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Sunflower Seeds


Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Praying with Works of Art

In my book, The Grace of Beauty, I write “Beauty can affect us in many ways. It can stop us in its tracks, lighten our heart, calm our anxiety, ease our pain, move us to tears… Beauty even has the power to draw us to the ultimate source of all

A friend recently gave me a marvelous new book to read during my recovery from hip surgery. It’s called Alfie & Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe by the award-winning ecologist Carl Safina. The book tells the story of how Safina and his wife Patricia, on their Long Island

This past month I visited a special place I call Hip-Replacement-Surgery-Land—or Hippy-Land, for short. During my sojourn there, I learned (or re-learned) many things. Here are a few of them. The power of prayer. So many people said they were praying for me—family, friends, readers, even strangers—that I felt encompassed

I was watching a TV show about game wardens in New England. One day they got a call from an anxious family reporting a loved one missing. She was an “elderly” lady (about my age at the time, I noted!), an avid hiker, someone very familiar with the mountain trail

Toward the end of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, after her incredible adventures in the land of Oz, Dorothy wants nothing more than to return to Kansas. She tells Glinda, the good witch, that she wants to go home. Glinda says that Dorothy already has the power to go

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a much admired British leader, wrote a book entitled Not in My Name: Confronting Religious Violence (2015). Although I have not read the book (yet), I have come across it in other books I’ve read. Sacks maintains that at the heart of religious extremism is groupishness.

I served as novice director for my community from 1982-1988. One of my “jobs” was to get a retreat director for the novitiate retreat in August. Back then, the director had to be a priest. I dutifully booked a wonderful Franciscan a year in advance. But two days before the

Psychologists tell us when we encounter danger or trouble, we act out of one of two human impulses: fight or flight. This means we either engage in combat with the danger or we head for the hills. But in his book, Earth Works, Scott Russell Sanders says there is a

Beginning a new year is a good time to take stock of our sense of humor. As I have often said, a good sense of humor is a sign of a healthy spirituality! So, here are some humorous things (hopefully!) to make you smile, laugh, or groan! Let’s start with

For some of us, the beginning of a New Year is a time to make our annual resolutions. If you are looking for some ideas, might I suggest you take a look at the virtue of humility? I know, I know, some of you might be thinking, “How negative!” Or,

Meet Sr. Melannie

Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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Upcoming Events

Weekend retreat at Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, Pulaski, PA
October 11-13, 2024
Retreat with the Sisters of Loretto, Nerinx, KY
September 8-13, 2024
Retreat at Lial Renewal Center, Whitehouse, OH
August 11-18, 2024
Retreat at Heartland Center for Spirituality, Great Bend, KS
April 14-19, 2024
First Friday Club in Youngstown, Ohio
April 4, 2024