Mustard Seeds, Baking Yeast, Ravens and Lilies

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 21, 2019

One of Jesus’ main methods of teaching was the use of parables. In his parables, Jesus uses the common elements of creation—seeds, birds, trees, flowers, water, soil. He also uses the ordinary activities of everyday life that his listeners would be familiar with: planting, making wine, baking bread, cleaning house, caring for animals, celebrating weddings. […]

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“The Place Where Lost Things Go”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 14, 2019

Last week I saw the new movie, Mary Poppins Returns. I loved it! Although nothing can replace the original Mary Poppins, I still loved this sequel with its beautiful music, lively dancing, and its array of memorable characters. I loved the creative scenes—swimming underwater, flying in the sky with a balloon, dancing in a topsy-turvy world […]

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A Few Fascinating Facts about the English Language

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 7, 2019

Several months ago on this blog, I mentioned that I once taught a course in the history of the English language. One of my readers, Maggie, suggested I write something about the English language. I am following her suggestion. First, what is language? Language is a system of sounds (speech), gestures (sign language), or graphic […]

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How Much Can You Say in Six Words?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 31, 2018

Legend has it that the writer Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a short story in six words. (Some say the legend is probably not true.) Nevertheless, the six-word story attributed to him is this poignant one: For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn. Over the years, other writers rose to the challenge and produced these […]

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Christmas Reflection: God Works through All Kinds of People

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 24, 2018

The story of the first Christmas sets before us an array of unique individuals. First, there is Mary, a teenage mother. Then there is Joseph, her conscientious husband, a simple carpenter. Next, we have a powerful Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, who orders all the people in his vast empire to be counted. Why? Probably because […]

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“Love Poems from God”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 17, 2018

A good friend recently gave me the book Love Poems from God by the translator Daniel Ladinsky. I really, really love it! I think the poems in the book are fitting for this time of the year as we celebrate God’s love for us in the person of Jesus. So consider this reflection as my […]

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Learning to Embrace Plan B

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 10, 2018

When I plan to go out with a friend, we usually mark two dates on our calendars. That way, if something unexpected comes up, we have a back-up date already on our calendars. I learned long ago, that when making plans, it’s always good to have a Plan B, just in case something makes Plan […]

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Advent Reflection: Love as Free Self-giving

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 3, 2018

We use the word love frequently in our lives. We say we love our spouse, our children, and even God. But we also say we love our pets, pizza, Lady Gaga, and our favorite sports team. Obviously, the word love doesn’t always mean the same thing. As we begin the Advent season, let us reflect […]

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What Constitutes Our True Wealth?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 26, 2018

The familiar ad asks, “What’s in your wallet?” A better question to ask is this: “What constitutes your true wealth—on a personal and a communal level?” Scott Russell Sanders, distinguished professor emeritus of English at Indiana University, has written an article that explores that question. The article, “An Economy of False Profits,” appeared in the […]

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Thanking God for the Miracle of Our Existence

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 19, 2018

Soon we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S. Let’s give thanks today for something we seldom reflect on: the miracle of our own existence. I’ll begin by reviewing how you (and I) came to be. (I’m indebted to Fr. William O’Malley’s book The Wow Factor.) The being you are was composed of two components who […]

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