God Bless America

Familiar face sing for a blessing.

A Drop in the Ocean

A drop in the ocean of the Lord,
Minuscule,
Tear-sized,
Hardly felt upon the cheek,
Brushed away
To fall into the river of Your love.

Once alone,
Barely a something,
Really "a nothing",
A lonely singularity,
But felt upon a Heart.

The tears of others,
Conjoined,
Confusion,
Profusion,
Holy joy in headlong rush,
Whisked over rock and rubble,
Carried by unseen arms,
Pressed on
By force of a Holy Will.

Cascades’ roar arousing fear,
Bewilderment,
Mingled vigor,
Hope rises to the surface
And churns the deep.

Fate creates a splash
And a rivulet of escape,
An instant of choice,
Puddle or precipice?

I hang upon a prayer,
Borne aloft in new fall,
Truly free fall,
Onto the rushing stream,
And weeping humanity prevails.

One drop,
Now millions,
Energy,
Direction,
Momentum,
Kinetic kaleidoscope,
Mirroring Divine power.

The tide of many waters,
Convergence,
At the edge,
And then the fall,
Not like the first,
In free abandonment.

One drop,
Transformed by divine law,
Holy Obedience.
Tumultuous streams
Carve the land without,
And all within.

Fertile flood of holy tears,
Serve now His Plan,
A drop in the ocean of God.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

How must we interpret this law of God? How, if not

How must we interpret this law of God? How, if not by love? The love that stamps the precepts of right-living on the mind and bids us put them into practice. Listen to Truth speaking of this law: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Listen to Paul: The whole law,he declares, is summed up in love; and again: Help one another in your troubles, and you will fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ—does anything other than love more fittingly describe it? Truly we are keeping this law when, out of love, we go to the help of a brother in trouble.

But we are told that this law is manifold. Why? Because love’s lively concern for others is reflected in all the virtues. It begins with two commands, but it soon embraces many more. Paul gives a good summary of its various aspects. Love is patient, he says, and kind; it is never jealous or conceited; its conduct is blameless; it is not ambitious, not selfish, not quick to take offense; it harbors no evil thoughts, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but is gladdened by an upright life.

The man ruled by this love shows his patience by bearing wrongs with equanimity; his kindness by generously repaying good for evil. Jealousy is foreign to him. It is impossible to envy worldly success when he has no worldly desires. He is not conceited. The prizes he covets lie within; outward blessings do not elate him. His conduct is blameless,for he cannot do wrong in devoting himself entirely to love of God and his neighbor. He is not ambitious. The welfare of his own soul is what he cares about. Apart from that he seeks nothing. He is not selfish. Unable to keep anything he has in this world, he is as indifferent to it as if it were another’s. Indeed, in his eyes nothing is his own but what will be so always. He is not quick to take offense.Even under provocation, thought of revenge never crosses his mind. The reward he seeks hereafter will be greater in proportion to his endurance. He harbors no evil thoughts. Hatred is utterly rooted out of a heart whose only love is goodness. Thoughts that defile a man can find no entry. He does not gloat overother people’s sins. No; an enemy’s fall affords him no delight, for loving all men, he longs for their salvation.

On the other hand, he is gladdened by an upright life. Since he loves others as himself, he takes as much pleasure in whatever good he sees in them as if the progress were his own. That is why this law of God is manifold.

Via divineoffice.org

Joann Nelanderlionessblog.com

Rejoice in the Lord always

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
Rejoice in the Lord always

The Apostle tells us to rejoice, but in the Lord, not in the world. Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, says Scripture, will be reckoned an enemy of God. As a man cannot serve two masters, so one cannot rejoice both in the world and in the Lord.

Let joy in the Lord prevail, then, until joy in the world is no more. Let joy in the Lord go on increasing; let joy in the world go on decreasing until it is no more. This is said, not because we are not to rejoice while we are in this world, but in order that, even while we are still in this world, we may already rejoice in the Lord.

You may object: I am in the world; if I rejoice I certainly rejoice where I am. What is this? Do you mean that because you are in the world you are not in the Lord? Listen again to the Apostle, speaking now to the Athenians: in the Acts of the Apostles he says this of God and the Lord our creator: In him we live and move and have our being. If he is everywhere, where is he not? Surely this was what he was exhorting us to realize. The Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything.

This is a great truth, that he ascended above all the heavens, yet is near to those on earth. Who is this stranger and neighbor if not the one who became our neighbor out of compassion?

