A Prayer in Adoration

Here I am Lord,
Sitting, kneeling,
Prostrate in spirit
Before You, adoring.
Who You are in Your glory
Lies hidden under the appearance
Of this Holy Bread before me.

You have revealed to Your Church
The wonder, and magnificence
Of Your living Presence.
With Mother Church,
I extol Your beauty.
Truths come to mind
And I give assent.

I am married to You,
O Holy Bridegroom.
In the fullness of time,
I will embrace You
With a glorified vision and body,
But, for now, I reach with heart
And mind’s eye to catch a glimpse
Of this splendid Truth
Hidden as it is
‘Neath Bread and Wine
And broken Body on a Cross.

Favor me with an increase
Of love and desire,

Until my longing tears free
From all that holds me captive still.
I know my blindness,
And have seen my foolishness.
In my poverty and need,
I seek refuge here
Before Your eyes.

Your Truth,
Your splendid Truth, be mine!
These are such glorious Truths,
I can not comprehend them
In their reality and breath.
I can only glimpse them,
And cry out in hope and faith.

My adorable Lord,
Looking upon me now as always,
Gather to Yourself,
The groans and sighs of Spirit born,
Unto Your memories,
As so many Communions
And resurrections of spirit,
As chains of Love in Time,
But always,
Only One Adorable Lord.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Judge Jeanine – on the mark!

Judge Jeanine – on the mark!

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

Speak Up! – The Great Charter at 800 | Charles J. Chaput | First Things.

These remarks were delivered at Brigham Young University, January 23, as part of BYU’s on-going “Faith, Family and Society” lecture series.

"Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “History is bunk.” That’s not quite accurate. What he actually told the Chicago Tribune in 1916 is this: “I wouldn’t give a nickel for all the history in the world. It means nothing to me. History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that’s worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.”

It’s hard to imagine a better statement of the American spirit, or at least a certain strain in our national character. The Founders clearly understood the value of the past. Most were Christians. Nearly all were religious believers. They revered the memory of Roman law, architecture, and republican process. But they also very consciously intended to create a novus ordo seclorum—a “new order of the ages.”

And they succeeded. Tocqueville describes the difference between democracy and all the forms of political and social life that came before it as a gulf between “two distinct humanities.” Democratic man is very different from his ancestors—or so we’re led to believe. So it’s no surprise that Americans tend to be poor students of history. We enjoy nostalgia because it’s a kind of entertainment. But the real events of the real past come with annoying baggage. We can’t reinvent ourselves in the present if we’re dragging around a history of inconvenient duties and facts. The good news is that this is part of our genius. We innovate because we’re not crushed by the weight of our memories. The bad news is that it leads to forgetting things we need to remember. And amnesia is dangerous both for individuals and for nations."

Read more: via The Great Charter at 800 | Charles J. Chaput | First Things.

Why do Catholics baptize babies? – jonsorensen.net.

Why do Catholics baptize babies? – jonsorensen.net.

“I have heard some of my non-Catholic Christian friends say that they believe people should only be baptized into the Christian faith at the “age of reason,” when they are old enough to understand what is being done. Obviously, infants have no clue what is going on when they are being baptized, and for this reason, infant baptism makes no sense to them. So if babies don’t get what’s going on, then why do we bother?

In Colossians 2, St. Paul explains that baptism is the “circumcision of Christ.”

“and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” -Col 2:11-12

What do we know from Scripture about circumcision? Let’s look at the deal God made with Abraham in the Old Testament:

“God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations” -Gen 17:9-12

We know from the Bible that baptism is the first step in attaining salvation  (Titus 3:5, 1 Pet 3:21), and that it is the “circumcision of Christ.” Notice in Genesis 17 that circumcision of the 8-day-old babies is a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham, rather than each individual circumcision being only a sign between the circumcised and God.

Denying baptism to an infant is depriving them of this grace. It was Jesus who said “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

This outward sign of grace is important for the parents and godparents also. The Catechism explains it this way:

“For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).” -CCC #1255

Much like the act of circumcision of male descendants being a sign of the covenant (binding agreement) between God and Abraham, so then infant baptism is also a sign of the covenant between God and the parents who have been entrusted with raising their children in the faith.

via Why do Catholics baptize babies? – jonsorensen.net.

The Robe

Lord of the centuries,
Knit, of our pain, the knots,
That mysteriously arrange themselves
Across our days.

Guide, by unseen fingers,
Each little pearl,
To form a cloth
Alive with Your Golden threads,
Infinitely more than happenstance or tragedy.

Each strand of Time a Mystery,
Bathed in trial and tears,
Yet rich in Awe,
Resplendent in Beauty,
And the gracious beneficence
Of sacrificial love.

Whole cloth,
Woven into a seamless robe,
You don in majesty,
Humble and meek in triumph o’er our graves,
As Life welcomes to the Banquet,
Our souls, now clad in bodies,
One with Your Own.

© 2015 Joann Nelander

When the Guns Went Silent – Dr. Sapolsky

The Spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce – WSJ.

A World War I interlude among British and German troops shows how even bitter foes can work out rituals of cooperation‘The Christmas Day Truce of 1914,’ a lithograph by Arthur C. Michael published on Jan. 9, 1915, shows British and German soldiers out of the trenches of World War I, arm in arm and exchanging headgear.

‘The Christmas Day Truce of 1914,’ a lithograph by Arthur C. Michael published on Jan. 9, 1915, shows British and German soldiers out of the trenches of World War I, arm in arm and exchanging headgear. Arthur C. Michael/The illustrated London News Picture Library, London, UK/Bridgeman Images

By

Robert M. Sapolsky

On Christmas morning we stuck up a board with ‘A Merry Christmas’ on it. The enemy had stuck up a similar one…. Two of our men then threw their equipment off and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads. Two of the Germans done the same and commenced to walk up the river bank, our two men going to meet them. They met and shook hands and then we all got out of the trench…

So wrote a British soldier named Frank Richards, referring to the first Christmas of World War I, one hundred years ago this Thursday. Up and down the four hundred-odd miles of trenches on the Western Front, men risked their lives with similar acts, meeting opposing soldiers in “no man’s land.” Wary and unarmed, they made their way out of their trenches, taking steps that, a day earlier, would have guaranteed their death at the hands of sharpshooters and machine gunners a hundred yards away.

The relaxation of hostilities spread, and what has come to be called the “Christmas truce” took hold. Soon, soldiers were holding joint burial services for the dead. They began trading goods. British soldiers had been given holiday tins of plum pudding from the king; German soldiers had received pipes with a picture of the crown prince on them; and before long the men were bartering these holiday gee-gaws that celebrated the enemy’s royals. Eventually, soldiers prayed and caroled together, shared dinner, exchanged gifts. Most famously, there were soccer matches at various locations, played with improvised balls.

The truce mostly held through Christmas and, in some cases, even to the New Year. It took senior officers’ threats for fighting to resume, and such comprehensive battlefront peacemaking never happened again during the Great War. Courts-martial were brought against those involved later in even brief Christmas truces to retrieve the dead. READ MORE: The Spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce – WSJ.