Here are this week’s must-reads:
+ “Have you ever felt you needed to hide your feelings from the Lord? Have you ever felt He would be disappointed in you if you were discouraged, or even if you had doubts or complaints? He is not surprised, nor does He condemn you. It is quite amazing to realize that in every situation, in every moment of our lives, Jesus is there as our defender, our advocate, our God, ready to comfort us with sympathy and understanding. He, our compassionate Father, as we are to our precious littles. His desire, to comfort, companion every step.” — Sally Clarkson
+ “Where are you holding back your heart? Jesus says, “come deeper. I’m here.” — The Catholic Hypewoman
+ “Our memories can also have places where we do not want to go… our avoidance of them is often a fear of exposure. Often the pain is sealed in an embarrassment which feels like unspeakable shame. But in those hidden places God is already present, and if we find Him there, an intimacy ensures… Our God loves us in these places. In fact, it will seem to us that He loves us there most of all.” — “A gift for receiving the Father’s love”
+ “You need to let yourselves be inconvenienced… These inconveniences though, with the eyes of faith, are actually gifts. They continually draw us out of ourselves. They are constant invitations to have our hearts expanded, a prerequisite for the reception of life in abundance. They keep us spiritual fathers and deliver us from the temptation to be spiritual bachelors.” — Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
+ “Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person with whom we are bound to live, happy, is rewarded by interior satisfaction and joy. The supreme effort of goodness is,—not alone to do good to others; that is its first and lower effect,—but to make others good.” — Rev. Bernard O’Reilly
+ I think this is something we all need to hear once in a while… “I’m so glad you exist — I’m so glad you’re here.” 💜🙏
+ “Like the Mother of God, the events and circumstances of life will offer us not only love, but sorrow. In these moments the witness of the Mother of Sorrows will demonstrate to us that genuine faith is not a merely a comfort, a crutch or a diversion. Faith in Christ does not bring with it exemption from the reality of our existence but grants us access to the divine life in all things- even suffering and even death and it is through precisely these experiences that we learn the extremity of true love.”– Fr. Steve Grunow, Word on Fire
+ “If you want to do something for the Lord, do it! Whatever you feel needs to be done, even though you’re shaking in your boots and you’re scared to death, take the first step.” — Mother Angelica
+ This picture of Jesus carrying the cross is one of my favorite statue depictions of Him doing so; at the very bottom, there’s a Latin inscription that translates to “Lift up your hearts.” A reminder that death does not win — that death is not the end. And maybe, perhaps too, that the little deaths we suffer along the way will be redeemed too. That they’re not all for nothing.
+ “Don’t despair if your marriage is a mess. Turn to God. His power is made perfect in our weakness.” // “Strive to be the reason why your spouse looks forward to coming home each day.” // “Praise your spouse, and be sincere about it. Say good things you really mean, and say them as often as possible.” — Stronger Marriages
+ From the archives: Catholic wives of many years reflecting on Marriage:
+ “I vividly remember saying to John, when we had been dating all of six months, that it didn’t seem like enough just to SAY “I love you,” anymore: I wanted to LIVE it. That’s what marriage is, and we didn’t know how hard, or how rewarding, it would be. Those romantic early days were wonderful. I love remembering them. And I’m happy to say that we still like romance and spending time together and that spark has never gone out. But love sustained and nurtured over twenty-five years is stronger and richer and deeper and profound in ways we could not have understood back then.” — Leslie, married 26 years at time of publishing in 2014
+ “WE ARE KEEPERS OF EACH OTHER’S SOULS. I didn’t know this when we first married. I didn’t understand the magnitude. Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church and as we’ve grown in our understanding of marriage and all that it entails, I’ve come to see that Dustin and I are to mirror Christ’s love. It really is a beautiful teaching. My job, as Dustin’s wife, is to guide him to heaven. He is to do the same for me. We do that by offering each other the kind of unconditional, sacrificing, forgiving, selfless love that Christ offers us. When we do this only blessings flow.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim, married 14 years at time of publishing in 2014
+ “There are many myths surrounding marriage. One of the biggest is that your spouse will “complete” you. Marriage requires both the wife and husband to give 100%. (Marriage) is a day to day work of becoming ONE.… I don’t believe you marry your soulmate, I believe you make your soulmate.” — Better Together TV
+ Speaking of marriage, I recently learned of a Catholic online formation program for young people to learn about and prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. It’s called “Made Blvd” (Beloved). It’s for those who believe they’re called to be married one day — whether they know their future spouse or not. It’s a 12-week program — you can check out all of the details here. And you can use the code CATHOLICWIFE25 for 25% off the program.
+ Another announcement: There’s a virtual NFP Conference coming up later this month! All the details here: NFP Engage, The Virtual Conference for Natural Family Planning Beginners
+ The St. Michael the Archangel Novena begins today! You can sign up for the prayers here. While we’re not praying this novena as a community this year, you can always choose to pray your own novena on our site, Pray More Novenas, and then sign up to receive the daily email with the prayer just like normal 🙂 The next novena we’re praying as a community starts this Thursday: the St. Therese Novena!
+ “Prayer can truly change your life, for it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and your heart towards the Lord. If we look only at ourselves, with our own limitations and sins, we quickly give way to sadness and discouragement. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, then our hearts are filled with hope, our minds are washed in the light of truth, and we come to know the fullness of the Gospel with all its promises and life.” — St. John Paul II
+ Lastly, here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter. 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 off $40 purchases with Telos Art.
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Catholic
+ A free download of this black & white Our Lady of Czestachowa image.
When you sign up, you also get access to all past newsletters!
When you sign up, you also get access to all past newsletters. // Monday is the best day to sign up if you’re interested because it’s the only day that the prices of everything featured is guaranteed to be under that $60 threshold.