Tending at Easter what was planted in Lent

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: Jesus Christ is Lord! – Philippians 2:11 “707, 427, 440,” Father Tony rumbles, thumbing through the breviary and calling out the page numbers for Morning Prayer. “It’s still Sunday.” It is the fourth day of the octave, the eight days the Church […]

Easter’s flame lights our hearts

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Accept this Easter candle, a flame spanided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God. Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning… – […]

A call to humility in service – and more

By Michelle Francl-Donnay He got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. – Jn. 13:4-5 A few years ago I came home […]

Following Jesus, daring to fail

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Then Thomas – known as the twin – said to the other disciples, “Let us go too, and die with him.” – Jn. 11:16 I was waiting for a meeting to start when the quote on one of those inspirational paperweights in a colleague’s office caught my eye: “What would you attempt […]

St. Joseph: A model of courage

By Michelle Francl-Donnay When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to spanorce her quietly. – Mt. 1:18-19 “Do not speculate beyond the text. […]

Fasting makes the spiritual, material

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God. – Joel 2:12-13a Squished into a window seat in the back row of a packed plane was penance enough for a Lenten Friday, I thought. Then […]

Keep Scripture alive in the heart

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I will bless the Lord at all times; praise shall be always in my mouth. – Ps. 19:2 “But if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive.” Upstairs grading papers, I can hear bits and pieces of King Henry’s rousing words rumbling below me. Mike […]

Read, consider and pray

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. – Jn. 1:1 “Has anyone seen ‘Three Cups of Tea?'” Mike asks as his eyes roam the shelves. His spring semester starts in a few days, and with it the English course that assigned this book […]

Lent: A call to silence and stillness

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Be still and know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth. – Ps. 46:10 “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong outfit,” says my Swedish neighbor as our paths cross walking in weather that has driven more sensitive, or perhaps more sensible, souls […]

Soup and psalms measure life’s tempo

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In vain you get up earlier, and put off going to bed, sweating to make a living, since He provides for His beloved as they sleep. – Ps. 127:2 Acedia, what the desert fathers called the noontime demon, baked the life of out of a monk’s prayers, leaving the day to stretch […]