Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George...

Alfred Lord Tennyson/Wikipedia

This poem by Alfred, Lord  Tennyson seems very appropriate for the New Year -the Advent New Year beginning today.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

".. not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care."

This is for all of you with littles at home. I’m sure you can relate.15780822_1322925104395973_703252550165399183_n

artist Bernadette Buechler. Check out her work at Willowtree Studio

Pope FrancisVerified account@Pontifex 10h10 hours ago

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us all to recognize the sacred nature of the family and its beauty in God’s plan for humanity.

Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness

I AM WHO AM,
God beyond my grasp,
Outside of Time and Space,
How am I to know You?

Calling with the cry of a Babe,
You reveal Yourself,
To a people in darkness
That we may behold You.

You bring Light to my blindness.
I see in this Holy Infant,
“The Father and I are One.”,
“Whatever you do for one of the least,
You do for me.”

The heavy weight of Adam’s Sin
Is lifted as the Babe become Man,
Dies for the sons of Man.
You bring Salvation,
Good out of Evil.

I know You in believing.
I know You in repentance.
I know you in my deliverance,
And freedom to cry, “Abba”.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Millennial Dilemma–Video

Working with Millennials can be difficult. Here’s why.

Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents

On this, the Feast of the Holy Innocents. I write to honor and pray for the unborn infants who have been and will be aborted each and every day until we value the sanctity of life and by our prayer chain the Evil One.

From the Womb to Heaven

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord
Praise and exalt him above all
forever.”

If Your heavens can bless You,
Simply by being
What You created them to be,
As Your psalmist proclaimed
By Your Spirit,
How much more the living,
Though unborn children of men,
O, Son of Man, Human,
As they are human?

If the elements of Nature can bless You,
By coming forth at Your Word
Why not the children
Of empty, aborted wombs,
Who will not live to pronounce Your Name,
Yet shout Your Glory in their humanity.

The Waters of the deep,
Your subjects,
Obey by their being,
As the Star of Bethlehem
Obeyed in its course,
So Your snow-white lambs
Come to You in their dying
By the Sin of Man,
Sin for which You died.

You died,
Pouring forth a River
That flows forever,
From the Temple of Your Holy Body.
Gushing forth, O Blood and Water,
Wash the Innocents
Who suffer the cold and chill of Man.

All wind blesses You, O Lord,
So may the Wind of Your Spirit
Rush to the side of these,
The weak and the powerless.
Trusting in Your Mercy,
Allow Baptismal Waters to flow,
From Your Holy Side,
In answer to the prayer
Of the People of God, Your Body.

We pray in the Spirit of Jesus,
Whose pierced Heart
Released the Mercy of God:
Father, by Your sovereignty,
Permit our spiritual act
To the full extent of Your generosity.

We Implore the proxy
Of the Cloud of Witnesses
And Martyrs crying beneath Your Altar,
All who stand in silent witness
To the death of the Unborn,
Who will be aborted this day.

God willing,
Stand in and take up Christ’s Eternal Water,
More alive than all the waters of the Earth.
Pour it for me upon each child
Now in a womb soon to be emptied.

Pray with me, O Church, as the Water flows:
“I baptize you in the Name of the Father,
And of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit.

Let us call the girls “Mary”
And the boys “Joseph.”
God will call them by a name
Known but to Him.

That these new citizens with the saints
And members of the household of God,
Produce sweet fruit,
For having held the hand
Of a human chain of life,
From the time of Adam,
To the End of Time;
Father, grant those of their lineage
Faith in the Living God,
That those who will never
Know them in this life,
May embrace them in Heaven,
In whose courts,
They shall praise this day.

By Joann Nelander

Be Ready for the Infant King

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder un-allayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
The humble He teaches His Way.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Your 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.

Infant King Benign

O Infant King benign
I offer You the face
Of Mother Mary
As she gazed upon You
That very first time
Beholding long
Your holy countenance.

Her eyes, drinking in her Babe,
Her King, her Priest,
Her Son Divine,
Wept tears of joy,
And wonder,
In silent adoration,
Pondering comprehension.
She smiled in inward exultation.

You will never forget
Her look of love
As she gazed upon
Him, Who no earthly eye
Had seen,
A treasure for the world,
In her care,
To be wrapped
In lowly swaddling clothes
You, O Christ Child,
In Your humanity divine.

