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Here’s this week’s must-read edition:

1. “Suffering doesn’t have to destroy us. It doesn’t have to define us.”

2. “My goal… is to continually return to God with my whole heart.
To follow Jesus’ lead and get back up after falling and falling and falling.
Even if my spiritual life isn’t where I want it to be, I want to use this season to return to Him.
Even if I believe that God doesn’t have more to teach me or show me, I want to return to wonder.
Even when my fasting isn’t perfect, I want to return to my promises.
Even when I struggle and sin, I want to return to my Fathers merciful love.
I want to boldly trust in His grace, without reservations. Again and again and again.” – Julie Lai

3. Jesus can and does use our sufferings, and our crosses, to shape us more into the holy women he wants us to become.

Sometimes He uses our illnesses, our weaknesses. Sometimes He uses our times of uncertainty, of unemployment. Sometimes He uses our dying to ourselves. Scratch that. He always uses that. Or, He can… 

Whatever our cross is on any given day, though, He uses it for something — when we offer it to Him as Jesus did. 

That’s the catch. We have to willingly give it to Him. Not begrudgingly. Not resistantly. But willingly (lovingly)… (read more here)

4.  When St. Zelie was dying from cancer, she made a trip to Lourdes in hopes that it would bring about healing.

I’ve made that sort of trip before. I know what that’s like.

And instead of receiving that healing and relief, Zelie continued to near the end of her life.

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

She wrote, “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.

How often do I take God’s answer to a prayer — especially when it is not the answer I was looking for — and say, “What can you do? God wants something else.”

Instead, I more often fight it and keep searching for my answer — keep asking for it, anyway, in my prayers.

I need to learn better how to accept God’s answers, and to be willing to embrace them even, when they’re not what I had hoped for… (read more here)

5. “We know in faith that Jesus seeks us out. He wants to heal our wounds, to soothe our feet which hurt from traveling alone, to wash each of us clean of the dust from our journey… He wants to help us to set out again, to resume our journey, to recover our hope, to restore our faith and trust. He wants us to keep walking along the paths of life, to realize that we have a mission…” – Pope Francis

6. Settling In To Our Cross

7. “There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healingtime for change.” – St. Basil the Great

8. The Pray More Healing Retreat

9. My Mass Takeaway from Sunday:

10. “We’re not here to fix each other. That’s God’s job.” – Catholic Creatives