Basking in post-Christmas silence

Michelle Francl-Donnay By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.- Is. 30:15 I only had to go a quarter mile down Lancaster Avenue, but at 10 o’clock on Christmas Eve morning even that short stretch was already a daunting tangle of cars, punctuated by pedestrians darting […]

Listen closely to the sound of joy

By Michelle Francl-Donnay 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 savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find […]

In the shelter of God’s hands

By Michelle Francl-Donnay With His pinion He shelters you, and beneath His wings you take refuge, a shield and a buckler, His truth. You shall not fear from the terror of night. – Psalm 91:4-5a We waited until it was almost dark to leave, for the first tendrils of the cool night air to flow […]

O antiphons are invitation and challenge

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:5 I admit it, from Black Friday to Dec. 22 I’m a Christmas curmudgeon. There is no “Holly-Jolly Christmas” jingling away on my car […]

Liturgy of the Hours keeps saints alive

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Ignatius, Augustine, Monica, Felicity, Perpetua and all the saints. – From the Roman Canon “Whoa, what is this?” wonders one of the teen-aged invaders in my study. Invited into my sanctum […]

Awaking to the presence of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay It is you whom I invoke, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting. – Ps. 5:3 It was a scene right out of some 1950s movie: four women from two countries in their pajamas sitting cross-legged on the floor of […]

How do I pray aright?

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Now once he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” – Lk. 11:1 My youngest son Chris has a T-shirt that reads: “Warning: The person wearing this shirt is a roller coaster […]

Remembering the gifts Christ gave us

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put in more than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on. – Mk. 12:43b-44 I […]

Making haste to help, be helped

By Michelle Francl-Donnay O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. – Ps. 70:2 “The tuna is on sale, so I thought I’d get two.” I was in line at the grocery store in Boston, waiting while the elderly woman in front of me dug for change in the bottom […]

Contemplating the last things

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In Your hand I commend my spirit; You redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth. – Ps. 31:6 “May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death. Amen.” Some might think it peculiar, that with these closing words of Night Prayer, the last thing I ask of God […]