Here are this week’s must-reads:
+ I was reading a few different Lent devotionals and they all emphasized that we should sacrifice for the Lord this Lent out of love, not out of obligation. And that we shouldn’t ask ourselves what’s required this Lent — but that we should strive to be generous with Him instead… This reminded me of some great marriage advice, so here are a few thoughts I had about that and how it relates to marriage. ❤️
+ “There is a beautiful tradition among Croatian Catholics on their wedding day. In the town (about 25 miles from Medjugorje), not one single divorce has been recorded among its thirteen thousand Catholics in more than 50 years… Their “secret” to marital happiness is no secret at all. They simply have embraced the true meaning of marriage and rejected the lies of the culture. The secret is very simple: These Croatian Catholics know that authentic love comes through the Cross of Christ.
“When a couple is preparing for marriage, they go to the church and meet with their priest. They are not told that they have found their soul mate or the person of their dreams. What does the priest say? “You have found your lifelong cross. And it’s a cross to be loved, to be carried, a cross not to be thrown away but to be cherished.” In this town, the Cross represents the greatest love known to humankind, and thus the crucifix becomes the treasure of marriage and the heart of the home…
“It is through the Cross that redemption comes. It’s precisely the difficulties and the struggles, the daily grind of life, that makes marriage so beautifully holy. Through marriage we are blessed to enter into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus — his own Passion, Death and Resurrection. Not only is it normal if your marriage has brokenness, but it’s also an opportunity for holiness, for it’s in the brokenness of the Cross where we find life” — “You may kiss the Cross”
+ “Lent is when we circle back from Christmas and we’re reminded that Emmanuel, “God with us,” also suffers *with us.* Let Him in…” — Little Way Design Co
+ “Some saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.” — St. Thomas Aquinas // The St. Joseph Novena begins on Friday!
+ “We need to firm up our conviction that prayer is efficacious. Prayer does something, whether we feel it or not, it does something otherwise our Lord wouldn’t speak as he does, he wouldn’t teach as he does. Prayer is efficacious. God can do all things directly if he wants to, but he loves to work through what we call secondary causes. He loves to bring about the evangelization of nations through people like you and me who share the gospel. He loves to use creatures, and especially us, and the angels and the saints, and he loves the saints’ prayers and their intercession to be the vehicle by which he does what he does…” — Dr. Andrew Swafford
+ “3 Ways to Celebrate St. Joseph this Month: 🤍 Decorate your home with lilies. 🤍 Do a DIY project in your home. 🤍 Pray for people who are unemployed, looking for a home, or dying. St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor for these intentions.” — Madeline Rose, Radiant Joy
+ “The two greatest commandments aren’t random orders from on high. They’re a roadmap to the life for which we were made. They are God saying, “You want happiness? You want a life filled with meaning, joy, and glory? Then, here you go. Love me. Love your neighbor.”
“As Benedict wrote, the more we choose to obey that command, the easier obedience gets. The more we love God, the more we love those around us. And the more we love those around us, the more we love God. Also, the more we love, the more like God we become—the more we image Him and understand the goodness of His will. Most important, the more we love, the more we see the love He has for us.” — Emily Stimpson-Chapman
+ “Social media has changed our perceptions of how our houses should look. Our houses were never intended to be perfectly curated with seamless aesthetics and luxe finishes at every turn. Our house isn’t a museum, it’s a tool. A tool for ministry. Our houses are working houses — they nurse the sick, welcome strangers, and feed families. For the Christian, the house is an extension of the Church… We should aim to have beautiful homes, but the world defines a beautiful home based on aesthetics and cosmetics. That is like a whitewashed tomb. As a Christian, a beautiful home has everything to do with the love and service within.” — Mrs. Mary Lentz
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 also get a long list of promo codes to some amazing Catholic businesses, including 25% off to The Catholic Company.