Heartbeat

Heartbeat

It is not I who cause my heart to beat.
I am the recipient of life,
The legatee of form.
My heartbeat continues, unabated,
Until You say, this much and no more,
Then and only then,
Will my soul take leave,
Departing this earth, this time.

I will my heart’s beating,
Sound as a prayer in Your ear,
That You may hear me murmuring love,
Throbbing with desire in my groaning,
That my imperfection resound as supplication,
Beating upon Your breast, a plaintiff reverberation,
Crying and wooing,
As a babe trusting, trusting.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Milk and Honey

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

From a commentary on Luke by Venerable Bede, pries

From a commentary on Luke by Venerable Bede, priest
The Magnificat

Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great, so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it, and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it. I offer then all the powers of my soul in praise and thanksgiving. As I contemplate his greatness, which knows no limits, I joyfully surrender my whole life, my senses, my judgment, for my spirit rejoices in the eternal Godhead of that Jesus, that Savior, whom I have conceived in this world of time.

The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in his love does great things can proclaim his greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying: Join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord; let us extol his name together.

Those who know the Lord, yet refuse to proclaim his greatness and sanctify his name to the limit of their power, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. His name is called holy because in the sublimity of his unique power he surpasses every creature and is far removed from all that he had made.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy.

In a beautiful phrase Mary calls Israel the servant of the Lord. The Lord came to his aid to save him. Israel is an obedient and humble servant, in the words of Hosea: Israel was a servant, and I loved him.

Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved. They cannot say with the prophet: See, God comes to my aid; the Lord is the helper of my soul. But anyone who makes himself humble like a little child is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

The promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

This does not refer to the physical descendants of Abraham, but to his spiritual children. These are his descendants, sprung not from the flesh only, but who, whether circumcised or not, have followed him in faith. Circumcised as he was, Abraham believed, and this was credited to him as an act of righteousness.

The coming of the Savior was promised to Abraham and to his descendants for ever. These are the children of promise, to whom it is said: If you belong to Christ, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs in accordance with the promise.

Via divineoffice.org

From a commentary on Luke by Venerable Bede, pries

From a commentary on Luke by Venerable Bede, priest
The Magnificat

Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great, so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it, and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it. I offer then all the powers of my soul in praise and thanksgiving. As I contemplate his greatness, which knows no limits, I joyfully surrender my whole life, my senses, my judgment, for my spirit rejoices in the eternal Godhead of that Jesus, that Savior, whom I have conceived in this world of time.

The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Mary looks back to the beginning of her song, where she said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. Only that soul for whom the Lord in his love does great things can proclaim his greatness with fitting praise and encourage those who share her desire and purpose, saying: Join with me in proclaiming the greatness of the Lord; let us extol his name together.

Those who know the Lord, yet refuse to proclaim his greatness and sanctify his name to the limit of their power, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. His name is called holy because in the sublimity of his unique power he surpasses every creature and is far removed from all that he had made.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy.

In a beautiful phrase Mary calls Israel the servant of the Lord. The Lord came to his aid to save him. Israel is an obedient and humble servant, in the words of Hosea: Israel was a servant, and I loved him.

Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved. They cannot say with the prophet: See, God comes to my aid; the Lord is the helper of my soul. But anyone who makes himself humble like a little child is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

The promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

This does not refer to the physical descendants of Abraham, but to his spiritual children. These are his descendants, sprung not from the flesh only, but who, whether circumcised or not, have followed him in faith. Circumcised as he was, Abraham believed, and this was credited to him as an act of righteousness.

The coming of the Savior was promised to Abraham and to his descendants for ever. These are the children of promise, to whom it is said: If you belong to Christ, then you are descendants of Abraham, heirs in accordance with the promise.

Via divineoffice.org

Scrooge and Sacramental Confession

Scrooge and Sacramental Confession

I found John Clark’s reflection on Dickens’ Scrooge to be as the less literary say (i.e. me), “Right On!”
Via http://www.setonmagazine.com/dad/my-10-favorite-quotes-from-a-christmas-carol

“There is an antithesis to “sleeping in Heavenly peace”; and that is, lying awake in hellish chaos. It’s a theme that arises in the great literature from the ancients to the moderns. The solution is repentance, which Scrooge would soon realize.

“He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk— that anything— could give him so much happiness.”

“Everything could yield him pleasure.”

