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

Cloud Clutter

Grey the day with cloud and clutter,
Music’s muted melody obscured,
Discord in search of harmony,
Gives lie to the Promise of His Presence,
If Truth were only that which can be seen.
 

Faith, though,
Believes not vision, but God,
For God’s sake.
All powers of perception,
But a touch of His finger,
A curtain parted for a peek,
Hardly the measure
Of the Almighty’s might.
 

By Faith,
The eyes of the soul see,
And pierce the veil,
Rendering gain,
That gleaned in blindness,
So I  count the clouds joy,
For Faith keeps hope alive.
 

I am all believing,
And with conviction,
Clutched and cradled,
Felt with the fingers of my trust.
I live the Promise of His Presence.

 
© 2012 Joann Nelander

Poetry Picnic week 23

Rejoice

Rejoice!

Give me, God,
This glad rejoicing.
I am like a beggar at the gate.
My rags declare my need.
My knock trumpets my desire.

Your courts are full
Of plentiful redemption.
Wine and the merriment
Of the forgiven,
Invite my humble footsteps.

Although I bring myself
To Your threshold,
I cannot enter in,
For Sin is an effrontery,
An open assault on Your Majesty.

All awaits Your mercy.
Heaven is silent before You.
Tears are now my only arraignment
The voice of Your messenger
The only hope in my wilderness.

The King, Himself,
Rises from His throne.
Crowns are cast down at His feet.
As the sun shines from His Being,
Mercy rays meet my eyes,
And melt my heart.

He draws near.
His hand is at the Gate
To let in the beggar and the multitude,
For I am not alone.
The nations,
In long suffering and sorrow,
Kneel with me.

He approaches.
He is near.
Wedding garments in place of our polluted rags,
Rings and sandals for prodigal feet.

He comes,
He comes mid glad rejoicing.
We need wait but a moment.
The Virgin is with Child,
And He has left His throne
To succor the poor of all the earth.

By Joann Nelander

The Eucharist is the Lord’s Passover

From a treatise by Saint Gaudentius of Brescia, bishop

The Eucharist is the Lord’s Passover

One man has died for all, and now in every church in the mystery of bread and wine he heals those for whom he is offered in sacrifice, giving life to those who believe and holiness to those who consecrate the offering. This is the flesh of the Lamb; this is his blood. The bread that came down from heaven declared: The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. It is significant, too, that his blood should be given to us in the form of wine, for his own words in the gospel, I am the true vine, imply clearly enough that whenever wine is offered as a representation of Christ’s passion, it is offered as his blood. This means that it was of Christ that the blessed patriarch Jacob prophesied when he said: He will wash his tunic in wine and his cloak in the blood of the grape. The tunic was our flesh, which Christ was to put on like a garment and which he was to wash in his own blood.

Creator and Lord of all things, whatever their nature, he brought forth bread from the earth and changed it into his own body. Not only had he the power to do this, but he had promised it; and, as he had changed water into wine, he also changed wine into his own blood. It is the Lord’s passover, Scripture tells us, that is, the Lord’s passing. We are no longer to look upon the bread and wine as earthly substances. They have become heavenly, because Christ has passed into them and changed them into his body and blood. What you receive is the body of him who is the heavenly bread, and the blood of him who is the sacred vine; for when he offered his disciples the consecrated bread and wine, he said: This is my body, this is my blood. We have put our trust in him. I urge you to have faith in him; truth can never deceive.

When Christ told the crowds that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, they were horrified and began to murmur among themselves: This teaching is too hard; who can be expected to listen to it? As I have already told you, thoughts such as these must be banished. The Lord himself used heavenly fire to drive them away by going on to declare: It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Joy and Sorrow

H/T Franciscan Flowers:

Just as one season moves into another, so are there like seasons in our life cycles. There are times of joy and beauty and times of sorrow and suffering. They sometimes go hand-in-hand. They are companions on our journey. We need to befriend them, not control them. When we hold on to either or both, we stop growth. We stop God’s work in us. Spring, summer, fall, winter–each has its beauty and difficulties; each has its dyings and risings. We need to let God be God. We need to depend on God’s strength in each phase of the journey. “Fear not. I am always with you.”

Sister La Donna Pinkelman, OSF Sylvania, Ohio

Eucharist – God With Us

Art appeals to the heart on a level that challenges complacency and awakens awe. Hidden in His humility, He in proclaimed by those whose hearts beat with His, and are thus moved to reveal Him in their God- inspired creativity.

St. Teresa of the Andes – Letter 115

I am having trouble being in the world, but not of it. Paul’s word’s challenge me.  Pope Benedict XVI wants them to push me into the mind of Paul and the arms of the Holy Spirit. “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

As Pentecost draws near, I’m reminded that it is the Holy Spirit not my spirit that will transform me into conformity with Christ of the Cross and the Resurrection. Tomorrow morning, God willing, I’ll find myself before the Blessed Sacrament once again.  Here are the words I will take with me into the silence:

“How poor, how graceless, as I see it, the worship we offer to God sacramentally present! What scant respect we have for the One before whom the seraphim cover themselves with their wings, prostrating themselves before Him. And He bears it all in silence, remaining without splendor, hidden beneath the bread, that He may live in the midst of those He created. Oh, how good He is! What infinite love He has! Why aren’t we crazy with love for Him?”  St. Teresa of the Andes – Letter 115