The man lying on the road, left half-dead by robbers, the man treated with contempt by the priest and the levite who passed by, the man approached by the passing Samaritan to take care of him and help him, that man is the whole human race. When the immortal one, the holy one, was far removed from us because we were mortal and sinners, he came down to us, so that he, the stranger, might become our neighbor.

He did not treat us as our sins deserved. For we are now sons of God. How do we show this? The only Son of God died for us, so that he might not remain alone. He who died as the only Son did not want to remain as the only Son. For the only Son of God made many sons of God. He bought brothers for himself by his blood; he made them welcome by being rejected; he ransomed them by being sold; he honored them by being dishonored; he gave them life by being put to death.

So, brethren, rejoice in the Lord, not in the world. That is, rejoice in the truth, not in wickedness; rejoice in the hope of eternity, not in the fading flower of vanity. That is the way to rejoice. Wherever you are on earth, however long you remain on earth, the Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything.

Via divineoffice.org

Joann Nelanderlionessblog.com

Dreams Dreamt Before

Oh, I’ve waken to new sunshine

Of dawns risen o’er the hills.

I’ve swum in quivering rivers,

And climbed in flight as gulls.

I’ve shown bright with each moonlight

And fallen with each star.

I’ve feathered clouds with soft down

And sprinkled rain afar.

I’ve snuggled to a blade of grass

And clutched a rose as dew.

I’ve painted rainbows ‘cross the sky,

And lavished them with hue.

I’ve suckled sweetness from a bloom,

And fluttered, free to soar.

I’ve slept beneath the Tree of Life

And dreamt these dreams before.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Dawn Comes

O see,
Dawn comes
The first rays of Light
Upon the mountain.
How I have waited.
How I have longed.
Having embraced Faith
I possessed Truth,
But it was like the dawn,
Outside myself.
Written, as on tablets,
But, not yet,
Written on my heart.
It’s glory was God"s,
And not my own,
Not of my forging,
Not for me to fashion,
As a graven image,
Or molten calf,,
Arising from the fires
Of my concupiscence,
A counterfeit for Love,
Revealing only the blindness
Fallen on hearts,
Minds, and wills
Apart from Light
Of Dayspring
On Holy Night.

Now come
The long awaited symbolon
To make whole
To heal my soul.

O Holy Night
Putting an end
To lonely darkness
O Holy sight,
I wait
To see aright.

By Joann Nelander

Prayer for Our Day

Lord of Power and Might,
Harness the Four Winds
To serve Your Plan,
And bless Your inheritance.

Prostrate before You,
The Church raises a mighty cry,
To pierce the heavens,
And touch Your Merciful Heart.

Though our sins poison the many waters,
And our idolatry empower the Enemy,
May the sack clothe and ashes of our repentance,
Be sweet incense.

May our prayer and penance,
Be a shield emblazoned
With Your Name,
O Mercy Divine.

Reign down upon the Fiend,
The punishment our crimes deserve,
Chain Hell’s fury,
As in humility and meekness,
We render You Praise.

Salvation is Your Name,
O, Jesus.
Glad hosannas encircle Your Throne,
And the Glory of God
Shows forth in Love.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
The Seraphim cry in adoration,
As Powers, Thrones and Dominions,
Principalities and Virtues,
Pour down the Blood of Christ,
On Adam’s sin and seed,
To banish the Long Night.

Our God reigns,
His Cross lights up the sky.
Witnesses of Past and Present shout for joy.
Cherubim return to Your Jerusalem of Gold,
Spreading their wings above your Mercy Seat .

Your Temple is Presence,
Welcoming "Men of Good Will",
As Angels and Archangels
Secure the Children of God.
Amen.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Mysterious Will of God

From Your Cross
You looked upon Man
Your eyes were blinded
By Your Own Blood.
You could not even wipe
That Blood away,
For bound to a Cross,
Your Hands were held fast
To the mysterious Will
Of Your Father.

In Your Bloody Blindness,
You felt the anguish of rejection,
The rejection of Your People,
The rejection of the kings of the Earth,
The rejection of the once adoring crowds,
The rejection of cowardly friends,
Rejection of High Priests of Covenant Old,
And the rejection of disciples,
Destined to proclaim the New,
Alone,
Save for the Mother,
The Beloved Disciple
At her side,
And the repentant Magdalene,
Who knew both Sin
And deliverance at Your Hand.

