Fully Human, Fully Alive!

This is what we all looked like at 12 weeks in the womb. Legal to kill in all 50 states. Anyone think its not a person?
 

Glory Dwelling in the Land

From my small domain,
A mere spot
On the face of the Earth,
Shine out!

Like a monstrance,
Held high before me,
Give light to a world
In need.

O You, my Eucharist,
Heart of Love
Rule my heart.
Soul of sanctity
Convert all peoples.
Holy Truth,
Go forth to illuminate the Nations.
Then shall the heavens witness,
Your “Glory dwelling in the land.”

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012

All rights reserved

Human Responsibility Demands Freedom and Conscience

H/T St. Thomas More“Go and Make Disciples”

Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 2425

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts of interest to Catholic bloggers.

Join the fun by visiting This That and the Other Thing and creating your own link as RAnn directs.

Posts I’m sharing this week:

Remembering You (For Jackie)

Move the Hands of God by Prayer

Move the Hands of God by Prayer

In the silence God invites without words.
My prayers are often noisy affairs
Filled with faces, memories, love
And feelings of sorrow.
I am often overwhelmed
And moved to tears by the poignancy
Of a fleeting thought.

My heart tells me
That what seems insignificant
Holds a treasure.
God’s gifts often come in disguise
Like the beggar at the door
Who is Christ.
The Spirit says minister
Here in this place at this time;
Reach back through the years
To move the hand of God by prayer.

In prayer, I am with God,
The Lord of All, including Time.
I may have missed
Or misused moments to do good,
But God reigns in Eternity,
As present in the Past
As He is in my heartbeat.
God’s hands are not tied
By the flow of Time.
He is there and here
And Eternal Now.

My lowly prayer clothed in The Name,
Breaks down the wall that stands
Between my need or regret, and blessing.
Like the little donkey that carried the King of Kings,
My humble prayer sets in motion
The flow of grace to love, to heal, to mend,
To restore and bless anew.

By Joann Nelander

Remembering You (For Jackie)

This year my Mt. Sinai Hospital School of  Nursing class of “62 celebrated their 50th year since graduating as RNs.

My dear friend Jackie Meyer Ferguson fulfilled her dream of attending with great happiness and satisfaction.  This poem honors her memory:

 

Remembering You (For Jackie)

Remembering you
Has filled my days of late.
Long years,
Seasoned with friendship’s bond,
Salted with holiday greetings,
Connect an ever-present past
To new songs,
Carried on the wind.

Can yesterday
Be so far away?
Reveries, dotted
With the chatter of friends,
Done up in blue scotch plaid,
Call along the hallways.

White polished shoes ,
Set for a new day,
Watch, as after-hours laughter
Draws friends from the rafters.

Amid the pages
Yet to study,
Tales of the day
Grow in the retelling,
With magic to chase
Nervous phantoms
From the heart,
Plucking courage
In camaraderie.

I see your long tresses
Haloed in the sunshine,
And your dancing hips,
Twisting in laughing remembrances.

Saucy, bright, and alive,
So determined
For one so young,
Tempered and steeled
Triumphant,
The preamble
Of battles yet to conquer.

As a door closes,
Windows remain open,
For the soul
To cast a winking eye,
Assuring all,
That eternity holds
Places in the heart,
For organdy capped
Sisters in white,
Never to depart.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Blueberry Muffins News Flash!

Coleen Spiro’s ebook – Blueberry Muffins, Everyday Stories of God’s Love – is now available on Kindle!
And, to celebrate, she will give away a free Kindle copy to someone! Just post about this giveaway on your blog. Then link to Coleen’s  post and leave a comment. If you do not have a blog, just leave a comment on her blog and check back there to see if you’ve won. Contest is over on August 2 at midnight. Winner will be notified Fri., August 3.
Want to know more? Read some reviews here.

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts of interest to Catholic bloggers.