Thanksgivings After Communion – St. Therese of Lisieux

From The Story of a Soul, The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

What can I tell you, dear Mother, about my thanksgivings after Communion? There is no time when I taste less consolation. But this is what I should expect. I desire to receive Our Lord, not for my own satisfaction, but simply to give Him pleasure. I picture my soul as a piece of waste ground and beg Our Blessed Lady to take away my imperfections–which are as heaps of rubbish–and to build upon it a splendid tabernacle worthy of Heaven, and adorn it with her own adornments. Then I invite all the Angels and Saints to come and sing canticles of love, and it seems to me that Jesus is well pleased to see Himself received so grandly, and I share in His joy. But all this does not prevent distractions and drowsiness from troubling me, and not unfrequently I resolve to continue my thanksgiving throughout the day, since I made it so badly in choir. You see, dear Mother, that my way is not the way of fear; I can always make myself happy, and profit by my imperfections, and Our Lord Himself encourages me in this path.”

The Revelations of Saint Gertrude. Written by the Saint Herself.

Well worth the effort to get to this pearl:

Book 2: Chapter 5

After I had received the Sacrament of life, and had retired to the place where I pray, it seemed to me that I saw a ray of light like an arrow coming forth from the Wound of the right side of the crucifix, which was in an elevated place, and it continued, as it were, to advance and retire for some time, sweetly attracting my cold affections. But my desire was not entirely satisfied with these things until the following Wednesday, when after the Mass, the faithful meditated on Thy adorable Incarnation and Annunciation, in which I joined, however imperfectly. And, behold, Thou camest suddenly before me, and didst imprint a wound in my heart, saying these words: May the full tide of your affections flow hither, so that all your pleasure, your hope, your joy, your grief, your fear, and every other feeling may be sustained by My love! And I immediately remembered that I had heard a wound should be bathed, anointed and bandaged. But Thou didst not teach me then in what manner I should perform these things, for Thou didst defer it to discover it to me more clearly in the end by means of another person, who had accustomed the ears of her soul to discern far more exactly and delicately than I do the sweet mummers of Thy love.

She advised me to reflect devoutly upon the love of Thy Heart when hanging on the Cross, and to draw from this fountain the waters of true devotion, to wash away all my offenses; to take from the unction of mercy the oil of gratitude, which the sweetness of this inestimable love has produced as a remedy for all adversities, and to use this efficacious charity and the strength of this consummate love as a ligament of justification to unite all my thoughts, words and works, indissolubly and powerfully to Thee. May all the deprivation of those things which my malice and wickedness has caused be supplied through that love whose plenitude abides in Him Who being seated on Thy right hand, has become “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh!” As it is by Him, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, that Thou hast placed in me this noble virtue of compassion, humility and reverence, to enable me to speak to Thee, it is also by Him that I present to Thee my complaint of the miseries I endure, which are so great in number, and which have caused me to offend Thy Divine goodness in so many ways by my thoughts, words and actions, but principally by the bad use which I have made of the aforesaid graces, by my unfaithfulness, my negligence and my irreverence. For if Thou hast given to one so unworthy even a thread of flax as a remembrance of Thee, I should have been bound to respect it more than I have done all these favors.

Happy Recourse

It’s cold and damp today and that suited my mood as I hurried out of the house this morning.  It is my day for Eucharistic Adoration. My adoration was broken by returning bits and pieces of my rant against this morning’s news. President Obama will celebrate the overturning of the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research with an “event”  in the White House. No Friday announcement behind closed doors here.

” What recourse; O Lord! What recourse?”…………… Thankfully, I finally realized, that I was in the place of recourse.

Later, at home after Mass, getting it all out with more inner screaming, and much, much writing, the Anchoress saved me from myself with this.

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.



Lion's Roar:

This morning I’m thinking about the Church.  I love Sundays.  I hear the lion’s roar, “and then he cried out in a loud voice as a lion roars.”(Rev. 10:3)  The lion thunders out, crying “full-throated and unsparing like a trumpet blast…”  “When He roars his sons shall come…”  (Hoses 11:10)  On Sundays,with tremendous power, the Lion of the tribe of Judah summonses the gathering of the Church from all corners of the earth for a great feast.  Even in Lent, the season of fasting, the Church prepares a banquet.  The Lion, Himself, provides the meal, prepared Himself of Himself.  It is here that the Lion becomes the Little Lamb that was slain, but now lives.

Appointment with a King

Hurrying off to work?  Hurrying to classes?  In a hurry to feed the baby?  That’s how days begin, in a hurry.  Why the rush?  Who waits for you?

If you only knew who waits for you.  The Fathers of the Church knew.  He waited upon them.  They learned of Him from those who walked with the King of Kings in all His humanity and divinity.  These, the Pillar of the Early Church, left for us their understanding of how,  and Who gives Himself and waits.

Ignatius of Antioch- writing  A.D. 110

“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible” (Letter to the Romans 7:3 [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr- writing  A.D. 151

“We call this food Eucharist,…. not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” ( Justin Martyr: First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

Irenaeus-writing A.D. 189

“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?” (Against Heresies , 5:2).

So off with you to work or class or family!  Turn, though, for an instant.  Throw a kiss from the heart to the One who waits.  His delight is to return your simply regard with abundant life and love.

I’m out of  here.  I have an appointment with the King.