Bill Board Censorship


Dr. Alveda King speaks out on Bill Board Censorship:

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the billboard in Manhattan that proclaims “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” The billboard was taken down after pressure from local politicians and neighborhood residents.
“It is an outrageous act of censorship that this billboard was taken down,” Dr King said. “This billboard should be posted in every city of the country. And it should provoke outrage in the African-American community—not because it is racist, but because of the truth it reveals; the truth that is being kept from the African-American community.

:

The Abortion Debate

A 3D ultrasound taken of a fetus at 17 weeks.

A 3D ultrasound-fetus at 17 weeks sucking his thumb and waving his hand/ Wikipedia

For your consideration:

The most common abortion procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy is the “D and E” (Dilation and Evacuation), a procedure which is legal throughout the nation, and which the Supreme Court itself described in this way:

“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix …, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”
(Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007)

Now is the time to ask the American public, whether pro-life or pro-choice, a simple question: Should dismemberment of a living child in the womb be permitted? Let’s go beyond the all-encompassing question of “Should abortion be allowed?” and ask, “Should this specific procedure, in which a child’s arms and legs are ripped off, and head crushed, be allowed?” (Fr. Frank Pavone)

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:

His All For You

Indictment

The Abortion Debate

Approach the Lord and Receive His Light

From a commentary on Ecclesiastes by Saint Gregory of Agrigentum, bishop

Approach the Lord and receive his light

In the words of Ecclesiastes: Light itself is delightful, and it is a great boon for the eye to have sight of the sun. Devoid of light, the world would be without beauty and life would be lifeless. That was why Moses, who saw God, said in anticipation: And God saw the light and said that it was good. To reflect on the true and eternal light is even more fitting for us. This light is Christ who enlightens every man who comes into the world, the savior and redeemer of the world. He is the one who became man and sank to the very depths of the human condition. As David said: Sing to God a hymn to his name, make a highway for him who rises to the west. His name is the Lord, rejoice before him!

This light he called delightful and foretold that it would be good to see the sun of glory. In the days of his incarnation, he said: I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will possess the light of life. On another occasion he said: This is the judgment: the light has come into the world.

Sunlight, then, is a symbol. What we see with our eyes foretells the coming of the Sun of Justice. He was a most delightful light for those who were worthy to be instructed by him personally. He was also a radiance to those who saw him with their bodily eyes when he lived on earth as a man among men. It was not just any man they saw, for he was true God. He made the blind see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear. He cleansed the lepers, and by a simple command he raised the dead back to life.

Now it is our supreme delight to behold him and contemplate his divine splendor with the eyes of our spirit. When we participate in and associate with that beauty, we are enlightened and adorned and this is our delight. We take delight in being saturated with the sweetness of the Spirit, in being clothed in holiness, in achieving wisdom. Finally we are filled with a joy that comes from God and endures through all the days of our earthly life. In the wise words of Ecclesiastes: A man may live for many years, but he will experience happiness throughout his days. For all who gaze upon the Sun of Justice, he is their supreme delight. David spoke of them: Let them be joyful before God and be jubilant with joy. Indeed he even said: Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, for praise befits those who are upright.mentary on Ecclesiastes by Saint Gregory of Agrigentum, bishop Approach the Lord and receive his light

In the words of Ecclesiastes: Light itself is delightful, and it is a great boon for the eye to have sight of the sun. Devoid of light, the world would be without beauty and life would be lifeless. That was why Moses, who saw God, said in anticipation: And God saw the light and said that it was good. To reflect on the true and eternal light is even more fitting for us. This light is Christ who enlightens every man who comes into the world, the savior and redeemer of the world. He is the one who became man and sank to the very depths of the human condition. As David said: Sing to God a hymn to his name, make a highway for him who rises to the west. His name is the Lord, rejoice before him!

This light he called delightful and foretold that it would be good to see the sun of glory. In the days of his incarnation, he said: I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will possess the light of life. On another occasion he said: This is the judgment: the light has come into the world.

Sunlight, then, is a symbol. What we see with our eyes foretells the coming of the Sun of Justice. He was a most delightful light for those who were worthy to be instructed by him personally. He was also a radiance to those who saw him with their bodily eyes when he lived on earth as a man among men. It was not just any man they saw, for he was true God. He made the blind see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear. He cleansed the lepers, and by a simple command he raised the dead back to life.

Now it is our supreme delight to behold him and contemplate his divine splendor with the eyes of our spirit. When we participate in and associate with that beauty, we are enlightened and adorned and this is our delight. We take delight in being saturated with the sweetness of the Spirit, in being clothed in holiness, in achieving wisdom. Finally we are filled with a joy that comes from God and endures through all the days of our earthly life. In the wise words of Ecclesiastes: A man may live for many years, but he will experience happiness throughout his days. For all who gaze upon the Sun of Justice, he is their supreme delight. David spoke of them: Let them be joyful before God and be jubilant with joy. Indeed he even said: Rejoice in the Lord, you who are just, for praise befits those who are upright

His All For You

Woodcut for "Die Bibel in Bildern", ...

Father God / Wikipedia

Your Father built the world
With you in mind.
You needn’t be important
To be important.
God has made you so.
You are carved upon His hand;
A perfect fit!