Dickens’ words will resonate with the penitent who has just been absolved in the sacrament of Penance and regained the state of grace.

This Christmas, many penitents will stand in lines for Confession. When they step out of that Confessional, you may not see them dancing, but their hearts are doing what Fred Astaire could only imagine. Mere gravity is hopeless against tethering that joy. One need not try to fly; the tough task is staying on the ground.

There is a theological term for all this: the state of grace. The “state of grace” is a very formal term. It seems very stately and very graceful. Yet, there is a childlike exhilaration to the state of grace and an infantile innocence. The state of grace is the state of happiness, of peace, of rest, of joy, of love, of wonder, of excitement, of newness.

The story of Scrooge is a story of repentance. But the best stories of repentance are fact. Not fiction. As I have said, I love this story. It is regarded as some of the finest prose in the English language.

But please remember this: If Scrooge’s story moves you to sacramental repentance this Christmas, the greatest chapter wasn’t written by Charles Dickens. It will be written by you.”

With Charles Dickens’ Tiny Tim, we say, “God bless Us, Every One!”

MY FEAST

MY FEAST

When You come to me in Eucharist,
You are the Eucharist.
You promise in Love that You will sup with me,
Along with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
You are the host at this Feast,
And the Holy Meal,
You are the satisfaction of the desires of my heart, My Love.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

The “O Antiphons” Of Advent

The “O Antiphons” Of Advent

USCCB > Prayer And Worship > Prayers And Devotions > Prayers

The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

December 17

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

December 18

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

December 19

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

December 20

O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!

December 21

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

December 22

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

December 23

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

—FromCatholic Household Blessings & Prayers

The desire of your heart constitutes your prayer

The desire of your heart constitutes your prayer Via divineoffice.org
From a discourse on the Psalms by Saint Augustine, Bishop
The desire of your heart constitutes your prayer

In the anguish of my heart I groaned aloud. There is a hidden anguish which is inaudible to men. Yet when a man’s heart is so taken up with some particular concern that the hurt inside finds vocal expression, one looks for the reason. And one will say to oneself: perhaps this is what causes his anguish, or perhaps such and such had happened to him. But who can be certain of the cause except God, who hears and sees his anguish? Therefore the psalmist says: In the anguish of my heart I groaned aloud. For if men hear at all, they usually hear only bodily groaning and know nothing of the anguish of the heart from which it issues.

Who then knows the cause of man’s groaning? All my desire is before you. No, it is not open before other men, for they cannot understand the heart; but before you is all my desire. If your desire lies open to him who is your Father and who sees in secret, he will answer you.

For the desire of your heart is itself your prayer. And if the desire is constant, so is your prayer. The Apostle Paul had a purpose in saying: Pray without ceasing. Are we then ceaselessly to bend our knees, to lie prostrate, or to lift up our hands? Is this what is meant in saying: Pray without ceasing? Even if we admit that we pray in this fashion, I do not believe that we can do so all the time.

Yet there is another, interior kind of prayer without ceasing, namely, the desire of the heart. Whatever else you may be doing, if you but fix your desire on God’s Sabbath rest, your prayer will be ceaseless. therefore, if you wish to pray without ceasing, do not cease to desire.

The constancy of your desire will itself be the ceaseless voice of your prayer. And that voice of your prayer will be silent only when your love ceases. For who are silent? Those of whom it is said: Because evil has abounded, the love of many will grow cold.

The chilling of love means that the heart is silent; while burning love is the outcry of the heart. If your love is without ceasing, you are crying out always; if you always cry out, you are always desiring; and if you desire, you are calling to mind your eternal rest in the Lord.

And all my desire is before you. What if the desire of our heart is before him, but not our groaning? But how is that possible, since the groaning is the voice of our desire? And therefore it is said: My groaning is not concealed from you. It may be concealed from men, but it is not concealed from you. Sometimes God’s servant seems to be saying in his humility: My anguish is not concealed from you. At other times he seems to be laughing. Does that mean that the desire of his heart has died within him? If the desire is there, then the groaning is there as well. Even if men fail to hear it. it never ceases to sound in the hearing of God.

Jimmy Stewart’s Nativity Scene with Love

https://youtu.be/oK85O6FgRC0

Many Waters

Many Waters

You are the Temple, And the Living Water,
Flowing abundantly from the Temple.