Join the fun by visiting This That and the Other Thing and creating your own link as RAnn directs.

Posts I’m sharing this week:

My Prayer

Photography by Joann Nelander

King of All Nations

Home, Hearth and Throne

Congratulations to My Grand Nephew and Foxtrot Battery

A Walk for the President

Live streaming video from Medjugore

Michael of the Morning

King of All Nations

Mother Mary,
You were with Jesus
From the instant
Of His Incarnation.
With your “Fiat”,
The Promise
Became a Man,
Dwelling with you,
In profound peace
And humility.

It was you
Who knew
This first intimacy,
Who cherished and adored.
Who waited upon Him,
With heart,
And mind,
And body.

The only eyes
That could see Him
At this tender age,
Were yours,
As you gazed on Him
With the eyes
Of your intellect
And soul.

An inward glance
Set your Immaculate Heart ablaze,
As you became,
Home and hearth,
And throne,
For a Child of one cell,
Destined to rule
The world,
As He had reigned
From eternity.

A Man like no other
And, yet,
Intimately,
One with all.

Open our eyes
To your Son.
With the Centurion,
Who presided
Over the Crucifixion
Of the Christ,
And opened His Side,
End our idolatry,
So we, too, cry
“My Lord and my God.”

Mother Mary,
Behold your Son
In me.
Prepare me to be
Home and hearth
And throne,
For Christ alone.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Home,Heart and Throne

Mother Mary,
You were with Jesus
From the instant
Of His Incarnation.
With your “Fiat”,
The Promise
Became a Man,
Dwelling with you,
In profound peace
And humility.

It was you
Who knew
This first intimacy,
Who cherished and adored.
Who waited upon Him,
With heart,
And mind,
And body.

The only eyes
That could see Him
At this tender age,
Were yours,
As you gazed on Him
With the eyes
Of your intellect
And soul.

An inward glance
Set your Immaculate Heart ablaze,
As you became,
Home and hearth,
And throne,
For a Child of one cell,
Destined to rule
The world,
As He had reigned
From eternity.

A Man like no other
And, yet,
Intimately,
One with all.

Open our eyes
To your Son.
With the Centurion,
Who presided
Over the Crucifixion
Of the Christ,
And opened His Side,
End our idolatry,
So we, too, cry
“My Lord and my God.”

Mother Mary,
Behold your Son
In me.
Prepare me to be
Home and hearth
And throne,
For Christ alone.

©2012 Joann Nelander

 

My Prayer

Words are swirling
Like leaves,
Lifted heavenward,
On bursts of emotion,
Only to settle quietly,
As the storm of love passes
Into Abiding Presence.

©2012  Joann Nelander

Congratulations to My Grand Nephew and Foxtrot Battery

Photo credit :Bernadette Buechler ( my sister-extrordinaire)  and Willowtree Studio

And while your here please say this prayer to St. Michael for Foxtrot Battery and all our military men and women around the world.  These are dangerous times!

Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.
Amen.

Video of Mont Saint Michel

“And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. And they prevailed not…” (Apocalypse 12:7)

Watch this marvelous video of Mont Saint Michel

 

Michael of the Morning

The prayer to Saint Michael mentioned in the story titled, Incredible Miracle: U.S. Marine Saved by Saint Michael, seems to be this one:

Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.
Amen.

Incredible Miracle: U.S. Marine Saved by Saint Michael

Dear Mom,

I am writing to you from a hospital bed. Don’t worry, Mom, I am okay. I was wounded, but the doctor says that I will be up in no time.

But that’s not what I have to tell you, Mom. Something happened to me that I don’t dare tell anyone else for fear of their disbelief. But I have to tell you, the one person I can confide in, though even you may find it hard to believe.

You remember the prayer to Saint Michael that you taught me to pray when I was little: “Michael, Michael of the morning,…” Before I left home for Korea, you urged me to remember this prayer before any confrontation with the enemy. But you really didn’t have to remind me, Mom. I have always prayed it, and when I got to Korea, I sometimes said it a couple of times a day while marching or resting.

