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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ “We aren’t meant to go through life alone. ​​​​​​​​​​​​God designed our humanity in such a way that – even from the very first moment of our existence – we depend on another person to survive! ​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​We’re made for communion – with God and with others. ​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​But these same relationships can also wound us, causing deep pain and difficulties in our lives. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​How do we learn how to heal and move on from these wounds we receive? ​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​Again, in relationship.​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​It’s all about relationship!​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​Reminder for today: Reach out, in prayer to God and in meaningful, simple ways to others in your life. ​​​​​​​” — CatholicPsych

+ “Shame makes you feel on the outside, but we’re all children of the Father.”Dr. Bob Schuchts

+ “Any mental picture of your life that focuses on past sins is a lie and thus comes from the devil. Jesus loves you and has forgiven you your sins, so there is no room for having a downcast spirit. Whatever persuades you otherwise is truly a waste of time. It is also something that offends the heart of our very tender Lover. On the other hand, if the mental picture of your life consists in what you can be or could be, then it comes from God.” — Padre Pio letters

+ “When I became Catholic, I too, struggled to fully understand Mary’s role in the faith life. But now, I see that the Catholic Church wants to emphasize our family in Christ. We aren’t meant to go it alone. We have the Communion of Saints to strengthen us in our walk with Christ. We are family and we need each other.” — Amy, Catholic Pilgrim: Living out the Faith

+ We are more loved than we can imagine. ❤️ Over and over again, we have to go back to this truth and allow it to wash over us and to touch every area of our lives. Every understanding of who the Lord is and who we are in relation to Him:

Ask God to reveal your authentic identity to you and ask for the grace to recognize and receive it. It is written all throughout scripture. It is all throughout the mass. He tells us and just pours out His love for us and our authentic identity from His Eucharistic heart, when we receive the Eucharist, or go and visit Him in adoration. Ask for the spiritual eyes to recognize when He is telling you and showing you how he sees you and your identity in Him.

“Finally, remember that before you ever were, He thought of you, He knew you, and He desires to be with you forever. And He sent His son so that He could be with you forever, because He doesn’t want to have to imagine forever without you. That’s how special, how dear, how beloved you are to Him. You, specifically. So let us remember, and pray in the words of Psalm 39, Lord, you formed me in my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Let us open ourselves this week to greater intimacy with our Lord, so that He can teach you just how beloved you are to Him.” — Megan Hjelmstad // here’s the full talk.

+ “From anxiety about the future, deliver me, Jesus.” — Sisters of Life prayer, Litany of Trust

+ The Story of St. Monica’s Family: “St. Monica was an alcoholic. She had a verbally abusive, non-Christian husband who cheated on her. Her son Augustine abandoned his faith as a teenager, defiantly embraced another religion, came home from college with a live-in girlfriend, fathered a child out of wedlock with her, and then later sneaked out of the country in order to get away from Mom. For his part, St. Augustine suffered from depression at times; he spent many years adrift as he sought meaning and purpose in life; he wasted time and money on silly and immoral entertainment; and he struggled with a sexual compulsion that filled him with shame. Does that sound a bit more familiar? Sound a bit more like a real family. It even sound a bit like a dysfunctional family. But that’s not the entire story, which has a happy ending. Augustine eventually returned to his Christian roots and became a great bishop; Monica’s pagan husband changed his ways and became a Christian as well; and Monica recovered from alcoholism and died in the company of her son, whom she had shortly beforehand watched being baptized at the hands of another saint, St. Ambrose.” (Fr. Scott Hurd)

+ “A good spouse won’t always be able to fix your problems but they’ll always make sure you never face your problems alone.” — Stronger Marriages

+ “When husband and wife are united in marriage they no longer seem like something earthly, but rather like the image of God Himself.” –Saint John Chrysostom

+ What we open ourselves up to & what we should close ourselves off from

+ “Alice (in Wonderland) got to the garden because she trusted & let herself be transformed. I pray we likewise reach the garden of paradise by turning to our loving Savior in every trial.” — Sister Allison

+ “By practicing the domestic virtues of charity, obedience, and mutual help, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sanctified family life. –Lawrence G. Lovasik. The Catholic Family Handbook

+ “Graces comes after tribulation.” St. Rose of Lima

+ “So often I’ve said, or heard others say, that as long as we have our health, we have everything. ✨ New thought: health comes and health goes. We can’t control it. We can’t dictate it. We can treat our bodies well or make up for a history of lack. We can eat all the good foods and do all the good exercises but part of it is beyond our grasp. SO instead of clinging to hopes for good health, what if I cling to *love*—at least I can always give and receive love. Even when it’s laying in a dark room and having kids come in quietly to kiss me goodnight and round house kick their sibling. So for the sick of mind, body, or spirit, the choice for love is always a free one. And that is true freedom.” — Nell

+ Crying is Theological

+ “Your story, surrendered into the hands of God, will have purpose beyond the pain to bring about good.”Lysa Terkeurst

+ “Jesus, please teach me how to accompany my friends and loved ones as they carry their crosses.” — Friars of the Renewal

+ 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. 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!

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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.