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 […]

Watch for movements of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. – Mk. 4:22 Mike deftly douses the candles on the dinner table and takes his plate off to the kitchen. I am left to sit in the silent dining room, savoring a few […]

Resting in God alone

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Ps. 4:9 Last Thursday morning, the high school principal found Chris and his friend, asleep, on the floor outside their first block classroom. “Is everything OK?” he wondered. Roused from his […]

Penance: ‘An act of hope’

By Michelle Francl-Donnay A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. – Ps. 51:12 “…May God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Amen. The words of forgiveness poured […]

A confession: I go to confession

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. – Joel 2:12-13a I confess. […]

A still and prayerful place – always at hand

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. I opened the note on my desk and turquoise beads spilled out into my hand. The rosary that I had given to a friend to comfort her sister, is once again made a gift, this time to me. I ran the beads […]

Does your yes really mean no?

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Let your “yes” mean “yes,” and your “no” mean “no.” Anything more is from the evil one. – Mt. 5:37a The meeting was called for Sunday – to begin at 8:45 at night. I’d agreed to serve on this group in the fall, knowing that it would entail some meetings out of […]

Finding God in the desert

By Michelle Francl-Donnay So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. – Hosea 2:16 I grew up on the Illinois prairie. Fields and dairy farms spread out as far as I could see, unbroken by the sorts of tall trees I dreamed of climbing. To my […]

Distractions are part of daily prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Search me, God, and know my heart, probe me and know my mind. And see if a vexing way be in me, and lead me on the eternal way. – Ps. 139:23-24 One evening long ago, in the days before I had even one teen in the house, I was sitting on […]