Well, one day, we were told to move forward to scout for Commies. It was a really cold day. As I was walking along, I perceived another fellow walking beside me, and I looked to see who it was.

He was a big fellow, a Marine about 6’4” and built proportionally. Funny, but I didn’t know him, and I thought I knew everyone in my unit. I was glad to have the company and broke the silence between us:

“Chilly today, isn’t it?” Then I chuckled because suddenly it seemed absurd to talk about the weather when we were advancing to meet the enemy.
He chuckled too, softly.

“I thought I knew everyone in my outfit,” I continued, “ but I have never seen you before.”

“No,” he agreed, “I have just joined. The name is Michael.”

“Really?! That’s mine, too.”

“I know,” the Marine said, “Michael, Michael of the morning….”

Mom, I was really surprised that he knew about my prayer, but I had taught  it to many of the other guys, so I supposed that the newcomer must have picked it up from someone else. As a matter of fact, it had gotten around to the extent that some of the fellows were calling me “Saint Michael.”

Then, out of the blue, Michael said, “There’s going to be trouble ahead.”

I wondered how he could know that. I was breathing hard from the march, and my breath hit the cold air like dense clouds of fog. Michael seemed to be in top shape because I couldn’t see his breath at all. Just then, it started to snow heavily, and soon it was so dense I could no longer hear or see the rest of my outfit. I got a little scared and yelled, “Michael!” Then I felt his strong hand on my shoulder and heard his voice in my ear, “It’s going to clear up soon.”

It did clear up, suddenly. And then, just a short distance ahead of us, like so many dreadful realities, were seven Commies, looking rather comical in their funny hats. But there was nothing funny about them now; their guns were steady and pointed straight in our direction.

“Down, Michael!!” I yelled as I dove for cover. Even as I was hitting the ground, I looked up and saw Michael still standing, as if paralyzed by fear, or so I thought at the time. Bullets were spurting all over the place, and Mom, there was no way those Commies could have missed at that short distance. I jumped up to pull him down, and then I was hit. The pain was like a hot fire in my chest, and as I fell, my head swooned and I remember thinking, “I must be dying…” Someone was laying me down, strong arms were holding me and laying me gently on the snow. Through the daze, I opened my eyes, and the sun seemed to blaze in my eyes. Michael was standing still, and there was a terrible splendor in his face. Suddenly, he seemed to grow, like the sun, the splendor increasing intensely around him like the wings of an angel. As I slipped into unconsciousness, I saw that Michael held a sword in his hand, and it flashed like a million lights.

Later on, when I woke up, the rest of the guys came to see me with the sergeant.

Saint Michael

“How did you do it, son?” he asked me.

“Where’s Michael?” I asked in reply.

“Michael who?” The sergeant seemed puzzled.

“Michael, the big Marine walking with me, right up to the last moment. I saw him there as I fell.”

“Son,” the sergeant said gravely, “you’re the only Michael in my unit. I hand-picked all you fellows, and there’s only one Michael. You. And son, you weren’t walking with anyone. I was watching you because you were too far off from us, and I was worried.

Now tell me, son,” he repeated, “how did you do it?”

It was the second time he had asked me that, and I found it irritating.

“How did I do what?”

“How did you kill those seven Commies? There wasn’t a single bullet fired from your rifle.”

“What?”

“Come on, son. They were strewn all around you, each one killed by a swordstroke.”

And that, Mom, is the end of my story. It may have been the pain, or the blazing sun, or the chilling cold. I don’t know, Mom, but there is one thing I am sure about. It happened.

Love your son,

Michael

The prayer to Saint Michael mentioned in the story titled, Incredible Miracle: U.S. Marine Saved by Saint Michael, seems to be this one:

Michael, Michael of the morning,
Fresh chord of Heaven adorning,
Keep me safe today,
And in time of temptation
Drive the devil away.
Amen.

