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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Compatibility in marriage is based on character and values—not sameness. You and your spouse are two different people. Celebrate these differences.” // 4 habits of happy couples: 1. Believe the best in each other. 2. Make time for each other.3. Be kind to each other. 4. Be best friends with each other.” /”Every happy couple has endured many unhappy moments. Every time you weather a storm together, your relationship gets stronger.” — Stronger Marriages

+ “A really important thing to understand when it comes to marriage is to not worship the feelings. If we rely on feelings in a relationship, we are going to be disappointed. If we depend on feelings in order to believe we are loved or that we have a good relationship, we are in for a struggle. The love that we ought to strive for in a marriage is a love like God’s. Look at the love of Christ on the cross. It didn’t feel good but it was love that is merciful, compassionate, and generous. That is the sort of love we need in our marriages.” — Real Marriage with Dr. Sri & Beth Sri

+ “Take these to prayer today, considering these paintings with them: 1) Covenant not contract. 2) Trust not transaction. 3) Worship not slavery.” — Big Apple Catholic

+ “Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.”
– St. Ignatius Loyola

+ “A loving reminder for today… There is not one way a woman’s life is “supposed” to go… No matter what way things are turning out, you’re not a failure. You’re forever loved…. You’re not a failure if you didn’t finish college or go to grad school by now, if you’re not married by now, or if you’re unsure about the direction of your life. You’re not a failure if your life doesn’t “measure up” to the lives of your siblings, if you don’t have children by now, or because you chose a different path than what your parents wanted for you…” — Emily Wilson

+ “Success to God isn’t about our performance. I believe success to Him is found in our obedience and ability to surrender. It’s being able to say “I don’t understand how this will work, but I will trust You and I will follow Your leading.” — Jenessa Wait

+ “Why do people ask St. Anthony to pray for lost things?”

+ I’ve felt a nudge in the last few years to a devotion to St. Anthony. He is the patron Saint of lost items and I especially love to consider that in light of lost dreams — our lives not going the way we planned, the losses we’ve all endured in our lives, hearts or minds. I imagine he’s praying for all these losses too. 💜🙏 With a gentleness. Here’s the “Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony” — pray it with me.

+ “Do not let the past disturb you, just put everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy.” — Mother Teresa

+ Advice from Our Moms — the comments on this post are just beautiful to read through!

+ “The human family is, in a certain sense, the icon of the trinity because of the love between its members and the fruitfulness of that love.” — Pope Benedict XVI

+ “Is it always easy for you to trust God’s will and surrender?”

+ “Shame is a weapon of the devil. The purpose is to convince us that our sins make us unloveable and unwanted by God. Shame makes us loathe ourselves and therefore deem ourselves unworthy of coming to Christ and asking for help. I thought my sins were so big that God couldn’t forgive them. However, I am not bigger than God and no sin can outdo His love. That was what I learned in Confession. I just needed to let Him in so He could overwhelm my shame with His love and mercy.

“I don’t worry anymore about my children being ashamed of me. They have a mother with lots of scars and imperfect stories, but that hasn’t stopped me from loving them with more than I think my heart can hold sometimes. I hope that my past is an example to them that God redeems sinners, even a big sinner like me.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ Positive Self-Talk Statements Based on Scripture

+ “For many, “holiness” may feel like an intimidating word, an ideal reserved for saints, or at least other people, with demands that seem unattractive or out of reach. “I want to invite you instead to consider that you were actually created for holiness,” she said. “You are flourishing, you are at your best when you are working toward and cooperating with the holiness of God.”

Holiness is about “choosing the highest good,” she said. “The highest good leads to the deepest joy, a joy that can never be taken from you, no matter what’s happening to you — to your body, or around you or in the world — this joy cannot be taken from you. And you were created for this.” — here

+ Jesus’ True and Real Presence in the Eucharist: We have the real thing in the Catholic Church: Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. It’s real, true, and substantial. Jesus is truly and fully present in the Eucharist. It’s the real thing — it’s Him. It’s not a symbol — not an imitation. “Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love.” (JP II) He loves us like that.

+ 3 Ways to Create A Life-Giving Home

+ 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 & 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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