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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ Did you know that St. John Paul II wrote poetry? Here’s one of his short pieces since April is National Poetry month 🙂

+ “Remember, bearing fruit takes time. Our job is to abide. Remain. Stay connected to Jesus & trust the work He’s doing in us. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 — Lysa T.

+ “It’s just my responsibility to surrender my loaves and the fishes. It’s not my job to multiply them. That is His job. I just surrender what is in my hands.” — Michelle Benzinger

+ The spirituality of waiting is not passive… “it is active spiritual work to become more attentive to the quiet voice of God.” (J. Lewis) And we start by showing up in prayer, no matter how imperfect our prayer or trust in God is at this moment. And we take it, day by day, from there. More here.

+ “Your season of waiting is not for nothing. It’s not meaningless. God is still here. Working in the waiting with you. 💜🙏

+ “Our Lord gave us an example in the moment he allowed Thomas to reach through his wound, into his side. He wants YOU to let Him reach through your pain, into the heart of you. And He wants others to find the heart of God through your resurrected wounds. Check out my show with Jim Beckman, where he shares about how he encountered the Lord through the of sexual abuse and healing that followed.” — here

+ 8 April Saints who lived heroic lives of holiness

+ “There have never been more masculine words spoken than “This is my body given for you” and there have never been more perfectly feminine words spoken than “Be it done unto me according to thy word.

“I think it’s beautiful. Most importantly, I think it’s true. But let’s apply it to each of us who is called to be totally receptive and totally given.Jesus who gives everything, also receives everything from the Father for all eternity.He is lover and beloved. Always.Our Lady, receives everything. She’s radically receptive, surrendered, open and she pours herself out in loving her son and the Church. She is lover and beloved. Always.To be a lover you must first be beloved. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Mission without relationship is poor at best and dangerous at worst.” — The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

+ It’s been helpful for me to remember that the hard days — particularly the seasons of desolation — are temporary. The times of consolation will return. The Lord is faithful in both. Here are a few things to do if you’re in a season of desolation.

+ How Lent Reminds us to Bury our “Idols:” “While most of us do not openly worship pagan gods, all of us have our own “idols” in our lives.Those idols could be the computer, IV, or ours mart phone. It could also be our sinful habits, such as pornography, gossip, or excessive drinking.If we haven’t already “drowned” the idols in our lives that control us, now is the time to bury whatever is keeping us from God.”

+ Fr. Thomas Berg and Dr. Timothy Lock provide a step-by-step approach to achieving forgiveness, that will “unleash the power of God’s grace.”

+ “Marriage is a holy union. That means the enemy will try to inject discord and division into your relationship. Be on guard against these things.” // “Instead of wishing your spouse would change, choose to change yourself by becoming the kind of spouse you with you had. Be the one to “go first” by serving and forgiving the other. Your own change might be the catalyst for changing the marriage.” // “Every decision you make is going to disappoint somebody: Your boss, the salesperson, your friends, etc. Make sure you’re disappointing your spouse as little as possible. Say no to everyone else, so you can say YES to your spouse more often.” — Stronger Marriages

+ Here’s something I’ve learned over time is really good for your marriage.

+ Saints who us how to pray without ceasing

+ “One sign of new life that comes after suffering is that we become more loving, more faithful, more generous, and more compassionate. St. Ignatius says, “There are truths that can be discovered only through suffering or from the critical vantage point of extreme situations.” I can honestly say that there are truths I learned through suffering that—while I do not want to go through such pain again—I consider great gifts of understanding, for which I am grateful.

“The biggest grace given to me is the grace of compassion. I see suffering making some people hard and bitter, but I believe that suffering can create a compassionate heart when we allow the experience to turn us to God. Jesus suffered, and out of this his compassionate love for each of us is poured into us as a source of hope, strength, and companionship. The suffering we experience becomes transformed into wells of compassion for us to share as we are invited to companion others in their suffering. As Pope Francis reminds us in On Hope, “God the Father comforts by raising comforters.” How might God be inviting each of us to use our suffering to now become a source of comfort and compassion for others?” — Becky Eldredge

+ 5 Common Mistakes in Discernment (and how to avoid them)

+ 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 & Catholic home decor. 

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