Art credit

Photography by Joann Nelander

Click for My Photo Gallery

Into Stillness Poetry–Listen, Read, Preview /book

Preview and Listen to the poetry of Joann Nelander

Listen to individual poems here

Live streaming video from Medjugorje

Live streaming video from Medjugorje

A Walk for the President

Surprise ending:

Home, Hearth and Throne

Mother Mary,
You were with Jesus
From the instant
Of His Incarnation.
With your “Fiat”,
The Promise
Became a Man,
Dwelling with you,
In profound peace
And humility.

It was you
Who knew
This first intimacy,
Who cherished and adored.
Who waited upon Him,
With heart,
And mind,
And body.

The only eyes
That could see Him
At this tender age,
Were yours,
As you gazed on Him
With the eyes
Of your intellect
And soul.

An inward glance
Set your Immaculate Heart ablaze,
As you became,
Home and hearth,
And throne,
For a Child of one cell,
Growing and destined
To rule the world,
As He had reigned
From eternity.

A Man like no other
And, yet,
Intimately,
One with all.

Open our eyes
To your Son.
With the Centurion,
Who presided
Over the Crucifixion
Of the Christ,
And opened His Side,
End our idolatry,
So we, too, cry
“My Lord and my God.”

Mother Mary,
Behold your Son
In me.
Prepare me to be
Home and hearth
And throne,
For Christ alone.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Trouble Mediating on the Mysteries of the Rosary?

From New Advent and Catholic Spiritual Direction:

A reader asks: “I am struggling with my Rosary meditation. Where should my attention be during the prayer?”Posted:

Our first task with the Rosary is to join her in each scene (mystery) presented. As we join her, we ask for her help and prayers as we gaze upon Christ. To bring this reality closer to our hearts, we can imagine ourselves standing with Mary. We are both looking at Christ in agony in the garden. We whisper to her to pray for us as we realize what is happening to Christ, and for us. We repeat our requests to her as both of us continue to engage with the mystery. Regardless of where we find ourselves after our initial efforts to focus our prayer on Christ, there are several principals that can help us maintain our peace when our minds seem to wander off...more here

King of All Nations

Cover your eyes,
Lest you look on evil.
Stop your ears
Lest the fowl word assail.

The unthinkable
Has come to pass.
The forbidden
Have come to be.

The very air carries
The Tempter’s brood,
Sinister, in cloaked deceit.
Evil snakes in high places,
Surreptitious, in plans and plottings.

Look, and you will not see
The Perpetrator.
Sound the alarm,
But to meet mock outrage,
And the blind eye.

The pot once simmering
Has come to a boil,
No lid to contain,
No effort to constrain.

Prepare ye!
Prepare Ye!
With prayer,
And fasting,
Prepare ye!

From the Four Corners
Trumpet blasts,
Herald of battle,
A call to arms.

Arrows, tipped with prayer,
Fly heavenward,
Rising to hail the Almighty,
To bid bright Michael
To storm.

Let them descend as rain
To pierce the heart of Darkness
To rout the Foe
On the Terrible Day,
The Day of the Lord.

Mercy opens His Breast,
Revealing a Heart of Love.
Justice clothes the anawim
In plated armor.

Light from light
Fills the Earth
As Pentecost,
And Genesis meet.

A New Heaven
And New Earth to come,
As the King of All Nations
Arises in the East,
Prepared to mount His throne.

Prepare ye!
Prepare Ye!
With prayer,
And fasting,
Prepare ye!

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts of interest to Catholic bloggers. Join the fun by visiting This That and the Other Thing and creating your own link as RAnn directs.

Posts I”m sharing this week:

I Am the Gift

Take My Hand

An Act of Faith

A Place Apart

Awake O Dreamer, Blaphemer

An Act of Faith

I have seen enough to know,
I just don’t know,
But there is One Who does,
Giver of Life,
Giver of generations,
Giver of prayer.

