Silence, like God, is all around us

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him is a mighty tempest. – Ps. 50:3 On my travels last fall I spoke to a group of university students about contemplative practices. As we were talking about ways to set aside space and time […]

In God’s hands chaos is creation

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. – Gn. 1:1-2 I sometimes wish I lived in a universe that flowed smoothly, without […]

The strength to cling, and to let go

By Michelle Francl-Donnay It is Christ among you, your hope of glory. – Col. 1:27b Joey has developmental challenges, I teach quantum physics. But we share a passion for medieval polyphonic music. In return for the gift of a CD by one of my favorite groups, I received an exquisite thank you card bearing Joey’s […]

Hand in hand with Mary

Father Ronald Check One of the most beautiful additions to the Church or the home at this time of year is the manger scene. At my first assignment as a priest one thing that always inspired me was the devotion with which people would approach the manger. I remember being so moved to see people […]

Understanding Biblical timelines

Father John DietzenCatholic News Service Q. During Advent, our parish Bible study group is discussing the Annunciation, Nativity and other seasonal topics. The conversation turned to how much we really know about when things happened in the Bible. […] How do these huge time periods relate, for example, to the stories about Adam and Eve? […]

Grace, courage sufficient for life’s trials

By Father Ronald Check God loves us infinitely. He knows our strengths and our gifts. He knows our weaknesses and our failures. He knows what makes us happy and what brings us sadness. He knows what lifts up our spirits and He knows what humbles us. He knows everything that there is to know and […]

Understanding the sacred liturgy

Revised translation of the Missal After Vatican II, when the word liturgy sprang into more common usage, its definition (from the Greek leitourgia) – the work of the people or work on behalf of the people – soon resulted in an emphasis solely on the first, rather than the more important second understanding. Some explain […]

Remaining patient ‘here and now’

By Michelle Francl-Donnay One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. – Ps. 27:4a “There are four kinds of monks,” begins the Rule of St. Benedict: those that stay put and have a rule of life, those who go […]

Bells call us to prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The Lord’s voice shaking the wilderness, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh; the Lord’s voice rending the oak tree and stripping the forest bare. – Ps. 29:8-9 . From the street it looked just like any other city parking lot, with its glass enclosed attendant and ticket machine. A small sign […]

Traveling mercies

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for it is by doing so that some have entertained angels without knowing it. – Hebrews 13:2 I am an itinerant scholar these days, teaching and writing far from my usual haunts. The last few weeks have seen me traveling up and down the […]