The Father’s desire for you,
Waits upon you.
The God of all the Universe
Halted by your will,
For without you
He won’t.

When your world
Stands still,
Limbo silent, and bereft,
Think to move the Hand of God.

“Who do you say I AM?”
When you can see it,
Say it!
Say it, so that the heavens hear you.
Say it, so the angels stop in flight.
Say it so that mountains move,
And flowers blossom.

Christ’s first buds,
Then flowers in bloom,
As Father God
Sets the world in motion
And blossoms forth in you.

Copyright  © 2011 Joann Nelander    All rights reserved

On the Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp

Polycarp

Polycarp / Wikipedia

From a letter on the martyrdom of Saint Polycarp by the Church of Smyrna

 

 

A Rich and Pleasing Sacrifice

  

When the pyre was ready, Polycarp took off all his clothes and loosened his under-garment. He made an effort also to remove his shoes, though he had been unaccustomed to this, for the faithful always vied with each other in their haste to touch his body. Even before his martyrdom he had received every mark of honour in tribute to his holiness of life.
There and then he was surrounded by the material for the pyre. When they tried to fasten him also with nails, he said: “Leave me as I am. The one who gives me strength to endure the fire will also give me strength to stay quite still on the pyre, even without the precaution of your nails.” So they did not fix him to the pyre with nails but only fastened him instead. Bound as he was, with hands behind his back, he stood like a mighty ram, chosen out for sacrifice from a great flock, a worthy victim made ready to be offered to God.
Looking up to heaven, he said: “Lord, almighty God, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have come to the knowledge of yourself, God of angels, of powers, of all creation, of all the race of saints who live in your sight, I bless you for judging me worthy of this day, this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ, your anointed one, and so rise again to eternal life in soul and body, immortal through the power of the Holy Spirit. May I be received among the martyrs in your presence today as a rich and pleasing sacrifice. God of truth, stranger to falsehood, you have prepared this and revealed it to me and now you have fulfilled your promise.
“I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.”
When he had said “Amen” and finished the prayer, the officials at the pyre lit it. But, when a great flame burst out, those of us privileged to see it witnessed a strange and wonderful thing. Indeed, we have been spared in order to tell the story to others. Like a ship’s sail swelling in the wind, the flame became as it were a dome encircling the martyr’s body. Surrounded by the fire, his body was like bread that is baked, or gold and silver white-hot in a furnace, not like flesh that has been burnt. So sweet a fragrance came to us that it was like that of burning incense or some other costly and sweet-smelling gum.

One Shot Wednesday – Week 34

Time again for One Shot Wednesday.

Here’s my one shot:

Cry of One Forgiven

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
For that moment,
In which You scattered
My accusers,
And took my part?

As I looked up
From the mud of my despair,
Your majestic countenance
Was all.
You loomed before me,
Brighter than the Sun.

Who could have imagined
Such grandeur?
You wore holiness like a crown
That more than circled Your brow.
Rather, it emanated,
As light from Your Being,
Announcing Who You are?

Only humility can receive You,
And dare Your gaze.
For Your Eyes
Pierce the soul,
Revealing all.

Only those crying for a Savior
Dare look up,
To confess with that glance
Their fault and nakedness,
Helpless and all pleading.

Only the thirsty
Can drink in the majesty
Of Your knowing.
For pride is the travesty,
That hides,
For fear of revelation.

That moment shattered my fear
And rent the clouds of all my life.
Taking proffered Hand,
I rise to my feet
Then, as now, again,

Light embraces me
As my rags fall to my feet.
In their place
Love has woven a mantle,
A robe of Being,
That more than clothes me.

It is a signal grace,
That names me,
With it, You announce
To all Creation
Who I am in You.

My “Yes” reverberates
Throughout the Universe.
I am new,
Like a star at its birth,
Bursting forth
With Your Holiness;
Baptized in Your Redemption.

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
O, You, Who took my part?
Go now,
In search of my accusers.

© 2011 Joann Nelander

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry– Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood.  It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display.

The Church of Christ Rises on the Firm Foundation of Peter’s Faith

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

The Church of Christ rises on the firm foundation of Peter’s faith

Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the calling of all nations, and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church. Though there are in God’s people many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler. Beloved, how great and wonderful is this sharing of his power that God in his goodness has given to this man. Whatever Christ has willed to be shared in common by Peter and the other leaders of the Church, it is only through Peter that he has given to others what he has not refused to bestow on them.

The Lord now asks the apostles as a whole what men think of him. As long as they are recounting the uncertainty born of human ignorance, their reply is always the same.

But when he presses the disciples to say what they think themselves, the first to confess his faith in the Lord is the one who is first in rank among the apostles.

Peter says: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replies: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are blessed, he means, because my Father has taught you. You have not been deceived by earthly opinion, but have been enlightened by inspiration from heaven. It was not flesh and blood that pointed me out to you, but the one whose only-begotten Son I am.

He continues: And I say to you. In other words, as my Father has revealed to you my godhead, so I in my turn make known to you your pre-eminence. You are Peter: though I am the inviolable rock, the cornerstone that makes both one, the foundation apart from which no one can lay any other, yet you also are a rock, for you are given solidity by my strength, so that which is my very own because of my power is common between us through your participation.