From Your Cross
Look upon me.
See with Your heart
To forgive my Sin.
Draw me by way
Of the Blood and Water
Flowing from Your Pierced Side.
Wash away my Sin
In that Holy Tide,
That the Mysterious Will
Of Your Father
Give life to yet another son.
Thy will be done.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Many Veils

Still the many veils
Stand between us.
I know they are the weave
Of my concupiscence,
Hanging over my heart,
Weighing the corners
Of my smile,
Hiding me from You
In my shame.

Must I forgive myself
For being other
Than Your Christ?
My imperfection,
And repeated falls
Spoil my high hopes,
But I find them useful as well,
For the crushing of my pride.

The temptation to reign
In the place of God
Is Satan’s prompt,
And plays persistently,
Appealing in its disguise
As progressive,
And Evolution at its finest.

Unveiled before you
In humility
I see my call to be least,
And allow You to reign
Great in me.

Lord, triumph over vain glory,
Accomplish all
The Father desires for me,
That my baptismal garment
Of purest white
May appear
In all the colors
Of Your Glory,
God resplendent
Even in His smallest work
And humblest creature.

You Chose Me From the Earth

The day has begun,
And, already,
You have embraced
Your wee one.

I greet You
With the opening
Of my eyes,
With thoughts
That stream anew.

My slumber has brought me
To New Day.
The night was spent
In healing, and a continuity,
That like the day
Follows one unto the other,
Within Your sovereign embrace.

My body leaned
Upon You in trust,
To rise refreshed.
Phantoms of the night
Fled as Your Sun
Rose with purple dawn,
For I place my Trust
In You.
You knit me,
Body, soul and spirit,
Into a unity,
I have known
Since You willed me
Into being.
Unity creating one nature,
Sharing in your dual nature
Of God and Man.
Born of God,
In the Holy Spirit,
I am wed to You
And made ready,
Sun on sun,
For Eternity.

Remembering my frame,
And my need,
Stir into flame
Your Godly Presence,
So that the Bridegroom
Of my Soul
May this day
Take to Himself
The bride He won
From the Cross,
And I ,
Dust of the Earth,
May know the sacred bliss
Of having been chosen.
Being chosen,
And living, in the flesh,
The Life of God.

©2012 Joann Nelander

The Words Hung on My Lips.

The words hung on my lips.
I wanted to pray
I wanted to be
In Your Presence.
I wanted to feel
Good again,
To lift myself
Out of myself,
Out of my sorrow.

I looked about me.
The world was on fire.
I could not see.
I could not find one thing
To light my candle.

There was not a breath of air.
I could feel the dark.
It pressed
And weighed
And held me down,
Like trying to run
In a dream,
My efforts went
For naught,
Amidst a paralyzingly fear,
My feet are bound,
Phantoms tying them
To the ground.

I wanted to lift my heart,
So that I could sing again.
Where was the music?
Who could play it for me?
Was I really alone?

You used to play with me.
You used to be with me,
And dance with me,
And sing with me.

I used to stand
With the others,
Raise my hands,
Open my mouth,
And proclaim my love
For You.

Where are You now?
Where have You gone?
Or was it me
Who wondered off,
Who was dragged down,
Who fell
And did not rise?

I remember Your Promise
To forgive.
I need that;
I need that forgiveness.
Give it to me now!

I am still Yours.
You have been seeking me.
I know that.
I didn’t want to know that.
But I always knew that.

Find me now!
Here I am.
Now, I want You.
I want to feel good again.
I want to feel God again,
And I know
You’ll come.

©2012 Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns,
Kingship crowned,
Where the diamonds?
Where the gold?
Runlets of Your Mercy
Covering Holy Face.

Crown of Thorns,
Kingship in rejection,
Shining as diamonds,
Pure as gold,
Blood, all holy,
Innocence dying on a Cross,
Satisfying the Father’s desire
For sons and daughters
Made holy in His Christ,
Now by our willing,
And humble assent.

Crown of Thorns,
Glorious Redeemer,
They kingdom come.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns,
Kingship crowned,
Where the diamonds?
Where the gold?
Runlets of Your Mercy
Covering Holy Face.

Crown of Thorns,
Kingship in rejection,
Shining as diamonds,
Pure as gold,
Blood, all holy,
Innocence dying on a Cross,
Satisfying the Father’s desire
For sons and daughters
Made holy in His Christ,
Now by our willing,
And humble assent.

