A Book on Beauty

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 10, 2020

As some of you know, I am working on a new book. Basically it’s on beauty and the spiritual life. It’s only about half written—and my deadline is April 1. So, I ask your prayers that the Holy Spirit may perch upon my shoulder and direct my thoughts and words! Today I would like to […]

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Praying beyond our Windows

by Melannie Svoboda SND on February 3, 2020

The Talmud says, “Never pray in a room without windows.” I don’t think we have to take this injunction literally. But I do think we must follow the deeper implication of these words and always pray expansively, that is, with the larger world in mind. In her book, The Breadth of the Soul: Reflections on […]

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Behold the Platypus!

by Melannie Svoboda SND on January 27, 2020

NOTE: As you know, in recent months Australia has been plagued with massive fires. At least 28 people have died, thousands of homes have been destroyed, billions of animals have perished or lost their habitat, and millions of acres of trees and plants have been destroyed. Let us continue to pray for this beautiful country. […]

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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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