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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “This is the secret to holiness. Receptivity… God will give you exactly what he gave Mary, which is everything you need to accomplish His will.” — Fr. Mike Schmitz

+ “Joseph had his own annunciation, but Joseph’s annunciation (when the angel came to Joseph in his sleep) follows Mary’s annunciation. Mary taught Joseph how to say yes to God…” —The Catholic Psych

+ “So much of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is deeply moving to me. The humility and docility of Juanito. The patient tenderness of a mother. But, nothing moves my florist heart quite like the reality that Our Lady chose flowers, a wonder of God’s creation, to highlight and prove God’s faithfulness. Though I now live in a world where flowers still abundantly bloom in December, the miraculous occurrence of roses blooming on a frozen mountainside is far from lost on me. The world is marked with these blooming examples of God’s love if we take the time to pause and see them. Mystical Rose, pray for us.” — Emily Malloy

+ “In the gospel of John Jesus is so moved by the sadness of his dear friend, Mary, at the death of her brother, Lazarus. He is troubled, and he weeps with her, even though he knows he will raise him from the dead. This shows us that Jesus’ heart is shared with every one of us. A piece of it resides in each + every one of us, for out of the love in his very heart we came to be. Therefore, his heart is deeply compassionate, and it beats in unison with ours, feeling every bit of emotion we do. He is with you in whatever you’re enduring right now.” — Mari, West Coast Catholic

+ “We’re surrounded by these pristine images of the Blessed Virgin Mary… She’s expressionless. There’s not a single expression or a wrinkle on her face, from a smile. The stable is pristine — we see straw that never saw a piece of dirt in a day in its life… Pristine statues… This can look like holiness isn’t messy or that holiness doesn’t reside where messiness resides. But in actuality, the life of the Holy Family was quite messy and the only pristine thing among them was their love for God. And so holiness is messy. And the Holy Family is at home at mess. And the Holy Family doesn’t have joy because everything is going well. They don’t have have hope because all their plans are going well. And they knew peace even though there was conflict in their lives. The Holy Family Knows joy, hope and peace because what the nearness of God has done in their lives.” — Sr. Josephine Garrett

+ “I used to the think “the beautiful” in the saying “The good, the true, and the beautiful” meant beautiful things, as in exposure to beautiful art or beautiful churches. I had that ticked off, right? We visit beautiful churches. We have lovely artwork in our home. The girls’ art books in school are exposing them to dozens and dozens of examples of truly beautiful paintings. As I grow in my homemaking, however, I believe it extends to so many more details… We can infuse the beautiful in our lives in a variety of ways, as unique as our families. Beauty is an education within itself, and it is a joy to learn.” — the Natural Catholic Mom

+ “Scripture tells us that the Magi were “overjoyed at seeing the star.” What if we allowed ourselves to be overjoyed by the works of the Lord? Let us ask for trusting, childlike faith that rejoices in everything God does.” — Catholic tv

+ “Life is busy. Life gets super busy… The most important thing for our day is to make time for prayer. Prayer can so easily get pushed off as the last thing that you do and then everything else comes first, but prayer is our lifeline. Prayer is our connection to Jesus Christ, who loves us and who is the source and the purpose for everything good — and is eternity for us. The more we can connect to the one who loves us, then the more the content of our life will change. Make time to pray… Prayer changes us so then it changes the way we act and interact with the world, and then prayer changes everything.” — Lila Rose

+ 9 rules for a happy marriage that lasts

+ The meaning of the word “helper” or “helpmate” in marriage

+ “Mary Bailey is the Real Guardian Angel in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life”

+ “I am asked many questions about discernment of marriage and the most important things to consider before choosing to marry a man. Here is one very important thing to tuck in your heart to consider before marriage… Before ever walking down an aisle to marry a man, consider the way he speaks to you very thoroughly and carefully.” — More here

+ Pieta: The Womanly Art of Losing Yourself

+ “No matter what’s happening in the world, have your tea, make your list, plan your food, read to your children, wash the clothes, do something creative for everyone and be a light for your home.” — Lydia Sherman

⭐ Here’s what’s featured in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Collection.

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 with The Little Rose Shop
+ a 15% off promo code off $40 purchases with Telos Art.
+ a 15% off promo code with The Little Catholic
+ a 15% off promo code with West Coast Catholic

+ a 15% off promo code with January Jane Shop
+ a 15% off promo code with Annunciation Designs.
+ A free download of this black & white Our Lady of Czestachowa image.

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