And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. On this strong foundation, he says, I will build an everlasting temple. The great height of my Church, which is to penetrate the heavens, shall rise on the firm foundation of this faith.

The gates of hell shall not silence this confession of faith; the chains of death shall not bind it. Its words are the words of life. As they lift up to heaven those who profess them, so they send down to hell those who contradict them.

Blessed Peter is therefore told: To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth is also bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.

The authority vested in this power passed also to the other apostles, and the institution established by this decree has been continued in all the leaders of the Church. But it is not without good reason that what is bestowed on all is entrusted to one. For Peter received it separately in trust because he is the prototype set before all the rulers of the Church.

Sent from my iPod

A Quick Rhyming Poem

Sleeping Pups

Sleeping Pups / Wikipedia

 
 

Up pup!
 
 

© 2011 Joann Nelander

Indictment

 

The Indictment
 

A nation that calls Black, “White”,
And Sin, “Righteousness”,
Cannot expect the respect and reward it merited,
When it called Sin “Sin”
And Black “Black”.
 
© 2011 Joann Nelander

The remedy:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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:

Cry of One Forgiven

Beautiful Colorado


Cry of One Forgiven

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
For that moment,
In which You scattered
My accusers,
And took my part?

As I looked up
From the mud of my despair,
Your majestic countenance
Was all.
You loomed before me,
Brighter than the Sun.

Who could have imagined
Such grandeur?
You wore holiness like a crown
That more than circled Your brow.
Rather, it emanated,
As light from Your Being,
Announcing Who You are?

Only humility can receive You,
And dare Your gaze.
For Your Eyes
Pierce the soul,
Revealing all.

Only those crying for a Savior
Dare look up,
To confess with that glance
Their fault and nakedness,
Helpless and all pleading.

Only the thirsty
Can drink in the majesty
Of Your knowing.
For pride is the travesty,
That hides,
For fear of revelation.

That moment shattered my fear
And rent the clouds of all my life.
Taking proffered Hand,
I rise to my feet
Then, as now, again,

Light embraces me
As my rags fall to my feet.
In their place
Love has woven a mantle,
A robe of Being,
That more than clothes me.

It is a signal grace,
That names me,
With it, You announce
To all Creation
Who I am in You.

My “Yes” reverberates
Throughout the Universe.
I am new,
Like a star at its birth,
Bursting forth
With Your Holiness;
Baptized in Your Redemption.

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
O, You, Who took my part?
Go now,
In search of my accusers.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Beautiful Colorado

One of my New Year resolutions is to post to my blog everyday. I’ve been in the mountains of Colorado and not writing much but I took pictures. Here’s a look-see at winter at 8000 feet and my husky, Tubok.

Tubok copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Summer - Road to Lake City, CO.

 

Copyright  Joann Nelander

The Sacrifice of Abraham

From a homily on Genesis by Origin, priest

The sacrifice of Abraham

Abraham took wood for the burnt offering and placed it upon Isaac his son, and he took fire and a sword in his hands, and together they went off. Isaac himself carries the wood for his own holocaust: this is a figure of Christ. For he bore the burden of the cross, and yet to carry the wood for the holocaust is really the duty of the priest. He is then both victim and priest. This is the meaning of the expression: together they went off. For when Abraham, who was to perform the sacrifice, carried the fire and the knife, Isaac did not walk behind him, but with him. In this way he showed that he exercised the priesthood equally with Abraham.

What happens after this? Isaac said to Abraham his father: Father. This plea from the son was at that instant the voice of temptation. For do you not think the voice of the son who was about to be sacrificed struck a responsive chord in the heart of the father? Although Abraham did not waver because of his faith, he responded with a voice full of affection and asked: What is it, my son? Isaac answered him: Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust? And Abraham replied: God will provide for himself a sheep for the holocaust, my son. The careful yet loving response of Abraham moves me greatly. I do not know what he saw in spirit, because he did not speak of the present but of the future: God will provide for himself a sheep. His reply concerns the future, yet his son inquires about the present. Indeed, the Lord himself provided a sheep for himself in Christ.

Abraham extended his hand to take the sword and slay his son, and the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said: Abraham, Abraham. And he responded: Here I am. And the angel said: Do not put your hand upon the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God. Compare these words to those of the Apostle when he speaks of God: He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. God emulates man with magnificent generosity. Abraham offered to God his mortal son who did not die, and God gave up his immortal Son who died for all of us.

And Abraham, looking about him, saw a ram caught by the horns in a bush. We said before that Isaac is a type of Christ. Yet this also seems true of the ram. To understand how both are figures of Christ—Isaac who was not slain and the ram who was—is well worth our inquiry.

