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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ Yesterday was the feast of Saints Zelie & Louis Martin, St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents. I wrote a little bit about St. Zelie here: When St. Zelie was dying from cancer, she made a trip to Lourdes to pray for her healing.

But she didn’t get what she had hoped and prayed for.

She wrote in one of her many beautiful letters, “The Blessed Mother didn’t cure me in Lourdes. What can you do, my time is at an end, and God wants me to rest elsewhere other than on earth.” (Letter 216)

This really struck me when I first read that. This level of surrender — acceptance even… read the rest here.

+ “When a word, a verse, a scripture passage, a sacred image, or a saint arrests your attention—linger there. Believe that there are layers of meaning to be uncovered. Prepare your heart for a particular grace to be harvested. Fight the temptation to move on to something else, assuming that you’ve gleaned everything in one sitting.Will I shrug God’s right hand away in my impatience to finish the chapter? Will I cut Him off in mid-sentence or turn the page before the words have finished unfolding? Sometimes, we simply have to give God the time and space to finish what He begins…” — Claire Dwyer

+ “My faith was being tested all week. From bad practices, to 3 false start delays, to a meet delay. I just kept hearing God say, ‘Just focus on me.’ It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled. I no longer run for self recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you Father.” — American hurdler, Sydney McLaughlin

+ “If you think that God placed you on this earth to just exist through life…you would be wrong, Catholic Pilgrims. Each soul–each soul–has a purpose… A soul cannot be truly happy unless it follows the path for which it was created… St. Paul tells us in Ephesians today (that’s Ephesus in the picture, btw)…”We were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of His will.” Ephesians 1:11And what does He want us to accomplish? To spread the Gospel, to bring light and love to those in darkness, to preach repentance, and to lead people to Christ so that they can be healed in their souls. Do you feel like just a no-big-deal-kind of person? Well, if so, know that God created you with purpose and intention. And you are to live out your purpose in your own intentional way with your own God-given gifts.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ “What God has called us for He will equip us for”

+ “What do you need for your mission? You need a keen sense of God as the absolute center of your life. In a word, you require the spiritual gifts of piety and fear of the Lord. I realize that these terms can sound fussy and puritanical, but they are actually naming something strong and essential. You need fear of the Lord, which does not mean that you are afraid of God. It means that nothing to you is more important than God, that everything in your life centers around and is subordinate to your love for God. And your equipping needs to include piety. That means that you honor God above everything else, that you worship him alone. These spiritual gifts enable you to find true balance; they allow you to know what your life is about. Equipped with these gifts, you are ready for mission. Having received the fire of the Holy Spirit, you are ready to set the world on fire.” — Bishop Barron

+ From a beautiful homily from last week: “We’re at the point of the story where Joseph reveals who he is to his brothers. They showed contrition for what they have done to their brother and he meets their contrition with a revelation of his love, a revelation of his forgiveness, a revelation of who he is. And also we know then from the providence of God, he will give (to them) all the things God has given him and entrusted to him… He sees that through his suffering — it is by means of his suffering, that he is now able to care for his brothers and provide for them. He sees how God’s providence has worked even through his trials and his difficulties.” (Fr. Barry Braum — you can find this homily on YouTube, the channel is The Tyburn Nuns)

It really gives me pause to consider how God has provided through my difficult seasons, and perhaps, how He wants to work through that suffering — for forgiveness and love to blossom.

I’ve always found it consoling to consider how my pains have enabled me to love better. This homily made me think of that. // I share things like this all the time on my Instagram — follow me there if you’d like!

+ I shared a story here about St. Maria Goretti — you might not have heard it before 🙂

+ Pope Grants July 25 Plenary Indulgence and Tells Catholics: Honor Your Grandparents That Day

+ I’ve always loved posts like these: Five Lessons from the First Year of Marriage

+ 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 & home decor.

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