Crown of Thorns,
Glorious Redeemer,
They kingdom come.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

The living water of the Holy Spirit

From a catechetical instruction by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop
The living water of the Holy Spirit

The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of living water, welling up into eternal life. This is a new kind of water, a living, leaping water, welling up for those who are worthy. But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water; plants and animals have their origin in water. Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.

In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of this action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvelous. The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person,Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.

The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden, for he is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as he approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.

As light strikes the eyes of a man who comes out of darkness into the sunshine and enables him to see clearly things he could not discern before, so light floods the soul of the man counted worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit and enables him to see things beyond the range of human vision, things hitherto undreamed of.

COVENANT PRAYER

COVENANT PRAYER

The great efficacy of this covenant may be shown thus: Were a person to resolve that by every movement he made he wished to be understood to ratify and approve all the sins that are committed all over the earth, and to be held a partaker of them, it is easy to see what guilt he would thus contract. And if such an intention would have so great influence for evil, why should it not have immense force and merit for good?

O LORD God, my Creator, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee; but inasmuch as the necessities of this life prevent the constant application of my mind to Thy praise, I make with Thee this covenant, earnestly desiring that it may remain in force throughout this week.

Whenever I look up towards Heaven, I desire and intend to rejoice with Thee in Thine infinite perfections; that Thou art what Thou art, supremely strong and wise and loving and just.

As often as I open or close my eyes, I desire and intend to approve and concur in all the holy actions which Thine Only-begotten Son, and all the Saints in Heaven and just on earth, have ever done, or shall ever hereafter do, to Thy glory, and desire to be held a partaker in them all.

As often as I draw my breath, I offer to Thee the Life and Passion and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merits and sufferings of all the Saints, to Thine eternal glory, for the welfare and peace of all the whole world, and in satisfaction for the sins of all men.

Whenever I sigh, I intend to detest and abhor every sin, as well my own sins as those which have ever been committed from the beginning of the world against the honour of Thy Name. Would that the slight and worthless offering of my blood might be accepted in satisfaction for them!

Lastly, as often as I move my hand or my foot, so often do I cast myself with entire resignation upon Thy most holy will, desiring that Thou wouldst dispose of me in time and in eternity, according to Thine adorable Will.

Joann Nelanderlionessblog.com

How Poor Am I?

How poor am I?
No one suspects my poverty,
For I hide it
‘Neath empty bravado.

All show,
The fool fooling all
But myself.
Yet, sometimes,
I , too, believe
My haughty claims.
How poor am I?

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012
All rights reserved

Hidden Gifts

Be attentive to the small.
Diminutive things hide gift,
Less the glory,
Inviting in simplicity
And in need,
Making room for God to move
Upon the empty places,
To spend Himself.

God will not keep company
With vain glory,
Nor suffer the competition
Of the arrogant will.
The humble,
Empty of self,
Win the Heart of God.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

Just One More Day

A Nation cries
In want of Thee.
Time hurries,
All the while consuming,
That which our hands have built.

Our plenty devoured
In furnaces of desire.
"More, give us more,
The engines roar. "

You wait,
That we might recognize
Your reign.
Your sun rises on each new day.
You are patient.
Wait, wait, wait….

Obedience is not our way.
We turn only blind eyes
And misprize chastisement’s scourge.
We know only
The gates of Hell demand,
Demand our sacrifice,
Human sacrifice.
We do not deny them.

No place too sacred to invade.
Give the gods their due,
For they pay our way.
After all, we are only clay,
Living to be merry
One more day.

You speak of Love and Eternity.
Our bellies cry out "Now"
"Who needs Your Throne!"
Give us bread without God Alone.
Our way,
Just one more day.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Abandonment to the Will of God

Abandonment to the Will of God,
That’s the Call.
What is holding you back
From accepting the Cross?

Give God your plans.
Give God your anger.
Give God your pain.
Give God your way.

Give God the nails
That nail you to your will.
Allow the nails in His Hands
To hold you fast with Him.

Our mouths may praise
His Father with Him
In this the Holy Hour of Abandonment.
We call His Name
As the crowds cry "Crucify."

This is the hour for prayer.
Then shall come the fruit of Crucifixion,
Then will God’s Justice descend,
Then will the rain fall.