Christ is the Word of God, but the Word became flesh. Christ therefore suffered and died, but in the flesh. In this respect, the ram is the type, just as John said: Behold the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. The Word, however, remained incorruptible. This is Christ according to the spirit, and Isaac is the type. Therefore, Christ himself is both victim and priest according to the spirit. For he offers the victim to the Father Second reading
From a homily on Genesis by Origen, priest
The sacrifice of Abraham

Abraham took wood for the burnt offering and placed it upon Isaac his son, and he took fire and a sword in his hands, and together they went off. Isaac himself carries the wood for his own holocaust: this is a figure of Christ. For he bore the burden of the cross, and yet to carry the wood for the holocaust is really the duty of the priest. He is then both victim and priest. This is the meaning of the expression: together they went off. For when Abraham, who was to perform the sacrifice, carried the fire and the knife, Isaac did not walk behind him, but with him. In this way he showed that he exercised the priesthood equally with Abraham.

What happens after this? Isaac said to Abraham his father: Father. This plea from the son was at that instant the voice of temptation. For do you not think the voice of the son who was about to be sacrificed struck a responsive chord in the heart of the father? Although Abraham did not waver because of his faith, he responded with a voice full of affection and asked: What is it, my son? Isaac answered him: Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust? And Abraham replied: God will provide for himself a sheep for the holocaust, my son. The careful yet loving response of Abraham moves me greatly. I do not know what he saw in spirit, because he did not speak of the present but of the future: God will provide for himself a sheep. His reply concerns the future, yet his son inquires about the present. Indeed, the Lord himself provided a sheep for himself in Christ.

Abraham extended his hand to take the sword and slay his son, and the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said: Abraham, Abraham. And he responded: Here I am. And the angel said: Do not put your hand upon the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God. Compare these words to those of the Apostle when he speaks of God: He did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. God emulates man with magnificent generosity. Abraham offered to God his mortal son who did not die, and God gave up his immortal Son who died for all of us.

And Abraham, looking about him, saw a ram caught by the horns in a bush. We said before that Isaac is a type of Christ. Yet this also seems true of the ram. To understand how both are figures of Christ—Isaac who was not slain and the ram who was—is well worth our inquiry.

Christ is the Word of God, but the Word became flesh. Christ therefore suffered and died, but in the flesh. In this respect, the ram is the type, just as John said: Behold the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. The Word, however, remained incorruptible. This is Christ according to the spirit, and Isaac is the type. Therefore, Christ himself is both victim and priest according to the spirit. For he offers the victim to the Father according to the flesh, and he is himself offered on the altar of the cross.according to the flesh, and he is himself offered on the altar of the cross.

One Shot Wednesday – Week 33

Time again for One Shot Wednesday.

Here’s my one shot:

The Fall

 

Chains ethereal bind my soul
Confusion clouds the pathways of my reason
Who could have guessed the menace
It was over in a moment with hasty but firm decision.
Subtle flirtation turned a dance of dalliance.
Trojan welcomed without caution.
Grace dismissed with contemporary flair.

Reality now comes in many colors
Shades of gray,
A balancing act to fit the season.
Nothing’s black or white,
Anymore.

Who could have known the cost?
Who would have called it betrayal?
Yet, I had chosen.
I ignored the Voice,
All appetite,
And caressing desire.

Somehow I knew
There would be a price to pay
But how it would feel,
And what it would be,
Floated in some mist,
Too easily brushed  aside
With the feeling of shackles,
Weary old taboos;
So, Adam devoured the apple.

Handle it, I could and would,
Just later…
Now, was for me.
Later, for regret.
A logical scheme.
It worked for me!

The deed
And the darkness descended,
One following the other.
Night fell like a mantle on my shoulders.
Where the joy?
Where promised pleasure?
Where my once bright countenance.

I lifted myself to myself,
Sad at the pillage
Visited upon my soul,
I am alone,
Alone, but for my thoughts,
Thoughts, that, too, accuse you.

The world feels different today,
A bit more cloaked,
As with a secret,
But, I assure myself,
All’s well, the same.

Waking in another Kingdom
I draw back the curtain:
Without, a sky stripped of it’s stars,
Within,only black,
No sun of clarity,
No heart of love.

I can no longer trust
That dawn and morning light
Will follow in sure order.
Yet, somehow, I fear they might.
It must be me who changed?

I lingered in this abyss,
Fearing the permanence of my loss.
No stigmatizing letter branded,
For the absence of shame,
But my wax had melted,
and molecules rearranged,
Hardening, misshapen.

Drinking in the Truth,
I could not swallow
The gall of repentance.
Pride, like a master craftsmen,
Fashioned my demise
Tightening his chain about my heart.

My life, my life,
It’s my life!
I raged at unseen angels.
‘Til falling back upon myself,
I licked my wounds.
I donned a mask of merriment.

Then, one foot after the other,
I dressed for the world.
No one, I assured,
No one would notice
My fall from grace.

Copyright   Joann Nelander

Visit One Stop Poetry– Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet. to lift your spirits, to brighten your mood or just to get away from the ho-hum humdrum.

God Will Take Care of You-Video Cuteness

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 Fall

Found

Another Day to Choose

The Fall

Chains ethereal bind my soul
Confusion clouds the pathways of my reason
Who could have guessed the menace
It was over in a moment with hasty but firm decision.
Subtle flirtation turned a dance of dalliance.
Trojan welcomed without caution.
Grace dismissed with contemporary flair.

