Our times are not very conducive to hopeful attitudes. Around the world, divisions are growing among people. Abuses, tragedies, and disasters are mounting every day. The people lack trust in their leaders, and the leaders seem to be indifferent to the needs of the people. We desperately need a revival of hope.

Melannie Svoboda is the author of Everyday Epiphanies, which offers keen and exuberant celebrations of everyday spirituality. She currently writes, directs retreats, and gives talks on contemporary spirituality. Here is a paperback that will give many the hope they need to carry them through the cosmic overwhelm so prevalent these days.

Svoboda has a great gift for finding quotes which inspire. Here is a sampler:

  • "The ability to live joyfully in an imperfect world is a sign of Christian maturity."
    — Richard Rohr
  • "In our times, isn't hope the most important virtue? And the most necessary? And the rarest?"
    — Michael Downey
  • "To love God is to experience a baffling solidarity with other people."
    — John Shea
  • "Laughter is the jam on the toast of life. It adds flavor, keeps it from being too dry, and makes it easier to swallow."
    — Diane Johnson

With a stylistic ease that seems to come to her naturally, Svoboda probes the challenges to hope, the insights of Fred Rogers and Erma Bombeck as two mentors of this virtue, and the ways in which it can make a difference in our lives.

In a chapter on prayer, she quotes a person who told her that this devotional practice is like calling home every day or in the words of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, praying is "our daily appointment with Mystery."

Each chapter ends with two more gifts for us: Reflective Questions and Suggested Music Videos. There are three of the latter, and we love them!