Sacred Ambiguity

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 6, 2019

In my book, Traits of a Healthy Spirituality, I said that one of the signs of a healthy spirituality is the ability to live graciously with a certain amount of ambiguity in our lives. By ambiguity I mean uncertainty, lack of clarity, indefiniteness, doubt.  At times we may even experience ambiguity with regard to our faith. Poet […]

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“If You’re Happy, Let Your Face Know”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 29, 2019

John Powell, SJ, once said, “If you’re happy, let your face know.” It is a reminder to look in the mirror occasionally and see if we look like someone who believes the Good News of the Gospel, someone who believes in God’s unconditional love for us, someone who truly believes the Easter mysteries we have […]

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Celebrating Earth Day 2019

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019 is Earth Day. The day was established in 1970 in the United States. Its purpose is to demonstrate and promote environmental awareness. On that first Earth Day, over 20 million people joined in observing the day. That first commemoration of Earth Day is credited with influencing the U.S. Government to create stronger […]

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Three Short Reflections for Holy Week and Easter

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 15, 2019

Here are three short reflections for Holy Week and Easter. They are adapted from my book, By the Way: “The Times We Live In” Some of the Saints lived during terrible times. Take Catherine of Siena, who lived in 14th Century Italy. During her times, the Black Death raged throughout Europe killing 26 million people (an […]

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Quirky (but True) Stories from History

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 8, 2019

Here are six quirky (but true) stories you may not have heard in history class. I found these in Rick Beyer’s book, The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy. It was the time of the Civil War in the U.S. A young man was standing on a crowded […]

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The Common Good (And My Nephew, the Mayor)

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 1, 2019

Two weeks ago my nephew, John Hartman, was elected mayor of Churchville, NY, near Rochester. After serving as a trustee and then as deputy mayor for 8 years, John ran unopposed. Churchville is a small town. Population about 2,000. You might be asking: So what’s the big deal? Well, even small towns have some of […]

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Excuses for All Occasions

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 25, 2019

Jesus told a parable about a certain man who prepared a huge banquet and invited a great many people to come and enjoy it. But right away, the excuses began to come in. Two of those excuses were immortalized in the old song, “I Cannot Come.” (Medical Missionary Sisters, 1965). Those two excuses were, “I […]

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“Useless Beauty”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 18, 2019

We Sisters of Notre Dame are divided into smaller groups that meet once a month to share faith together. Using scripture, other readings, music, and prayer, we try to share our faith more deeply with one other, often focusing on a certain theme. Last month’s theme was beauty. I shared excerpts from an article I […]

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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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