Brace yourself, prepare to pray

By Michelle Francl-Donnay My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. I will sing, I will praise your name. – Ps. 57:8 It was a scene right out of a movie about a jewel heist. A black-clad figure creeping into a darkened museum gallery. One wrong move and suddenly the place is ablaze […]

Laughing at marvels of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay The Lord said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.” – Gen. […]

Don’t wait to visit a dying person

By Father Peter J. DalyParish Diary When someone is dying, drop what you are doing and go see that person. I learned that lesson a decade ago when a priest friend was dying in Kansas City. The nun at the nursing home where Monsignor was living called and said he wanted to see me. I […]

Meeting Christ in sorrow and joy

By Michelle Francl-Donnay He himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, “Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts?” – Lk. 24: 36b-38 “The weather bureau reported […]

The strength to cling, and to let go

By Michelle Francl-Donnay And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time. – Mt. 28:20b As I write this, Lent has not quite spent itself. Still, wisps of resurrection are beginning to show themselves amidst the solemn violet trappings of Holy Week. At choir last night, we practiced Pange Lingua, […]

United in common prayer

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace. – Antiphon for the Gospel Canticle, Night Prayer I saw the film “Of Gods and Men” last weekend. The movie is extraordinary: simple, beautiful and […]

Confronting the cross

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Jews demand “signs” and Greeks look for “wisdom,” but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and an absurdity to Gentiles. – 1 Cor. 1:22 For more than 20 years I’ve sat on the same side of the chapel for Morning Prayer, facing the statue of St. Joseph holding the […]

Watch for movements of God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light. – Mk. 4:22 Mike deftly douses the candles on the dinner table and takes his plate off to the kitchen. I am left to sit in the silent dining room, savoring a few […]

Resting in God alone

By Michelle Francl-Donnay I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Ps. 4:9 Last Thursday morning, the high school principal found Chris and his friend, asleep, on the floor outside their first block classroom. “Is everything OK?” he wondered. Roused from his […]

Penance: ‘An act of hope’

By Michelle Francl-Donnay A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. – Ps. 51:12 “…May God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Amen. The words of forgiveness poured […]