In each heart that looks,
Cries, mourns,
Goes to their homes disheartened,
And yet believes,
A flower will grow.

God will yet feed the multitude,
Not with the bread of Mammon,
But with His Holy Flesh
Willing supplied,
The same flesh
Savagely devoured
By the mob.

As the praise goes up,
Then will His Reign begin,
Then will God bless the Land,
Then will the Father
Kiss the multitude
Who dared lift the Son
High above the Earth.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Happy Mothers Day

Virgin Mary Consoles EveArtist – Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO

POWERFUL PRAYER TO THE MOTHER OF GOD O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, thou who hast the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with thy heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of thy purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of thy heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us. Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, thou who from the very beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth thy holy legions, we humbly beseech thee, that under thy command and by thy power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Thy Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

Hour of Darkness

To the Cross we go,
A Nation hanging,
Lifted on the wood,
Drying up, exposed,
Blood drained
In a hemorrhage
Of its young.

Did you watch?
We’re you one
To wring your hands?
Were your hearts wrenched,
Or did you party
With the crowd
As the veil
Of the Temple
Was torn in two?

Suffer the Moment
Hoping with Love,
That the curtain,
Was split
From top to bottom,
That even now,
In the darkest hour
Of  choice’s choosing,
When Herod has opened
Yet another womb,
Salvation is found in the Crucifixied.
God will shine through
The gaping Wound in His Side,
As God is want to do.

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Knowing You

I have been flawed
For all the years
You have known me.

Ah, but You
Have known me.
In this is my hope,
That I have known You, too.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Purity of Heart

There is only one heart so pure,
As to remain demure,
One life lived in blessed union
With Your Own.
One so holy
As to share Your throne.

Solomon, in His wisdom
A type of Christ,
Rose from his kingly chair
To seat his mother
By his side,
Thereby made clear
Her stature in his sight,
Made queenly and motherly ruling
Her right.

Queen Mother, most pure and holy,
By the Father ‘s will made New Eve
To the New Adam, His Son,
You, Spouse of God,
Of flesh and blood,
Share in the rule
Of David’s Promised House.

When courted by the Holy Spirit,
Your "Fiat",
Made you One,
To bring forth
Holy Son.

purity of heart  AUDIO

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Rank and File

O God, that I may do my part.
All are arrayed for battle.
I am enjoined
Rank and file
In readiness.

Command us!
Vigilant and faith unconstrained,
We press forward,
Lean upon You
And desire all that You Are,

Our only rest,
Your consummate End.
With Your Spirit
We praise Your Glory
In the triumphant shout.
Alleluia!

The Kiss of Prayer

No one would argue
That I exist
And live this day
On Earth.
Yet, I know
That I am with You.

Here in this place
At this Time,
I breathe Heaven’s air
As I pray
"Come Holy Spirit"
And You come,
Bringing Heaven with You.

Scriptures says,
"Heaven and Earth shall kiss"
Am I not caught
In this embrace?

You Are a New Creation

"You are a new creation."

You hear the words,
Even delight at them.
Smiling and free
You run off to play,
Tucking the Words away.

Think to steal a day.
Take out the Words.
Turn them in your heart.
With fingers of prayer,
Feel their frame,
Touch them again.

The Words do not come alone.
He Who spoke them
Descends into your heart,
Repeats His refrain,
Speaks Love again.

You are a new creation.

Each time the Words are spoken,
The creature takes on a glow,
Exists in Time
Holiness accentuated,
Grace effectuated.

Pondered and plumbed,
Their depths revealed,
An anchor of Truth
Makes them the bedrock
Of your being.
With Love’s true eyes
All is new for the seeing.

You are a New Creation.

This post in linking to  week 41 poetry picnic

Catholics Come Home |

http://www.catholicscomehome.org/

The Lord’s Joy

The Lord’s joy
Is my strength.
He persuades my heart
By gentleness.
His mercy is a fountain
Of inner mirth,
Springing up in all seasons,
To temper my sorrow,
To pour oil into my wounds,
To salt my friendships
And to delight the Father,
Who sees me
Running after His Son,
And dancing with David’s abandonment.

May I be the dimple
In Your smile,
Appealing as the uplifted arms
Of a child,
And the innocent sleep
Of a baby.

Gladness be my swaddling,
That You may
Impart to me
The power the weak
Have to touch
The Heart of God,
Accepting always
His Loving will.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012