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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

The Wit and Wisdom of Humanity

In my collection of quotations, I have a whole section on proverbs. In addition, I have many quotes under “humor.” Today I’d like to share some of these brief maxims that show our humanity’s collective wisdom and wit. Many of these quotes are anonymous.

1. The world is full of kind people. If you cannot find one, be one.

2. The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. Thomas Halcroft

3. Patience and the mulberry leaf become a silk robe. Chinese Proverb

4. Success in marriage is more than finding the right person. It’s becoming the right person.

(Photo by Trung Nguyen – Pexels)

5. Manners are minor morals.

6. Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects. Will Rogers

7. A lie travels around the world while the truth is putting on her shoes. French Proverb

8. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names and are different colors, but they all have to live together in the same box.

(Photo by Anthony – Pexels)

9. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

10. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

11. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. (Some of my nun friends and I have considered placing a holy book on our nightstand–with a bookmark in the middle of it. If we die during the night, we’ve appointed a friend to secretly come in and remove the murder mystery we were really reading!)

12. Never buy a car you can’t push.

13. Since the early bird gets the worm, sleep late.

14. Save the earth…. It’s the only planet with chocolate!

(Photo by Vie Studio – Pexels)

15. If you wish to know what a man is, place him in authority. Czech Proverb

16. A well-adjusted person is one who can play cards or golf as if they were games.

17. Bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stocking feet. Welsh Proverb

18. A good conversation is better than a good bed. Ethiopian Proverb

19. Many a shabby colt makes a fine horse. Irish Proverb

20. The best preacher is the heart; the best teacher is time; the best book is the world; the best friend is God. Hebrew Proverb

(Photo by Jaymantri – Pexels)

For reflection:

Did any of these proverbs or quotes speak to you today? If so, which one(s) and why?

Would you change or modify any of these proverbs to reflect more accurately what you believe?

Would you like to add a proverb or bit of wisdom to this list?

PS #1: Just a reminder that I am on retreat this week in Florida… and I’m holding all of you in special prayer…

PS #2: I want to send out a big THANK YOU to all the people I met last week in Florida. Thank you especially to Sr. Christina, Maureen, and Karen at the Franciscan Center in Tampa for inviting me to give a mini-Advent retreat there—and for helping to make things run so smoothly. The Center is a lovely and prayerful place located right on the Hillsborough River. And thank you to the folks at Espiritu Santo Parish for inviting me back to one of my favorite parishes! Special thanks to Katie for putting together such a beautiful Advent Service, to Fr. Len for his leadership and warm welcome, and to Sisters Donna and Renetta for their hospitality and friendship! And last but not least, thank you to all who attended these Advent presentations either in person or online!

PS #3: And finally, if you’re reading this on Monday Dec. 6, Happy Feast of St. Nick! Perhaps (if you’ve been good…) he left a little treat for you in your shoes during the night!

And now here’s an Advent song entitled “Come Now, O Prince of Peace” written in 1988 by a Korean composer named Geonyong Lee. It is performed here by the choir of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. For me, this song captures one of the main themes of Advent: our intense longing for peace. Phrases that really touched my heart were these: “Make us one body… reconcile all nations… Come, God of love… Come set us free…” The solo violin, the repetitive sounds of the piano, and the stark images all contribute to the haunting and mystical tone of this short Advent hymn… Let me know what you think of it.

Please consider responding to today’s blog below. You’ll make me and my readers happy!

19 Responses

  1. Dear Readers, As I write this, it is almost 7:00 am (Eastern) and my blog has not gone out to you, my subscribing readers yet. If you’re reading this, you probably had to access my blog by googling “Melannie Svoboda Sunflower Seeds” or going directly to my blog at: I apologize for this inconvenience. I post my blog to go out at 1:00 am Monday mornings. I’m working on the problem. Thank you for your patience! Sister Melannie

    1. Dear Readers,
      I heard back from our IT support. They said the service we are using no longer is supporting my mailing list. They are working on transitioning to a new list and will let me know when that transition is completed. Thanks again! Sister Melannie

    2. thanks for holding us in your prayers Sister. I love your blogs that bring to light these great proverbs and quotes. Keep ’em comin!

