Listening to You, O God

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Listening to You, O God

I am listening, O God,
I am listening.

As my ear rests upon Your Breast,
The throbbing of Your Heart, a plaintiff call, 
Sounds a sacred prayer
In unending rhythm, eternal.

Though stopped
In Your willed bodily Death,
It’s steady beat pierced the earth,
As Your Spirit descended to captivate
Those justified by Your Blood,

The prize of Salvation won upon Calvary’s mount.

High ridged mountains of prayer
Span the course of centuries,
As I now in my ordained place,
Offer my will to You in this my time.

As that same once spent Blood,
Now courses through my veins
In sweet Communion,

Speak peace to me.

By Joann Nelander copyright 2011
All rights reserved.

Days of Darkness–Days of Light

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago!

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Yup, Word Press congratulated me!  Four years today!  To celebrate, I’m re-blogging my first post with a bit of tweeking to fit the season.

 

Days of Darkness–Days of Light

We just celebrated the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  It was he, who said in a letter addressed to the Roman church (Rom.5:20), “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more"  Well, here’s the vision, as it was told to me. I want you to picture it so that you feel it with your heart:

You and I squeak in,  passing  through those towering Pearly Gates.  People of all ages overwhelm even our enhanced understanding of the generations descended from Adam and Eve.  We can’t wait to embrace them.  We know them intimately. Instantly, we know their stories.  These are those who lived Salvation history.

“What was it like?”,  we ask over and again?   These, after all, are those who walked dry shod through the walls of water escaping Pharaoh’s chariots.  Here, too,  are the masses who had pressed upon the Christ.  They’d witnessed the manner and miracles of Jesus.  Some has eaten the bread and fish He’d multiplied.  Others admitted that they had shouted, “Crucify Him.”  Others had stood along the way as He pushed on to Calvary. The martyrs from all past centuries were among the most joyful.  They now rejoiced that their blood shed for Christ seeded the proceeding eons to bear fruit in such as we.

For all our eagerness to express our gratitude to them and give glory to God, they pressed the more upon us, for their need js to know our stories.  “Tell us,”  they asked, “how black did the times become when men who pretend to knowledge denied life in the womb.  How dark were the days in which the hearts of mothers died, choosing  to bring forth corpses instead of  living children.  You, who lived with blindness and deafness,  how did you survive?  Like Peter, was it repentance that  re-ignited your flame?   How did you find courage walking  the Valley of the Shadow of Death?  How bright was the Light that brought you home?”

That Light is shining now, on everyone. Who will guide the blind and who will lead the thirsty to the Living Water, if not you and me.

Of Walls and Hedges

I am the greatest obstacle
To my salvation,
Yet You leap the walls,
I have raised about me.
You breech them,
You penetrate them.
You shake and crumble them.

Your Holy Spirit
Is that quake
Of Calvary,
The earthquake,
That rattled open prison doors,
Destroyed the chains of those,
Commissioned to speak with Your power,
And in Your Name..

Place a high,
Insurmountable hedge about me.
One I can not leap,
When I hear the voices
Calling on the other side.

I know myself,
And that I shall try to flee.
For, though the boundary,
Be for my own good,
Fool, that I know myself to be,
Fleeing is in me.

All my hope
Is in the Love
You bear for me.
You, my Love,
Scale the walls of my pride,
O, Love, Who sets watch towers
On the heights,
And is enemy
To my enemies,
And the Guardian
Of my soul.

Repenting and Forgiven

c. 1632

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How true it is
That we are wretched sinners,
Dying since our birth,
Condemned by Man’s First Sin.

Yet, we wait, in hope believing,
For what we have begun to be,
Since our Christ died upon a Tree
Shedding His blood at Calvary.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
One of the Holy Three,
All Man, All God, All Given
That upon repenting
We become the forgiven.

Dismiss All Other Loves!

Red draped the Crucifix as it proceeded amidst waving palm branches – blood red! Shouts of “Hail and hosanna” would soon change to “Crucify!” It is so brief a time to reign and be acknowledged as the Holy One of God.  Our homilist, Fr. Michael De Palma asked what happened? For the Church, not many weeks ago, we were gazing on the face of the Christ Child.  Angels sang and Wise Men bowed low. We sang:

Sacred Infant, all Divine,

What a tender love was Thine;

Thus to come from highest bliss

Down to such a world as this !

Teach, oh, teach us, Holy Child,

By Thy face so meek and mild.

Teach us to resemble Thee,

In Thy sweet humility !

What happened?  Have we, too, dismissed Him?  He reigns on our calendars, but what about our hearts? What other loves have replaced Him in our day to day?  Can we bear to look upon His disfigured Face?  Can we “Behold the Man?.”

Father Michael invited us to live this week differently from all others, to banish all other loves and gaze upon one bruised and bloodied Face.  Angels trembled at what we had done to the Son of God.  They trembled, too, at what He accomplished on that Cross for me and you.

We will soon sing with the Church around the world:

O Sacred Head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze

I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.

(Words Henry Williams Baker after Bernard of Clairvaux)

One Holy Week remains of Lent.  We are invited to walk these days with our Lord to Calvary.  Without the Cross there is no Resurrection, no Easter glory.  With Christ we, too, can rise again to new Life

“When He is King we will give Him the Kings’ gifts,
Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown…

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,
Myrrh for embalming and wood for a crown..

Bethlehem Down – words by Bruce Blunt