Retreat Jottings

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 20, 2020

Last week I told you I would share a few thoughts from the retreat I made January 4-11. Here are some jottings from my journal—in no particular order. A few days before I left for retreat, I “chanced upon” this quote from St. Isaac the Syrian who died in 7th Century Nineveh: “Enter eagerly into […]

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Five Talents for Daily Living

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 13, 2020

When we hear the word talents, we often think of the ability to do extraordinary things: play the piano or violin with great skill, hit a 405 ft. home run, write prize-winning poetry, win five Academy Awards, lead a major business or organization successfully, perform complex brain surgery. But there are other talents I admire […]

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Fun with the English Language

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 6, 2020

Today I thought we could have some fun with the English language. Let’s begin with a short quiz. Since the answers are tough, I’m giving you some hints. The correct answers will appear later in the reflection. English is the second most spoken language in the world. Which language is first? What is the most […]

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The Certainties and Upheavals of Life

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 30, 2019

As we embark on a new year, it is good to take a few minutes to reflect on the essential mystery of life. We begin our reflection with this classic definition of religion: mysterium tremendum et fascinans, a mystery both disturbing and fascinating. Could we not say that life itself is a mystery both disturbing […]

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Three Christmas Songs for You

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 23, 2019

As I promised last week, here are three Christmas songs for you. May they add to your Christmas celebration! The first song is “When Love Was Born” by Mark Schultz. I appreciated this song for its reverent gentleness. The second Christmas song is “Son of God” by Michael Smith. This beautiful song includes a choir […]

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“And the Word Became Flesh”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 16, 2019

This is a meditation on the Incarnation that I wrote last Christmas for Give Us this Day, published by Liturgical Press. It is my Christmas card to all of you, the dear readers of this blog. And the word became flesh. What does that mean? It means God in carnus, conceived in a woman, implanted […]

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Border Crossings

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 9, 2019

Borders are significant places. They come in all shapes and sizes. A border can be a doorway, a gate, a fence, a street, a river, a wall, or a line drawn in the sand. Scripture is filled with stories of individuals who crossed borders. At the prompting of God, Abraham left the security of his […]

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Celebrating Advent with St. Joseph

by Melannie Svoboda SND on December 2, 2019

Advent is a good time to reflect on St. Joseph. Although many things can be said about him, I have chosen to focus on three. First, Joseph takes a back seat in the gospels. John’s gospel doesn’t mention him at all. Mark refers to him only obliquely, calling Jesus “the carpenter’s son.” Luke’s focus is […]

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Quotations on Gratitude and Thanksgiving

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 25, 2019

This week, as we in the United States celebrate our national holiday called Thanksgiving, I went into my quotation file and pulled out some quotes to mark this beautiful day. I suggest you read them slowly and prayerfully. 1. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the mother of all others. (Cicero) […]

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“The Flowing Grace of Now” by Macrina Wiederkehr

by Melannie Svoboda SND on November 18, 2019

Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, has written a new book. Those familiar with her writing will be excited by this news, for it has been almost ten years since she blessed us with a book. Although I have never met Macrina in person, she and I have exchanged some emails and notes over the years. I […]

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