A banked fire: Start the day with prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23 My mother despaired of me. While my brothers scarfed down bowls of Frosted Flakes doused in milk and toast slathered in strawberry jam, her oldest child […]

Finding courage to reverence a stranger

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” – Mt. 25:35-36 Market East Station at 10 p.m. is eerily empty. […]

Believing in the Holy Spirit

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. – Romans 8:26 I believe in the Holy Spirit. This is not an assertion I make by rote on […]

Brace yourself, prepare to pray

By Michelle Francl-Donnay My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. I will sing, I will praise your name. – Ps. 57:8 It was a scene right out of a movie about a jewel heist. A black-clad figure creeping into a darkened museum gallery. One wrong move and suddenly the place is ablaze […]

Laughing at marvels of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The Lord said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.” – Gen. […]

Don’t wait to visit a dying person

By Father Peter J. DalyParish Diary When someone is dying, drop what you are doing and go see that person. I learned that lesson a decade ago when a priest friend was dying in Kansas City. The nun at the nursing home where Monsignor was living called and said he wanted to see me. I […]

Meeting Christ in sorrow and joy

By Michelle Francl-Donnay He himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, “Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts?” – Lk. 24: 36b-38 “The weather bureau reported […]

The strength to cling, and to let go

By Michelle Francl-Donnay And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. – Mt. 28:20b As I write this, Lent has not quite spent itself. Still, wisps of resurrection are beginning to show themselves amidst the solemn violet trappings of Holy Week. At choir last night, we practiced Pange Lingua, […]

United in common prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace. – Antiphon for the Gospel Canticle, Night Prayer I saw the film “Of Gods and Men” last weekend. The movie is extraordinary: simple, beautiful and […]

Confronting the cross

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Jews demand “signs” and Greeks look for “wisdom,” but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and an absurdity to Gentiles. – 1 Cor. 1:22 For more than 20 years I’ve sat on the same side of the chapel for Morning Prayer, facing the statue of St. Joseph holding the […]