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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Always bear in mind: the practice of memento mori is more about living than it is about dying… When Jesus invites us to carry our cross, He invites us to follow His entire journey — to the Cross but also to the resurrection. Daily remembrance of death leads us through the Cross to eternal life. The practice is not so much a meditation on death but on the Conqueror of death. Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, will lead us through the corridors of death to new life.” — Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP

+ “Veneration of the Holy Face of Jesus has its beginning during Christ’s Passion, making it one of the oldest devotions in the Christian tradition. St. Veronica, as a sign of her love and compassion, offered Our Savior a veil to wipe the blood and sweat from his face as he carried his cross on the way to his crucifixion. In reward for her charity and compassion, Jesus left an impression of his Holy Face upon the veil. This meeting of Jesus and St. Veronica is forever memorialized in the Stations of the Cross.

“According to tradition, St. Veronica later entrusted the veil to St. Clement, a disciple of St. Peter who became the third Bishop of Rome. For the next three centuries the Holy Veil was kept in the Roman catacombs during the early persecutions of the Church. Veronica’s Veil was later moved to the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome where it remains today. It is displayed annually from the relic niche above her statue in St. Peter’s Basilica on the fifth Sunday of Lent. Shrove Tuesday (the day prior to Ash Wednesday) is the traditional feast day of the Holy Face of Jesus.” — Morning Offering

+ “The saints are present and available to us. They are family to us. They are elder siblings, only purified of all rivalry, impatience, and irritability. They want to help us become as they are (holy). They want to help us get all the way home.” — Scott Hahn

+ The Pray More (all online!) Lenten Retreat Retreat begins Wednesday! It’s like a self-paced, do-it-yourself retreat — we know some folks do it by themselves, others do it with their spouses, with their families, in their Bible Study groups, with their RCIA groups, etc! We have 5 speakers, 20 talks, and everything comes with a transcript (and closed captions) and a reflective study guide. 💜🙏

+ “Repent = to change the way you think. We access God’s Kingdom through repentance — through a renewal of our minds, so that we can learn to think as God thinks. When we think as He thinks, we learn to see as He sees, love as He loves, and do as He does. “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” (John 14:12) This is a promise from our Lord. Learning to think as God thinks is an invitation into “the more.” An invitation to do things beyond what even Jesus himself did. An invitation to start living from a reality that is beyond this world — a reality known as the Kingdom of God.” — Catholic Revival Ministries

+ “Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down… The whole of this life is a constant pilgrimage towards what lies beyond the grave. We enter into this sorrowful, repentant, contemplative time to remind ourselves that, yes, we all will ultimately fall down. We go into the mystery of Christ’s Passion and death so as to better understand the magnitude of what He did for all of us and to draw closer to the only One who can save us.” — Mary Pyper

+ “The greatest fruit of Lent is detachment. Focusing upon the why is immensely more important than the how. Knowing what happens during periods abstinence, fasting, and detachment directs the how. Detachment from that which is white-knuckled prepares room otherwise too preoccupied for the good.

“In prayerfully creating a space for God, vice replaces virtue. Piety is achieved in the recognition of the why by way of the how. As a dear priest friend @mikepadre (God rest is soul) once said during a homily, “Lent is not an ecclesial diet”. No, it is something much more. What tethers the soul to the ground when it should be in flight into the arms of our Beloved?

Uncoupling those chains in response to love is the why. Removing the temptations to re-clasp is the how.

This looks different for each individual. No two Lents should be the same. But the direction in which the pathways of the detachments create point in the same direction.” — Emily Malloy

+ This is Our Lady of Perpetual Help (click here to see the painting/icon). I loved this title of Our Lady from the moment I first heard it — this is something we all need, isn’t it? In the painting, Jesus is contemplating the vision of His future passion. He was frightened by the vision so he ran to his mom for consolation… You can see — one of his sandals has fallen off as he flees into the arms of His mother. He shows us that we can run to her for what we need too. We can always come to her in our time of need and receive her comfort and prayers for us. — see more here

+ “Often in life we are invited to listen. To slow our hurried pace long enough to not just hear what the other person is saying, but to truly LISTEN to what they are sharing. To be present and open. To ponder. To lean in.. God extends that same invitation to us daily… Listen.. It’s both a command and an opportunity.. But what are listening for? What does the voice of God sound like in our day to day lives?.Let’s be real – the answers to those questions are going to look different for each of us. The whisper of Love is going to enter our hearts in a million different ways…through the wise counsel of a friend, the bedtime prayers of a child, or the brief interaction with a stranger at the coffee shop. God is constantly beckoning our hearts. What will you hear today?.Listen.” — Live Today Well Co

+ “In God’s kingdom, what is unseen is usually most significant.” — EC

+ I met John-Paul 12 years ago ❤️ I shared the story of it here. I interviewed him for a radio news story I was covering on the local 40 Days for Life. It was the first news story I chose to cover that had something to do with my Faith & what I believed. And that was a monumental shift for me in my work. It was a breaking away of sorts… And I ultimately came to that decision through prayer. And because of it, I met John-Paul. So when I look back at that time, I always remember how I received clarity and confidence to make that decision in prayer… And I always want to encourage others to do the same: spend some time in prayer before that big decision, whatever it may be. See what comes to you there. Let the Lord speak. We can only be great “actors” in life — great disciples — if we listen… and then respond — and then act. 🙏🙏🙏 Praying for you all! –> “Can Prayer Really Change Your Life?”

+ “When you’re overwhelmed or not sure how to pray, remember the name of Jesus can be a declaration.

Over fear — JESUS
Over trauma — JESUS
Over affliction — JESUS
Over relationships — JESUS
Over circumstances — JESUS

There is power in His name to silence and subdue the principalities & powers of evil. “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (Phil 2:10)// Today we declare JESUS over every person and situation needing God’s touch.” — Catholic Revival Ministries

+ “I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.” – Dr. Peter Kreeft

+ 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. This week’s reflection is about Lent and how we know that our labor — our sacrifices and fasting, will not be in vain.

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