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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “I find it interesting how the saints are usually known for that one thing they excelled at. St. Teresa of Avila, for example, being the doctor of mental prayer and the interior life. However, it was also the thing that they suffered from the most.

“St. Teresa of Avila suffered from many years of distractions and vain thinking, being of a sanguine temperament. Yet, it was her constant struggle with this that made her a master of prayer. Another example is St. Alphonsus Liguori, who for many years severely suffered with scrupulosity. He would stay up all night questioning the state of his soul, and when he falsely thought of himself to have committed a sin, his fellow monks would hear him scream in the middle of the night in his cell, begging for his confessor. He is now the doctor of Moral Theology. This goes to show that our struggle with our predominant fault will be what turns us into saints.” — Catholic Femininity

We shall draw near to God, not by trying to avoid sufferings inherent in all loves, but accepting them and offering them to Him.” — C.S. Lewis

+ “Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton wasn’t Catholic until she was 31. Saint Gianna Molla was 33 when she married Pietro. Saint Rita was 36 before she began her religious vocation. St. Anne waited decades before she could conceive… “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Do not give up on God.” — The Young Catholic Woman

When God calls you to a difficult path, He does not leave you alone, scraping by in isolation. He equips you, provides for you, and tenderly cares for you all the way through it.”Laura Wifler, Risen Motherhood

+ “I don’t want my children to find their primary identity in their wounds and struggles… And it is a trap, one Satan lays. He would have each of us define ourselves by anything other than our identity in Christ. He wants us mired in our pain or striving for our worth or attaching ourselves to what is fleeting. He doesn’t want us seeing that in Christ, wounds are healed, gifts are given, sins forgiven, relationships restored, and failures forgotten. He doesn’t want us recognizing God’s providential care and presence in every moment of our lives, from conception to death. Most of all, he doesn’t want us knowing the fullness of who we are or the fullness of the life to which we’re called—the glory, the beauty, the power. He wants us knowing less because he wants us to be less. Ultimately, he wants us to be nothing at all.

⁣”It took me decades to understand this. So, I expect it will take my children time to understand it, too. They have their own seasons through which they need to journey. My job is to love them through it all and pray they get there. So, I am loving and praying. For them. And for you.” — Emily Stimpson Chapman

+ “In talking to my newly-ordained transitional deacon friend the other day, I mentioned how I struggle with vocational discernment as a part of dealing with OCD. He shared with me something a priest said to him, and I thought you all might benefit from it. This priest told him: “God doesn’t watch us and think ‘I hope she follows the plan’, He watches us and says ‘Wow, I love him/her, I wonder what he/she is gonna do next!’”

“That conversation was a very necessary reminder that God delights in us. Even though my brain is sick with a mental illness, God delights in me. He knows I can’t do everything absolutely perfectly, and He delights in me anyway. He delights in you, too, no matter your crosses and flaws.” — The OCD Catholic

+ Five Ways to Sanctify Your Marriage This Week

+ “Preserve the warmth of the family, because the warmth of the whole world cannot make up for it.” — St. Charbel

+ “My husband and I went to a Theology of the Body talk when we were first married. The speaker was a married man with children. He said, marriage is the best way to reach heaven. Why? “Because it is a Cross. Who crucifies you more than your wife?” He joked. Everyone laughed. He continues on detailing how marriage will have its ups and downs and its highs and lows. Loving in sickness, in worse, in poorer: that is the way of the Cross…

No marriage escapes the Cross… The Cross will come in marriage. The question is will we drag it, hold it or pin ourselves to it? Jesus tells us what will happen to our soul at the end of enduring our Cross. Let’s help our spouses to heaven. There will be no marriage in heaven because there will be no crosses! Let us not grow weary of carrying the Cross. Let us love one another as He loves us.” — Sisterhood of the Traveling Relics

+ “There’s no wound Jesus cannot heal. Heartbreak. Rejection. Regret. Hopelessness. Abandonment. Betrayal. Bitterness. He wants to heal it all.” — Christine Caine

+ “Both spiritual companionship and motherliness are not limited to the physical wife and mother relationship, but they extend to all people with whom woman comes into contact.” — St. Edith Stein

+ “In the parable of the Prodigal Son, both sons leave the house. One in rebellion. One in resentment. And the Father leaves the house to go after both.” — Ian Simkins

+ Did you see this DIY Saint banner I made? I used a free template from Katherine Bogner’s blog — check out her post here to get ideas for one you can make!

+ Here’s an Advent Book Club I’m looking forward to!

⭐ 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!

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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