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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Hey – even the saints had bad days. Keep calm and Zelie on” — Not So Formulaic, Ginny Kochis

+ “Jesus came to the aid of his disciples, saying, “Why are you terrified?” to understand what they were experiencing. He speaks a word of reassurance, and at once calms the storm and their fears. Jesus’ word amidst the storm is an invitation to each of us, to seek comfort in the Word of God, to call out to him in our moment of need and to trust that he will calm the storm we’re living in. As we continue to face ever-changing plans and struggle with fear, doubt or loneliness, try to take some quiet time with Sacred Scripture. Ask the Lord to speak his peace to you and invite him into the middle of your struggles. He will sit with you in your weariness and bring you peace. This pandemic isn’t over yet, and there will be days or weeks ahead that will bring their own challenges. As we face them, stay close to the Lord, and as Wreck-It-Ralph would say, take life “one game at a time.” — Unleash the Gospel

+ This Advent season gives us an opportunity to reignite hope in our hearts and to strengthen our relationship with the Lord through prayer. Our online, self-paced Advent Retreat (through Pray More Novenas) begins in less than two weeks! You can check out all the details here.

+ “People are walking around with more hurts than we could ever imagine.” — Lysa T.

+ “Humans live in time, but God destines them to eternity. He therefore, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which we call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which God has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. God would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, God, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure…

The devil’s business is to keep us away from the present by making us focus on the future… In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity.” – CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

+ “He sees me—in all my suffering and stress. Sometimes, I need to be reminded that the Father sees me as His beloved daughter. He knows everything that is on my heart. He knows the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and failures. He sees it all and He loves me in all my mess and anger.” — Dr. Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm

+ First shared here: I swept our patio just a few days ago — it was perfectly clear of leaves and debris. Minutes after that, more began to fall, and today, it looks like this. Such is life, right? 😂❤️ We do the work, we put in the time, and we get to enjoy the benefits of that for a while… but then… more comes up… sometimes it’s something else — sometimes it’s the exact same thing.

It’s true for our spiritual lives too, and working on overcoming bad habits and sins. I know it can feel defeating to have to continue to do this work after you felt like you just had a little victory. And maybe it’s okay to be disappointed and feel a little tired of this process at times. But I think it’s also important to realize this process is lifelong — we are running a marathon, and we have to know that while we’re running — rather than thinking it’s sprints, and getting upset every time we finish one, only to find out there’s a lot more to run. It’s kind of like a mental shift we need — so that we’re not truly defeated. So that we save up some energy and heart to do more.

Jesus is in the present moment and in this reality of this lifelong process. This marathon. While we don’t need to, and shouldn’t, dwell on the future, I do think we need to keep in mind that there will be more hurdles and more work to do each month, each year. AND. Jesus will be in those present moments too as we experience them. Let’s celebrate clearing the metaphorical leaves when we’ve done it. And let’s rest in those moments for what more is to come, knowing Jesus is and will be with us each day. (I shared this on my Instagram, you can read it here)

+ It’s okay if your dreams are on pause this year — here are six reasons why from one of my favorite Catholic speakers & bloggers, Ashley Stevens

+ “I am in the midst of a long season of unfulfilled hopes. Not just 2020, but years of glimpsing a possible joy, grabbing hold, and seeing it dissolve in my hands… A few weeks ago, after yet another loss, I decided that while I couldn’t quit hoping, I had to let all my hope lie in something I knew would not disappoint.Christmas. Christmas will come. The Christ child will be born anew in our lives, in our world. Even if we’re on lockdown and nobody gets to go to Mass, Jesus will still be born. I will hope in Christmas.” — Meg Hunter-Kilmer

+ “When a man and woman enter a marriage they commit to cross a battlefield together, under fire, in pursuit of heaven.”

+ Fertility & Cycle Awareness: This is an online class, facilitated by Megan Faller, that will give young women (geared toward college aged + 20s) the knowledge they need to understand their fertility and unique cycles, and make informed decisions about their health.

+ I shared a look at my morning prayer routine on Instagram last week, and one of my favorite prayers since I first learned about it.

+ “That house was…’a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all’. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness. (J.R.R. Tolkien) I love that. And I try to make our home a haven like this. ❤️ And I love the work of creating it. The feeling of home matters so very much.

 As always, here are a few pictures of what’s included in this week’s 
Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter

I share this newsletter every Monday and it always includes two gluten-free recipes, a reflection & prayer based on Sunday’s Mass Readings (this week it’s about the Lord asking us to remain in Him — and the gifts of the Holy Spirit), and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor.

You can sign up for the newsletter here!

You can sign up for the newsletter here!