Pope Benedict XVI on the Universe

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, is an image of a ...

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field / Wikipedia

“The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe,” Benedict said on the day of the Epiphany, where the Bible says the three kings arrived at the birthplace of Jesus, Reuters reports.

“Contemplating it (the universe), we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” he added in a sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Reuters reports:

“Many scientists believe the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Although the pope has previously spoken about evolution, he has rarely discussed scientific concepts such as this one.”

With St. Ambrose By My Side

St Ambrose converting Theodosius

St Ambrose converting Theodosius/ Wikipedia

St. Ambrose
Walk with me
This entire year,
As a friend and mentor.

In your lifetime,
You had marvelous friends,
All of whom, you led
Closer to God.
May they also pray for me,
So to honor you.
Monica, Augustine, Marcella, Satyrus,
Were made holier
By your counsel.
You walked with Wisdom
By your side,
And made great strides.

Counsel me,
For the glory of the God
That loves me.
I will thank you most properly in heaven;
Yet, my poor heart embraces you
As my particular friend in Christ, even now.
To God be the glory.
Amen

By Joann Nelander

I’m Spiritual, Not Religious

“I’m spiritual, not religious.”

I’ve heard this so often from  the most sincere people.  They seem to wear it as a badge for having accomplished some sort of rite of passage.

What is your translation for:

“I’m spiritual, not religious.”

Here’s mine:

“I want the comforts of Christianity, without the challenges.”

Becoming like Jesus Christ – a challenge that lasts a lifetime, it certainly takes committment and direction from something more substantive than one’s gut. Reflecting further:  Christ without a Body, why bother with the Cross.

I agree Church is work, and messy at times, just like a family, but Jesus thought we were up to this challenge with a little help from the Others in His Family, the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Actually, Christians get two Mothers, Mary and the Church.  The Church isn’t optional.  It is the Body of Christ.

One Shot Wednesday

 

Swimming in raindrops
As they fall from the wet sky
Sun dancing in bright chambers

 

by Joann Nelander

 

Happy New Year One Shot. I’m happy to meet you!

Fishers of Men

O, Lord, what’s it all about,
This “blogging?”
Feeds, links, posts and pings,
So much to learn,
Much more to do.

A world within a world,
A web of letters, syllables, and words,
And people pinging people,
For seeing or not seeing
Things just as they do.

Why me? Why the blogosphere?
It won’t make me famous.
It surely won’t make me money.
It won’t even make me friends.

Maybe the Lord is saying:
“Jump in, My friend!”
“That’s were the fish are swimming.”
Fishers of men must use a bigger Net.

By Joann Nelander

Yad Vashem – What’s in a Name?

Yad Vashem Hall of Names

Yad Vashem Hall of Names / Wikipedia

As the New Year begins, the Church reminds us of the importance of a name. We celebrate the Octave Day of Christmas, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and on the Monday after the Epiphany we celebrate the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Octave means eight. The Gospel for the day relates:

“When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given Him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

On this eighth day the infant was circumcised and a name given. The name was so important that it was announced by an angel. So important was the Name to God!

The Old Testament reading from Numbers for this day speaks of another Name:

“The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! So shall they invoke My Name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

What’s in a name?  Mystery! Holy Mystery!

As we begin our year, and as the liturgical year unfolds, celebrating the History of Salvation, let us remember our inhumane Human History as well. Herod’s holocaust sought to wipe away all hope for humanity, the plan of the Evil One. that might might make right as the world has come to believe.

Yad Vashem, written sometimes as, Yad VaShem, literally “hand and name” means “memorial.”

In the Hall of Names, the victims of the Holocaust of our time are remembered.

“Remember only that I was innocent

and, just like you, mortal on that day,

I, too, had had a face marked by rage, by pity and joy,

quite simply, a human face!”

Benjamin Fondane

Murdered at Auschwitz, 1944

“If we wish to live and to bequeath life to our offspring, if we believe that we are to pave the way to the future, then we must first of all not forget.”

(Prof. Ben Zion Dinur, Yad Vashem, 1956)

If Sinner’s Be Damned

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies.  And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay.  If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles H. Spurgeon

H/T One Passion, One Devotion

With You in Mind

Still unfolding in Time,
God built the Universe
With you in mind.
Matter abounds in precise measure,
Yet only mind cares
To count the treasure.

The Nature of Reality
Weighs only upon Man.
Mind, immaterial,
Counts on Science to understand.
But mensuration once obtained
Must be thought to think things through,
But since a thought can’t be weighed or measured.
How scientifically construed?

Mind, in this life,
On matter dependent,
Ideas, ethereal,
Yet vaulted resplendent.
Archiving the conceptual
Memories bound to a brain,
Quantifying the great
And trifles mundane.

Man alone of all Creation
Takes the world apart
To see why the tickings
And the tocks.
Challenges, stirred
By matter-less imagination,
End when no greater thought
Can be thought in our machinations.

Only then do we arrive
At the God we accuse,
Of being a non-being All-being
And betray and abuse.
Still He points to the stars
And Man more numerous,
Assuring His intention
Was never injurious.

Life from the stars?
Far-flung seeds of  Creation?
Enduring, maturing,
While from the beginning,
The God in the dock
Willing our Salvation.

Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander

Did You Properly Welcome the New Year?

I’m thrilled by the New Year.  Who knows why! I’m still celebrating on the inside and want to make some noise.  Please join me in the celebration.  A didgeridoo seems the instrument of choice. Turn the sound up high and enjoy a bit of elation.

The Kangaroo Hop

Kookaburra

The Tongue Roll

The Toot

When the Twain Shall Meet

There is a delicacy of old
With which men speak to one another.
Though, approaching from the farthest ends,
Never meeting in the middle,
Yet, do they honor one another,
In their humanity.

They offer the gift of presence,
Gifting to the other
An open ear
That wills to hear.

To do the Good
For the sake of Good,
To forge the best of thought
For presentation at the gate
Is the beginning of a holy end.

Though all men be wrong
In varying degrees,
There is something right
In putting down one’s arms
To meet as warring friends,
In hope and trust
That they serve a higher call,
When men do speak of peace.

Who is honored by this respect,
If not the Maker of all Men,
Who alone can change
Hearts of stone to flesh,
Making them like unto His own.

By Joann Nelander

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:

The Cross – A Mystery

Dancing With God

Gifts and the Giver

God Throws Kisses

God Has Plans for You

From the Womb to Heaven

Giving Gifts to God

Lord, Make My Day

On Eucharist

Repenting and Forgiven

c. 1632

Image via Wikipedia

How true it is
That we are wretched sinners,
Dying since our birth,
Condemned by Man’s First Sin.

Yet, we wait, in hope believing,
For what we have begun to be,
Since our Christ died upon a Tree
Shedding His blood at Calvary.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
One of the Holy Three,
All Man, All God, All Given
That upon repenting
We become the forgiven.