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 […]

Tasting the graces of a silent retreat

By Michelle Francl-Donnay He would withdraw to deserted places to pray. – Lk. 5:16b Earlier this spring, a friend wondered if I would write more about what it is like to be on a long silent retreat. This account of my travels to the silent land is an invitation to taste – or for those […]

Along the way and at the destination: God

By Michelle Francl-Donnay Send forth Your light and Your truth. It is they that will guide me. They will bring me to Your holy mountain and to Your dwelling-place. And let me come to God’s altar, to God, my keenest joy. – Ps. 43:3-4a. My train vanished at 6:43 p.m. last Wednesday evening – with […]

Carry one essential, lighten the load

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. – Mk. 10:25 By Michelle Francl-Donnay “The mature female is perfect to carry the transmitter,” the sonorous voice of the Shark Week narrator drifts through the doorway of the […]

Some stay, some go, all are part of the weave

By Michelle Francl-Donnay My dwelling, like a shepherd’s tent, is struck down and borne away from me; You have folded up my life, like a weaver who severs the last thread. – Is. 38:12a Clutching his mortar board in one hand, Matt dug in his pocket with the other and pulled out a quartet of […]