Reality now comes in many colors
Shades of gray,
A balancing act to fit the season.
Nothing’s black or white,
Anymore.

Who could have known the cost?
Who would have called it betrayal?
Yet, I had chosen.
I ignored the Voice,
All appetite,
And caressing desire.

Somehow I knew
There would be a price to pay
But how it would feel,
And what it would be,
Floated in some mist,
Too easily brushed  aside
With the feeling of shackles,
Weary old taboos;
So, Adam devoured the apple.

Handle it, I could and would,
Just later…
Now, was for me.
Later, for regret.
A logical scheme.
It worked for me!

The deed
And the darkness descended,
One following the other.
Night fell like a mantle on my shoulders.
Where the joy?
Where promised pleasure?
Where my once bright countenance.

I lifted myself to myself,
Sad at the pillage
Visited upon my soul,
I am alone,
Alone, but for my thoughts,
Thoughts, that, too, accuse you.

The world feels different today,
A bit more cloaked,
As with a secret,
But, I assure myself,
All’s well, the same.

Waking in another Kingdom
I draw back the curtain:
Without, a sky stripped of it’s stars,
Within, only black,
No sun of clarity,
No heart of love.

I can no longer trust
That dawn and morning light
Will follow in sure order.
Yet, somehow, I fear they might.
It must be me who changed?

I lingered in this abyss,
Fearing the permanence of my loss.
No stigmatizing letter branded,
For the absence of shame,
But my wax had melted,
and molecules rearranged,
Hardening, misshapen.

Drinking in the Truth,
I could not swallow
The galll of repentance.
Pride, like a master craftsmen,
Fashioned my demise
Tightening his chain about my heart.

My life, my life,
It’s my life!
I raged at unseen angels.
‘Til falling back upon myself,
I licked my wounds.
I donned a mask of merriment.

Then, one foot after the other,
I dressed for the world.
No one, I assured,
No one would notice
My fall from grace.

Copyright   Joann Nelander

A Letter By St. Bernadette Soubirou

From a letter by Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirous, virgin

The lady spoke to me

I had gone down one day with two other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river but the trees seemed quite still and the noise was evidently not from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale yellow rose, the same colour as her rosary beads.
At this I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things, and I put my hands into the fold of my dress where my rosary was. I wanted to make the sign of the cross but for the life of me I couldn’t manage it and my hand just fell down. Then the lady made the sign of the cross herself and at the second attempt I managed to do the same, though my hands were trembling. Then I began to say the rosary while the lady let her beads slip through her fingers, without moving her lips. When I stopped saying the Hail Mary, she immediately vanished.
I asked my two companions if they had noticed anything, but they said no. Of course they wanted to know what I was doing and I told them that I had seen a lady wearing a nice white dress, though I didn’t know who she was. I told them not to say anything about it, and they said I was silly to have anything to do with it. I said they were wrong and I came back next Sunday, feeling myself drawn to the place….
The third time I went the lady spoke to me and asked me to come every day for fifteen days. I said I would and then she said that she wanted me to tell the priests to build a chapel there. She also told me to drink from the stream. I went to the Gave, the only stream I could see. Then she made me realise she was not speaking of the Gave and she indicated a little trickle of water close by. When I got to it I could only find a few drops, mostly mud. I cupped my hands to catch some liquid without success and then I started to scrape the ground. I managed to find a few drops of water but only at the fourth attempt was there a sufficient amount for any kind of drink. The lady then vanished and I went back home.
I went back each day for two weeks and each time, except one Monday and one Friday, the lady appeared and told me to look for a stream and wash in it and to see that the priests build a chapel there. I must also pray, she said, for the conversion of sinners. I asked her many times what she meant by that, but she only smiled. Finally with outstretched arms and eyes looking up to heaven she told me she was the Immaculate Conception.
During the two weeks she told me three secrets but I was not to speak about them to anyone and so far I have not.

Planned Parenthood Video – Undercover

Hot Air has this on Planned Parenthood undercover sting video by Live Action Films:

Prostitute: They just came over, they’re workin’ with us, and we’re helpin’ them out –

Parenthood Planned Staffer: Mhm

Prostitute: Just keeping them safe.

Pimp: Could we even sign off as guardians? Could we even sign off as a guardian, is that even possible?

Planned Parenthood Staffer: If you were writing the support letter, yeah, you could say –

Prostitute: Oh good

Planned Parenthood Staffer: that you take care of them, you support them.

Pimp: Cool!

Planned Parenthood Staffer: But nothing here, like, our patients, we don’t ask for guardian’s signature. Everything is the patient. Like a thirteen-year-old could come in and get the services she needed, by herself.

Pimp: So, how would you recommend for them best to do it? Cause we don’t want them getting confused or what not, and it’s kind of a sensitive subject, so we don’t want you know, them saying the wrong thing, you know getting refused or turned away, so how would you suggest they go about you know being able to get the access even in spite of what they do, you know?

Planned Parenthood Staffer: Yeah, like, like I said everything’s confidential, they don’t have to tell anybody what it is that they do when they make the an appointment, it’s just gonna be between them and the Physician they see.

