Lent invites new ways to see grace every day

To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one […]

We are truly and properly a people of the cross

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Mt. 16:24 “Why were you carrying that?” Chris wonders aloud as he watches me transfer my rosary from my bag to the pocket of my jeans. “There’s […]

Looking into the dangerous mirror of grace

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Miserere mei, Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum dele iniquitatem meam. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea et a peccato meo munda me.Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guiltAnd cleanse me from […]

Growth is not necessarily measured in inches

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. – Is. 64:8 “I know why you went on the Long Retreat, Mom,” offers Mike. “It wasn’t to pray, it was to form us as men.” For five weeks, while I was away, my […]

On the journey of Lent, the leaven of trust

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay And with the dough which they had brought from Egypt they baked unleavened cakes, because the dough had not risen, since they had been driven out from Egypt without time to linger or to prepare food for themselves. – Ex. 12:39 Mike swings into the kitchen, and in a glance takes in […]

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, […]