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I hope you’re having a beautiful Advent season so far!

It’s difficult to slow down during this season, isn’t it? To spend a moment in silence, to offer the Lord a few more minutes in prayer…

There are a lot of obstacles that can keep us from preparing to celebrate Christmas with joy and peace, and one of them is the pain that each of us carries with us.

We all have some sort of wound. None of us get through this life unscathed.

If you’re hurting right now and this season is more difficult because of that, then I think this video is meant for you:

It’s by Katie Sciba, one of the speakers from our Advent Retreat (which you can sign up for here; Katie gave three other talks for it).

I listened to this talk weeks ago, but it’s one I’m going to be going back to again and again.

In it, Katie says:

When we look back on how Jesus has sustained us, we can have hope for the future, knowing that even if we’re enduring pain or wounds right now that He still carries us. Saint Faustina wrote in her diary “I see that when the Lord allows suffering, He upholds us with greater grace.” So whatever it is that God allows to happen in our lives, He also showers us with graces. But if we stonewall Him and we stop praying, if we stop trying to have union with our Father, then we shut ourselves out from those graces that are ready and available to us. And it doesn’t mean that we have to come to the Lord with joy or even gratitude right off the bat. We don’t have to say “Thank You God for this suffering.” That kind of gratitude will come in time, but for the present we can say “God, I’m hurting. Help me. Sustain me. Show me how You’re sustaining me.” And the Lord will reveal Himself. He will answer that prayer directly.”

I’m praying for you this season — that the Lord will reveal Himself and be with you in your pain.

A few other must-reads this week:

+ “In our own lives, we are often called to trust beyond what our senses can prove. This advent, I invite you to find silence where you can rest in the love of the Father… Let all the plans and shopping and noise fall away… Like Mary, trust that God is working in your life—that even when when you are confused and hurting and lost, Jesus has already claimed you as his own. Marvel at the love of a God who would enter creation as a vulnerable baby, who would go into the depths of our darkness and suffering and sin to conquer it. Let this Advent be a time of trust and hope, for Emmanuel has come—God is with us!” — TiSpark

+ Why stillness is the key to peace in your soul

+ “Waiting doesn’t mean you do nothing; waiting means you prepare yourself. Your time of waiting is for uncovering more of your identity. Waiting is the time to build up your skill-sets so that you’re equipped for the next assignment. And waiting is for the building of your character.” – Grit & Virtue

+ “He can work with our nothingness. Sometimes our open, empty hands are all we have to offer. Truly great things transpire only when we embrace our poverty. Like the widow, you may believe you are on the cusp of death, yet still choose to share what little you have to give. And God, who is faithful, rewards your efforts exponentially.” – Jeannie Ewing

+ In this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter, I shared last-minute gift ideas (all things you can order on Amazon — yay for two-day shipping!) for gifts that fall into the Four Gift Rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

Here’s what’s featured in this week’s newsletter: