Margaret Cessna is a member of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. After teaching social studies and theology in high school for 27 years, she founded and for 10 years served as executive director of Heartbeats, a network of women who developed world and minority artists. For the past 12 years, she has been a family mentor for Catholic Charities' office of Migration and Refugee Services. As a freelance writer, she has published in journals, newspapers and magazine, and has written two books.

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As life ticks down, what remains are precious memories

Take my watch, my books, my pots and pans. My every possession. But give me a little more time, please, with skin and bones, with beating hearts and working brains. When you don't, my heart breaks over and over again.

What makes us holy? When does the past end?

What makes us holy? After many long years with a Catholic conscience, I admit I am no expert on holy. But I have learned a few things along the way. Perhaps holiness is simply happiness that is filled with "yes."

Darkness may endure but grace gets us through

My grandma was almost full of grace. But somewhere inside of her was a pocket of sadness. I rarely saw it but it was always there. What I knew and loved was her grace. She never lost her sadness but grace prevailed.

Pay attention to blessings, moment by moment

It doesn't take a genius or a saint to change the world. It just takes a generous heart and a willingness to be open to the moment. That moment creates itself at unexpected times and in unexpected places.