Here are this week’s must-reads:
+ The next novena we’re praying as a community over at Pray More Novenas is The Novena for Difficult Times. I love how many different saints we’ll be asking for prayers from throughout the novena. You can check them all out, and sign up for the novena, here. We started a Pray More Novenas instagram account now too! Go follow it??
+ What the Sacred Heart devotion has to do with our wounds: “God took upon himself our wounds and our inequities, and through His stripes – as it says in Isaiah, through His wounds, we are healed… I remember when I was on retreat one year and I had already been in the friars for maybe 5 – 6 years I remember asking God, “Why am I not healed? Why do I still have my wounds? Why do I still feel things from the past? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing” — I didn’t get it. And I remember hearing after a whole week of silence — I heard God in my prayer say, those wounds are like my wounds. My wounds stay open so that others can be healed. Your wounds are opened so that others can be healed.
“Can I tell you? In my life, in my priesthood, I’ve seen that. I’ve seen how my wounds are not barriers but in fact doorways into leading other people — to be able to connect with their pain, even if I’m not going exactly through what they’re going through, but I can still connect in some way — to bring them closer to Jesus, who has experienced what they’ve experienced because He’s brought it to the cross. This is our hope: Even the darkest of times can become the doorway for something that is infinitely good. I invite you in these days leading up to the feast of the Sacred Heart to allow your own wounds, allow your own experiences, to be connectors and doorways, and to see Christ in others, and to lead them by listening and interacting with them, closer to Jesus – especially His most Sacred Heart.” – Fr. Agustino @oralecp
+ “When St. John the Baptist was born, everyone knew he had a special purpose. He was declared the forerunner to Jesus, the one who prepared the way for Jesus to enter the world. We were all born for a special purpose. We are also called to prepare the way for Jesus. John inspires us to enter the desert and find God in the quiet of our hearts, and then to bring that power and confidence into the world. Like him, we boldly proclaim God’s goodness. We become light in the darkness. We carry the Good News to the ends of the earth. Our WITNESS can be like John’s — a sunrise that awakens people to the Light of the World.” — Unleash the Gospel
+ “We delight in pointing out the shortcomings, moral failings, and annoying tendencies of our neighbors. This is, of course, a function of pride and egotism: the more I put someone else down, the more elevated I feel. But it is also, oddly, a magnificent means of turning a mirror on ourselves, to see what usually remains unseen. Why, we ought to ask, do we find precisely this sin of others particularly annoying? Why does that trait or sin of a confrere especially gall us? Undoubtedly, Jesus implies, because it reminds us of a similar failing in ourselves. I remember a retreat director asking each of us to call to mind a person that we found hard to take and then to recount in detail the characteristics that made the person so obnoxious to us. Then he recommended that we go back to our room and ask God to forgive those same faults in ourselves. His words were as unnerving and as illuminating as these words of Jesus.” — Bishop Barron
+ “Compassion means to become close to the one who suffers. But we can come close to another person only when we are willing to become vulnerable ourselves. A compassionate person says: “I am your brother; I am your sister; I am human, fragile, and mortal, just like you. I am not scandalized by your tears, nor afraid of your pain. I, too, have wept. I, too, have felt pain.” We can be with the other only when the other ceases to be “other” and becomes like us.
“This, perhaps, is the main reason that we sometimes find it easier to show pity than compassion. The suffering person calls us to become aware of our own suffering. How can I respond to someone’s loneliness unless I am in touch with my own experience of loneliness? How can I be close to handicapped people when I refuse to acknowledge my own handicaps? How can I be with the poor when I am unwilling to confess my own poverty?” — Henri Nouwen
+ “In the latest episode of The Poco a Poco Podcast, we take a look at what it means to be meek and how knowing who we are gives us access to the same boldness, strength, and peace that Jesus himself has.”
🌸 As always, are a few pictures of what’s included in this week’s Catholic Wife, Catholic Life Newsletter!
I share this newsletter every Monday and it always includes two gluten-free recipes, a reflection & prayer based on Sunday’s Mass Readings, and links to budget-friendly fashion & home decor.