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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ Last week was the the feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa, one of my favorite titles of Mary. I grew up seeing this image at my Babcia’s (Polish grandmother’s) house, and I was always intrigued by it. Years later, I’ve come to learn a lot about this painting, and it has become so meaningful to me. Let’s talk about those scars on Mary’s face. Did you know that artists have tried numerous times to repair the painting and erase her scars, to no avail? The scars kept reappearing time and time again. It begs the question: why? Why would our Mother want us to keep seeing these scars of hers? Some believe they symbolize her many sorrows on earth. “Similar to the scars on Jesus’ resurrected body, they remain as a reminder of the suffering that is endured before achieving the heavenly reward.” (Philip Kosloski) And that suffering? None of us can escape it in this lifetime. That’s one of the reasons I love this image. It reminds me that we will all bear scars. But that we do not walk alone, and that our Mother and Jesus have gone before us. It’s a sign of solidarity to me. A reminder to persevere and have faith. And it’s something I cling to desperately. ❤️🇵🇱 — read here

+ It’s hard to believe — all the time that — Jesus has everything we need. It’s easier to think, in this world, that we need to do everything ourselves — we need to provide for ourselves, we need to do this or that to take care of ourselves. And often, when we do that, seeking what we truly need from Him goes to the wayside. I think one reason this happens is because the enemy likes us to believe that we have to do everything for ourselves. He doesn’t want us to depend on the Lord — because that sort of dependence is very fruitful. The enemy wants us to think we are on our own, that we’re alone, and that it’s up to us — everything we need to do, everything we need… But it’s not. More would be done if we turn to Him when we’re in need. More will be cared for when we turn to Him to care for us, and we show Him that we care for Him first. — continued here

+ We started praying The Novena for Marriage & Family! It’s never to late to sign up & join us 🙂

+ Five years ago this week, we went on a pilgrimage to the St. Anne Shrine in Canada. ❤ I wrote about it here.

+ Marriage, prayer and the Cross: Jesus says, “Follow me,” and marriage is one of the ways we can respond to Him in that call to holiness & perfection of charity. ❤

+ “Practicing Imago Dei is a delightful challenge, especially when people are acting terribly. You remember that God is as madly in love with them as with your newborn niece or saintly grandmother or Mother Teresa, and then you remember that much of the time you can be a perfect pill and difficult to love too, but God is wild about you anyway. Imagine that!” — Laura Kelly Fanucci

+ Our Five Years: When Love Is No Longer Blind: The depth of love that we have for one another now — love that is not blind in any sense — love that knows what the very bad days look like, and all the baggage we’ve brought into this marriage, and all of the sins that we’ve committed… it’s the sort of love that truly comes from our Father’s love first. It’s love that does not look away. It’s love that heals.And I cannot begin to express to you what life is like when you have that sort of love in it. Love that reaffirms you’re loved. Lovable. Worth loving. Worth sacrificing for. Love that is merciful. That forgives. Always. No matter how ugly things are. Love that is committed to doing better.I think this is what freedom looks like.

+ Six Things I’ve Learned Through Six Years of Marriage

+ “Mary has never and would never try to usurp the power or position of God, Catholic Pilgrims. Perfected through the grace of her Immaculate Conception, she is in perfect alignment with God’s Will and only ever wants to help us to grow in love and worship of her Son. Honoring and loving the woman who brought forth our Savior from her womb is the only appropriate response. Our Lady of Joy, pray for us!” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim

+ “We turn to many things for relief but relief is different than restoration. To experience restoration we need the grace & capacity of Jesus. “Jesus, give me your heart that’s full of the truth of fulfillment that comes from union with the Father.” — Dr. Bob Schuchts

+ “The child I miscarried is loved by God, and will be forever”

+ Run with the Saints: “the first-ever platform to help students learn about and compare Catholic experiences on college campuses.”

 As always, here are a few pictures of what’s included in this week’s 
Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter

I share this newsletter every Monday and it always includes 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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