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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “May 2023 be the year we pray. Let us be women who pray for our churches. Wives who pray for our husbands. Mothers who boldly approach the throne of grace on behalf of our children. May we pray bold prayers for those who are lost. May we make prayer just as much of a daily routine in our homes as dinner time.” — Raising Apologists

+ 7 Simple Liturgical Living Ideas for January

+ “The Church suggests that we should not end the year without expressing our thanks to the Lord for all his benefits… With hearts full of thanksgiving, let us prepare to cross the threshold of (the new year), remembering that the Lord is watching over us and guarding us. To him this evening we wish to entrust the whole world. Let us place in his hands our hopes for a brighter future. And let us place these prayers in the hands of Mary, Mother of God. Amen.” — Pope Benedict XVI

+ “If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon our Lady, just say this simple prayer: ‘Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.” — Mother Teresa

+ “If Jesus is Life, Mary is the Mother of Life. If Jesus is Hope, Mary is the Mother of Hope. If Jesus is Peace, Mary is the Mother of Peace, Mother of the Prince of Peace. Entering the new year, let us ask this holy Mother to bless us. Let us ask Her to give us Jesus, our full Blessing, in whom the Father blessed all history once and for all, making it become the history of salvation.” – St. (Pope) John Paul II

+ “I don’t know what kind of year it has been for you. Maybe you’ve had some of your best days this year or maybe you’ve had some really challenging ones. Maybe you’re finally enjoying what you hoped for and worked towards for years, or maybe you’re starting over again. In any case, the light of Christ is here for you—and your circumstances, and your hopes, and your worries. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:3). Keep coming back to this. Let’s reach out for His light in this New Year, and let’s share that light with those around us.” — more here

+ “Over the parts of our stories we want to white-out or forget for good, God says, “Hey, I see what you’ve been through. I’m renewing that. I’m renewing you. Again and again and again. I am taking all the broken pieces and rebuilding you on what you thought would destroy you.” And that’s the hope I carry into every new year.” — Hannah Brencher

+ “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a soul.” — GK Chesterton

+ “Everything can be prayer, all activity can and should lead us to God, nourish our intimate dealings with Him, from morning to night.” Scott Hahn

+ “Every time you complain about your spouse, your heart hardens toward them. Every time you pray for your spouse, your heart softens toward them.” — Stronger Marriages

+ 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Married Couples

+ The blessing of a Mess in the Kitchen at Christmas: The kitchen at Christmas time is always a mess, and it’s always a blessing. ❤️ To get to love others through the work done in here. I shared more about that here.

+ The Feast of the Holy Family: “To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others and share their burdens (cf. Gal 6:2; Phil 2 :2). Each one must show concern, not only for his or her own life, but also for the lives of the other members of the family: their needs, their hopes, their ideals… The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” — Holy Family, pray for us. (Quotes from JP II homily here)

+ On the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus: “Jesus’ name and mission were inextricably intertwined, they formed an essential part of His identity. They were both given to Him by the Father, and point the way back to the Father… John’s name and mission are also inextricably intertwined, forming an essential part of His identity and always point beyond John himself, pointing others instead to the Father…

“Your name has a deep power and meaning. The Father knit you together in your mother’s womb, He calls you by name, and your innermost being recognizes His voice, because you were created for Him, created for love. Until we recognize our fullest identity lies in Him and will always point others beyond ourselves and back to Him, however, we will remain aimless and confused…– read the full reflection from The Contemplative Homemaker here

+ “How does “finding yourself” help in the long run? May I suggest something? It isn’t ourselves we need to find – it’s Jesus! Once our eyes are on Him our identity is self-explanatory. No more looking. No more searching. God gives us a purpose and an identity in Him. Serving others (mainly my husband and children in my current phase of life) is where I have found my true identity and purpose. I was just a lost little soul before. Jesus came ‘not to be served but to serve’ and He left us knowing that He wished us to do the same.” — Discipling the Home

+ “If you follow the will of God, you know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose a final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One that loves you.” (Pope Benedict XVI; Jesus of Nazareth, pg. 38)

+ “God is not, let’s say, a ruling power, a distant force; rather he is love and he loves me-and as such, life should be guided by him, by this power called love.” — Pope Benedict

⭐ 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!

Those who sign up for the newsletter now also get:

+ a 25% off promo code to use with The Catholic Company! 
+ a 15% off promo code with House of Joppa
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Rose Shop
+ a 15% off promo code off $40 purchases with Telos Art.
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Catholic
+ a 15% off promo code with West Coast Catholic

+ a 15% off promo code with January Jane Shop
+ a 15% off promo code with Annunciation Designs.
+ A free download of this black & white Our Lady of Czestachowa image.

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