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This week’s edit:

1. Marrying Up

When my husband and I were dating, I tried really hard to incorporate prayer into our relationship. That’s how I met him, after all — I had prayed a St. Anne Novena with the intention of meeting my future spouse (it worked!).

So when we started dating, I wanted prayer to be a major part of our relationship. I wanted it to be something we did together, something we talked about often, and something we shared with others.

This was so important to me because I was ultimately looking for a husband that would help me get to Heaven — and vice versa. Of course, I wanted the romantic fairy tale too, but my priority was Heaven — by means of love.

And it still is.

That’s why it’s so important to me now, as a married woman, to speak about marriage as the vocation that it is, and how prayer has to be a part of it.

Because marriage is more than two people entering into a civil union.

Jesus says, “Follow me,” and marriage is one of the ways we can respond to Him in that call to holiness & perfection of charity. (read more here)

2. Everyone is dealing with something

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about suffering it’s that I’m not the first person or the only person to have suffered. Everyone has something. Everyone has a cross.

“… everyone is dealing with something. Maybe they’re not sick, but they might have another trial in their life. I try to put things into perspective: I may not have great health, but I do have a great family. Other individuals may be in perfect health, but they may not live in a supportive home.” (Kara McCartney)

Suffering, illness, tragedy; they all have the ability to make us feel more isolated, but we are surely never alone in them. Jesus suffered, and He suffers with us. And so do many of our family and friends, even if we do not see it. (read more here)

3. “What is the cross without suffering? Nothing. If it wasn’t hard,  it wouldn’t matter. What’s the cross without love? If Christ was nailed to the cross just because someone told him to and he didn’t care about us, where is the beauty in that? But love and suffering are so intertwined on the cross that you can’t separate them.

“If we don’t accept suffering, we can’t accept love. The alternative to risking the chance of a broken heart is to have a heart that is unbreakable. C. S. Lewis once wrote: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. . .lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – Chloe Langr

4. #marriagetip “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Marriage is not always easy. In order to succeed, place Christ at the center of your marriage. With Him at the center, you will be able to withstand any trials that you may face together.For Your Marriage

5. Love this line — so, so true! “If fears of “settling” too early are holding you back from thinking about marriage, it’s time to let them go. Getting married might be the very thing that saves you from getting too comfortable.” – Regina Bethencourt

6. “Wash the plate not because it’s dirty nor because you’re told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” – Mother Teresa  

7. Five Short & Simple Prayers to Pray When You’re Overwhelmed (or Anytime!) 

8. “When God calls you to rise in the midst of pain, despair and intense spiritual attacks, know He does so only because He has given you the grace and strength to do so. Rise, stand tall knowing the Creator of the Universe is calling you to fulfill His plan of love, forgiveness, mercy, and healing. Your witness to God’s glory and majesty is never more powerful than in a moment such as this.” – Healing Heart of Jesus

9. Sprinkling time to rest with God throughout your day is how you become a saint among saints. Go straight to God when you wake up, and put your morning, your day, your life, in His hands. Lean on his shoulder. Let Him hold you. Connect. Rest in your Father’s arms… Holiness is for everyone. You — yes, you — are called to become a saint among saints.” – Ryan and Mary-Rose Verret

10.  Moving from Fear to Faith

It feels natural and easy for me to pray that I’ll get through a hard time when I’m going through it, or to pray for a relief of pain when I’m experiencing it… but perhaps it’s more prudent to also pray that I’ll have greater *faith* to get through those times, and that I’ll have the strength to bear it — that my faith may overcome my fears, whatever may happen.

While we have the choice between faith and fear each day, I think we also need to remember that our spouses are dealing with this choice, too — that our friends and our families are, even — some of them grappling with the struggle, others having an easier time with it.

If it’s the former, I hope that our faith can be strong enough, cultivated enough through prayer, the sacraments and the Gospel, that we can give share some of our faith with them. And when we’re the ones grappling with this choice, teetering on the edge of faith vs. fear, I hope and pray that our spouses or friends and family can share some of their faith with us — because, truly, this is what friendship is for, and that’s what the vocation of marriage is for, too. (read more here)