The Shovel

by Melannie Svoboda SND on October 15, 2018

Usually I write my reflection first and then pick a song. Today, however, I picked the song and then wrote this reflection. The song is “A Shovel Is a Prayer” by Carrie Newcomer. Before we hear the song, let’s look at the fascinating tool called a shovel. First, a definition. A shovel is a tool […]

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God Leaves the Porch Light on for Us

by Melannie Svoboda SND on October 8, 2018

Sometimes there’s a line from a commercial that captures something profound about life. Motel 6’s line from their commercials does that for me. It says, “We’ll leave the light on for ya.” Motel 6 began using the line in 1986. It happened by accident. The advertising agency had asked Tom Bodett, a National Public Radio […]

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Interview with a Vegan

by Melannie Svoboda SND on October 1, 2018

One of my good friends, Sister Ann Marie Teder, SND, is a vegan. Recently, she prepared a vegan meal for the two of us: lentil soup, tomato-basil-avocado sandwich, fruit salad, and eggless gingersnap cookies and non-dairy ice cream for dessert. It was delicious! Later, I interviewed her for this reflection. It seemed appropriate to post […]

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A 56-Year-Old Mystery Solved

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 24, 2018

I entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on July 2, 1962. Several weeks before I left home, I received an anonymous letter. It was hand-written and five pages long. The person who wrote it tried to convince me to change my mind about becoming a nun. He/she wrote: “I want you to have my thoughts […]

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The Wildness of God’s Creative Love

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 17, 2018

I am a pretty orderly person. My clothes hang neatly in my closet. My underwear is carefully folded in my dresser drawers. The folders in my file cabinets are clearly labeled. And I clean my rooms on a fairly regular basis. (The operative word there is “fairly.”) But I am no neat freak. In fact, […]

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Building the New House Next Door

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 10, 2018

A new house is being built on the lot next to our convent. Here are a few of my thoughts as I watch this new house going up. First, a little background. The woman who is having the house built (I’ll call her Anne) is going to be a very nice neighbor. We three nuns […]

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God as a Woman in Labor

by Melannie Svoboda SND on September 3, 2018

Recently I read a book by Lauren Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest and professor at Duke Divinity School. The book is entitled Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God. Winner begins by reminding us that all the ways we describe God are inadequate. God is beyond anything we could ever […]

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The Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 27, 2018

Today I would like to say a few words about the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church. What urges me to say something is the recent grand jury report released in Pennsylvania. The 900 page document says that more than 300 “predator priests” in 6 of the 8 Catholic dioceses in the state have […]

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Learning to Love the Givens in Life

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 20, 2018

Poet Jean Murray Walker has written a poem entitled “Adam’s Choice.” In it, she imagines Adam seeing Eve for the first time. He is thrilled at the sight of her. But after a while, he begins to get annoyed with her. For example, he doesn’t like the name she gave the yak. And she “sings […]

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Dialogue with a Fire Hydrant

by Melannie Svoboda SND on August 13, 2018

When I lead retreats, I encourage dialogue—dialogue with God, with the saints, with nature, and even with so-called inanimate beings. I believe everything has the capacity to be revelatory. Every person, tree, stone, or even man-made thing has wisdom to share with us. All we need to do to discover that wisdom is to slow […]

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