Got that? The pimp just needs to write a letter that says he’s acting as guardian of the girls and that he supports them, instead of the other way around, and PP will have no problem keeping his secrets. They just don’t want to know about — despite their legal obligation to report it. Planned Parenthood is concerned, however, when it comes to one issue:

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: I’m one of the practitioners here.

Pimp: Oh, ok. I was wondering, uh, do you have a moment?

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: Mhm

Pimp: I was wondering, um, so like is this still confidential?

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: Yeah.

Pimp: We’re involved in sex work-

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: Mhm.

Pimp: We have some girls that are kind of young like, 14, 15, that they might need an abortion-

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: Mhm.

Pimp: And, how is the best way should they could go about it?

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: They just show up, and set up an appointment. Do they have insurance?

Pimp: They don’t have insurance, some don’t even speak that good of English ‘cause you know, they just got here.

Planned Parenthood Supervisor/Practitioner: Right. So we have an interpretation phone, so if they don’t speak Spanish that’s not a problem. I mean if they don’t speak English that’s not a problem cause we can have an interpreter …

Once again, I’ll note that the national office did notify the Department of Justice about the visits they got from this pair once the clinics began comparing notes, but these videos show that the clinics themselves seem very comfortable with providing strategies for pimps looking to cover up their exploitation of underage girls. Is that what American taxpayers get with the $300 million in funding that goes to Planned Parenthood each year from the federal treasury?

Full video:

Another Day to Choose

Another day,
In which
I may chose
To love You,
Or crucify You.

By Joann Nelander

One Shot Wednesday – Week 32

Time again for One Shot Wednesday. Here’s my one shot:

Found

My Lord, my Love,
Turning to you,
I meet Your gaze.
Your eyes never stray
From your child.

Since my conception,
That awesome moment,
You have kept
Careful watch over me.

Through fleeting years,
You have guarded me,
As the apple of Your eye.
Your angels await my prayers.
I part my lips,
Pronouncing Your Name,
And they are at alert.

“Thy Kingdom come”
A flurry of wings
Break the silence.
“Thy Will be done. “
The brightness of electrum
Pervades the air.

“Give us this day
Our daily bread.”
Shining beings glow white hot,
Wings unfurl.

Soaring heavenward
To the throne of God,
Weightless spirits
Obtain my abundance,
In measure overflowing.

Depending on You,
For even my gratitude,
I rejoice,
For the Sun rises
Each day in my heart.

Searching for You,
I find Your trail,
There is food on the table
And horses in the stall,
My children, too, are clothed,
And I am adorned in virtue,
Protected by humility.
What have I,
You have not given me?

Though I spend myself in labor,
My vigor, I have not exhausted.
Though, I fall into bed at night,
I look back on a day,
Lived in Your Presence.
Now, I recognize Your disguise.
I find You in the dawn.
Announced by bird song.
Heralded in my children’s cries.
“Tie my shoes,”
I hear You say.

Hope sends out new shoots,
As I find my strength refreshed
By your calm streams.
My duty awaits me,
And I am Your steward.

Drawing from coffers
That may appear empty,
They are, none-the-less,
Full of opportunity,
As Your poor
Are always with us,
Depending on You,
And, You, on me.

You no longer hide.
You await me in the voiceless.
Your vessels of helplessness
Beckon me, “Come!”

Your Cross surrounds me,
As I find myself
Nailed to the society of men.
The blood of Adam fills my veins,
But, so too,
The Blood of Christ.

As I expend myself
On family and neighbor,
You are fed and clothed
In your hunger and nakedness.
As I lift my voice in song,
The high heavens resound,
Echoing Your Name.

My Jesus, You, fill the Universe,
For need and the Promise of Plenty,
Are all about me,
And I am Church,
Throbbing with Your Blood,
Beating with Your Heart.

Copyright Joann Nelander

Visit One Stop Poetry– Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet. to lift your spirits, to brighten your mood or just to get away from the ho-hum humdrum.

Found

My Lord, my Love,
Turning to you,
I meet Your gaze.
Your eyes never stray
From your child.

Since my conception,
That awesome moment,
You have kept
Careful watch over me.

Through fleeting years,
You have guarded me,
As the apple of Your eye.
Your angels await my prayers.
I part my lips,
Pronouncing Your Name,
And they are at alert.

“Thy Kindom come”
A flurry of wings
Break the silence.
“Thy Will be done. “
The brightness of electrum
Pervades the air.

“Give us this day
Our daily bread.”
Shining beings glow white-hot,
Wings unfurl.

Soaring heavenward
To the throne of God,
Weightless spirits
Obtain my abundance,
In measure overflowing.

Depending on You,
For even my gratitude,
I rejoice,
For the Sun rises
Each day in my heart.

Searching for You,
I find Your trail,
There is food on the table
And horses in the stall,
My children, too, are clothed,
And I am adorned in virtue,
Protected by humility.
What have I,
You have not given me?

Though I spend myself in labor,
My vigor, I have not exhausted.
Though, I fall into bed at night,
I look back on a day,
Lived in Your Presence.

Now, I recognize Your disguise.
I find You in the dawn.
Announced by  bird song.
Heralded in my children’s cries.
“Tie my shoes,
I hear You say.

