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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ The St. Therese of Lisieux Novena starts tomorrow, the 22nd! I *love* her novena — it’s incredibly beautiful. Can’t wait to pray it. “Jesus does not demand great actions from us, but simply surrender and gratitude.” (St. Therese)

+ “I won the cooking competition ‘Chopped.’ But as a Catholic sister, my ministry focuses on a deeper hunger”- focusing on the Eucharist and prayer as the only things that will truly satisfy.” — Sr. Alicia

+ “St. John Paul II writes that, if we look to the very beginning of our shared story, we see that “Woman is given to man so that he can understand himself, and reciprocally man is given to woman for the same end. They are to mutually affirm each other’s humanity, awed by its dual richness.””Being a gift means that a person (woman or man) can only come to truly understand herself when she is presented with another person to whom she can give herself. In God’s plan for creation, men and women share in a relationship that John Paul II refers to as “the unity of the two.” This is a relationship between two equals, different people who ought to affirm and enrich each other’s lives.” — FemCatholic

+ Here’s something we do every year for our anniversary — it’s something I highly recommend!

+ Marriage advice post: “I’m not going to speak today about a theology of the family. I’m going to share with you three practical things that help my marriage thrive.”… And then she shared three simple things…” – Stephanie

+ “10 things that I’d tell that bride 10 years ago, that I’m re-committing to today”

+ “While prayer helps us wait in hope, it also provides an anchor for us. Spending time with God reminds us what matters most: the depth of God’s love, God’s mercy, the fact that we are not abandoned, the reality that our identity is in God and not in any circumstance of our life, the fact that we are loved as we are and not deemed unworthy by anything we are facing. Prayer anchors us in the truths God has revealed to us.

It also acts as a compass, guiding us one step at a time to our next right step and helping us get through a minute, an hour, or a day at a time if need be. We will talk more at length about this in the next chapter, when we discuss the role prayer plays in our discernment, but in the realm of walking through tough spots, prayer is our anchor to our dearest friend, Jesus.” — Becky Eldredge

+ “Every morning, we may be tempted to put off our prayers until “later” or skip them altogether because we have much to do and action is where it is at. If we allow the devil to win in this very first struggle of the day, he will win many more of the battles throughout the day. Our Morning Prayers, whether they be said while nursing a baby or changing a diaper, need to be a priority and the very foundation of our daily life.” — Finer Femininity

+ “Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be: at a certain time of day, a certain length or amount of time, an emotional experience every single time, with a physical Bible (listening is great too). Just feed your soul with the Word. A little bit is better than nothing.” — Anneleise

+ “To give life to someone is the greatest of all gifts. To save a life is the next. Who gave life to Jesus? It was Mary. Who saved his life? It was Joseph. Ask St. Paul who persecuted him. Ask St. Peter who denied him. Ask all the saints who put him to death. But if we ask, ‘Who saved his life?’ Be silent, patriarchs, be silent, prophets, be silent, apostles, confessors, and martyrs. Let St. Joseph speak, for this honor is his alone; he alone is the savior of his Savior.” — Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

+ “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.“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.” — Fr. Steve Grunow, Word on Fire

+ “For Jesus, the path to greatness lies on the road to Calvary, to self-forgetting love; for the disciples—and for most people of most ages—it lies along the road to ego inflation. What is the antidote? A child is proposed as a kind of living icon to these ambitious Apostles. We notice first how Jesus physically identifies with the child, sitting down at his level and placing his arms around him. It is as though he is saying that he himself is like a child. How so? Children don’t know how to dissemble, how to be one way and act another. They are what they are; they act in accordance with their deepest nature.” — Bishop Barron

+ When John-Paul & I were engaged and planning our wedding, I wanted it to be on the feast of St. Anne — because, so many of you know, I prayed her novena to meet a spouse and that’s how I eventually met John-Paul, so she was a big part of our story and I wanted to commemorate that.

Well, that day and weekend weren’t available. Our Chapel gave us some other dates and we somehow went with September 8th.

I didn’t know at the time that it was a special feast day — that it was the feast of Mary’s birthday. I found out after the fact. And I loved this detail. Because it meant that St. Anne WAS a part of our day. It’s the day she had her baby girl! So while we all wished Mary a happy birthday on Wednesday, I will never *not* think of St. Anne on that feast day too. And I will never not be amazed that the Lord worked this together for us on our wedding day. 💕

+ 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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