One of my most precious memories is pushing my four-year-old nephew in a wheelbarrow on a farm. He was laughing hysterically and this made me laugh. Life is full of joyful moments like that one. Reflecting on them warms the heart. We feel joy when someone does us a favor, when we accomplish a difficult…

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            I’m in the throes of moving from a large house to an apartment in Notre Dame Village in Chardon. This means reducing what now fills two floors, an attic, and a basement so that my personal belongings, furniture, and office will fit into four and a half rooms. Maybe you’ve had this experience. If…

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The day after I flew home from a conference in Chicago, I googled my name. (That sometimes proves interesting.) That night a shocking notice appeared—an obituary for Kathleen Glavich! Did our plane go down? Am I in twilight zone? Am I dreaming? I didn’t feel dead. I clicked on the notice and it took me…

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Currently I’m working on a chapter about the afterlife. We people engrossed in the demands of this present life don’t tend to think about this topic until we come to a landmark birthday, someone we know dies, or a movie like The Mummy is released.  Then we wonder, Is this all there is? We Catholics…

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This past week I was interviewed about saints for a podcast, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about them this week. I believe it was Leon Bloy who noted, “The only failure in life is not to be a saint.” A saint is someone who made it to heaven. Consider the alternative. Sometimes people…

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As we approach Holy Week, I though it would be good to reprise an earlier post with a few additions . . . My theology class at Cleveland Central Catholic was on the fifth floor of St. Michael School. One topic was death and dying. As one student entered the room, he commented, “Sister, do…

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My Aunt Arline was born with cerebral palsy. A good Lutheran couple adopted her. Operations to straighten her arms left long scars on her. Her speech was slurred, and she walked with difficulty. Sometimes her slight body was marked with ugly bruises from falls. Nevertheless she was a delightful person, married to my father’s brother,…

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Most people assume that they will spend eternity in heaven. Some of them might be like the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers. . . . I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” This man thought he was right…

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Since we are approaching the feast of the halloweds (the saints), I’ve been musing about sainthood. One of my favorite prayers as a teenager was, “O God Who art all powerful, make me a saint.” Some people exclaim, “I’m no saint,” yet we are all called to be saints. As French novelist Leon Bloy pointed…

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Star Trek fans might recall my favorite episode in which aliens test a woman to see if her race is worthy of saving on another planet. The woman is an empath, someone who can absorb the suffering of others. Her test is to take on the pain of Dr. McCoy when he is dying, and…

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