Spiritual Advice from Ostriches, Boabab Trees, and Dung Beetles

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 22, 2014

Sister Janice McLaughlin, a Maryknoll Sister who lived and worked in Africa for thirty-five years, has written a charming book entitled Ostriches, Dung Beetles, and Other Spiritual Masters. During her time in Africa, Sr. Janice  “reveled in the breathtaking beauty of the African continent.” She was fascinated especially with its vast array of wildlife. Over the years, […]

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The Ten Commandments: WHY Do We Keep Them?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 15, 2014

Many of us memorized the 10 Commandments as children. In case your memory is a little fuzzy, here are the 10 Commandments in the traditional catechism formula. (For the fun of it, you might want to see if you can recite them before you read them below):

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Some Lessons I’ve Learn while on the Road

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 8, 2014

As most of you know, part of my ministry consists in giving talks and retreats all over the country. Along the way, I’ve learned many things. I’d like to share a few of those lessons with you today.

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Jesus Worked

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 1, 2014

Jesus worked. We learn this from the Gospels. We also learn this from studying the life and society of first Century Palestine. Remembering that Jesus worked is important, for it is one way we (who also have to work for a living) can identify with him. It is also one way he identifies with us! […]

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Translating Scripture–into Our Lives!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 25, 2014

Scripture has a way of becoming overly familiar to us. We hear or read the same words so often, they can lose their transformative power. When this happens to me, I reach for a different translation of the particular passage. Sometimes another translation will provide a fresh new insight into words I have begun to […]

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My Encounter with a Bird Counter

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 18, 2014

I was walking in a park the other day when I ran into “Bill,” a volunteer who counts baby birds in the fourteen bird houses within the park. I’ve met him before. He’s a friendly, cheerful man who can be seen regularly peeking into the birdhouses and then jotting something in a small notebook. I […]

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What the Church Could Learn from A.A.

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 11, 2014

I know a number of individuals who belong to Alcoholics Anonymous. They include men and women who are priests, nuns, and lay people. I have long been an admirer of A.A. I have also concluded that the Church could learn a lot from this organization.

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Mottos and Slogans

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 4, 2014

A friend gave me a card the other day tucked in a small paper bag from the Hallmark greeting card company. Printed on the bag was Hallmark’s motto: “Life is a special occasion.” I really like that! I know, I know, the purpose of the motto is to sell more cards, but I really resonate […]

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How to Recognize Grace

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 28, 2014

For Christians, the word “grace” has special meaning. Some Christians define grace as “the free and unmerited favor of God.” Others would say grace is “God’s kindness, patience, and love which is shared with us so we may live our lives more fully.” Or grace is “the help God gives us to become God’s children.” Sometimes […]

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The Giraffe: A Glimpse of the Grace of Beauty

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 21, 2014

Matthew Fox wrote: “Animals are here in part to grant glimpses of the grace of beauty.” The giraffe is certainly one animal that does that for me. Let’s take a few minutes today to reflect on this extraordinary creature in God’s vast array of animals.

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