “Just a reminder that before she was Mother Teresa, before she was a Saint, she was an ordinary young woman, Like you and me, And her name was Agnes. I share this because neglecting to see the wholeness of a Saints journey is a discredit to them and its’s a discredit to ourselves and our own journeys. Saints don’t just happen – they become.” — Brick House in the City

+ “There is one thing I will never forget—her feet. Her feet were deformed. Each morning in Mass, I would stare at them.
I wondered if she had contracted leprosy. But I wasn’t going to ask, of course. “Hey Mother, what’s wrong with your feet?”

“One day a sister said to us, “Have you noticed her feet?” We nodded, curious. She said, “Her feet are deformed because we get just enough donated shoes for everyone, and Mother does not want anyone to get stuck with the worst pair, so she digs through and finds them. And years of doing that have deformed her feet.” Years of loving her neighbor as herself deformed her feet.” — Excerpt from Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution.

+ “Christ physically heals a lot of people in the Bible. And it’s always been curious to me why, so many times, He touches the person He heals. Why? He doesn’t need to, He’s God. He could literally just think it and the healing would be done.

There are a few cases where He doesn’t touch the person. One clear example is Lazarus. He just calls Lazarus out of the tomb. But, God could just heal in His head as He passed by any sick or injured person. But…most of the time He touches them, like in our Gospel reading today where Christ heals the deaf and mute man. Why?

I think it’s because it’s more intimate, more meaningful. As humans, we need human interaction, human touch. Babies need human touch in order to develop well. Children need hugs to feel secure. Spouses need physical contact in order to feel bonded. When a friend is suffering, you want to hug them and hold their hand.

I think Christ physically touches most of the people He heals to show us His heart. He loves us, He wants to connect with us, He’s willing to touch us when we are not perfect, and He wants us to see Him giving us special attention. He shows us that He is willing to come close.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ “The very soul of a woman is meant to be maternal.” — Alice Hildebrand

+ “We have a tendency to look at femininity with a glance towards the 1950s housewife: domestic and docile, dated and perhaps even oppressed. In reality the feminine woman surpasses any given time period because the qualities intrinsic to woman are t i m e l e s s. There are distinct, God-given characteristics all women possess within and can live out in any state, any vocation, any work, and any circumstance; with any hobbies, any likes or dislikes, and any temperament or personality type.” — Megan, A Mother’s Lace⁣

+ “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” — Thomas Merton

+ 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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