Unshakable faith amid tragedy

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “Let my eyes stream with tears day and night, without rest, over the great destruction which overwhelms the virgin daughter of my people, over her incurable wound.” – Jer. 14:17 The strange thing about earthquakes is how swiftly the change comes. There is no warning. No darkening sky, no rising waters. Suddenly, […]

Confession – a bandage for our souls

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Now which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk?” – Mt. 9:5 It happened so fast that at first I wasn’t even sure I was hurt. Chris and I were in the kitchen talking while I sliced rolls for sandwiches and he […]

Basking in post-Christmas silence

Michelle Francl-Donnay By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.- Is. 30:15 I only had to go a quarter mile down Lancaster Avenue, but at 10 o’clock on Christmas Eve morning even that short stretch was already a daunting tangle of cars, punctuated by pedestrians darting […]

Listen closely to the sound of joy

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The angel said, “Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find […]

In the shelter of God’s hands

By Michelle Francl-Donnay With His pinion He shelters you, and beneath His wings you take refuge, a shield and a buckler, His truth. You shall not fear from the terror of night. – Psalm 91:4-5a We waited until it was almost dark to leave, for the first tendrils of the cool night air to flow […]

O antiphons are invitation and challenge

By Michelle Francl-Donnay “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:5 I admit it, from Black Friday to Dec. 22 I’m a Christmas curmudgeon. There is no “Holly-Jolly Christmas” jingling away on my car […]

Liturgy of the Hours keeps saints alive

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For ourselves, too, we ask some share in the fellowship of your apostles and martyrs, with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Ignatius, Augustine, Monica, Felicity, Perpetua and all the saints. – From the Roman Canon “Whoa, what is this?” wonders one of the teen-aged invaders in my study. Invited into my sanctum […]

Awaking to the presence of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay It is you whom I invoke, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting. – Ps. 5:3 It was a scene right out of some 1950s movie: four women from two countries in their pajamas sitting cross-legged on the floor of […]

How do I pray aright?

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Now once he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” – Lk. 11:1 My youngest son Chris has a T-shirt that reads: “Warning: The person wearing this shirt is a roller coaster […]

Remembering the gifts Christ gave us

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put in more than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on. – Mk. 12:43b-44 I […]