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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “No one is without a family in this world...” “When you were baptized, God brought you into His family. And as members of His Church, we are given the Holy Family as our model of familial worship. So pack your bags—and all your baggage—and move in with the Holy Family this week.” — Olivia, Blessed is She

+ On Loneliness During the Holidays

+ “Life is a mystery and God wanted it this way.” Images of the Vatican’s 2021 Christmas stamps were painted by Adam Piekarski, a homeless man from Poland currently living in Rome…. read here

+ “Life is Advent. Life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.” — Henri Nouwen

+ Looking to Mary As Your Own Mother

+ “The Christmas story has an unconventional hero — not a warrior, not a worldly conqueror, not an individual at all, but rather a family.” — Scott Hahn

+ “When Mary says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” she exhibits faith and thereby undoes the refusal of Eve.” — Bishop Barron

+ A discussion about Mary’s faith and upbringing, and what she knew 😉 — referencing the song, “Mary, did you know?”

+ “Marriage is to help married people sanctify themselves and others. For this reason they receive a special grace in the sacrament which Jesus Christ instituted. Those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy” – Saint Josemaria Escriva

+ “You will find yourself disarmed utterly, and your accusing spirit transformed into loving forgiveness the moment you remember that you did, in fact, marry only a sinner, and so did he. It’s grace you both need.” — WomenLivingWell

+ “God is not solitary, so man could not be solitary. Alone, he could not bear the image and likeness of God.” — Scott Hahn

+ “The Lord was born not just of her flesh but also of her will.” — Fulton Sheen

+ George Bailey Still Teaches Us: ‘Our Father in Heaven Is There to Help the Hopeless’

+ “The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.” — St. John of the Cross

+ “I love the pomp and fanfare of Christmas (and the chaos of family gatherings). I really do! But I cherish the quiet moments to stop and gaze at the baby. I too am exhausted and overwhelmed, and He still changes everything.” — Jenni Perkins

+ This is such a beautiful read — don’t miss it! What God wants from us for Christmas: “God thirsts not only for our love, but for all of us, even for our sins. We see this humble thirst for us demonstrated in a famous episode from the life of St. Jerome – Father of the Church and the first to translate the Bible into the language of the day…” — Total Whine

+ I shared a handful of our family Christmas traditions here — mostly those that are Polish Christmas traditions 🙂 I’d love for you to share there any of your own! It’s so beautiful to learn of others.

+ “Everyone suffers. Maybe you’re hurting right now, maybe you’ve just come through a really tough time, or perhaps you want to support someone who’s struggling. No matter your experience of suffering, there is hope and healing available right here, right now. Join us for an honest and vulnerable conversation about suffering as Jenna + Beth share how they’re learning to trust God and receive His mysterious, amazing love right in the middle of it.” — Blessed is She Podcast

+ “God gives me courage in proportion to my sufferings. I feel at this moment I couldn’t suffer anymore, but I’m not afraid, since if they increase, He will increase my courage at the same time.” — St. Therese

+ 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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