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
Mother, and father,
Grandmother, grandfather,
A circle of care
To pray it forward.

Faith waits upon the Lord,
A gift beyond measure,
A mystery waiting to happen,
Not in our time,
But in our Father’s.

No seed too bad
To wait upon,
Hope for,
Entrust to God,
In His Mercy,
And providential time.

Our own close their ears
To the prophet in their midst,
At home, or next door,
But no one knows
What God has in store.

“Place them here
With Me in the tabernacle,”
Whispers God to the heart.
“I’ll have the last word,
My Love to impart.”

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
“All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of thing
Shall be well.”     (Bl.Julianna of Norwich)

©2012 Joann Nelander

I Am the Gift

I am the gift
God gives to me,
Mysterious and known,
But to God.

Unfolding like the petals of a rose,
From tightly wound bud,
To glorious blossom,
Unfurled and unfettered,
I move with the wind
And dance with the sun,
Following its course
Across the sky.

I am God’s gracious gift.
He, the grace giver.
May I serve to delight Him,
By the fragrance of my being,
Offering no resistance,
As I incline
To the gentle breeze,
Or bow in storm’s fury.

The gift God gives to me,
I kiss and make return,
One smiling bloom
In God’s splendid bouquet of creation.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Into Stillness

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot

I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of…

View original post 301 more words

Awake O Dreamer, Blaphemer

Man in his pride knows best.
So says the arrogant spirit
Because God made you
In His image,
You crack the door
Of your sciences,
For less than a peek,
And marvel at your prowess.
In awe, you assume
The accomplishment your own.

No thanks for eyes, ears,,
The touch, the smell,
The faculties of intellect
And will.

Mine, all it mine you say,
And set out in sinful disregard.
No honor to the Name,
Simple blasphemy your frame.

Wake up, O Dreamer
You revel in your ignorance,
While angels wait
To open your swollen,
Lustful eyes,
To your shame
And repentance.

O, Man,
Humbly gaze on Truth,
And purity’s delight.
Say but the word
That your soul may be healed.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Take My Hand

Take My hand,
The very same hand
That in infancy
Grasped My Mother’s finger,
Hugged her about the neck.

Look into My Eyes,
The very eyes
That held My Mother’s gaze.

Let me take you
To your child,
Never forgotten,
Buried in secret mourning,
No day without pain.

Your little one
Has a heart of love,
A soul of patience
A spirit of forbearance,
And one solitary prayer.

Playing on the lap of Our Father,
Whispering the heart’s desire
In Abba’s listening ear,
Full of Love’s expectation,
Your babe smiles eternally
And waits for thee.

Take My hand,
The very same hand
That in infancy
Grasped My Mother’s finger,
Hugged her about the neck.

Now is a time to embrace
The gift I gave,
And give you still
In Love.

©2012 Joann Nelander

A Place Apart

A desert You prepare for me.
In solitude You allure me.
An encounter awaits me,
Your heart waiting for mine.
A thousand betrayals,
Hasn’t dimmed Your vision
For Love’s elect.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Love’s Mansion

A child lost,
A child stolen,
A child abandoned,
But not by Love.

Love held his hand,
As Death pursued.
Love clutched his life
To hold him in her heart.

When all doors shut,
When clouds descended,
When law conspired,
When men called evil good.

Love shared his pain.
Love healed.
Love fostered love.
Prepared a home.

Love opened the earth
To receive the blood
Of innocence,
Once more.

Love found a way,
To thwart the grave,
To forgive, to forget,
To encompass and enfold.

Love builds a mansion
With waiting rooms,
For mother, father
And lineage long.

From Adam past
Unto blessed Eternity,
Love reclaims,
Love invites to Mercy feast.

Love simply loves,
Sinner, martyr, saint,
The lost, the stolen, the abandoned,
Now espoused.

© 2012 Joann Nelander