Hope sends out new shoots,
As I find my strength refreshed
By your calm streams.
My duty awaits me,
And I am Your steward.

Drawing from coffers
That may appear empty,
They are, none-the-less,
Full of opportunity,
As Your poor
Are always with us,
Depending on You,
And, You, on me.

You no longer hide.
You await me in the voiceless.
Your vessels of helplessness
Beckon me, “Come!”

Your Cross surrounds me,
As I find myself
Nailed to the society of men.
The blood of Adam fills my veins,
But, so too,
The Blood of Christ.

As I expend myself
on family and neighbor
You are fed and clothed
In your hunger and nakedness.
As I lift my voice in song,
The high heavens resound,
Echoing Your Name.

My Jesus, You, fill the Universe,
For need and the Promise of Plenty,
Are all about me,
And I am Church,
Throbbing with Your Blood,
Beating with Your Heart.

Copyright  © 2011  Joann Nelander   All rights reserved

Brave Lover of Christ

Thomas à Kempis on Mount Saint Agnes (1569)

Image via Wikipedia

From Book Three of the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

THE VOICE OF CHRIST

MY CHILD, you are not yet a brave and wise lover.

THE DISCIPLE

Why, Lord?

THE VOICE OF CHRIST

Because, on account of a slight difficulty you give up what you have undertaken and are too eager to seek consolation.

The brave lover stands firm in temptations and pays no heed to the crafty persuasions of the enemy. As I please him in prosperity, so in adversity I am not displeasing to him. The wise lover regards not so much the gift of Him Who loves as the love of Him Who gives. He regards the affection of the Giver rather than the value of the gift, and sets his Beloved above all gifts. The noble lover does not rest in the gift but in Me Who am above every gift.

All is not lost, then, if you sometimes feel less devout than you wish toward Me or My saints. That good and sweet feeling which you sometimes have is the effect of present grace and a certain foretaste of your heavenly home. You must not lean upon it too much, because it comes and goes. But to fight against evil thoughts which attack you is a sign of virtue and great merit. Do not, therefore, let strange fantasies disturb you, no matter what they concern. Hold strongly to your resolution and keep a right intention toward God.

It is not an illusion that you are sometimes rapt in ecstasy and then quickly returned to the usual follies of your heart. For these are evils which you suffer rather than commit; and so long as they displease you and you struggle against them, it is a matter of merit and not a loss.

You must know that the old enemy tries by all means in his power to hinder your desire for good and to turn you from every devotional practice, especially from the veneration of the saints, from devout meditation on My passion, and from your firm purpose of advancing in virtue. He suggests many evil thoughts that he may cause you weariness and horror, and thus draw you away from prayer and holy reading. A humble confession displeases him and, if he could, he would make you omit Holy Communion.

Do not believe him or heed him, even though he often sets traps to deceive you. When he suggests evil, unclean things, accuse him. Say to him: “Away, unclean spirit! Shame, miserable creature! You are but filth to bring such things to my ears. Begone, most wretched seducer! You shall have no part in me, for Jesus will be my strength, and you shall be confounded. I would rather die and suffer all torments than consent to you. Be still! Be silent! Though you bring many troubles upon me I will have none of you. The Lord is my light, my salvation. Whom shall I fear? Though armies unite against me, my heart will not fear, for the Lord is my Helper, my Redeemer.”

Fight like a good soldier and if you sometimes fall through weakness, rise again with greater strength than before, trusting in My most abundant grace. But beware of vain complacency and pride. For many are led into error through these faults and sometimes fall into almost perpetual blindness. Let the fall of these, who proudly presume on self, be a warning to you and a constant incentive to humility.

Quoting Thomas a Kempis

“What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself.” Thomas a Kempis

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:

Yad Vashem – Remember

The Complete Fullness of Christ

Memories – I Once Had Them

St. Agatha

From a homily on Saint Agatha by Saint Methodius of Sicily, bishop

The gift of God, the source of all goodness

My fellow Christians, our annual celebration of a martyr’s feast has brought us together. She achieved renown in the early Church for her noble victory; she is well known now as well, for she continues to triumph through her divine miracles, which occur daily and continue to bring glory to her name.

She is indeed a virgin, for she was born of the divine Word, God’s only Son, who also experienced death for our sake. John, a master of God’s word, speaks of this: He gave the power to become children of God to everyone who received him.

The woman who invites us to this banquet is both a wife and virgin. To use the analogy of Paul, she is the bride who has been betrothed to one husband, Christ. A true virgin, she wore the glow of pure conscience and the crimson of the Lamb’s blood for her cosmetics. Again and again she meditated on the death of her eager lover. For her, Christ’s death was recent, his blood was still moist. Her robe is the mark of her faithful witness to Christ. It bears the indelible marks of his crimson blood and the shining threads of her eloquence. She offers to all who come after her these treasures of her eloquent confession.

Agatha, the name of our saint, means “good.” She was truly good, for she lived as a child of God. She was also given as the gift of God, the source of all goodness to her bridegroom, Christ, and to us. For she grants us a share in her goodness.

What can give greater good than the Sovereign Good? Whom could anyone find more worthy of celebration with hymns of praise than Agatha?

Agatha, her goodness coincides with her name and way of life. She won a good name by her noble deeds, and by her name she points to the nobility of those deeds. Agatha, her mere name wins all men over to her company. She teaches them by her example to hasten with her to the true Good. God alone.

Catecheses by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop

From the Catecheses by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop

Even in time of persecution let the cross be your joy

The Catholic Church glories in every deed of Christ. Her supreme glory, however, is the cross. Well aware of this, Paul says: God forbid that I glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

At Siloam, there was a sense of wonder, and rightly so. A man born blind recovered his sight. But of what importance is this, when there are so many blind people in the world? Lazarus rose from the dead, but even this affected only Lazarus. What of those countless numbers who have died because of their sins? Those five miraculous loaves fed five thousand people. Yet this is a small number compared to those all over the world who were starved by ignorance. After eighteen years a woman was freed from the bondage of Satan. But are we not all shackled by the chains of our own sins?

For us all, however, the cross is the crown of victory! It has brought light to those blinded by ignorance. It has released those enslaved by sin. Indeed, it has redeemed the whole of mankind!

Do not, then, be ashamed of the cross of Christ; rather, glory in it. Although it is a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, the message of the cross is our salvation. Of course it is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it was not a mere man who died for us, but the Son of God, God made man.

In the Mosaic law a sacrificial lamb banished the destroyer. But now it is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Will he not free us from our sins even more? The blood of an animal, a sheep, brought salvation. Will not the blood of the only-begotten Son bring us greater salvation?

He was not killed by violence, he was not forced to give up his life. His was a willing sacrifice. Listen to his own words: I have the power to lay down my life and take it up again. Yes, he willingly submitted to his own passion. He took joy in his achievement; in his crown of victory he was glad and in the salvation of man he rejoiced. He did not blush at the cross for by it he was to save the world. No, it was not a lowly man who suffered but God incarnate. He entered the contest for the reward he would win by his patient endurance.

Certainly in times of tranquillity the cross should give you joy. But maintain the same faith in times of persecution. Otherwise you will be a friend of Jesus in times of peace and his enemy during war. Now you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the generous gift of grace from your king. When war comes, fight courageously for him.

Jesus never sinned; yet he was crucified for you. Will you refuse to be crucified for him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross? You are not the one who gives the favor; you have received one first. For your sake he was crucified on Golgotha. Now you are returning his favor; you are fulfilling your debt to him.

The Complete Fullness of Christ

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Image via Wikipedia

From a homily by a spiritual writer of the fourth century

May you be filled to the complete fullness of Christ

Those who have been considered worthy to go forth as the sons of God and to be born again of the Holy Spirit from on high, and who hold within them the Christ who renews them and fills them with light, are directed by the Spirit in varied and different ways and in their spiritual repose they are led invisibly in their hearts by grace.

At times, they are like men who mourn and lament over their fellow men, and pouring forth prayers for the whole human race, they plunge into tears and lamentation, on fire with spiritual love for mankind.

At other times they are enkindled by the Spirit with love and exultation that, were it possible, they would clasp in their embrace all mankind, without discrimination, good and bad alike.

Sometimes they are cast down below all mankind in lowliness of spirit, so that they reckon theirs to be the lowest and most abject of conditions.

And sometimes they are held by the Spirit in ineffable joy.

At one time they are like a brave man who puts on the king’s full armor and goes down into battle; he fights bravely against the enemy and defeats them. In like manner, the spiritual man takes up the heavenly arms of the Spirit and marches against the enemy and engaging in battle tramples the foe beneath his feet.

At another time the soul is at rest in deepest silence, tranquility and peace, existing in sheer spiritual pleasure and in ineffable repose and a perfect state.

Again, the soul is instructed by grace in a certain understanding in the ineffable wisdom and the inscrutable knowledge of the Spirit on matters which neither tongue nor lips can utter.

Then again, the soul becomes like any ordinary man.

In such varied ways does grace work within them and many are the means by which it leads the soul, renewing it according to God’s will and training it in different ways so that it may be set before the heavenly Father pure and whole and blameless.

We, too, therefore must make our prayer to God and entreat in love and in great hope that he may bestow upon us the heavenly grace of the gift of the Spirit. We pray that we, too, may be guided by that Spirit and that he may lead us into the fullness of divine will and refresh us with the varied kinds of his repose, that by the help of this guidance, exercise of grace and spiritual advancement, we may be considered worthy to attain to the perfection of the fullness of Christ, as the Apostle says: that you may be filled to the complete fullness of Christ.

Reveling in God’s Love

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

H/T Simple Catholic / Simple Catholic Living

Reminders:

1. “O Lord, your love reaches to heaven; your faithfulness, to the clouds.” Psalm 36:6

2. “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” Jeremiah 31:3

3. “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, he will sing joyfully because of you.” Zephaniah 3:17

4. “As the Father loves me, so I love you. Remain in my love John 15:9

5. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

6. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal live.” John 3:16 (My personal, all-time favorite verse from Scripture!)

7. “What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

8. “For I am convinced that either death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38

9. “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the holy ones, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:16-21

10. “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet we are.” 1 John: 31