Some sayings to live, and pray, by

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Prayer is the life of the new heart. It ought to animate us at every moment…But we cannot pray “at all times” if we do not pray at specific times. – Catechism of the Catholic Church [2697] “So, I just FOIL this, even though it has derivatives?” the student in my office […]

Gifts bring more joy if they’re shared

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. – 1Pt. 4:10 I was standing in the hallway talking to a student when I heard the unmistakable sound of something fragile hitting the floor. I ducked my head into the kitchen […]

Keep reminder of God close at hand

By Michelle Francl-Donnay My times are in Your hand – O save me from the hand of my enemies, my pursuers. – Ps. 31:16 I’ve lost my rosary. Well, one of them at any rate. I had it when I went for a walk last week, but later that day, when my fingers sought out […]

Set aside a place at home for God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord.– Ps. 84:2a My sister-in-law has a marvelous eye for space and color. Her tiny house nestled in the hills of California simultaneously manages to look both lived in and like something out of a magazine spread. I, alas, […]

We are never exiled from grace

By Michelle Francl-Donnay A little after 7 on a sultry August morning, my neighbor found me sitting on my driveway, leaning up against the brick wall, my backpack beside me. My clothes looked like they’d been slept in – which in fact, they had. I was hot and sweaty and desperately wanted a shower. “Are […]

The rewards of vigilance

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Keep a close watch on yourself, my son, in everything you do, and discipline yourself in all your conduct. – Tobit 4:14b We left before the sun reached the top of the ridge, hoping to make the four-mile loop before the heat became unbearable. Trooping up the mountainside after Victor’s brother, we […]

Professing our faith outside church walls

By Michelle Francl-Donnay We have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. – 1 Jn. 4:14 “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty ….” Even as […]

Mary’s gift to mothers: Modeling patience

By Michelle Francl-Donnay His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and men. – Lk. 2:51b-52 Increases in stature are de rigueur in my household these days. Chris has grown an inch and a half since Christmas and Mike, long taller […]

Night: God sings to us

By Michelle Francl-Donnay By day the Lord ordains His kindness and by night His song is with me – prayer to the God of my life. – Ps. 42:9 What if the night were a place and not a time? What if you wanted to see the stars you had to walk to the night […]

Take a breather for prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord. – Ps. 150:6 “Why do you pray?” My 16-year-old son posted this question on Facebook a few weeks ago. His English class was reading “Night,” Elie Wiesel’s powerful reflection on the Holocaust. Early on, Wiesel’s narrator poses this question and […]