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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “How wonderful it is that God chooses to reveal himself to us! At the top of this mountain, Jesus did not just reveal his divinity, but also that he wishes to be known by his followers. Even today, Jesus is constantly revealing himself to us — finding new ways to strengthen our faith in him and remind us of his love for us. It might be through Scripture… Or, perhaps Jesus reveals himself to you through the Eucharist… Jesus even reveals himself through “signs and wonders” (UTG Marker 1.3) and through the actions of people in our lives. How will you seek out Jesus this week? Look for the ways he is revealing himself to you, so that you may come to better know him and love him.” — Unleash the Gospel

+ I’ve heard that the word “repent” (like it was written in the Gospel reading from about a week ago) is translated from the Greek word “metanoia,” which means a change of heart — a conversion, a turning towards a new direction — towards the Light.  So it’s less about shame and more about love.  And I think that when we enter into Lent and consider our sinfulness and our need for a Savior and His mercy, we can sometimes drift down a path of shame. But I don’t for one second believe the Lord wants us to live in that space of shame. His death on the Cross and His resurrection is not meant to guilt us or shame us. It’s a sign of love.

(That link right above will take you to a look at one of my Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletters!) I share these every Monday and they always include: two gluten-free recipes, a prayer & reflection based on Sunday’s Mass readings, and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor. You can sign up for the newsletters here. 🙂

+ “Because He is God, He is the only Savior of the World. He is Omnipotent, Sovereign, and Forever Victorious. Through His Passion, He made a way for us to share in His victory. We can give ourselves entirely to His care, entrusting every prayer and longing to Him. A heavenly inheritance and union with Him await us in His eternal kingdom… Because He is man, He has lived our struggles, known our fears, and experienced life as we have. He is not a distant, remote, and far-away God. He is the God-Man, who understands our human weakness and presents to us the portrait of a high priest who sympathizes, empathizes, and is intimately connected to each of us. He rejoices in our joys, and accompanies us in our sorrows while we live our earthly lives. He knows the human heart, having created each of us and lived our humanity. He understands your soul and mine in a uniquely personal way—a way no one else ever will.” — How Jesus is Both God and Man and Why it Matters

+ The Power of a Personal Litany

+ “Prayer provides the space for God to enter our hearts and transform them. In the interior chapel we carry, God’s mercy abounds, and all God needs is a crack to let in love and light. The crack might be a moment that brings us to our knees, or it might simply be the inkling of the desire for healing. If we acknowledge our need for God, God comes in and offers mercy. God’s gift of mercy changes us, transforms us, and makes us whole. Even when we are broken, tired, and wounded, God enters this space and restores our spirits, strengthens us for the journey, heals us, and transforms us.”
Becky Eldredge

+ “It’s okay to say “no” to the baby shower”

+ Jesus urges us in today’s Gospel reading to persist in our prayers — to keep asking whatever it is we’re asking for… He wants us to keep coming back to Him, He wants to give us Himself and His graces, and He also wants us to be transformed by our time spent in prayer — even, though painful at times, by our time spent in anticipation of what we’re praying for so desperately. And I’ve seen that happen, I’ve seen hearts and minds change in the waiting. I’ve experienced it myself. And even still, it’s painful and sometimes confusing to pray, and keep praying, when you’re not seeing much movement with your intentions. It’s during those moments that I like to look back and recall the times that God very clearly worked through a prayer intention of mine or someone I know — times when He answered, or times when He showed me another way. It sort of strengthens my resolve to do that, to remember. He may not give us what we’re asking for but He does want to give us Himself and His graces, and something beautiful and freeing can come when we change our prayers from hyper-focusing on our heart’s desires to asking Him to give us the graces and His presence in those situations — to show us a way, and to give us the desire to follow Him there.

+ For a good long while there, I wanted to get back to who I used to be — “before.” Before this happened, before that. Before. And it’s such a painful battle because it’s an impossible one. We can’t erase our history or the experiences that left an imprint on us. We can’t become who we used to be but we can continue to become more of who we are — more of who we were made to be. // I’ve been listening to a podcast lately, from Amy Purdy — a motivational speaker & paralympic snowboarding medalist, and something she said in her first episode really resonated with me: “I’ve learned overcoming our obstacles has nothing to do with bouncing back. It has everything to do with bouncing forward.” (That’s actually the name of her podcast, Bouncing Forward). I was so grateful for the reminder that being resilient has nothing to do with becoming who we used to be, “before,” but that it’s much more about bouncing forward to all that we can be. ❤️ Here’s to seeing how far we’ve come from “before,” and dreaming about where we will go from here.

+ “I decided I was done waiting. I was going to start living.”

+ “When we take the time during Lent to be more contemplative and release the control of our lives to Him, we allow our hearts and minds to be open to the Lord’s calling. Lent is a time to sit in the silence, sit in the desert, so we can hear His voice more clearly and follow it, no matter where it leads us.” — Spoken Women

+ 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 (this week, it’s about overcoming shame), and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.