Beholding Past, Present & Future

 

In Time,

Yet above it,

Beholding Past, Present and Future,

Christ, look upon my fore-bearers,

Still alive by virtue of an immortal soul.

Look upon my world, spinning in Space,

Held in its journey through Time,

By Your Father’s Almighty Word,

Destined for Judgement,

Bequeathed Mercy.

Look upon me,

In my time,

In my place,

On my journey.

My Jesus, Mercy.

Five Paths of Repentance

From a homily by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

Five paths of repentance

Would you like me to list also the paths of repentance? They are numerous and quite varied, and all lead to heaven.
A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified. For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: I said: I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and you forgave the wickedness of my heart. Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse you within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.
That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants’ sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
Do you want to know of a third path? It consists of prayer that is fervent, careful and comes from the heart.
If you want to hear of a fourth, I will mention almsgiving, whose power is great and far-reaching.
If, moreover, a man lives a modest, humble life, that, no less than the other things I have mentioned, takes sin away. Proof of this is the tax-collector who had no good deeds to mention, but offered his humility instead and was relieved of a heavy burden of sins.
Thus I have shown you five paths of repentance; condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor’s sins against us, prayer, almsgiving and humility.
Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord’s bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box!
Now that we have learned how to heal these wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the holy table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the king of glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.      

Via divineoffice.org      

Courts of Praise

Thank you, dear Lord, for my life long,

for beloved family and friends,

and all dear hearts touching mine.

My treasure trove of souls

spills far beyond my time

to number as my own

those who have gone before,

your saints of ages past,

the cloud of witnesses on high

and pure angelic beings

in realms veiled from the eye.

There never was a day in which I was alone,

nor forgotten before Your throne.

There, at Your feet,

all heaven sweet anthems raise

to set celestial hearts ablaze.

My heart with choruses

swell my love,

grown great in gratitude.

I make a small return of love beside Your All Love.

You count my debt as paid

and bid me enter courts of praise.

By Joann Nelander

Keep Praying

Here I am,
Your poor one,
Your lowly one,
Your empty one,
Kneeling in adoration..

You spread out Space and Time,
Knowing You would call me forth.
And then You did.

You called to me,
Forming me from the Earth,
You Who played among the Pleides,
Stooped to play with me.

You kissed me,
With the Breath of Your Mouth,
You filled me,
Shaping me,
Empowering me,
Placing in me a formless hope.

Hope grew with the babe,
And sought with fingers of my senses.
Peeling back the covering of Mystery,
Revealing treasures hidden in the earth,
And dancing in the heavens,

Witnessed with wonder in the Night,
The Universe invited me to You,
To join You in the dance,
For which all Time and Space,
All days and all nights,
All mystery had poured forth,
With Your Cry for Light.

Your Heartbeat created the rhythms of the constellations,
The ebb and flow of cosmic seas.
Your Heart beat for Your dream of Man,
Your dream of me.

You, given as gift,
Hidden from blind eyes,
Hidden among the stars,
Spreading across Your Time,
Filling all Your Majestic Space,
Slowly whispering Your secrets,
And revealing truths,
Revealed Ultimate Truth.
You in Your Way spoke to me.

There was more than matter wrapped in my being.
Secreted without shape,
Without form,
Without stuff,
With only the power to will,
And, thereby, to Love,
To know,
And, thereby, to seek and search,
That, in living, I might come to discover You,
With me, beside me and all around me,
Waiting for me to love You.

You, Who always knew me,
And loved me,
In my ignorance,
In my blindness
And in my very being,
Even while Sin entered in to obscure Your work,
And the wonder of me,
Graced me with a soul.

I didn’t know You.
I couldn’t see You.
I didn’t know to seek after You.
Until I saw You hanging there,
Crossing the abyss,
Above the world,
Suspended and told throughout Time,

Now, at long last, I pray,
And gasp for You, my Breath.
You are the shape of me,
Saved for an eternity
Beyond gaseous matter,
And starry night,
A Day created by the One Uncreated,
And lived in the Wedding
Of Love, of soul and Spirit-being.
For this I will,
With my indomitable will,
Keep praying.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Moments before Dawn

In these precious moments before dawn
Prepare my waking body and soul
to serve You,
As You served our heavenly Father,
In Your Incarnation.

Dawning in the Virgin’s
Womb,
Hidden Divinity,
Secret, sacred, Savior,
Announced and served by Angels,
Alive in hallowed Love,
Glorifying Man in Your Mortal Garb,
You are hidden now in me.

Manifest Your glory,
In all humility,
As, yet again,
You dawn anew,
In this heart that longs for You.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

You Are the Music

Jesus,  write the symphony of my life.

In Your Mystery of becoming,

Blend every note,

And sing the harmony

That embraces the sinner

To create the saint.

You are here

With the Father and Holy Spirit,

Supping and residing,

I receive You in Holy Communion,

Grant that I might never neglect You,

My Holy Guests.

I place You on the music stand of my life.

