Slain Marquette Alum James Foley Recounted Power of Prayer

Marquette University alumnus and U.S. journalist, James Foley, was shown being beheaded in a video released by ISIS and posted on YouTube on Tuesday, according to Fox. Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria, had been kidnapped once before while covering the civil war in Libya in 2011. Afterwards, Foley reflected with deep gratitude on the good of his Catholic university education.

After his first kidnapping, Foley wrote in a letter to Marquette University:

With Marquette, I went on some volunteer trips to South Dakota and Mississippi and learned I was a sheltered kid and the world had real problems. I came to know young people who wanted to give their hearts for others. Later I volunteered in a Milwaukee junior high school up the street from the university and was inspired to become an inner-city teacher. But Marquette was perhaps never a bigger friend to me than when I was imprisoned as a journalist.

Myself and two colleagues had been captured and were being held in a military detention center in Tripoli. Each day brought increasing worry that our moms would begin to panic. My colleague, Clare, was supposed to call her mom on her birthday, which was the day after we were captured. I had still not fully admitted to myself that my mom knew what had happened. But I kept telling Clare my mom had a strong faith.

I prayed she’d know I was OK. I prayed I could communicate through some cosmic reach of the universe to her.

I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.

In the letter, James also recounted that, in a rare phone call home during the detention, his mother informed him that Marquette had held a prayer vigil for him, and he was later able to listen to a speech given at that vigil.

It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

He later returned to Marquette and gave a talk about his experience.

After resuming overseas journalism, this time in Syria, Foley was reportedly kidnapped a second time near the Turkish border on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Marquette again held a prayer service for him, attended by his paren

via Slain Marquette Alum James Foley Recounted Power of Prayer.

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I See You through Tears

I see You through tears,
Cascading as a cleansing waterfall,
Washing away,
And carrying away,
The deeds and impurities
Of the Old Man.

Virginal flesh as gift,
Are my arraignment.
Looking in the mirror,
I see me with my eyes,
But in faith,
I see You.

The taint and stain of Sin,
The mocking of the Accuser,
Can not touch me.
Here in Your arms,
Under Your Mantle.
I find rest.

Tent with me.
Cover me.
Grace me,
And transform me,
As a land restored
And fertile .

Let me hear the roar
Of the cleansing waterfall.
Drown out
With a holy whisper,
The remembrance of Egypt,
And the shame of slavery.

My tears remind me
Of the interior bath,
And healing balm,
The gracious gift of Your work
By Your Presence,
And Your ministries.

River of Life,
I have eyes only for You.
You carry me,
And sweep along with me,
Making holy,
All I hold dear.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Loving You

I lie here
Loving You,
O my God.

Who can conceive
Of You,
I Am Who Am?

You are ,
And it is You,
Who call me forth,
To know You.
I but glimpse
Your glory for now.

Catching sight of You,
Even for this moment,
I spend all I am,
To gaze on You,
Eternally.

For You see me
And love
Me,
And loving me,
You perfect me,
Uniting me
By a million million kisses,
No rather,
Kisses without number.

My "yes"
Has wed us.
"Forever" begins
With You,
And I will not turn back.

I lie here,
Living You,
O my God..
You are faithful.

Copyright 2014 Joan Joann Constance (Concetta) Therese Salerno Nelander

All rights reserved

Folly’s Zeal

Immodest child,
Immoderate man,
So, you think to slay dragons,
By wit and prowess,
Armed with nature’s sword.

You think it cruel
And mean-spirited,
That a "good" God
Choose to temper you,
By merciful humiliation.

He thwarts your inventions,
And plans of glory.
"All for God," your dream,
Yet you are at the center,
With your well-chosen cross.

"Indiscreet zeal"
Immature man,
Undone by impatience,
Intemperance,
And swollen pride.

Each day God waits
Supplies the Way,
Plans a day
Filled to the brim
With humility’s simplicity.

Abandonment,
Acceptance,
Both arrow and bow,
To hit the mark
Marked out by Love.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Acknowledgement:

In a chapter called, "Immature Zeal" Ralph Martin points out the effectiveness overtime of "ordinary grace" and "common life," in his book, The Fulfillment of All Desires, a Guidebook to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints.

Ralph quotes Sts. Teresa of Avila and Bernard to point out our folly in relying inordinately on ourselves to become holy and to do great things for God, both early in the spiritual life, and later on, when temptations are subtler.

Scriptural Rosary Podcast

Joyful Scriptural Mysteries – Podcast
Luminous Scriptural Mysteries – Podcast
Sorrowful Scriptural Mysteries Pt.1 Podcast
Sorrowful Scriptural Mysteries Pt.2 Podcast
Glorious Scriptural Mysteries –

For Fear Apart #Christian Poetry #Catholic

Why apart?
From the in-gathering, all embracing Mother Church you flee,
To remain apart all the while,
Calling and yearning for your God.

You flee and I run after you,
Pursuing you at every turn,
As I reach and you pull your hand away.
Why not stay?
My Body yearns for you.
My members long to know you.

I wait upon your prayers
With angels ready to dispatch.
O, Pardoned Soul,
You seek your God in myriad ways,
I am here, wedded to My Bride,
Always at her side,
Promised never to depart.
You hold yourself apart.

You’ve built a chapel in your heart
For others that play God,
I call and draw you by Love
Within the chapel of your heart.

You sigh as I tug
At heart strings tight and taunt.
You resist Me for fear they’ll break.
I woo, I’m told to wait.
You say you are not ready
For Love’s music.

“Measure me Your Love,” you say.
“Give comfort, strength and sure supply,
But do not on my ‘Yes’ rely.”

Perhaps the Bride, the Church,
Who bears My Word forth
Unto all centuries,
Has words you n’er obey,
In dread fear of the “ought”
You can not bear.

You will your will be done on earth
And choose to judge all heaven.
You want only love’s first glance,
The sweet embrace
And kiss upon the cheek,
Nothing too dear, nothing too deep.
It seems a bitter end,
To lose yourself in giving all.

O Measured One.
You know Love comes with a Cross,
A Cross you fear to carry.
You choose to stay apart
And skirt the Cross.

Alas, the world without has crosses, too.
They may come disguised in promised delight,
But soon you’ll drag that empty dream uphill.

How long one longs
And labors longingly
And all alone
Beneath the weight
Of vanities profane,
I do not say.
I only await a cry, a plea, A glance of recognition.
When our eyes meet, then our hearts meet;
At long last your leap into the arms
Of One Who grasps you in your fall.

Be mine as Church joined to Husband.
At last the Lord of All
Can leap the walls you’ve built about yourself
To know you now
Within His Sacred Heart,
Bearing your cross in His,
Making all things new
And all your burdens light.
Count now as joy life
Without measure.

Fear not my Church.
She is My Spouse,
My very Body;
I, the Head.

I woo and wait,
Now, as Groom upon the altar.
It is for you
To give yourself away.

by Joann Nelander

Flowers and Drunken Bees #poetry

Flowers in the rain
Petals open to sustain

Life that is and is to be
Crouched in hidden expectancy

Bees by colors in delight,
Arrested, nay, beguiled, alight.

To sip and gather on furry feet
Nectar and pollen of life so sweet.

Flower to flower in drunken run
Dance the mystery now begun.

by Joann Nelander

*  "A hapless male bee, blind drunk with the flower’s overpowering pheromones, might well mistake a toadstool for a suitable mate" a tidbit from Wikipedia