True life find its Source in You.
My life finds You, my Source,
At the root of my being.

Make of me clear Water,
Water flowing freely,
For cleansing, healing, and True Life.

You make me Your Temple,
Truth gives Life and Light to my soul,
As my water flows back to its Source
With the many waters returning to You.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

From St. Ambrose

Here’s what’s on my mind, as a good thing to remember everyday. It is by St. Ambrose, who is a mountain of wisdom:

“This is the person Christ has loved in loving you, the person he has chosen in choosing you. He enters by the open door; he has promised to come in, and he cannot deceive. Embrace him, the one you have sought; turn to him, and be enlightened; hold him fast, ask him not to go in haste, beg him not to leave you. The Word of God moves swiftly; he is not won by the lukewarm, nor held fast by the negligent. Let your soul be attentive to his word; follow carefully the path God tells you to take, for he is swift in his passing.

What does his bride say? I sought him, and did not find him; I called him, and he did not hear me. Do not imagine that you are displeasing to him although you have called him, asked him, opened the door to him, and that this is the reason why he has gone so quickly; no, for he allows us to be constantly tested. When the crowds pressed him to stay, what does he say in the Gospel? I must preach the word of God to other cities, because for that I have been sent. But even if it seems to you that he has left you, go out and seek him once more.”

Via divineoffice.org
http://divineoffice.org/?date=20161213

Make today holy!

Via divineoffice.org- From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century

Via divineoffice.org

From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century

The Voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land

At daybreak one Saturday morning in 1531, on the very first days of the month of December, an Indian named Juan Diego was going from the village where he lived to Tlatelolco in order to take part in divine worship and listen to God’s commandments. When he came near the hill called Tepeyac, dawn had already come, and Juan Diego heard someone calling him from the very top of the hill: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.”

He went up the hill and caught sight of a lady of unearthly grandeur whose clothing was as radiant as the sun. She said to him in words both gentle and courteous: “Juanito, the humblest of my children, know and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live. It is my ardent desire that a church be erected here so that in it I can show and bestow my love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhabit this land and to those others who love me, that they might call upon and confide in me. Go to the Bishop of Mexico to make known to him what I greatly desire. Go and put all your efforts into this.”

When Juan Diego arrived in the presence of the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan, the latter did not seem to believe Juan Diego and answered: “Come another time, and I will listen at leisure.”

Juan Diego returned to the hilltop where the Heavenly Lady was waiting, and he said to her: “My Lady, my maiden, I presented your message to the Bishop, but it seemed that he did not think it was the truth. For this reason I beg you to entrust your message to someone more illustrious who might convey it in order that they may believe it, for I am only an insignificant man.”

She answered him: “Humblest of my sons, I ask that tomorrow you again go to see the Bishop and tell him that I, the ever virgin holy Mary, Mother of God, am the one who personally sent you.”

But on the following day, Sunday, the Bishop again did not believe Juan Diego and told him that some sign was necessary so that he could believe that it was the Heavenly Lady herself who sent him. And then he dismissed Juan Diego.

On Monday Juan Diego did not return. His uncle, Juan Bernardino, became very ill, and at night asked Juan to go to Tlatelolco at daybreak to call a priest to hear his confession.

Juan Diego set out on Tuesday, but he went around the hill and passed on the other side, toward the east, so as to arrive quickly in Mexico City and to avoid being detained by the Heavenly Lady. But she came out to meet him on that side of the hill and said to him: “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care? Do not let your uncle’s illness distress you. It is certain that he has already been cured. Go up to the hilltop, my son, where you will find flowers of various kinds. Cut them, and bring them into my presence.”

When Juan Diego reached the peak, he was astonished that so many Castilian roses had burst forth at a time when the frost was severe. He carried the roses in the folds of his tilma (mantle) to the Heavenly Lady. She said to him: “My son, this is the proof and the sign which you will bring to the Bishop so that he will see my will in it. You are my ambassador, very worthy of trust.”

Juan Diego set out on his way, now content and sure of succeeding. On arriving in the Bishop’s presence, he told him: “My lord, I did what you asked. The Heavenly Lady complied with your request and fulfilled it. She sent me to the hilltop to cut some Castilian roses and told me to bring them to you in person. And this I am doing, so that you can see in them the sign you seek in order to carry out her will. Here they are; receive them.”