  2. Good morning. I enjoyed the quotes especially the one on patience. But my reflection this morning is on something you mentioned at the Advent retreat last Tuesday regarding finding peace in our lives. You said one purpose of Jesus’s life was to tell us who His Father is. I have thought about that all week! Peace comes from knowing who God is. Jesus tells us wonderful stories about His Father. These stories, if I pay attention, can lead to a deeper peace in my life. Simple and profound.

  3. “Come Now, O Prince of Peace” is beautiful. Not only the music and words, but watching the bleakness of the scene become one of glory as the sun rises! Thank you, Sister Melannie, for your way of giving me such joy on Mondays and appreciating life.

  4. I was reading my emails and meditations this morning. I kept thinking I am forgetting something. It was your Monday email. So I searched for your website. Now that I have read your Monday meditation I can get to my chores. No treat in my shoe, but I got to read your meditation, which is much better.
    Praying that your retreat is full of unexpected gifts.
    Peace be with us all.

  5. I’m going to “archive” this blog in my email. There’s so many
    quotes I like! Thanks much! The hymn is truly Advent-y. And
    there are phrases you don’t often hear in other Advent hymns
    I hope Sr. Karita hears it

  6. Good morning Sr. Melannie and all,

    It came to my inbox this morning…Pearl Harbor day, which is so fitting to pray for peace. All of the quotes had something appealing about them, but the two I especially liked were about buying a car and the crayons.

    I’m still deliberating over the video….I listened to it the first time with my eyes closed, as a lectio, letting it wash over me. The violin took me almost out of myself, filling me up completely. When I watched the video, the scenes haunted me, leaving me feeling a bit forlorn and then I noticed the shadows deepening on the snow and the sun growing brighter which did help stave off that feeling of lonliness. That all is to say that I don’t know if it is a “Yay” or “Nay”.

    Nonetheless, I always look forward to what you will offer to help me see in a new way and I’m never disappointed.

    Outward peace comes only when there is inner peace and so I pray for inner peace for each of us,

  7. Hi Sister Melannie, I received Sunflower Seeds on Tuesday. Better late than never, lol!
    I was thinking/wishing there were more Advent songs and was surprised to find this beautiful song in your blog. Thank you and God bless your retreat.

    1. I have never thought much of the fruit of the mulberry bush, but did not have the wisdom of the silkworm to know that the leaf is the real treasure.

    1. I had to love the one about saving the Earth. It is the only place where there is chocolate.
      That’s got to be a winner.

  8. Loved the wise remarks. Then I saw and heard the hymn. A good closer to end the day with in hopes of waking up renewed and ready to celebrate Immaculate Conception.
    Sister Mary Agnes

  9. Thank you for the quotations. One of my favorite bits of wisdom has always been:
    “Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first and then teaches the lesson.”
    Wishing you a blessed Advent season,

  10. I love the one about the Crayons … how boring our world would be with just one color!
    My favorite saying is one I heard my father say over and over (and one that I STILL getting tripped up on): YOU CAN’T PUSH A ROPE

  11. Well, since you asked, I loved the Advent song. I’ve always thought there is something so sweet yet haunting in violin music. And it fits perfectly in Advent music, which always seems to me to capture that sense of longing for the Promised One. Hard to choose a favorite from the proverbs as I enjoyed so many of them. So let me add one: “Experience is the comb life gives you after you lose your hair.” A blessed Advent to all!

  12. I have always loved the one about crayons. So true. We should be that wise. New to me was the Hebrew proverb: The best preacher is the heart; the best teacher is time; the best book is the world; and the best friend is God. My last selection is: A lie travels around the world while the truth is putting on her shoes. I had heard it before but now I can see it in the context of our current sad political situation. Thanks for these wonderful quotes. As a calligrapher, I like to collect them too.

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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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