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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the “fundamental duty of love of neighbor, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.” We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” — St. John Paul II

+ The prayer John Paul II’s dad taught him to pray every day

+ Psychological benefits of praying the Rosary

+ “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” — St. John Paul II

+ “Something I enjoy about reading the daily Gospel reading is discovering what kind of a God our God really is.I take note of what I call his “job titles.”If I look back in my journal, I see that I’ve written down who I’ve come to know God to be through Sacred Scripture. 📖✨ God is a God of love.✨ He is truthful.✨ He is a provider.✨ He is patient.✨ God is a God of peace.He’s also a God of strength.I was talking with a spiritual directee about what she thinks keeps her from being open to God. She immediately said: pride. I invited her to pray about this before our next session.Specifically, I asked her to look at the virtue that counteracts pride. But, when we came back for our next session, she shared that through prayer she realized it wasn’t pride after all…it was actually fear that was keeping her from being more available to God. 🙏 By the end of the session, we found the root of her fear, it was self-reliance. She couldn’t carry the weight of, well, EVERYTHING. She knew she would “crack” at some point. But, the self-reliance that she learned at a very young age taught her that she couldn’t rely on anyone but herself.For many of us, we’ve learned we can’t rely on anyone else but ourselves, too.But, at some point, this gets exhausting. Burn out happens.And then, what? 🙄Hopefully, that’s the moment we finally surrender, we put up our white flags, and go to who we tend to treat as our last resort: Jesus…” — Amanda Zurface

+ Life seems to be a mix of Good Fridays and Easter Sundays. It’s the bitter and the sweet. The dying and the rebirth, the pain and the rising.⁠ Both matter. Both belong.⁠”

+ “Grief doesn’t give me permission to give up on myself. If anything, it clarifies the choices I make. Slowly but surely, I’m figuring them out. So, today, I took a two hour nap (holy exhaustion is a thing), played XBox with the college kid (and even with the 95-96 Bulls I couldn’t get it done), worked out and didn’t answer any of my emails. That’s how showing up looked today. Your journey is your journey.” — Kathryn Whitaker

+ “When the hardships come, remember who our Father has created you to be. In the hiddenness of your life, simply be faithful to the unique mission God has entrusted to you.” — Rose Coleman

+ “If you don’t know what you are meant to do, if you are confused as to what your vocation is, if you’re questioning your faith because of a suffering or trial – know that Christ knows every detail, He sees every heartache and every joy. Talk to Him. He loves you so completely and desires to enter into your life. It is the most freeing thing to give your life over to Christ – to trust in Him and what He has in store for you. Life with Him is an adventure. Let His love flood into your life!” — Finding Philothea

+ 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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