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 […]

Praying with patience, persistence

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “Teach us to count our days rightly, that we may obtain a wise heart.” – Ps. 90:12 I was flipping through one of the dozen catalogs that arrived this week when I saw it – a gorgeous grey wool sweater with an intricately patterned yoke. It would only take a few clicks […]

A kitchen’s lesson on humility

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Then he said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” – Jn. 21:17a I had planned on a walk. Instead, as […]

Contemplation not just for monks

Michelle Francl-Donnay The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye. More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.– Ps. 19:9, 11 From my earliest days, silence and darkness went together. Growing up […]

Good works, sincere love and tough questions

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Of course there will never cease to be poor in the land; I command you therefore: Always be openhanded with your brother, and with anyone in your country who is in need and poor. – Dt. 15:11 Why is that the really hard questions come when I am in the midst of […]

The strength to cling, and to let go

By Michelle Francl-Donnay So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. – Philippians 4:1a It was one of the oddest conversations I’ve had as a mother, and as any parent knows, strange conversations are standard parenting fare. Held on a rock ledge jutting out over Crater […]

Make a note: Find prayer, patience, peace

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Pray without ceasing. – 1 Th. 5:17 The reminder taped to the kitchen door read “cake.” My lunch? Hung on the doorknob. The phone rings. Can Victor bring Chris his trombone at the bus stop? He forgot. Mike plops onto a chair in my study, “Did you remember to put money in […]

Marked with the sign of faith

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay God our Father, source of all holiness, the work of Your hands is manifest in your saints, the beauty of your truth is reflected in their faith. May we who aspire to have a part in their joy be filled with the Spirit that blessed their lives, so that having shared their […]

The deeper meaning of Sundays

Guest ColumnistMichelle Francl-Donnay Take care to keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the token between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the Lord, who make you holy. Therefore, you must keep the sabbath as something sacred. – Exodus 31:13b-14 Reality set in with the blisters on my […]