The other day I was reflecting on some of the differences between Hope and Worry. Here’s what I came up with.


Hope believes a better world is possible… Worry believes the world is getting worse.

Hope asks, How can I help?… Worry asks, What’s the use?

Hope trusts in God… Worry trusts in nothing.


Hope is afraid, but takes the next first step… Worry is afraid and just sits there.


(photo by Pixabay)


Hope knows God is always with us… Worry thinks God has abandoned us.


Hope says, I am only one, but I can do something…. Worry says, I am only one.


Hope evokes courage… Worry evokes timidity.


Hope energizes… Worry enervates.


Hope hangs on to Jesus’ promises… Worry asks, “What promises?”


Hope is joyful… Worry is cynical.


(Photo by Ruvim Miksanskiy)


Hope says, “Hang in there.”… Worry says, “Give up already.”


Hope seeks out other hopeful companions… Worry hangs out with other worriers.


Hope asks, What can I do? … Worry worries.


Hope makes decisions… Worry worries.


Hope works hard… Worry worries.


Hope prays… Worry worries.


(Photo by Pille Kirsi)




For reflection:

Do you agree or disagree with anything said about hope and worry in this reflection? If so, what and why?


Do any of the photographs speak to you today? If so, what are they saying to you?


Would you add anything to this reflection?


Do you find yourself anywhere in this reflection?


PS #1: If you have subscribed to my blog and you are NOT receiving it, please subscribe again on the right side of this page. You will receive an email that asks you to confirm that you want to subscribe. You must send that confirmation in to be a subscriber. Also, always check your junk/spam mail if you don’t see “Sunflower Seeds” in your inbox. And finally, the easiest way to access my blog if you are not a subscriber is to simply google melanniesvobodasnd.org OR google my name and “Sunflower Seeds.” Thank you!

PS #2: I ask your prayers for the virtual retreat on “Hope” that I will be leading May 24-28 at the Heartland Spiritual Center in Great Bend, KS. Many thanks!

PS #3: Happy Pentecost to all of you on Sunday! May the Holy Spirit come into our lives in whatever way we need the Spirit of God the most right now!



Hope prays. I chose this song because it exemplifies that great truth. It is an earnest plea for God’s help. The song is called “Earth to God” by John Rich. In using this song, I am not implying that God is somehow out there in outer space and far removed from what’s happening here on earth. On the contrary, I believe God is incarnate and active in our world—in creation, in humanity, and in our current world situation—including our global pandemic. But this song speaks to me because it humbly acknowledges our great need for God’s grace right now to lead us and give us strength…





I invite you to respond to this bog below. My readers and I enjoy hearing from you!


25 Comments

  1. Thomas DeFreitas on May 17, 2021 at 4:41 am

    Hope probably sleeps eight hours a night, under a roof, in a first-world country.

    • Dagmar Braun Celeste on May 23, 2021 at 9:09 am

      Dear sister
      The lady bug caught my attention. Ever since we left office I named my company “Ladybug Enterprises” in honor of Ohio’s state insect.
      The ladybug was chosen by state senator Mary jlean Valaquette and a group of elementary kids from Toledo ohio. When their bill failed at furst they persisted snd returned in the next legislative session. All dressed as ladybugs infested the state state house and only left after the bill was passed,
      That spirit of persistence and fortitude is what I trust in hooe. Glad to have discovered your blog this Pentacost Sunday. …….Dagmar

  2. John Hopkins on May 17, 2021 at 6:06 am

    Good morning, Sr. Melannie…
    Good morning, Tom! So nice to see your name again, read your words. Hope all is well.
    Good morning, all!

    Hope bespeaks the future, and when our hope is grounded in Christ, it becomes that “joyful hope” we have recited so many times. As we emerge from the pandemic, I wonder how many of our prayers this past year (and then some) have been dipped in hope?

