Looking Twice

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 12, 2017

Let’s begin today by looking at a painting. It’s called “The General’s Family” and it’s by the Mexican painter Octavio Ocampo. At first glance, it might seem like an ordinary painting, the profile of a man with a white beard. But look again. In fact, keeping looking. Can you find the NINE faces hidden in […]

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Bees

by Melannie Svoboda SND on June 5, 2017

I’m worried about the bees. I’ve read many articles saying that bees are dying off—in drastic numbers. Why? Researchers cite several factors: pesticides, parasites, viruses, loss of habitat, poor nutrition, genetics, and even cell towers. We should be concerned about the decline of bees, because their decline poses a serious threat to human survival. That’s […]

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Do You Read the Obituaries?

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 29, 2017

A good friend of mine reads the obituaries every day. She tells me she’s been doing it most of her adult life. She adds, “My mother used to read the obituaries every day. And two of my brothers now read them every day too.” I ask her, “Do you think there’s a genetic link?” My […]

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Erma Bombeck: American Humorist

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 22, 2017

One of my heroes is Erma Bombeck, the American humorist who entertained millions of us every week with her syndicated column, “At Wit’s End.” How this ordinary stay-at-home mom became a national comedian is a fascinating story. Erma (nee Fiste) Bombeck was born near Dayton, Ohio in 1927. Her father, a crane operator, died when […]

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“Come, We Have Room”

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 15, 2017

The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart are a group of eight Sisters living in Buenos Aires, Argentine. Like many of us, they watched in horror as the war broke out in Syria in 2011. Like many of us, they cried as they saw the images of thousands and thousands of refugees pouring out of Syria. […]

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The Question of a Lifetime

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 8, 2017

Many TV commercials end with a good question. One credit card company asks, “What’s in your wallet?” Another advertiser asks, “Are you paying too much for cable?” And many of us still remember with fondness the little old lady, staring at a competitor’s hamburger, and asking, “Where’s the beef?”

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Porches

by Melannie Svoboda SND on May 1, 2017

I’ve been thinking about porches lately. I did a little reading and reflecting and here’s what I came up with. First a definition. A porch is a covered shelter projecting from a building. Often it is not enclosed except for a railing—although some porches have latticework, screens, or even windows. Front porches in the United […]

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Scars and the Healing Process

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 24, 2017

Two weeks ago I cut my finger on some broken glass. The cut was pretty deep, so I went to Urgent Care where I had to have three stitches put in. I have been watching the cut closely, marveling at the healing process that is occurring right before my eyes. As I watch I wonder: […]

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Celebrating National Poetry Month

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 17, 2017

April is national poetry month. In honor of poetry, I’d like to share four short poems with you. I’ll say a word or two about a few of them. I suggest you read the poems slowly and even aloud. The first poem is by St. John of the Cross, translated by Daniel Ladinsky: What Is […]

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The Turtle Story: A Reflection for Holy Week and Easter

by Melannie Svoboda SND on April 9, 2017

I love the writings of Barbara Brown Taylor, a 65-year-old American Episcopal priest, professor, writer, and theologian. Her books include The Preaching Life, Altar in the World, and Learning to Walk in the Dark. In 2014, Time magazine named her on its annual list of the 100 most influential persons in the world. Currently she […]

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