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

Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George...

Alfred Lord Tennyson/Wikipedia

This poem by Alfred, Lord  Tennyson seems very appropriate for the New Year -the Advent New Year beginning today.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Be Ready for the Infant King

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder un-allayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
The humble He teaches His Way.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Infant King Benign

O Infant King benign
I offer You the face
Of Mother Mary
As she gazed upon You
That very first time
Beholding long
Your holy countenance.

Her eyes, drinking in her Babe,
Her King, her Priest,
Her Son Divine,
Wept tears of joy,
And wonder,
In silent adoration,
Pondering comprehension.
She smiled in inward exultation.

You will never forget
Her look of love
As she gazed upon
Him, Who no earthly eye
Had seen,
A treasure for the world,
In her care,
To be wrapped
In lowly swaddling clothes
You, O Christ Child,
In Your humanity divine.

Chosen

O Holy Father,
On my death,
And the occasion of my judgment,
I offer You Jesus’ Love for me.

See how He wants me eternally.
Dying to hold me,
His Blood claims me as His own.

He created me with such care,
As I took form in my mother’s womb.

He lavished attentions on me
As living flesh, imbued with eternal soul,
Flourished in the abundant waters of Life.

Unique among His creations,
He smiled upon me, seeing my beauty,
And my need.

See how He sought me,
Playfully with joys,
And in sorrow as I hid myself.

See the iron of His intention,
Bent on me.

See His fury at the Foe,
Who pursued me,
Seeing His Grace reclaiming me.

My Father, minister to Your daughter,
That leaving behind my earthly life,
Heavenly couriers might present me
Before the One,
Whose Spirit lives in me.

See His pieced Side,
Opened wide inviting me,
All the more, longing,
He for me,
And me for Thee in Three,
As leaving the mortal for the immortal,
I seek sanctuary.

You are everywhere in Being,
And in me.
I wrap my heart around Your Godhead,
Your Jesus.

He embraces me with Spirit,
Even in judgment,
I am chosen for the Son.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Child of the Cross

Mother Mary,
Witness of the Passion,
Suffering witness,
Living the Passion,
As your Jesus
Hung on the Cross.

Pray, Mary.
Pray, My Mother,
Pray for me,
Who am so scattered,
Distracted and disengaged.

Pray every moment
Of my life here on earth,
That I be prepared for suffering,
That I be prepared for eternity.
That I find my Life
In the dying of Your Son,
My Lord.

Hold my hand, O Mother,
Every moment of everyday.
Pray for my yesterdays,
My today, and tomorrows.
Guide my feet to follow
In His steps.

As forbidden fruit
Appeals in its many disguises,
And occasions of evil spring-up,
Pull me out of harm’s way.
Steer me true, O Mother,

As my heart yearns for eternity
Let my glory be
As that of Jesus,
The Cross, the Crucifixion,
And the Dying.

May I live now,
Dying to Sin.
Witnessing at your side,
As Jesus beholds you.
He pronounces me your child.

I am a child
Of the Cross of Christ,
Which came to be
To ransom men.
I behold you, Mother Mary,
And you meet your Son in me.

© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Becoming Flame

I offer You the straw of my life,
O Lord of my redemption.
Send Your angels, day by day,
To glean my field,
To fuel the fire of Your Love.

Did You not say,
“Learn from Me,
For I am meek,
And humble of heart?”
You do not need my riches.
You seek my poverty, my emptiness.

Your Fire penetrates my stubble.
I become like You,
All aglow As light and heat
Testify to Your Presence in the flame
That shoots to the heavens.

I am surrender and trust
In welcome transformation.
I am lost and yet eternal.
In You, straw by straw,
As kindling,
I am become the Flame.