  3. Carol on May 17, 2021 at 7:02 am

    I read this morning’s blog “hoping” I could pass it on to my daughter who worries unnecessarily, who is a pessimist, & whose heart has hardened due to 20+ years of challenges in life that would test anyone’s mettle. She is a true worrier. It has transformed this once care free woman with a zest for life into someone who goes through life lacking the ability to recognize & remember the gifts & blessings God has bestowed on her.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this would speak to her because she is so entrenched in selfish negativity. I pray everyday for God our father to embrace her tightly so she knows His presence, fo Jesus, her brother, to walk beside her today because He know first hand of life’s struggles, & for the Holy Spirit to bestow upon her the grace & strength needed to have a change of heart & attitude.

    Long ago, she had faith & hope; today she is agnostic. Please join me in praying for her, for today to be the day that her heart & mind open up just a teensy bit to let in Gods light.

    I loved the ladybug pic. It speaks to how, at times, hanging by a thread feels like you’re all alone in your troubles, BUT if you think of that thread tethering you to God, it becomes a lifeline to plow ahead & keep going.

    • Susan Guss on May 17, 2021 at 7:48 am

      I will pray for your daughter, Carol. One definition of worry could be paralysis; we can become frozen by fright. As we approach Pentecost nay the Holy Spirit rest upon her, giving her courage and strength.

      • Carol on May 17, 2021 at 9:33 pm

        Thank you so very much Susan!

      • Odelia on June 4, 2021 at 11:35 am

        This song was just what I needed. I loved the picture of the little animal on his belly but trying to get up on the sand from the water.It speaks to me of hope,

    • Melannie Svoboda SND on May 17, 2021 at 8:19 am

      Carol,
      I’m sure your response will elicit many prayers here for your daughter and for you… I liked your comment about the ladybug hanging by a thread… but that thread is tethered to God… A beautiful image to hold in our hearts… Thank you for responding! Sr. Melannie

      • Carol on May 17, 2021 at 9:36 pm

        So appreciate your personal touch Sr. Melanie. This blog serves as a wonderful way to connect with others over topics we might otherwise gloss over. You bring out the best in people!

    • Bobbi on May 17, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      My daughter is the same. She was the most vocal about God in high school and now 20 years later- I just hold that that little girl is still in there. The one that confessed Christ and now – won’t go to Mass with her kids. 😕😞 Please pray for her to listen to Christ and not the bad voices.

      • Carol on May 17, 2021 at 9:44 pm

        Hey Bobbi! I will pray earnestly for your girl and you. Sometimes I question where did I fail her along the way & I really sink low. But with wonderful people like you, Susan, & Sr. Melanie, I feel there are those who understand & encourage me & you to not lose hope. God knows our hearts & I believe He works through others on our behalf. This blog is a testament to that! Thank you & when prayers are answered please share!

    • Christine Bianco on May 18, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      Carol, your comments really touched me because I have a similar situation with my daughter. The words “entrenched in negativity” fit her perfectly, as do some of your other descriptions of your daughter. I would not say she is an agnostic, I think she believes in God, but that is it. I will pray for your daughter, as I do for mine everyday. There is a prayer to St. Anthony that I use, I just change the words a little to fit. It’s a lot to type, I’m going to do it because I don’t know how to send it otherwise. Hope there’s room! It’s called Prayer For Inner Peace.
      St. Anthony, faithful servant of Christ, you offered comfort and consolation to all who came to you in times of trouble. Pray for me (her,him) now that I (she,he) may know true peace of mind, heart and soul. Help me(her,him) grow in faith, so that I may be free from all useless and needless anxiety in life. Fill me(her,him) with a complete and lasting confidence in God’s healing graces. Grant me(her,him) the serenity known by those who let go of resentments, bitterness and anger. Reassure me(her,him) that Our Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, is with me(her,him) every step of the way, every day of my(her,his) life, and that in His gracious love I (she,he) need not worry or fear any of life’s difficulties. Amen
      St. Anthony, powerful in word and work, pray for us. (her,him).
      I hope you can use this. God bless you!🙏

      • Carol on May 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm

        I love the prayer Christine! Thank you for taking the time to share. I will use it for my daughter & other special requests.

