I’m Posting every day in 2011!

The DailyPost ‘s Postaday2011 sounds like challenging fun. I’ll bite!  Here’s to more, more, more blogging in 2011.  I’m in for a post a day . Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a day for all of 2011. I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Sincerely,

Jo/Into Stillness

 

 

Into Stillness/Jo

Ring Out, Wild Bells – Happy New Year!

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George...

Image via Wikipedia

This poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson seems very appropriate for the New Year:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

The Cross – A Mystery

c. 1632

Image via Wikipedia

The Cross is a Mystery.
It is also a Reality.
It is always heavy,
To one bereft of help.

Help, but a prayer away,
If you would only ask!
A simple, whispered prayer to Jesus,
Brings ministering spirits to your side.

Angels with the strength of mountains,
Saints of steady calm,
Come lifting earthly burdens
And stilling threatening storm.

The Cross, indeed, a Mystery,
Where Man and Matter meet
And bow before the Will of God
To vanquish and defeat.

Bring forth the Good from Evil,
Resurrection from the Dead.
The Cross works upon a man
To grow his soul and pay his debt.

By Joann Nelander

Dancing With God

Early one morning in the Holy Land,
I gazed heavenward and smiled;
An image painted in cloud,
Floated in the sky.

“I had the best dream,”
My companion, shared;
“It was so real.”
“I was dancing with Jesus.”

God delights to confirm the visions,
He gives His friends.
The heavens always proclaim God,
But, especially, on this day.

“That must have been you,
Who I saw in the clouds!”
I wondered in awe.
“Jesus was turning you
Under His arm.”

By Joann Nelander

(Remembering Doris)

Gifts and the Giver

Open every gift like a child.
It’s okay to squeal with delight.
Look into the eyes of the Giver
Long enough to see His Heart.

Remember to share.
Share your joy.
Share your sorrow.
Share God’s Joy.
Share God’s Sorrow.

When God aches
In the Poor and Suffering,
Give Him a hug.
Kiss away His Tears.
Share your blanket,

Give God great gifts.
Offer Him the air you breathe.
Offer Him the Sun and Moon.
Offer him the color of the sky.

Hold nothing back.
Let God see you cry.
Give Him your heart.
When it breaks,
Save all the pieces for HIm

God treasures
The smallest “thank you.”
In moments of confusion,
He knows they’re hard to give,
So He saves them
To wear as His necklace.

Bring God flowers.
He doesn’t mind
A weed or two.
God likes grooming you.

By Joann Nelander

God Throws Kisses

God throws kisses
He threw me one
As I left home.
You can always spot God’s kiss.
It comes with a smile
On the lips of someone
Who kinda’ glows
When they say your name.

Sometimes, God blows His kisses.
At times they feel like the wind.
They’re carried on a cool breeze
That, surprisingly, warms you
When you inhale.

Sometimes, you can see God’s kisses.
People think they’re only snowflakes,
But, then, you must see them
For what they really are.
I like the ones that land gently
On my face and shoulders.
Those are definitely kisses!

By Joann Nelander

God Has Plans for You

God is counting on you.
God’s plan for the Universe includes you.
God’s plan for History includes you.
God’s plan of Salvation includes you.
God planned you.
You count!

Catch God’s vision.
When you are down,
Ask God, what’s up?
Plans can go wrong
But God is on track.
Are you?

Be faithful.
Little choices add up.
The ordinary is grace-filled opportunity.
That is the stuff of Saints.

By Joann Nelander

Inspired by Fr. Jeffrey Whorton

From the Womb to Heaven

On this, the Feast of the Holy Innocents. I write to honor and pray for the unborn infants who will be aborted each and every day.

From the Womb to Heaven

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord
Praise and exalt him above all
forever.”

If Your heavens can bless You,
Simply by being
What You created them to be,
As Your psalmist proclaimed
By Your Spirit,
How much more the living,
Though unborn children of men,
O, Son of Man, Human,
As they are human?

If the elements of Nature can bless You,
By coming forth at Your Word
Why not the children
Of empty, aborted wombs,
Who will not live to pronounce Your Name,
Yet shout Your Glory in their humanity.