You are the Score,

And Conductor.

All I receive, I give

On the wind of the Spirit,

To be rightly arranged.

You be the music playing in my soul.

In chorus, Seraphim and Saints intercede,

And I and all creation dance with Miriam

As Jesus mediates the Victory

In His Song of Salvation.

© 2015 Joann Nelander

Lifting the Veil

Lift the veil in this morass of Sin,
That faith may blossom and hope enter in.
Let the Sun of Justice shine
Upon a people in decline,
That looking up from the tyranny of power and things
Your face may captivate and solace bring.

Pour down torrents of Thy Grace
To cleanse this dry and brutal place ,
Uproot to plant anew
A Day of peace like settled dew,
That minds be bright and intellects sublime
And our only glory may be Thine.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Accountable

O Man, awaken!
On Earth, you are held accountable,
Are you not?

You sing for your supper.
You dance to life’s tune.
Only the air is free.
All else is taxed.
The first fruit is owed another.

You fear to run from the law.
You are held to a measure.!
If it be such for a man of earth,
Mortal, yet accountable,
Where will a soul, immortal,
Flee upon a coming demise?

Without the stuff of Earth,
Naked and stripped of pomp and circumstance,
Revealed as soul and spirit,
Answering not to man,
But to God,
Are we not all the more accountable?

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

You Looked Down

You looked down
From Your Cross
To behold faithfulness.
There stood Your Mother.

You beheld her look of grief,
Her suffering Your pain.
You wed it
To Your Own,
Presenting all
Before Our Father’s holy throne.

© 2013 Joann Nelander

Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity?
There us no dignity in dying.
It is dissolution,
Libation poured out,
The empty glass.

Dignity rests with the soul,
Persists, despite soiled garments,
Perseveres, midst death’s indignities.
It clothes the soul in hope.
Despite the tale the mirror tells.
Dignity confronts our demons.

It rises as limbs refuse us,
To fly free of earthly chains,
And contemplate the Face of God.
Copyright 2016 Joann Nelander

I am Mud

I am such a mess.
The rain falls on my soil,
And for a while I am mud.

No hint of fertility.
No hint of growth.
No hint of flowers.

Mud is self-forgetful,
A confusion of gift,
A profusion of promise.

The day will seed to my substance,
Serendipity and surprise,
Plantings for the morrow.

I shall lie here,
Loving my mud,
Waiting for the Sun.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Keeper of My Soul

I am because You are.
I will always be,
Because you create me for eternity.

Who can grasp the eternal soul?
Who but Man is spirit celestial,
Yet of this earth terrestrial ?

What does it matter that I am matter,
Made for this world and Time,
Yet envisioning a paradise more sublime?

Where will I spend my forever?
Is it for nought,
That I seek to do as I ought?

You whisper at sunset,
In the glory of the evening sky,
Telling of Mystery hidden from the eye.

You dream of me, eternally.
You fire my spirit and my stuff.
Knowing earth is not enough.

When earth can no longer
Hold my soul,
Sign me in Your celestial scroll.

Write my name in Yours,
Jesus, protector from death infernal,
Jesus, keeper of my soul eternal.

Entrustment

I do not see myself.
Though I long for holiness of heart,
Of this world I am apart.

I do not know myself.
Though I keep Your Image before my eyes,
The world appears in angelic disguise.

I do not trust myself.
Though I choose Your way,
I fear to be led astray.

I do not save myself,
Though I’m broken and and far from Heaven,
You live in me as heavenly leaven.

You, I see and know,
And You, I trust.
To You, my soul, I, mightily, entrust.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Entrustment

I do not see myself.
Though I long for holiness of heart,
Of this world I am a part.

I do not know myself.
Though I keep Your Image before my eyes,
The world appears in angelic disguise.

I do not trust myself.
Though I choose Your way,
I fear to be led astray.

I do not save myself,
Though I’m broken and and far from Heaven,
You live in me as heavenly leaven.

You, I see and know,
And You, I trust.
To You, my soul, I, mightily, entrust.

 

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Mystery of Mother

Mystery of Mother

Can there be the Child without the Mother?
Can heaven be grasped and pulled to earth?
Can heaven enter a heart without the heart’s consent?

Mystery of Love.
Ever present,
Ever growing.

Wholly Other,
Immanent and dear,
God made manifest

Fruit on the tree,
Following on winter’s death.
Sweet Mystery of Love.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Blessings

How precious this life!
Who but man gives thanks

Count your blessings and render thanks.
Who do you thank?
By whom are you blessed?

Do you thank your lucky stars,
Or render God a sacrifice of praise,
On the heals of swelling gratitude?

Copyright 2016 Joann Nelander

The Embrace

Clutching You to my heart,
My sins before me,
I make Your Death,
My dying,
And find my life.
You give Yourself to me.
You give Yourself for me.
I hold Your cold,
Your bruised and bloodless Body
As I pray.
Wiping the spittle from Your Face,
I behold the Man,
My sins before me always,
I cling to Your Words.
“Father forgive.”

