One Solitary Prayer

My night and day have become one,
One solitary thought emblazoned on my heart.
You dance before me in miriad faces.
All are Yours
And plead Your touch.
All throw my prayer upon Your back.
All fall as stripes
Imploring You,
Become all.

The edges disappear as You, Lord, come into view.
You take the lead upon my stage, my time, my life.
I “Yes” You into being,
Although You have always been ,
But now You be in me.

The thorns of Your crown touch me first,
And I begin to bleed with You.
In agony, my body weeps for all loss,
Which I now gather in my prayer.

With beggarly steps, I offer my feet for Your bath,
First of water, then of Blood,
Your Becoming in me by grace.

“I live now, not I, but Christ, and Him crucified,”
Now content,
Sweet strength and consolation.
My soul and Your Spirit enlivening my spirit.
O, come Holy Spirit, eternally

By Joann Nelander
Copyright 2011
All rights reserved

The Truth of the Lord Endures Forever

From the Imitation of Christ

The truth of the Lord endures for ever

You thunder your judgments upon me, O Lord; you shake all my bones with fear and dread, and my soul becomes severely frightened. I am bewildered when I realize that even the heavens are not pure in your sight.

If you discovered iniquity in the angels and did not spare them, what will become of me? The stars fell from heaven, and I, mere dust, what should I expect? Those whose works seemed praiseworthy fell to the depths, and I have seen those who once were fed with the bread of angels delighting in the husks of swine.

There is no holiness where you have withdrawn your hand, O Lord; no profitable wisdom if you cease to rule over it; no helpful strength if you cease to preserve it. For if you forsake us, we sink and perish; but if you visit us, we rise up and live again. We are unstable, but you make us firm; we grow cool, but you inflame us.

All superficial glory has been swallowed up in the depths of your judgment upon me.

What is all flesh in your sight? Can the clay be glorified in opposition to its Maker?

How can anyone be aroused by empty talk if his heart is subject in the truth to God?

The whole world cannot swell with pride the man who is subject to truth; nor will he be swayed by the flattery of all his admirers, if he has established all his trust in God.

For those who do all the talking amount to nothing; they fail with their din of words, but the truth of the Lord endures for ever.

Hidden Grace of the Sacrament

Thomas A’ Kempis’words in My Imitation of Christ are ever new speaking to the heart. Preparations of a soul are often given little regard in the world, so let’s draw apart from the world to consider the gift, the soul and the benefits of our Faith received:

Here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love. O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue. Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength. Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being. Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God’s grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world. Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Book 4: chapter 1

Perspective for a New Day

Beginning another day and trying to get some perspective.

My Imitation of Christ Book I, chapter2:

Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God.

The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more learned, more cultured than you?

If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.

My Imitation of Christ

The Voice of Christ:

“COME to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

The bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world.

Take you and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. Do this for the commemoration of Me.

He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”


The Offering of Christ on the Cross; Our Offering

The Voice of Christ:

AS I offered Myself willingly to God the Father for your sins with hands outstretched and body naked on the cross, so that nothing remained in Me that had not become a complete sacrifice to appease the divine wrath, so ought you to be willing to offer yourself to Me day by day in the Mass as a pure and holy oblation, together with all your faculties and affections, with as much inward devotion as you can. What more do I ask than that you give yourself entirely to Me? I care not for anything else you may give Me, for I seek not your gift but you. Just as it would not be enough for you to have everything if you did not have Me, so whatever you give cannot please Me if you do not give yourself. Offer yourself to Me, therefore, and give yourself entirely for God — your offering will be accepted. Behold, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you, I even gave My whole Body and Blood for food that I might be all yours, and you Mine forever. But if you rely upon self, and do not offer your free will to Mine, your offering will be incomplete and the union between us imperfect. Hence, if you desire to attain grace and freedom of heart, let the free offering of yourself into the hands of God precede your every action. This is why so few are inwardly free and enlightened — they know not how to renounce themselves entirely. My word stands:”Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be My disciple.” If, therefore, you wish to be My disciple, offer yourself to Me with all your heart.



My Imitation of Christ

mysun22The Joy of a Good Conscience  (Bk2,Chap6):

THE glory of a good man is the testimony of a good conscience. Therefore, keep your conscience good and you will always enjoy happiness, for a good conscience can bear a great deal and can bring joy even in the midst of adversity.

Before Entering the Frey

Good Morning, Everyone!

Before the day sounds through the rafters of my mind like bats in the belfry, before entering the fray myself, I’m making room for another voice:

My Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter I by Thomas a’ Kempis:

The Inward Conversation of Christ with the Faithful Soul

I will hear what the Lord God will speak in me.”Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her, who receives the word of consolation from His lips. Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. Blessed indeed are the ears that listen, not to the voice which sounds without, but to the truth which teaches within. Blessed are the eyes which are closed to exterior things and are fixed upon those which are interior. Blessed are they who penetrate inwardly, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world. Consider these things, my soul, and close the door of your senses, so that you can hear what the Lord your God speaks within you. “I am your salvation,” says your Beloved. “I am your peace and your life. Remain with Me and you will find peace. Dismiss all passing things and seek the eternal. What are all temporal things but snares? And what help will all creatures be able to give you if you are deserted by the Creator?” Leave all these things, therefore, and make yourself pleasing and faithful to your Creator so that you may attain to true happiness.

My favorite line:

Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world.”