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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “When you replace ‘Why is this happening to me?’ with ‘What is God trying to show me?’ everything changes.” — Tear the Veil

+ “Make a daily, conscious decision to love your spouse. That will keep your marriage strong. Don’t depend on day-to-day feelings of love.” — Stronger Marriages

+ “Remember this in choosing a husband or wife, if you are unmarried… Think of your soul, your immortal soul. (By the union), Will it be made more heavenly or more earthly, drawn nearer to Christ or to the world?” — J.C. Ryle

+ “Forgiveness is an act of hope. When we forgive someone, we set that person free of revenge or judgment. But it’s not only the other person we set free; it’s also ourselves. Every time that I forgive somebody, I set myself free.” — Fr Jacques Philippe

+ “When the way is yet to be seen, maybe God is asking us to learn that it’s not the answer we need, but Him. And He is more than enough.” — Ashley Morgan Jackson

+ “May my life be a continual prayer, a long act of love,” — St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

+ “Who of us will endure the trials of faith if we are not deeply imbued with the vision of glory and deeply desirous of its fulfillment, no matter the cost? So, meditate on heaven often. Ask God for an ever-deepening desire for him and the good things that await you in heaven. Long for heaven. It will not disappoint!” — Msgr. Charles Pope

+ “Who are the shapers of your heart and mind? To what voices do you give the most weight? What fruit has been born in your life by listening to those voices? Who are the voices that help you grow in faith, hope and love? Are there voices which have made you more angry, more despairing, more self-righteous? Are there any voices that have made you less faithful, less obedient to God’s law, more lax in your prayer life or more prone to envy, self-pity, detraction, gossip or rash judgement?” – Emily Stimpson Chapman

+ Things to avoid when praying a novena, from Fr. Mike Schmitz

+ “This is not the end of your story no matter what Fear tries to sing into you when you are all alone. This season will not last forever… Our darkness may not be pretty but it is purposeful… There will be purpose to your scars.” — Hannah Brencher

+ “This is the good news of today’s Gospel, that amidst everything – He is present. He is present in a world that is plagued by wars and natural disasters, as He is present in your own sufferings. He is present and faithful to you.” — Tisa Muico

+ “Mary, the Saints, and the angels help me to know Christ even more. They enrich my relationship with Him because they all point to Him in their own unique way giving me insight into the creative power of God. If you wanted to really know me, Catholic Pilgrims, you’d need to know my family. To have a close personal relationship with Christ, I truly believe, you need to know His.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ The Pray More Advent Retreat begins in less than two weeks! It’s an online, self-paced, do-it-yourself Advent Retreat. All the details are here.

+ “It is not joy that makes us grateful but rather gratitude that makes us joyful.” — The Homemaker’s Club

+ Faith & Home Decor: There are so many magazines and blogs and professional decorators who teach us how to decorate our homes in a certain style (and I love many of them, haha), or how to keep up with trends. But the kind of decorating that I like to focus on here — that I try to share with you here and in my Collection — is the kind that’s for our hearts and souls. It’s the kind that encourages us in our daily life and vocations. Because the things that we place around our homes, I find, do have an impact on our attitudes and disposition.

But here’s the caveat I always like to share when talking about decor: Home is a sacred space where we can be comforted, renewed, encouraged. Our faith and our families in our home is what does that. Decorations come later — it’s an accessory, an addition to what matters most. It’s not necessary. But it’s still something I like to contemplate and create.

So this is what comes to mind when I decorate our home: “Beauty is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself.” (Pope Benedict XVI) It all goes back to Him.

⭐ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Collection.

I 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. When I’m creating them, I always look up the upcoming feast days and find pieces to complement them so that you can have some examples of how to decorate for the different feasts & Liturgical seasons!

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