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We’re just a few weeks into Lent and I’ve got a round-up for you of some of the best reads this week. Enjoy!

“Jesus Loves You With an Intense Thirst” 

“I Thirst,” a meditation attributed to St. Teresa of Calcutta in which Jesus speaks to the human heart, includes these powerful words:

‘I thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to begin to describe my love for you… I thirst to love you and to be loved by you — that is how precious you are to Me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I thirst for you. You must never doubt my mercy, my acceptance of you, my desire to forgive, my longing to bless you and live my life in you… If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you.” Read the rest here. 

My take: The title of that post (“Jesus Loves You With an Intense Thirst”) was enough to get me to click through to read it. As we’re working our way through Lent, meditating on Jesus — His life, His love for us, His death — I feel especially unworthy and unlovable, which is ironic since the story of His life and death are proof of the fact that He does love us, and with such intensity. St. Teresa’s meditation reminded me of His longing, and thirst, for me.

Seven Reasons to Pray

“Prayer teaches us to love freely. When we experience prayer as giving God our time without expecting anything from Him, we begin to develop an attitude of loving freely, which then helps us to love others. Fr. Philippe says that prayer trains us to love because it gets us in the habit of being with God “in a state of loving attention,” which is more important than doing things for the other person. He writes, “People with a long-established prayer life possess a noticeable quality of attention, presence, listening, and availability, which people whose whole lives are given over to activity are often incapable of.” When we have acquired the habit of attentiveness in our daily prayer time, we have a rare gift to give to the people we meet in this life.” Read the rest here.

My take: In our world where being busy is sometimes seen as an accomplishment or as a sign of status somehow, I’ve definitely noticed how this has been detrimental to relationships. When we’re busy — even or especially with things that are not worth our time, then we become more sedentary in our relationships. We don’t actively listen. We don’t intentionally listen. We multi-task. We put other things above the importance of the other person sitting or standing right in front of us. But, oh, how it is so necessary to re-wire this bad habit! And to be more attentive, more receiving, more giving, etc. Fr. Philippe suggests we need to do this with our Lord and that this will allow us to put this into practice with the people we love in front of us as well.

How to Be A Better Spouse: Being kind, paying attention, and praising a partner’s strengths all pay off in a long-term relationship

Just notice them. “People are always making attempts to get their partners’ attention and interest,” Gottman says. In his research, he has found that couples who stay happy (at least during the first seven years) pick up on these cues for attention and give it 86 percent of the time. Pairs who ended up divorced did so 33 percent of the time. “It’s the moment we choose to listen to our partner vent about a bad day instead of returning to our television show,” explains Dana R. Baerger, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “In any interaction, we have the opportunity to connect with our partner or to turn away. If we consistently turn away, then over time the foundation of the marriage can slowly erode, even in the absence of overt conflict.” Read the rest here.

My take: This seems to pair really well with the “Seven Reasons to Pray” article I just mentioned. Coincidence? Don’t think so 😉 This list of four things we can do to be a better spouse can be helpful for marriages but also for our relationship with the Lord, and with our other family & friends. Because we all kind of want to be seen & noticed — and loved, right?

Weekly Wish List

Since my husband & I will be moving in the next few months, and since it’s now Spring (!!!!), I’ve been trying to organize our home so that we have the best/easiest move ever (wishful thinking, right?), and in hopes that we can live a more clutter-free & organized life in our new home. So I’ve been looking around at stores nearby for cheap organizing boxes and found these cute fabric drawers on Amazon for less than $6 each. They are 12″ X 12″ so I think it’s a really good universal size that fits a lot of shelves/cubicles, etc. I bought three of ’em and I’m planning to store extra bedding in them.

Have you been bitten by the organizer bug?? Tell me all your secrets!