The Waters of the deep,
Your subjects,
Obey by their being,
As the Star of Bethlehem
Obeyed in its course,
So Your snow-white lambs
Come to You in their dying
By the Sin of Man,
Sin for which You died.

You died,
Pouring forth a River
That flows forever,
From the Temple of Your Holy Body.
Gushing forth, O Blood and Water,
Wash the Innocents
Who suffer the cold and chill of Man.

All wind blesses You, O Lord,
So may the Wind of Your Spirit
Rush to the side of these,
The weak and the powerless.
Trusting in Your Mercy,
Allow Baptismal Waters to flow,
From Your Holy Side,
In answer to the prayer
Of the People of God, Your Body.

We pray in the Spirit of Jesus,
Whose pierced Heart
Released the Mercy of God:
Father, by Your sovereignty,
Permit our spiritual act
To the full extent of Your generosity.

We Implore the proxy
Of the Cloud of Witnesses
And Martyrs crying beneath Your Altar,
All who stand in silent witness
To the death of the Unborn,
Who will be aborted this day.

God willing,
Stand in and take up Christ’s Eternal Water,
More alive than all the waters of the Earth.
Pour it for me upon each child
Now in a womb soon to be emptied.

Pray with me, O Church, as the Water flows:
“I baptize you in the Name of the Father,
And of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit.

Let us call the girls “Mary”
And the boys “Joseph.”
God will call them by a name
Known but to Him.

That these new citizens with the saints
And members of the household of God,
Produce sweet fruit,
For having held the hand
Of a human chain of life,
From the time of Adam,
To the End of Time;
Father, grant those of their lineage
Faith in the Living God,
That those who will never
Know them in this life,
May embrace them in Heaven,
In whose courts,
They shall praise this day.

By Joann Nelander

Giving Gifts to God

Babe of Bethlehem,
Your Star still lights the way.
You are the loveliest flower,
Your Father’s good creation,
A wondrous bouquet

Kings are approaching,
Bearing gifts,
While this New Day dawns.
This day finds me by Your side,
Reverently watching,
As you nurse
At Mother Mary’s breast.
In the ordinary tasks of Motherhood,
Mary is all gift.

Strangely, I am learning
As I gaze on Your Holy Family.
I squeeze between
The donkey and the lamb,
Service and sacrifice
Becoming everything in Love.

How can I help?
What can I bring You?
Mary reads my heart and smiles.
You have made her a Mother,
And she already knows,
She is mine.
In loving You,
She is loving me,
And I am wrapped in familial sweetness,
Wanting to give in kind.

Previous Infant, You
are changing everything.
The world without is passing,
Almost as a stranger.
I let it pass,
For I, now, know,
I am passing, too.

Without fear, I look on You,
Your days on Earth are numbered,
And yet, they are without end.
I, too, accept Your Father’s will.

Kings are approaching,
Searching for meaning,
and giving all
To come to You.
Wise Men, heartened by Your Star,
Following the signs
And listening with their hearts,
Doing all that they can do,
And accepting from your angels,
What they could not know on their own,
Open hearts and open ears;
I must have the same.

I listen in the dark,
As new day dawns upon this world,
Now, filled with wonder;
I wonder, too.
What shall I give to You,
Having already given You my heart,
And all my dawning days?

Your Soul reaches out at my behest.
I hear You.
I, now, hear You.
It is, of course, the beat of Your Heart
That whispers in it’s smallness,
Yet seems to thunder
Within my breast.

“Souls, souls, souls;
Give me, souls!”
As Mary I become your handmaid.
I answer my “Amen.”

By Joann Nelander

Lord, Make My Day

Make me all blessing, Dearest Lord.
My day lies, yet, before me,
As I wake.
Your Will shall come to me.

May my arms be open
To embrace the gift.
In the giving of grace,
May I ever receive,
And not turn aside a blessing.

Some blessings come disguised.
If misfortune lies at my doorstep,
Help me, in my fear,
Lest I bar the door as curse.

You plot a Way across stony ground,
That will lead me, true to You,
To troves You treasure,
Hidden in dark places.

You set my course.
May Your brave Spirit
Dress me for each day,
That I may know,
With steady heart,
Your Way is my way,
And I am sent,
And set upon it.

