April: National Poetry Month

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 30, 2020

April is National Poetry Month. I have selected three poems to celebrate this wonderful form of writing. All the poems have a Spring and Resurrection theme. I hope you enjoy them. The first poem is by one of our readers (and frequent responder) John Hopkins, a high-school English teacher who lives in Massachusetts. In this […]

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So, How Are You Doing?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 23, 2020

The Coronavirus continues to spread all over the world. Each day there are more restrictions: closed schools, churches, restaurants, bars, libraries, hair salons; no sports; no gatherings of more than 10 (last I heard); weddings, elective surgeries, vacations, elections, tax deadlines, all being put on hold. And now we practice “social distancing” and “self-quarantine” as […]

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Letter to THE Flower Maker

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 16, 2020

My Breck’s spring flower catalog came the other day. The 60 pages of beautiful colorful flowers of all kinds delighted my eyes and heart. It also inspired me to write this letter to THE Flower Maker… Dear Flower Maker, I have never written to you before–even though I have enjoyed your amazing artistry since I […]

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What Is Christian Social Doctrine?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 9, 2020

I friend loaned me Wrestling with God, a book by Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI. I’m finding it inspiring and challenging. I guess you could say, I’m wrestling with some sections! Chapter four, for example, is on the Gospel mandate to reach out to the poor. Rolheiser begins with a quote by James Forbes: “Nobody gets […]

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When God Asks Us to Move

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 2, 2020

I will be moving to a new place this fall–if all goes as planned. The house the three of us are living in needs some major repairs. The parish that owns the house cannot make these repairs. We understand completely. The parish is not kicking us out; we are being proactive. In future blogs I’ll […]

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Quotations for Lent

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 24, 2020

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Today I’m offering you some quotations related to Lent (either directly or indirectly) that you might like to pray with during this special season of the year. 1.”No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So no matter […]

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A Few Words about Cats

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 17, 2020

A while ago, I did a blog on dogs. Since then, a few readers (one friend in particular!) have asked, “When are you going to write about cats?” Well, today is that day. But today is also Presidents’ Day in the US, so I wondered how might I connect this holiday with cats? Here’s how. […]

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A Book on Beauty

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 10, 2020

As some of you know, I am working on a new book. Basically it’s on beauty and the spiritual life. It’s only about half written—and my deadline is April 1. So, I ask your prayers that the Holy Spirit may perch upon my shoulder and direct my thoughts and words! Today I would like to […]

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Praying beyond our Windows

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 3, 2020

The Talmud says, “Never pray in a room without windows.” I don’t think we have to take this injunction literally. But I do think we must follow the deeper implication of these words and always pray expansively, that is, with the larger world in mind. In her book, The Breadth of the Soul: Reflections on […]

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Behold the Platypus!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 27, 2020

NOTE: As you know, in recent months Australia has been plagued with massive fires. At least 28 people have died, thousands of homes have been destroyed, billions of animals have perished or lost their habitat, and millions of acres of trees and plants have been destroyed. Let us continue to pray for this beautiful country. […]

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