Paradise Found

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Photo courtesy of

Heavens to Betsy, getting to Paradise is easier than most people think. Paradise on earth, that is.

Paradise certainly wasn’t lost in Florida. For starters, Florida has a plain Paradise, the old-fashioned kind that doesn’t promise anything more than heaven on earth. If that’s not paradisaical enough, there’s Paradise Bay, Paradise Beach, Paradise Island, Paradise Palms, or Paradise Point, to name a few.

Another Paradise Point beckons up the coast in North Carolina. Meanwhile, there’s Paradise Falls, Pennsylvania, and Paradise Hill, Oklahoma. Every day is a heavenly day in Paradise Manor, Louisiana.

In Michigan, Paradise really does freeze over in the winter, but so does her sister to the Continue reading “Paradise Found”

The Power of a Penny

money-matters-1173114 copy / Sufi Nawaz

What does a penny buy these days? Penny gumball machines disappeared years ago. A penny for my thoughts? As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for!” Pennies—the nonsensical change we get when something costs 99 cents and not a dollar. So, what good is a penny? It has the power to answer prayer!

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The House on Your Back

snail-1-1454341 copy / A. Carlos Herrera

Snails are fascinating. They travel through life with a house on their back. They don’t accumulate, and they don’t try to impress fellow snails with “my house is bigger than your house.”

One day I saw a snail and began thinking about a snail’s life. What would it be like to carry my house on my back? What would I use for a house? That’s easy! I already Continue reading “The House on Your Back”

Lights in the Desert

DSC_03680001Wherever you go in New Mexico, you’ll find Spanish place names exalting God and things divine. Santa Fe—the state’s capital and the oldest capital in the United States—means Holy Faith. The Santa Cruz River is Spanish for River of the Holy Cross; the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Blood of Christ Mountains.

You’ll also find a litany of villages named for saints, including San Ysidro (Saint Isidore the Farmer), Santa Teresa (Saint Teresa of Avila), Santa Rosa (Saint Rose of Lima), and San Miguel (Saint Michael the Archangel). The town of Belén means Bethlehem.

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Pennies from Heaven

Are pennies from heaven real? Ask Nichole Granville of Hawley, Pennsylvania, and you’ll get a resounding yes! This is the life-changing story of Nichole and her young son, Caleb.

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Caleb was two years old in early 2007 when he developed a double ear infection that would not go away, remembers Nichole. Then a few days later, Nichole noticed Caleb wasn’t as steady on his feet as he normally was; his equilibrium seemed off.

When Caleb’s symptoms didn’t subside, Nichole took him back to the doctor. Caleb’s ears were still red and infected, reported the doctor, adding that a CAT scan would be ordered if he didn’t improve in a few days. Nichole took Caleb home and hugged him close. She longed to hear his infectious laugh and see the twinkle in his brown eyes.

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The Stubborn Window

Windows are good teachers, especially if you can’t get one open. I know. I tried to open a swollen window one hot July evening in Minnesota and got a lesson on thanksgiving instead. Little did I know what a breath of fresh air that would be!

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Photo by Freitas

I can still see myself that night. I’m crabby and in no mood for a fiesta, but I enter the house anyway. If I stay outside, I’ll be attacked by mosquitoes looking for dinner. Or maybe it’s Continue reading “The Stubborn Window”

139 Years of Nonstop Prayer!

Looking for a powerhouse of prayer? Come to the Motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Beginning on August 1, 1878, at least two adorers have kept vigil before the Blessed Sacrament in the Adoration Chapel. Holy moly! That’s more than 139 years—or 50,767 days—of nonstop prayer!

Adoration Chapel (Courtesy Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration)

Nothing can stop this prayer chain, not even an inferno. On December 2, 1923, when a fire broke out and devoured the west wing of the convent, the good nuns kept on Continue reading “139 Years of Nonstop Prayer!”


Holy Land of America!


No passport needed to visit this “Holy Land”–it’s right here in northern New Mexico! Long called the “Holy Land of America,” this land is like no other: inexplicable miracles, a weeping statue, prophecies and revelations, and rock formations that resemble scenes right out of the Bible. But holy doesn’t mean stuffy. Legends never are! Northern New Mexico is blessed with charming stories of Continue reading “Holy Land of America!”