I must stay that course,
Returning blessing for the curse,
Thus spreading grace
That grace abound.

With seeds for the morrow
Fill my purse
That I might spend You
On the poor,
And lavish You on sinners
As I go.

At day’s end
May I find myself rejoicing,
And safely rest in Thee,
My All and happy end.

By Joann Nelander

On Eucharist

Reflection on St. Augustine’s, “I seemed to hear your voice from on high: ‘I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me’.”

On Eucharist

O Christ, I receive Thee
That I might become Thee.
I desire to be as You would have me,
To be, Christ, living Your Life,
In the time and place and space
That is me,
Soul and matter one,
And wed to my All Holy Three.

Come, O come to me, My Christ.
My blind eyes see but bread.
Hope lights my darkness.
Faith assures me
Of what I can not now behold.

You are the food,
That transforms my being
To Your Being,
Though the steps and stages
Be but measured.
You respect my frailty,
Adding strength upon strength,
That the common might be wed
To the Magnificent
Without my dissolution..

Only in union can I live
“Thy Will be done,”
As You, the Son.
Grow me, grace me,
That I might become mature.
Sanctify this soul
So unlike Your own,
That free of Sin.
I be as the moon to You, O Sun.

I want to become,
To be of You,
And by You completely transformed.
I pray that Your Holy Spirit
Conform me to the Will of the Father,
That I may answer
As Mother Mary, “Fiat.”.

In Fire’s purifying ardor
Remove my dross.
Make me malleable.
Impress Yourself on me.
Ready me, as melted wax,
That I may receive the image,
That You conceived for me.
That with all my being,
I may spend myself totally
On the Father’s All Holy Will,
Answering with the voice of Christ
One great “Amen.”

As a desert penitent
May I shed my tears for Your cause in me,
And in the world of souls,
For whom You shed Your blood.
May I complete my time on this earth
Running the race with You as my Way.

Although I am all effort,
And that pleases You,
A thousand efforts
Do not make the slightest grace.
So grace me, Beloved,
That the Father will delight
To see His Only Son in me.

More than a Conqueror,
You become my very being.
May I live my life in Your Life.
Come, O Eucharist,
O, Sanctifier of my soul.

By Joann Nelander

Perfected Through the Cross

Christogram with Jesus Prayer in Romanian: Lor...

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner"/ Wikipedia

I would like to offer You the perfect,
But all I have is me.
So, here I am,
Sorrowful, in all my misery.

In hope I approach You,
Through the gaping wound in Your Side,
Through which flowed Your Mercy,
Your Final Word.

Wash me, Son of God,
In that endless river,
Your Life poured out
Throughout Time.

I stand, I kneel,
Then prostrate
At Your Cross,
I wait to receive You.

You are taken down,
And placed in Mary’s arms,
It is in her arms,
I find You.

There with You,
I am held fast,
Giving and receiving,
The Love You have won for Me.

By Joann Nelander

St. Ambrose – Mary Visits Elizabeth

From a commentary on Luke by Saint Ambrose, bishop

Mary visits Elizabeth

When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.

When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.

Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, laborious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear: as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence, but he is aware of the Lord’s: a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.

The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for you, and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know that though Mary’s spirit rejoices she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in his mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says: Blessed are you because you have believed.

You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.

Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of  This,That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets—A Catholic Carnival. Join us or just check out our posts.  This is a great way to share your posts from the past week.

Here are my snippets from the week:

Perfected Through the Cross

Be Ready For The Infant King

On Virginity

Be Ready For The Infant King

Nine days to get ready! Time enough for a novena.

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder unallayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart;
The humble He teaches His Way.

By Joann Nelander

On Virginity

The virgin for St, Ambrose is the faithful enamored lover seeking only her Beloved, closed to the world, the flesh and the Devil, waiting in fruitful expectation on Love.

“Whoever seeks Christ in this way, whoever prays to Christ in this way, is not abandoned by him; on the contrary, Christ comes again and again to visit such a person, for he is with us until the end of the world”

On St. Ambrose’s On Virginity

Dearest Love, shine in my humanity,
Making my soul radiant.
I come to know You in my waiting.
As the world passes,
I witness the parade of fools and follies.

