Spirituality

The difficulty of waiting during Advent

What is my strength that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? — Job 6:11 Advent aside, it is the season of waiting in my house. A month ago, Mike clicked “submit” on the last of his early college applications — his hopes for the next four years of […]

3 reasons new words in Mass are good

After all the “sturm und drang” (“storm and stress”) of the past few years, the changes in some of the words at Mass will probably turn out to be a good thing. Here is why. First, they will make us pay more attention to the celebration of the Mass, at least for a while. Second, […]

Prayer means crying out to God with trust, Pope says at audience

Praying in the midst of suffering, Christians must remember how God has loved them all their lives and will rescue them, Pope Benedict XVI said. Holding his weekly general audience Sept. 14 in the Vatican audience hall, Pope Benedict continued teaching about prayer and used Psalm 22, "one of the most prayed and studied psalms," as an example of how to cry out to the Lord from a basic position of trust.

Tangling with threads of time

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 For most of this summer I have been working off the clock. Somewhere in early June I stopped wearing my watch unless I had an appointment to keep. Now it’s August and I can’t figure […]

Use the Psalms to pray with passion

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I cry aloud to God, cry to God to hear me. On the day of my distress I seek the Lord; by night my hands are raised unceasingly; I refuse to be consoled. – Ps. 77:2-3 I’m in the midst of a project that has gone viral. Last week I asked a […]

Seeing with ‘new eyes’

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I rejoiced when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem. – Ps. 122:1-2 The suitcases were hauled up from their basement resting places, while the kitchen door sprouted lists of chores that must be done, things […]

Warmly welcoming others

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome. – Mt. 25:35a It had been raining for the last 24 hours, and would rain for the next 48. It’s what you get when a typhoon […]

Stripped of words to find the Word

By Michelle Francl-Donnay In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. – Jn. 1:1 We had an hour at Tokyo Station to find lunch, pick up dinner to eat later, and the right platform for our train. It was not enough. After a 20-minute hike across the […]

A banked fire: Start the day with prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23 My mother despaired of me. While my brothers scarfed down bowls of Frosted Flakes doused in milk and toast slathered in strawberry jam, her oldest child […]

Finding courage to reverence a stranger

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” – Mt. 25:35-36 Market East Station at 10 p.m. is eerily empty. […]