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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “Sanctity is found by doing the duties that unfold before us each day – doing our housework, raising children, taking care of parents as they age, paying those bills that are ever with us, helping neighbors, and practicing our Faith. The formula for holiness doesn’t need to be searched for; it finds you, in the duties that come up each day in the path of ordinary life.” – Finer Femininity

+ “Jesus takes his time teaching us how to pray, did you know that? I love it. I love that Jesus gave me the tools to pray, and I don’t even really have to wonder what it is I’m supposed to be doing. In Matthew chapter 6, He says this right before teaching the Our Father, “When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” What am I doing in secret?

“I cringe when I think of the honest answer to that question. What you and I are doing in secret, in our inner rooms, is of tremendous importance. How the Lord is stirring in us, how we are allowing the Lord to stir in us has Kingdom significance, and these earthly, temporal ideas are just that – temporary. They do not hold the eternal significance that our quiet, steady, outpoured prayers hold. God wants us, all of us. He doesn’t just want the woman everyone else sees. He wants the woman I am when I am all alone… He wants the woman I am when I am with people who happen to be irritating me. He wants the woman who goes into work every day in a secular environment. He wants the woman who falls to habitual sin over and over and over again. He wants the woman who fears not being enough. He wants the woman who feels like too much. He wants me. And He wants you. All of you.” — Jenna, Blessed is She

+ “Trusting God sounds like a great idea, but sometimes we don’t do it because we know it will cost something.”

+ “WHY: I think it’s the most dangerous three letter word in the Christian life… I threw a lot of mad “WHY’s” toward Heaven last week. Why would He allow something so painful after we’ve been through so much? Why would he want my children to participate in burial prayers all over again, to shovel Carolina clay over their baby brothers coffin? What could possibly be the plan for this suffering? I don’t have any answers but I do know this: the antidote for “why” is another three letter word: YES. It’s all we can do, really. We can say “yes” and trust that He knows better than we do, that the glorious unfolding of our murky, muddled, messy lives will end in shining like the stars. The fiat of the present moment.” — Stephanie Weinert

+ The (online) Pray More Advent Retreat begins in less than two weeks! Check out the speakers & their topics here.

+ “What is so important about worship? To worship is to order the whole of one’s life toward the living God, and, in doing so, to become interiorly and exteriorly rightly ordered. To worship is to signal to oneself what one’s life is finally about. Worship is not something that God needs, but it is very much something that we need.” — Bishop Barron

+ “The reality is that people who live with a mental illness can have deep and profound insights into suffering and the mercy of God. God’s grace is not limited by any condition, including mental illness. People who live with a mental illness can be especially close to God and live holy lives. People with mental illness are uniquely joined to Christ. Pope Saint John Paul II said: “Christ took all human suffering on himself, even mental illness. Yes, even this affliction, which perhaps seems the most absurd and incomprehensible, configures the sick person to Christ and gives him a share in his redeeming passion.” — Vatican News

+ 12 ways to overcome a scrupulous conscience

+ “Augustine said that God sometimes delays in giving us what we want because he wants our hearts to expand. The more ardently we desire something, the more ready we are when it comes, the more we treasure it. The very act of asking persistently is accomplishing something spiritually important. So, when the Lord seems slow to answer your prayer, never give up.” — Bishop Barron

+ “Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament…There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all our loves on earth…eternal abundance, which every man’s heart desires.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

+ 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. This week’s reflection focuses on the significance of Jesus referring to Himself as the “Son of Man” in Sunday’s Gospel reading.

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