From my window, I surmise
The ways of friend and foe,
And resolve that my lover
Must be a friend
And lover of my soul,
Cherishing it as his own.

My Lover bids me call,
And call I do,
Throughout the bitter night
And in the brightness
Of each new day.

When I call He always comes,
I do not doubt His promise or His Presence.
“Knock and it shall be opened.”
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him…’

I embrace Him Whom I love,
Even when He comes and hides,
For He takes pleasure of watching me
In my search of faith.

I know He is here;
He is near,
Attuned to my longing,
Knowing that the treasure
Of my possessing Him
Increases as my desire
To see Him grows.

My seeking is both invitation and encounter.
My eyes may be blind,
But my soul is awake to His nearness
And reaches to catch Him
As He plays with me.
My soul ensnares Him
And begs Him do not run away.

Let me breathe Your essence.
Your Presence is my delight.
Though Your Spirit be like the wind,
Then tousle my hair as You rush by.
Let me find evidence of Your visit,
In the changes in my being.

I pledge my ardor
And banish the lukewarm.
I promise my heart
And scorn all negligence.
Vain imaginings
Shall not steal my soul.
Your promise is all I need.
If it seems You are gone,
I shall search You out,
Until I find our hiding place
And lie beside You.

I will ravish You by sighs of love
And hold you fast
By reins of love’s longing,
For You have conquered the world
And won my heart.
You have conquered my depths
By knowing Your beloved.

Your chamber remains within my soul,
Our secret place of meeting.
All is in readiness for You,
Though You come late in the night.

My room is swept clean and I am eager.
Your coming is all sun,
And You waken me by Your Light.
I draw You by spiritual reins,
By my plaintive call.

All the world is witness
To the power of virginal love.
Is it not the Virgin Mother,
Who now instructs my soul.

by Joann Nelander

Sorrow Of Heart -The Imitation of Christ

SORROW OF HEART

IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses, and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life. Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls, but often indulge in empty laughter when we have good reason to weep. No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself in holy contrition. Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit. If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do. Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others and do not become entangled in the business of your superiors. Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself instead of your friends.

If you do not enjoy the favor of men, do not let it sadden you; but consider it a serious matter if you do not conduct yourself as well or as carefully as is becoming for a servant of God and a devout religious.

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body. Yet if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation. When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep; whether he thinks of himself or of his neighbor he knows that no one lives here without suffering, and the closer he examines himself the more he grieves.

The sins and vices in which we are so entangled that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestly if you would think more of an early death than of a long life. And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe you would willingly endure labor and trouble and would fear no hardship. But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and since we are enamored of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent. Our wretched body complains so easily because our soul is altogether too lifeless.

Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears in full measure.”[5]

Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of  This,That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets—A Catholic Carnival. Join us or just check out our posts.  This is a great way to share your posts from the past week.

Here are my snippets from the week:

Mother of Our Re-Creation – the New Eve

With Mary Waiting

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

The Lights of Advent Keep Vigil


Mother of Our Re-Creation – the New Eve

John the Baptist baptizing Christ

Image via Wikipedia

Mother of our re-creation, Chosen One,
Queen Mother of Our Savior and Salvation,
Through You The Father has restored
Life and beauty to Creation.

The poison of Adam’s Fall
Has now an antidote and more.
Your humility lifts Eve to her feet,
And sets her wailing heart at peace,
For her children have a Remedy.

The punishment of Death decreed,
Which we suffer in this life,
And at its end,
Because of Father Adam’s Sin,
That Death is now a Door.

God made us like Himself,
So we, too, have a choice.
We may enter the waters of Baptism
As Christ entered the waters of Mary’s womb,
Clothing Himself in human form,
And the waters of the Jordan,
Preparing a way for our resurrection.

Jesus despised not our wretchedness,
But invested Himself in our plight,
By taking flesh as a mantle,
Worn into battle for the fight.

At the beginning of His earthly life,
Jesus entered the water of humanity
In the womb of Mary.
At the beginning of His earthly ministry,
Christ’s purifying presence
Entered the Sea of Man and Sin
In the waters of the Jordan.

Jesus, Son of Mary, the New Eve,
Blessed the Jordan waters.
By entering our pollution,
The Sinless Savior made it a symbol
Of the endless stream,
That washes sin away
And joins us to Himself.

