A Reflection on Sin and Evil

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 11, 2019

Lent is a good time to reflect on sin and evil. Some of what I write here is based on an article by Alice Camille one of my favorite writers. The article, entitled “Unoriginal Sin” appeared in the March 2019 issue of U.S. Catholic. Evil is rampant in our world. Because we are basically people […]

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Lenten Reflection: Who Is God?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 4, 2019

In my prayer, I sometimes come upon what others have said about God. Often their words enrich and expand my own experience of the Divine. In my collection of quotations, I have scores of quotes filed under the single word “God.” Here are twenty of those quotes for your own prayerful pondering today. I thought […]

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Good News!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 25, 2019

How did you feel when you saw the title of today’s blog? Were you surprised? Were you curious? Were you eager to read on? The fact is, we are bombarded daily with news. Often it is bad news. So, today I thought we could take a break from bad news and focus on ten pieces […]

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How Good Are You at Writing Haiku?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 18, 2019

As many of you may know, a haiku is a traditional three-line Japanese poem of 17 syllables. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven, and the third has five again. Haiku are characterized by simplicity and often focus on nature or daily life. Each poem tries to capture a brief moment in […]

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Jack Kahl: Community Volunteer and Creator of Duck Tape

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 11, 2019

An obituary in The Cleveland Plain Dealer caught my eye. The headline said: “Jack Kahl, 78, volunteer, created Duck Tape.” I had no idea who Kahl was, but I was certainly familiar with Duck Tape, so I read on. As I did, I found myself saying, “What an extraordinary human being!” So, I thought I’d […]

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Did Jesus Dance?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 4, 2019

Did Jesus dance? We don’t know for sure, but chances are he did. In Jesus’ time, dancing was customary at weddings—although men danced in a group with other men, and women danced in a group with other women. So besides working his first miracle at the wedding feast in Cana, Jesus probably also danced there. […]

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Celebrating Books

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 28, 2019

I just read The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee. The book, subtitled a memoir and a history, is a celebration of bookstores—from ancient times to the present. Today’s reflection is a mini-celebration of books, inspired by Buzbee’s book. What makes books so wonderful? First, they are durable. When you borrow a book from the library, imagine […]

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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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