He immediately opened up his white mantle, and as all the different Castilian roses scattered to the ground, there was drawn on the cloak and suddenly appeared the precious image of the ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the same manner as it is today and is kept in her shrine of Tepeyac.

The whole city was stirred and came to see and admire her venerable image and to offer prayers to her; and following the command which the same Heavenly Lady gave to Juan Bernardino when she restored him to health, they called her by the name that she herself had used: “the ever virgin holy Mary of Guadalupe.”

Advent Longings

I long to be in the company of angels.

I long to be touched by the Holy.

I long to shine with the heavenly.

I long to be transformed by grace,

To be washed anew in Baptismal Waters,

And be lifted to kiss the Face of God.

 

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Shepherd of my Soul

Shepherd of my Soul

You are looking for me.
What else would a Shepherd do?

Here I am waiting for You to find me.
All the world can not satisfy a heart made for heaven.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And fleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment and awe
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer:
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw!

By Joann Nelander

Advent Contemplation – The First Heartbeat

Advent Contemplation – The First 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 its 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.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

Just a Pebble

Just a Pebble

On an ordinary day in Paradise,
Into a world created to glorify God and Man,
Adam introduced just a smidgen of sin.
Merely, a peddle, Adam thought,
Hardly enough to weigh on a cosmic scale.

In the grand scheme of Time, and Space,
The cosmic sea quaked.
In ever increasing concentric circles,
Shock waves carried an echo,
Reverberating, through all that is matter,
Shouting, “Me”.

On an ordinary day, dreaming of Paradise,
In a world created to glorify God and Man,
Man hides in the evening stillness.
Mercy walks about offering forgiveness.

I smile in my “niceness”.
Still in denial,
I make a show of all the good things I have done,
While all Creation simply waits on tiptoe
Praying for the revelation of the sons of God.

Loving You

Loving You

I am with you,

As One Who has always loved you,

Loving you as you began your life’s journey

To the kingdom of Heaven,

Your true home,

Loving you all the days I have appointed you.

Loving you unto dying and your death,

Loving you as the breath of life.

I have played upon the strings of your heart,

So that you would hear My music,

Even midst dissimilitude and dissonance.

Let not the unbelieving of the world,

Let not discordance and strife of flesh,

Let not the deceiver of Men,

Draw a curtain before your eyes.

Fix the gaze of your soul upon Me,

Here in your heart,

I reign, holy and at rest,

Upon the throne

At the center of your being.

Do Me homage

As you arise at the break of day.

Bow before Me

With the rising of each sun.

Dance with Me,

Following My lead.

Cry with Me in the sorrowing.

Plead for sinners in their fall.

Lend the hand of prayer

To uphold the weak and weary.

You journey as one

In the One Who is All Love.

Peace, My child.

Peace and refreshment,

Here at my altar.

I polish and perfect you,

That you may be

A monstrance of humility,

Fading from prominence,

As I send out my splendor

As grace and blessing.

All is gift to the one

Who receives with the seasons,

Yielding to the winds that blow upon the soul,

Welcoming the water of spring rains,

And the summer torrents,

Allowing blankets of snow

To still you in repose,

Awaiting new life, My Life.

© 2015 Joann Nelander

Chosen

O Holy Father,
On my death,
And the occasion of my judgment,
I offer You Jesus’ Love for me.

See how He wants me eternally.
Dying to hold me,
His Blood claims me as His own.

He created me with such care,
As I took form in my mother’s womb.

He lavished attentions on me
As living flesh, imbued with eternal soul,
Flourished in the abundant waters of Life.

Unique among His creations,
He smiled upon me, seeing my beauty,
And my need.

See how He sought me,
Playfully with joys,
And in sorrow as I hid myself.

See the iron of His intention,
Bent on me.

See His fury at the Foe,
Who pursued me,
Seeing His Grace reclaiming me.

My Father, minister to Your daughter,
That leaving behind my earthly life,
Heavenly couriers might present me
Before the One,
Whose Spirit lives in me.

See His pieced Side,
Opened wide inviting me,
All the more, longing,
He for me,
And me for Thee in Three,
As leaving the mortal for the immortal,
I seek sanctuary.

You are everywhere in Being,
And in me.
I wrap my heart around Your Godhead,
Your Jesus.

He embraces me with Spirit,
Even in judgment,
I am chosen for the Son.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander