Jesus, You didn’t rush through the moments of Your Passion on the Way of the Cross.
You didn’t hurry through Your Suffering on the Cross on the way to Your Resurrection.
Rather, You embraced the whole of each morsel of Time to sanctify the whole.
In Your steps along Your Way, may I walk embracing You,
In Your Passion, my passion,
In Your cross, my cross,
In Your Resurrection, my resurrection.
© 2011 Joann Nelander
I watched a friend at prayer.
From the moment her eyes
Met Yours on the Cross,
She was enraptured.
What is it that passes between like souls?
The gulf between You, God,
And Your creature is unfathomable,
Yet, Your love spans the distance and dissimilarity
With the intimacy of a mother
Suckling her infant,
All giving, all gift and all grace.
I watched my friend at prayer.
The world about her changed.
A holy space surrounded her,
As angels hurried to and fro,
Now bowing, now prostrate, now adoring.
All prayer unites,
As earth receives its Savior-God,
As Man exercises dominion,
Freed from Sin and chains.
Angels in swift flight,
Aloft on mission-wings ,
Peace on earth
To men of good will,
As Time and Eternity kiss,
Love knowing no distance.
I watched my friend at prayer,
As her prayer became my prayer,
You drawing all to Yourself.
Draw me now,
And all will in turn
Run after the odor of Your ointments.
O God, let me climb
The Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.
Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels
Of my garment,
And run with me,
By Your Cross.
On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
My Bridegroom comes.
©2011 Joann Nelander
New book, hot off the press: Tubok – Speaking from the Heart
From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest
I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen It is fitting that the end of all our desires, namely eternal life coincides with the words at the end of the creed, “Life everlasting. Amen.” The first point about eternal life is that man is united with God. For God himself is the reward and end of all our labors: I am your protector and your supreme reward. This union consists in seeing perfectly: At present we see through a glass, darkly; but then we shall see face to face. Next it consists in perfect praise, according to the words of the prophet: Joy and happiness will be found in it, thanksgiving and words of praise. It also consists in the complete satisfaction of desire, for there the blessed will be given more than they wanted or hoped for. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man’s desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God. As Augustine says: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our heart can find no rest until it rests in you. Since in their heavenly home the saints will possess God completely, obviously their longing will be satisfied, and their glory will be even greater. That is why the Lord says: Enter into the joy of your Lord. Augustine adds: The fullness of joy will not enter into those who rejoice, but those who rejoice will enter into joy. I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen, and again: He who satisfies your desire with good things. Whatever is delightful is there in superabundance. If delights are sought, there is supreme and most perfect delight. It is said of God, the supreme good: Boundless delights are in your right hand. Again, eternal life consists of the joyous community of all the blessed, a community of supreme delight, since everyone will share all that is good with all the blessed. Everyone will love everyone else as himself, and therefore will rejoice in another’s good as in his own. So it follows that the happiness and joy of each grows in proportion to the joy of all.
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The minister of a special calling
Although the universal Church of God is constituted of distinct orders of members, still, in spite of the many parts of its holy body, the Church subsists as an integral whole, just as the Apostle says: We are all one in Christ. No difference in office is so great that anyone can be separated, through lowliness, from the head. In the unity of faith and baptism, therefore, our community is undivided. There is a common dignity, as the apostle Peter says in these words: And you are built up as living stones into spiritual houses, a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices which are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And again: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of election.
For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood. For what is more king-like than to find yourself ruler over your body after having surrendered your soul to God? And what is more priestly than to promise the Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the altar of one’s heart?
Because, through the grace of God, it is a deed accomplished universally on behalf of all, it is altogether praiseworthy and in keeping with a religious attitude for you to rejoice in this our day of consecration, to consider it a day when we are especially honored. For indeed one sacramental priesthood is celebrated throughout the entire body of the Church. The oil which consecrates us has richer effects in the higher grades, yet it is not sparingly given in the lower.
Sharing in this office, my dear brethren, we have solid ground for a common rejoicing; yet there will be more genuine and excellent reason for joy if you do not dwell on the thought of our unworthiness. It is more helpful and more suitable to turn your thoughts to study the glory of the blessed apostle Peter. We should celebrate this day above all in honor of him. He overflowed with abundant riches from the very source of all graces, yet though he alone received much, nothing was given over to him without his sharing it. The Word made flesh lived among us, and in redeeming the whole human race, Christ gave himself entirely.