Now for Eternity

All days have led to this day.

Yesterdays march up to the edge in Time,

But cannot enter upon my Now.

As precursors, they stand,

Peering onto this Today,

Blind as bats.

Their edges approach,

But halt at the Present.

Here, I reign with my will.

If all my mistakes

Shout for change,

Am I now the fool
Who fails to learn?

With the sun,

I am begun.

Eternity beckons me,

Where Time cannot go,

Invites, “Come.”

He, Who sails on Eternity’s Wing,

Would be my Mender,

Not in a breaking of the Past,

But a knitting of it,

A seamless clothe,

As His very own.

The morrow begins as a Way I choose;

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Are gift to my being,

And beginning in this Now,

I am His.

Just One Glance

Although, I have been resting in Your
Heart,
Safe in Your holy embrace
Throughout this night,
You has been waiting for this moment,
When my eyes open,
Hoping I would look at You,
And return Your loving glance.

Heartbeat

In praise and thanksgiving for the first beat
Of the Sacred Heart of Him
Who was born,
Savior and King.

As today, new life is conceived,
And secreted away in a woman’s womb,
Known only to God in darkness,
As it’s rhythms begin a song of praise
Ever so silent.

Then the moment of joyous awakening,
A singular throb sends a resounding shiver
Through amniotic waters,
Alerting angels of one more heart
Ready to join their chorus of hosannas.

Sounds full of thankfulness,
A Eucharist of being, and becoming,
Ever so sacred,
To the glory of God.

Milk and Honey

I hear of folly and fowl play.
I look to You,
And remember Your Cross.

The psalmist sang of the Dark Valley.
Yet knew Your Presence and Your shield.

Here in my world,
Reign and sup with me.

Hope surrounds me.
As I am Yours,
Beloved child in sweet surrender.

Even Pharaoh served Your purpose.
His obstinacy but a tool in Your Hand.
The Red Sea became a bridge.
Joining heaven to a People.

Times change.
Passover continues.
Your Will,
My Land of Milk and Honey.

©2016 Joann Nelander

Lifted Up, I Am Drawn

Lifted up,
You hang above the world.
Your outstretched arms
Measure the breath of Your Love.

How great the distance between us,
Yet, greater still,
Your unquenchable thirst for me.

I am a child, a lowly one,
Troubling you, yet, and always.
I tug at the hem of Your garment,
While You tug at my heart.

Lord of my hopes,
Lord of my longing,
Lord of my sorrows,
Lord of my weeping,
Ruler of all Time and Space,
You draw me to an Eternity in Your Embrace.

At Your Table

Here I am at Your Table.
I am all need.
I am all pleading.
I am all receptivity.

Here I Am before Hope.
I am sorrow.
I am grief.
I am empty.

Here I am before Your Throne.
You are Love.
You are Joy.
You are mine.

Thanks Be to God

For what am I thankful?

How about, that I am.

Yes, I am here,

A creature, one among others,

Willed into existence by the God of All,

Who constantly calls me to know Him.

I am free, in other words.

 

Yes, I am free,

Free to be free of God,

If I so choose.

There it is again, scary freedom,

Free to be ignorant of the One Who calls,

The One Who loves.

He calls through His creation,

Look at Me!

I Am Truth.

I Am Beauty.

I Am Love.

 

His call proclaims me not one among others,

But His “one and only”,

To be not only being,

But, exceedingly, blessed.

He says, be, by faith, and “Amen”, My Son.

Reign, as priest, and prophet, and King.

 

For what am I thankful?

I am thankful that I am grateful.

With my eyes, I have seen,

And with my heart, I have said, “Amen”.

I answer “Amen”

With my every heartbeat,

With my every breath.

With all the moments of my life,

I call to my God, my “Amen”.

 

I am son, caught up in Triune Being.

He wears my “Yes”, as eternal glory.

He is,

And I am all thanksgiving.

 

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

OCEAN OF GRACE

By the gracious gift of God.
You, the Invited,
Receive His Peace.
Heartbeat by heartbeat,
Breath by breath,
In each instant,
His Will comes to you,
The Chosen,
To freely choose.

Remain His by faith.
Living in His favor,
A rain of blessing falls,
To water your being,
And penetrate the ground
On which, and in which,
You stand.

You give consent,
And desire in Love,
And as a plentiful valley,
Moment by moment.
Rooted in the holy,
Sanctified by the Sanctifier,
Life and abundance of fruit,
Are multiplied in you,
And grown up around you,

Grace upon grace,
Help, healing and holiness,
Flow in abundance.
From the springing up,
To the watering flow,
Then to rush,
As to the waiting arms a beloved,
Presuming bath and baptism,
To the ingathering of rivers,
In consecration and convergence,
Love returns to the Ocean
Of its Source.

As a homecoming,
Meandering streams
Cut courses through Time.
The many become seas
To, at long last, mingle
In the Mighty Mind,
And Minder of our souls.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

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