Longinus, Soldier Saint

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

Here We Are

Good morning, Jesus.
Here we are again,
At the beginning of a new day.

Can you feel me?
Here I am in Your Great Heart,
Reaching for You with my heart.

I feel Your eyes upon me.
You are perfume to my senses.
You are the touch of sweetness
I taste wafting on the breeze of Spirit.

You sound in my heart
With the beating of Yours.
Ever near, ever dear, everlasting,
Song of my soul.

Good morning, my Jesus.
Hold me here,
On the brink of eternity.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Waking, A New Day

Good morning ,dear Savior.
Here I Am,
Yours, at the break of new day.

Joyously, I look to You,
You, Who smiles upon me.

I open my eyes looking for You,
You, Who have guarded Your beloved in her sleep,
And loved me as mother and father.

I have slept, secure in Your great arms,
Nestled beneath Your “Abundant Breast.”
Receive my heart
As I offer it to You, anew.

Kisses, my King.
All for You!

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

God bless you, as you read this. May we, who struggle here,
Laugh together in heaven. Glory to God!

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

Thirsty For You- In Response to Pope Francis’ Exhortation

Jesus,
Everyday, everyday, everyday,
Fall upon my tongue
As dew upon the obedient grass,
Which yields to Your Wind,
To be proclaimed anew.

Holy One,
Forever, forever, forever,
Go forth from my mouth,
As spring rains
To water the parched earth,
Thirsty for You.

I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

Handmaiden to the King

All I have known
Has possessed me,
The world and the men
Who walk its way.
All I have known
Ruled my heart
And burned on its altars
The wood of my life.

Now, you give me gold,
And open the door
To Your Kingdom,
To enter through my heart
Into Your Heart.

The fire that once
Consumed my wood,
Now, fires the gold You give me
To shape and fashion
A daughter of faith
Alive for You and in You,
Earthy flesh, taking on heaven,
As Your Spirit wants,
And woos and waits,
Upon the handmaiden
Of grace and virtue
You are creating for Yourself
As Bride to the King.

All I now know
Possesses me
For all I know is Thee.

© 2013 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Ebook Now Live in Apple’s iBookstore

Great book to take into your quiet time:

Fiat

“Fiat”
To Mary’s “Fiat,”
O say, “Amen. Amen. Amen.”

“Fiat,” my gift to You, my King.
I give You,
Here in my heart,
Mary’s “Fiat.”,
That so inflamed the Heart of the Father,
That He gave her His Kingdom,
Enfleshed in His Son.

The instant Mary formed
Her ascent to the Will of God,
In her heart and mind,
And formed the word, “Fiat.”
God began His Human Life
In the womb of the Virgin.

O Mary, more than a Chalice,
For of your seed sprang the God-Man,
Fully human,
Fully Divine,
Of You in the Spirit,
Eucharist conceived
In Immaculate Splendor.

Thanksgiving began
In the heaven of your soul,
And took flesh
From the heaven of your being.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

Father, my gift to You this morning,
Mary’s “Fiat”.
May it ring out
From this lowly earth,
That heaven come down,
And live among Men.

Rain down Truth and Beauty,
Born of a Virgin,
His Body forever bearing
Her donation.
Mystery, Divine,
Remember Your Love
Throughtout Time.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Who Is the Poorest of the Poor

Who is the poorest of the Poor?
Is it not the one deprived of womb?
Is it not the one gone unnamed?
Given a frame
But denied rightful claim,
Stripped bare of place,
No space to grow,
Deprived of a proper birth?
Is it not the one evicted,
Before drawing it’s first breath,
Whose beating heart is silenced,
With the sanction of the Court!?
With privacy,
Lest the whole world hear it’s cry?

Though a mother forget her child,
The Father of all fathers
Will not, no never, forget.
He has a place,
And a name,
For all the poor,
For the poorest
Of the poor,
Called “Beloved”
And “Poor No More”.

©2012 Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

St Michael the Archangel

A poem honoring St. Michael the Archangel

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.

When the world cracked because of a sneer in heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.

Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.

When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions
Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.

Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.

He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the word.

by G K Chesteron

Fear of the Lord

The merciful Hand of the Lord
Is upon me.
It is a fearful thing
To fall into the Hand
Of the Living God
He metes out judgment,
And punishment due.
Why then, do I lift my voice
In praise and thanksgiving?

In an instant,
I saw my desert.
Fear and trembling seized me,
As my mercy-cry
Pierced the darkness.

