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Here are this week’s must-reads:

+ Happy feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim!! ❤️ Our prayers aren’t always seemingly answered after every novena, but the Lord hears our prayers and we grow in relationship with Him with every extra minute we spend in prayer. We also grow closer to our friends in Heaven, the Saints who are interceding for us. Please don’t give up on hope if your prayers have not seemingly been answered yet. Like St. Anne, let’s continue to trust and to have faith. The Lord is working in our lives right now and there is something of purpose happening here, today. — here

+ The feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim represents for me a day to live fully in the present moment, even if it’s not what I wish it were. This feast day reminds me to live through this present moment with hope, which is when we place our trust in God’s promises and rely on His strength, and not on our own. If you’re waiting for His answer to your prayer or if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut just waiting for something or someone, I want to nudge you a little closer to our grandmother today, St. Anne, and her husband, St. Joachim. Like all grandparents, I trust that they want what’s best for us, that they adore us, and that they are talking all about us to our Lord. We have so many great saints to call on for intercession, and for hope and in times of waiting, I think of St. Anne and St. Joachim first. — here

+ Young St. Anne; she had no idea what would come later in her life. The trials and challenges. The answered prayers and joy. “St. Anne married her good husband St. Joachim and together they were planning on raising a holy family close to God. Well their plans were put on hold for almost twenty years and through those years they never lost their faith, continuing to pray for what they knew would take a great miracle. They never dreamed how great a miracle their child would be and that they were to become the parents of the Holy Mother of God Mary! After so much suffering, waiting for the wonderful child, they had both made a vow to dedicate their child to the Lord when Mary was three years old. Well that was a tremendous sacrifice as they loved their daughter like no other parents did and to make that sacrifice would have killed Saint Anne if God did not give her the grace to live.” – Dr. Brian Kiczek

+ “We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.” — St. Teresa of Avila

+ “Life will never be perfect. We have to look for the joy. Finding it, moment after moment after moment. It won’t just appear – it’s a posture, a way of living, and seeking.” — The Hands Free Revolution 

+ “Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.” — St. Alphonsus Liguori

+ “No one’s life is burden free. Every one of us has something heavy we’re carrying as we walk through our day. Maybe it’s a prayer we’re desperate for God to answer or a relationship that’s not where it should be. It could be a hurt from the past that feels very present or a situation we don’t know how to solve. It may be a question for which we have no answer or an uncertainty that feels unending.

“Whatever our struggle is, remembering that others have burdens of their own will help us choose to be a little kinder to one another today. It will help us be a little more aware that what we see on the outside of someone isn’t all that there is. Today, we can choose to let compassion rise, grace soften and love lead.” — Lysa Terkeurst

+ “While there’s much to be learned from conversion stories, there’s also much to be learned from the un-conversion stories. It’s not easy to remain faithful day in and day out, year after year. It can be tough to keep our faith vibrant through the crises and uncertainty that we encounter, to experience times of darkness and fear without wavering in our beliefs. During the “easy” times of our lives, it’s hard not to become complacent in our practice of the faith.” — Marge Fenelon

+ “Marriage Pro Tip: Forgive your spouse as quickly and completely as you want God to forgive you.” — Trey and Lea, Stronger Marriages

+ “Ten keys to communication in marriage:
1. Listen when your spouse is talking.
2. Speak the truth with love.
3. Don’t keep secrets.
4. Clearly say what you mean.
5. Be respectful in disagreements.
6. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager.
7. Have tenderness in your tone.
8. Pay attention to each other’s nonverbal cues.
9. Keep a good sense of humor.
10. Always make communication a priority.” — Stronger Marriages

+ In the Arms of Your Mercy Prayer by St Louis de Montfort

“O Mary, my Queen, I cast myself in the arms of your mercy. I place my soul and body in your blessed care and under your special protection from this world. I entrust to you all my hopes and consolations, all my anguish and misery, my life and the end of my life. Through your most holy intercession and through your merits, grant that all my works may be directed and carried out in accord with your will and the will of your divine Son. Amen.”

+ “I’m learning I don’t need more SELF care—I need God’s care. It’s looking a lot like saying no or asking the Lord first if I should commit to something (rather than asking others or projecting their opinions). It’s looking like logging off social media so I can’t subconsciously scroll and instead leaning on prayer apps and guided meditations to lead me away from noise and into His presence. Its letting others help. It’s asking His help in literally everything I do, while offering Him my absolute lack: my distractions, failed good intentions, inabilities, and needs. It’s good to submit to being a spiritual toddler, slowly unlearning my destructive self-reliance. I’m learning nothing makes Him happier, and nothing else can make me quite so free.” — Megan Hjelmstad

+ “I was one way and now I’m completely different. And the thing that happened in between…was Him.” — Mary Magdalene from The Chosen

+ Mary Magdalene showed up, stayed and trusted

+ A prayer for times of anxiety

+ “For years, my own trauma has cast an identity onto Him that I have believed wholeheartedly, even if it is false… ” — Thy Ship, Not Thy Home Blog

+ “Even if the world were to capsize, if everything were to become dark, hazy and tumultuous, God would still be with us.” — St. Padre Pio

+ 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.