Day or night, God’s voice heard in silence, prayer

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. — Mk. 1:35 “I wonder if I will have jet lag when I go home?” I mused to my spiritual director one morning. While I’ve never left Philadelphia’s time […]

Letters old and new reveal love that will not fade

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, to God’s holy people, faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 1:1-2 For the duration of the Long Retreat, 18 Jesuit novices, five others and I have […]

Through unceasing prayer we learn humility

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the Lord! — Ps. 113:3 A newly ordained priest friend picked up my breviary and admired it, not for its elegance, but for its “well prayed in” look. The ribbons are tattered, the edges are worn through. Prayer […]

Joys of marriage reveal God’s love, little by little

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the […]

Living with less proves more difficult

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. – Mt. 2: 11b “I never travel without my box,” sings King Kaspar in my favorite aria from Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” With “one lapis lazuli against quartern fever, one small jasper to help you find water, […]

One mystery to another: From Nativity to cross

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, “Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a […]

Giving ourselves away – the gift of poverty of spirit

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of humans.- Phil. 2:6-8 I came early to […]

While waiting, we’re bound more closely to God

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles,They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. — Is. 40:31 I was standing at the sink one afternoon when Chris was about 5. I can’t recall what […]

The extravagance of being unbusy

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you worry and fret about so many things […]

Jesus helps us find God among ‘the little ones’

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, She raises her voice in the public squares; She calls out at the street corners, She delivers her message at the city gates. — Prv. 1:20-21 “Glory be to God for dappled things” priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., exclaims at the start of “Pied […]