        You & your daughter are added to my daily thoughts & prayers. I know God will hear our combined efforts & help us & them through these challenging times in their lives.

        Have a blessed day!

  4. Shirley on May 17, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Always look forward to Monday’s so I can hear what Sister Melannie has to say. I so enjoy your blog, this song is so what we need today in our troubled world. Thanks for all you do. Have a great week and prayers for your retreat in Great Bend.

  5. Nancy Burlage on May 17, 2021 at 9:55 am

    This is a statement that kind of misses the point. Anyone who has had the privilege of living among the very Poor, even in America, and who has known the neighbors will understand that. Every individual on Earth has the capability and possibility of having hope, because of God’s promises and because of the Presence of God in their lives, often understood through the lives of those around them.

    Hope is not dependent upon resources, or health, or where and how we happen to live. Hope belongs to all of us who have life and who have faith in God. There are so many examples of people who have experienced and experience this day the ills of poverty, war in their own countries, difficulties of all sorts. Some of our greatest Saints were these people and some of the people living in hope because of their faith in the Lord’s continued goodness to us are the Saints among us. Perhaps people who are assailed by great difficulties have a greater degree of hope in God. Or maybe we who are blessed with health, relative privilege, and means rely on these things for the “hope” we have. Maybe that’s not so much “hope” as it is contentment.

  6. Joe Johnson on May 17, 2021 at 10:21 am

    HOPE to me means H-A-N-G ON-PAIN-Ends !

  7. Pat on May 17, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Psalm.42…..hope thou in God…..that He will.make everyday a mary poppins day???…
    No way….do we feel like the pic of the little seal???…you bet…..”now faith is the substance of things HOPED for…the evidence of things not seen….”….

  8. Kathy Paper on May 17, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Talk about a Godwink today. I had a fall in March that broke my right hand and damaged my right shoulder. I am in the process of recovering and doing intense physical therapy. I came home today after therapy today feeling very worried and depressed about my recovery and the future. I sat down and opened this just now. My attitude changed and hope was renewed by the end. I believe God knew I needed this today and at this time of day.

  9. Sister Celeste Albers on May 17, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Melannie, your notes on hope today are wonderful. I can hardly wait for your retreat for us in Great Bend, KS. I love seeing your website every Monday morning. It gives me hope and light each time I hear your message. The sisters here have been also praying for you. And I have several of your books. I know this retreat will be awesome, because our loving God is with you and all of us! Peace, Sister Celeste Albers

  10. Tom G on May 17, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    The ladybug caught my attention. Its hope is so strong that it KNOWS that it will find sustinence for itself as it visits the plants provided by the Creator. No cause for worry.

  11. Jean H on May 18, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Thank you, Sister Melannie!
    You always make my week!!!

  12. Jean Canatsey on May 20, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I identified with: “Hope says, I am only one but I can do something.” I try to always live that way. I also was impressed by the hopeful eyes of the little seal.
    Thank you so much for your weekly blog!

  13. Beth on May 23, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Thomas—I have seen hope in the eyes of the homeless I work with in the inner city; hope resides in the worst of places because that is where it is most needed. Imagine, someone with all their worldly possessions in a plastic bag by their side, hoping to simply survive. Hope carries them when most will not even look them in the eye. I hear bitterness in your note; please don’t stop hoping. People, who don’t even know you, care about you.

  14. Bill Wynne on May 23, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Hope and worry on some level seem to be the difference between Peter and Judas. Judas worries about what he sees coming and in defense of self he makes a self preserving plan. Peter hopes and follow s through on his failures and betrayals, and eventually surrenders to God and finds Mercy. Judas is self sufficient to the end. It is Judas who judges Judas. When the world presents us with accusations are we Peter or are we Judas.

    https://youtu.be/YWsU5rXDFVc

  15. Beverly Palumbo on May 26, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Hi, when I register it says I am already registered for your blog but I am not receiving it. It is not in junk. Another digital mystery. No problem because I just need to remember to google you each week. God bless. Hope you are well?

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