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This week’s edition of must reads:

1. I saw another Catholic Facebook page post this sentiment last week, and I really can’t agree with it: that a Catholic woman finds her greatest happiness in the approval shining in her husband’s & children’s eyes…

This is not true for me. I do not find my greatest happiness in my husband, or in his “approval.” Together, we seek God’s approval — we discern His will, and that’s how we’ve found happiness.

Yes, my husband can contribute to my happiness (and he does!); he helps me seek God. He encourages me to find Him in my everyday life. He reminds me of His plans and His purpose in my life when I’m feeling particularly down. And these things contribute to my happiness, but my husband doesn’t fulfill my heart the way that God does, and he just can’t — no matter how hard I try! My husband just doesn’t exist for the sole purpose of making me happy… I wrote more about that here.

2. “He took the child by the hand and said to her, Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” Note: Arise: the Greek verb egeirein is the verb generally used to express resurrection from death” (Mk 6:1416Mt 11:5Lk 7:14).

3. “My dearest sister, when uncertainty feels all consuming, I encourage you to ask God to give you the grace to go beyond what you are capable of doing. But more importantly that you trust His will and find joy in the outcomes that follow. I encourage you to embrace these twists and turns and shift your perspective towards what it means to live out the life you were called to. It is when we respond with “yes” to what God asks of us, we get to truly experience joy in deeper, more fulfilling ways.” – Remilla Ty

4. “When There Are No Human Answers To Our Measures of Pain”

5. “So infertility is definitely a lifelong roller coaster. Yes, it’s a Cross. But it’s also a Blessing. In the most basic sense, it helped me to become healthier because I have been diagnosed and treated for several underlying diseases so now I can be there for my family for years to come. It also helped us to grow stronger in our Faith by working on trusting God instead of our own abilities. It strengthened our marriage because we always supported each other and prayed together more often. And, of course, we have a beautiful blessing in our kids! If we had been able to conceive, they would not be with us, and they were always meant to be in our family.

It’s definitely easier said than done (and we work hard at accepting this everyday!), but God has a Plan and we need to trust in Him. I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for our family!” – Jessica, Sweet Little Ones 

6.  “Mary, the first Christian and Mother of all believers, is a model for us in this. She could never have skipped from Christmas to Good Friday the way we so often do; her eyes were fixed on Jesus. She meditated on him day and night, pondering every detail of his life in her heart even as she went about her daily business… It’s so easy to spend our prayer time asking God for things or thanking him for prayers already answered. But God is not our butler. He’s Lord and lover, Savior and friend. Standing beside the Blessed Mother, let’s begin to gaze at Jesus. Let’s imagine what he might have been like as a child and scour the Gospels for insights we’ve previously overlooked. With Mary as our model, let’s fix our eyes on him as we never have before.” – Meg Hunter-Kilmer


8.  “Our lives present daily opportunities for believing without seeing.  Yet, it isn’t until something large pokes its head around the corner that we start to doubt. Indeed, the questioning really only matters because we are attached to the outcome, and as a result, our feelings are on the line.  Thus, we intensely fear suffering more than His actual will.

“I am reminded of Abraham, who waited so long for Isaac.  However, once he had him, God told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.  It’s only when God saw Abraham’s faith that He intervened.  And most importantly, I think of our Mother, who hoped against hope throughout the thirty-three years of Jesus’s life, trusting in God’s promises despite the outcome.

“In Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict stated, “Man was created for greatness—for God himself; he was created to be filled by God. But his heart is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched. ‘By delaying [his gift], God strengthens our desire; through desire he enlarges our soul and by expanding it he increases its capacity [for receiving him].’”

“Thus, in desiring His will and His will alone, we are transformed into creatures of pure faith, hope and love; individuals who long for His plans rather than our own.  And in doing so, we become believers who haven’t seen and are able to say thy will be done.” – Betsey Sawyer, Women of Grace

9. “How to Handle Everyday Conflict in Your Marriage” 

10. The weakest among us—children, the needy—invite us to truly enter into the human experience through emotional honesty and the blessing of our own limitations.” – Shannon K. Evans (search “Compassionate Parenting”)

11. “What is the greatest loss to a culture that doesn’t value leisure? I think we lose our soul. We’re so busy earning and striving, getting and buying, competing and worrying about our status that we don’t take the time to check in with ourselves and determine what we truly value… We live with this constant flavor of of never-enoughness.” – Monica Gabriel Marshall