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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What Small Thing Do You Treasure?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 14, 2014

The Washington Post Magazine runs a regular feature entitled “Mine” which invites its readers to share some small object in their lives that they treasure. Every week the Post runs one reader’s contribution which includes a picture of the object, a brief essay on its signigicance, and the author’s name, age, and occupation. Here are a few samples. 

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Is God Love–Really?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on July 7, 2014

Albert Einstein said the most important question we can ask is this: Is the universe friendly? If we asked a random sampling of people  whether they think the universe is friendly, neutral, or hostile towards us, we would probably find that some of them believe the universe is hostile or at least neutral. They would […]

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The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 30, 2014

While in Alabama a few weeks ago, I went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute with one of the Benedictine Sisters, Sr. Madeline. Notice, the building is not called a museum although it chronicles the Civil Rights struggle through pictures, film, and artifacts. It’s called an institute since it links the struggle for equality in Birmingham to movements for […]

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh: “Against Wind and Tide”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 23, 2014

I just finished reading Against Wind and Tide, the final collection of letters and journals (1947-1986) of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Many of us know her as the wife of Charles Lindbergh, one of the great pioneers in aviation. But she was also a writer in her own right. Her most famous book, Gift from the Sea, was first published in […]

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The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 16, 2014

Bronnie Ware is a writer and singer from Australia. For many years she worked in palliative care. While doing so, she learned that many people have regrets as they approach death. According to Ware, here are the top five regrets of the dying.

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