Christ has offered us
His Life and Resurrection
In bidding us, ‘Come to the Water.’
This Water is for all the Children of Eve
Both womb, and tomb.

All Creation rejoices at our Restoration.
In Baptism’s holy bath,
We are saved and re-created,
The First Fruit of the glory
Of the Virgin’s First Born Son,

Our new Mother receives us from our dying
As she did the Body of her Son at the Cross.
Mother Mary is rewarded for her sorrow
And crowned for her hope.

By Joann Nelander

With Mary Waiting

With Mary waiting,
As the pregnant moments pass,
I share her secret with the world.
The Hour comes at last.

A Child is to be born.
A virginal womb has received
Eternal Life for all
By act of God conceived.

Her “Fiat” brought Him
To this consecrated chamber,
This pure and holy abode.
God’s Love called Him forth
To save a sinful world in woe.

In Mary, peace abides.
Outside the world complains,
‘They register, number, own us.’
‘We’ll be taxed yet again.’

Joseph, a Son of David,
Knows he must obey,
So with Mary astride and by his side,
They travel and they pray.

Now, I walk beside them
To Bethlehem’s gate,
Where doors are barred
And a full Inn fate.

A cave receives the weary, hallowed guests.
Lowly beasts share their place of rest,
And warm the air against a night
Grown cold as  human hearts.

The Holy Couple, in humble, gracious joy,
Embrace the Father’ s Will.
O, Time of Waiting, the Virgin is with Child!
I wait on tip toe with Creation
To see the Babe so mild.

O, Infant, cradled in a womb so pure,
Soon, You will know her arms of love,
And, too soon, know
The chilling thoughts of men.

God speaks but One Word,
And celestial sphere ‘s
Take up the song
To sing the whole Night long.

Angelic voices summon shepherds
and “Men of Good Will” as well.
The poor of heart receive a Savior
Who’ll ravage the gates of Hell.

Hidden Mystery of Ages,
One day an ass will bear
You, Son of David,
As Jerusalem proclaims Your fame.

For now a donkey
Carries the Salvation
Prophets long proclaimed,
Emmanuel, HaShem, the Name.

By Joann Nelander

The Immaculate Conception – Sin Undone

Mary Consoles Eve


 

 

 

 

Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO.
Copyright 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

This painting has been posted around the web so acknowledgements to Inside Catholic and Internetmonk where I found it

 

 

 

 

From the Office of Readings for the today:

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

From a sermon by Saint Anselm, bishop
Virgin Mary, all nature is blessed in you.

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night—everything that is subject to the power or use of man—rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And fleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment and awe
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer:
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw!

By Joann Nelander

The Lights of Advent Keep Vigil

Adventskranz Porzellan

Image via Wikipedia

Advent candles lit within my being,
Prayer like a torch,
Calling on the Spirit,
To light the lamp of vigil
And illuminate my soul.

Thanksgiving, a spot light,
Setting blessings all aglow,
While praise as a million votives
Ring Your manger in the night.

Though my soul be steeped in sorrow,
For the sin that went before,
My tears You turn to shining crystal
As the sea before Your throne.

O, Sun of Justice,
In Heaven you replace the shining stars.
Banish all darkness here below,
As  once Your Star lit Earth’s long night

Alight all holiness,
As a rainbow green with Life,
Arches ’bout the celestial throne,
While incandescent angels
Sing with haloed headed saints.

Because You come,
This earthy life’s Tomorrows
Are bedecked in Hope
As You knock at ready virgins’ door,

The Promise ever before me,
You stand, an open door.
I, Bold Abandonment,
Before the throne of grace,

Sainted souls gleaming like electrum
Flashing love’s arrows as lightning.
Advent becomes Christmas in my soul.

By Joann Nelander

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THE IMITATION OF CHRIST – INTERNAL CONSOLATION

The Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis

BOOK THREE

INTERNAL CONSOLATION

The First Chapter

THE INWARD CONVERSATION OF CHRIST WITH THE FAITHFUL SOUL

I WILL hear what the Lord God will speak in me.”[24]

Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her, who receives the word of consolation from His lips. Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. Blessed indeed are the ears that listen, not to the voice which sounds without, but to the truth which teaches within. Blessed are the eyes which are closed to exterior things and are fixed upon those which are interior. Blessed are they who penetrate inwardly, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world.

Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you. “I am your salvation,” says your Beloved. “I am your peace and your life. Remain with Me and you will find peace. Dismiss all passing things and seek the eternal. What are all temporal things but snares? And what help will all creatures be able to give you if you are deserted by the Creator?” Leave all these things, therefore, and make yourself pleasing and faithful to your Creator so that you may attain to true happiness.

Q

Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of  This,That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets—A Catholic Carnival. Join us or just check out our posts.  This is a great way to share your posts from the past week.

Here are my snippets from the week:


Turning to God

Infant God of All Inspiration – Breathe in Me

Prayer in Hope and Celebration

Turning to God

Karlskirche, Vienna. Fresco by Johann Michael ...

Image via Wikipedia

Father God, how great is Your generosity!
It is meritorious to turn to You.
My treasure in heaven must be spilling over,
For I have a wondering mind that flits about,
Especially at times of prayer.

I make every effort
To pursue the rogue servant
To take it captive.
I place it at Your feet.

What a grace!
For, if like a fool, it wanders a thousand times,
Then a thousand times I approach You in humility,
And drag back to You my errant slave.

If the battle be but for my attention,
So be it!
I will do battle.

If my gift to You be my little struggles,
So be it!
I will wrestle all Hell to be with You,
And by Your Mercy,
You are glorified.

If the way back to You is tortuous,
So much more will be Your glory.
Alleluia!
Amen.

By Joann Nelander

On the Value of Patience by Saint CyprianOn the Value of Patience by Saint Cyprian

From a treatise On the Value of Patience by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr

We hope for what we do not see

Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord, our teacher: Whoever endures to the end will be saved. And again: If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary.

We do not seek glory now, in the present, but we look for future glory, as Saint Paul instructs us when he says: By hope we were saved. Now hope which is seen is not hope; how can a man hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it in patience. Patient waiting is necessary if we are to be perfected in what we have begun to be, and if we are to receive from God what we hope for and believe.

In another place the same Apostle instructs and teaches the just, and those active in good works, and those who store up for themselves treasures in heaven through the reward God gives them. They are to be patient also, for he says: Therefore while we have time, let us do good to all, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith. But let us not grow weary in doing good, for we shall reap our reward in due season.

Paul warns us not to grow weary in good works through impatience, not to be distracted or overcome by temptations and so give up in the midst of our pilgrimage of praise and glory, and allow our past good deeds to count for nothing because what was begun falls short of completion.

Finally, the Apostle, speaking of charity, unites it with endurance and patience. Charity, he says, is always patient and kind; it is not jealous, is not boastful, is not given to anger, does not think evil, loves all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

He shows that charity can be steadfast and persevering because it has learned how to endure all things.

And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by means of patience.

Infant God of All Inspiration – Breathe in Me

The place where — according to the Christian f...

Traditional site of the Nativity /Wikipedia

Come, Lord, Jesus;
Fill your temple.

Come, Breath of Life;
Inspire.

I breathe in the Spirit of God.
I breathe out the world.

I breathe in Jesus.
I breathe out the flesh.

I breathe in the holy.
I breathe out all that is of the Evil One

Come, Babe of Bethlehem;
Make me your manger.

Come, O Incarnate God;
Be born in open hearts, anew.

Prayer in Hope and Celebration

A page from Pérotin’s Alleluia nativitas

Image via Wikipedia

All love,
All attention,
All in harmony and one,
Resting on Your strong arm,
Held fast by my desire to know You,
And Your almighty power
To draw the sinner to You
In complete freedom.

My desire: to console You
In the garden of Your sorrow and anguish,
Where You saw all my sins,
And longed to suffer my death.

I love because You love
And awaken hope in me,
Hope that flies in the face of earthly reason
To realms of holiness and joy.

Your grace, showered upon our Race,
By Your Birth,
and by Your Death on the Cross,
Make me welcome.

You bid the Lost come.
Loose all Sin
In clouds of forgiveness
And gracious forgetfulness,
For You remember our sins no more,
Alleluia.