Caught in my descent,
His Hand reached
Into my Hell.
It is in my nature to fall,
In His nature
To show mercy.

His end is my good.
Even in judgment,
Mercy shows His Face.
Punished, I am now free.
Seeing His mercy
In His rendering of scourge,
I trust,
As once I feared to do.

May His Hand always
Be upon me,
As fear of the Lord,
Befriends me.

©2012 Joann Nelander  All rights reserved

Wounded Love

Thomas wanted reality.
Thomas wanted answers.
Thomas wanted undeniable proof.

He trusted his mind.
He trusted his senses.
He walked by sight,
But feared to trust
The witnesses of Resurrection.

A God, with wounds of Love, understood.
A God, marked by our disbelief,
Stood before him,
In plain sight.

Thomas finger my wounds.
Feel the warmth of human flesh.
Feel the throbbing of My Heart,
Bounding against
Your hand in My Side.

Thomas, you sought only
The trappings of reality.
Am I real now,
Real enough for you,
My friend?

Standing, face to face,
Before I Am,
Bought to his knees
By living, breathing, proof,
He stands in our place.

Humbled by faith’s awakening,
Before the True Witness,
Senses satisfied,
Content, now, and forever,
He’ll follow blindly,
Unto death,
Into eternity.

“My Lord and my God.”

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012
All rights reserved

Claimed in My Un-loveliness

Accuse me not,
But stand before me,
And claim me
As Your own.
Defend me from the Accuser of Men,
By covering me with Your mantle.

The blows I do deserve
Fall on the Son,
Who loves and protects me,
Possessing me as His own,
Directing me along the right path,
Walking before me with Shepherd’s staff,
As I learn to recognize His Voice,
And perceive the subtleties of Spirit.

Seeing You step out of the Fire,
And stand as fortress before me,
Naming me and protecting me.
I am finally possessed,
Claimed by Love,
In my un-loveliness.
I let down my guard,
Allowing embattled walls to fall at Your feet,
To rise again as bulwarks of Faith,
Against the Foe.

Succor,
Salvation,
and Sanctity,
Are now my lot,
And You, O Lord,
My own and All.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of  This That and the Other Thing hostSunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

Join us or enjoy reading what other Catholics are thinking and saying.

Rejoice

Carry Me

Here I Am

Change for a Dollar–Hope on the Street

Like a Lamb vs. My Way

Like a little lamb, I follow,
Though the way be set by trial ,
My shepherd walks before me.
His rod, His staff, His smile.

By Joann Nelander

Letting go, letting God, still holds a clallenge.

A lifetime of learning hasn’t made it easier, just more imperative, as my way just gets in my way.

Flowers and Drunken Bees

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

Tears’ Requite

Awash on  shores of errant heart,
Crystalline soldiers wend their depart.

The battle o’er, the mend begun,
Hovering Spirit break forth thy sun.

You tugged as moon on ebbing tide,
To etch and burrow as to chide,

But than as swells of billowed lace,
You left a smile of radiant grace.

To purge my soul of sorrow’s trough,
You gently rain to Spirit off

The crust and brine of life’s past sin,
and let your troves of laughter in.

Providence of wind and wave
Serve but to resurrect and save.

by Joann Nelander

Hope Enough for One Day

Hard to know God’s will,

to do no less,

to do no more.

Hard to stay with the ordinary things of holiness,

to pray for the good,

to succor the poor,

to love our enemies.

Hard, though, is not without hope.

Reaching down, He picks us up.

Wiping our tears, He cheers us.

Seeing our holy desire, He supplies all.

Unborn and Unwanted

In a universe replete with Space and Time and Bounty,

the Sign of the Times reads “No Room In The Inn.”

Conceived first in the Mind of God, and then in Mother’s womb.

There remains but little of  Time for you.

Come home to My Arms, O Little One.

Outside of  Time, in Mysterious Space,

My Angels will sing you a welcome.

Home, now, the Sonshine of Father’s Face.

William Shakespeare, a Secret Catholic in an Anti-Catholic Age?

Joseph Pearce in his The Quest for Shakespeare argues convincingly for the Catholicism of  William Shakespeare.  Pearce builds his position with scholarship and logic like a gothic arch;  one pillar rising on biographical evidence and the other from the text of Shakespeare’s  works.

From The Merchant of Venice, when Portia speaks to Shylock,  Act IV, Scene I:

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath.  It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

William Shakespeare
1600