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

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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