Refuge of Sinners

I sit in the sunshine of Your New Day.
Forgiveness has washed over me.
At Your Word,
Mercy has rained upon Your Beloved.

Hear now, You say to me:
You are safe, My little one.
You have chosen to hide yourself
In the Wound of My Sacred Heart.

The world about is cold and unholy,
Yet you are surrounded by angels of Light.
Warm and welcoming is the Living Flesh
That is your constant refuge.

I enfold you,
As you have  made My Body,
Your Food, your Heart,
Your own.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Refuge of Sinners

I sit in the sunshine of Your New Day.
Forgiveness has washed over me.
At Your Word,
Mercy has rained upon Your Beloved.

Hear now, You say to me:
You are safe, My little one.
You have chosen to hide yourself
In the Wound of My Sacred Heart.

The world about is cold and unholy,
Yet you are surrounded by angels of Light.
Warm and welcoming is the Living Flesh
That is your constant refuge.

I enfold you,
As you have  made My Body,
Your Food, your Heart,
Your own.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Where True Beauty Lies

Forsaking the Land of Shadows, yet again,
And prostrate before You,
I enter with my candle,
Wick, barely alive,
Smoldering,
Awaiting the gentle breeze,
That will kindle my flame
To blaze forth, anew.

Praise rises in my soul,
As a lifetime of thanks given,
Recall to memory
The reason for my trust.

Can Faith be called blind,
When a thousand thousand yesterdays
Form the foundation of our friendship?

Now, I look upon You,
Upon the Altar of Adoration.
Beauty captures my attention.
The monstrance, a delight to my eye,
All aglow,
As it catches the early rays of morning.
Golden shafts stream from its center,
Whispering "Glory."

The pedestal,
Ornate with pomegranates, grapes and lilies,
Celebrate the gift of Your Creation.
Yet, You, in Your splendid Humility,
Reside in true beauty, Unadorned, and at rest,
Your work accomplished,
Awaiting only my disfigurement.

What will You with me?
Transfigure in longed for alchemy of Spirit.

By heartfelt confession and remorse,
At Your Word,
Spoken in Persona Christi,
I wash my robes clean
In the Blood of the Lamb.
You do not horde Your beauty,
But send it forth,
To renew all creation,
And, forgetting not the least,
Remember me.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander

Refuge of Sinners

Refuge of Sinners

I sit in the sunshine of Your New Day.
Forgiveness has washed over me.
At Your Word,
Mercy has rained upon Your Beloved.

Hear now, You say to me:
You are safe, My little one.
You have chosen to hide yourself
In the Wound of My Sacred Heart.

The world about is cold and unholy,
Yet you are surrounded by angels of Light.
Warm and welcoming is the Living Flesh
That is your constant refuge.

I enfold you,
As you have  made My Body,
Your Food, your Heart,
Your own.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Life, Confession, and Hope for Infinite Love

O happy confession! I went just this morning.  Life begins again with renewed hope for the coming days, maybe, many years, or, perhaps, only moments.  I just need to go forward, open to life and, most of all, charity, giving it, as best I can with apologies to match my failures.

A powerful instinct, certainly not reserved for me alone, tells me that the grave in not the end. If it were, what a mockery the sacrifices of caring and struggle, war, family, and country, if it were, I can see why the practical atheist and agnostic would advocate for the convenience of death in the womb, the rallying cry of the pragmatic "progressive" society, planning to bring forth only as much life as it can use.  If no resurrection of the dead, why the fuss to perfume our living corpses.  Blessed be the grave, bring it on, O happy holocaust!

My sad suppositions terrify me.  Give me that candle to carry into the darkness and the holy regard of those praying for the dead. I am not alone in desiring eternity, and the company of the living forever.  It is the sun that comes up every morning and the hope that can only be fulfilled in One who is more than matter, and yet, matter does testify by it very existence, in its coming to be, and, so my hope is that He that brought it forth, love me into the infinity of His Being.

A Man Clothed in Sin

A man clothed in sin
Walked the long aisle
To stand before the Crucifix.

Long years,
No tears,
He came to say,
“You died for me,
And I don’t give a damn!”

The hardened before the Hallowed,
The clock running down,
Time spent and unreflected,
Deeds done and unrepentant.

Challenged to say the words,
He began,
“You died for me,
And I don’t give…”

Undaunted, he repeated,
“You died for me
And I don’t…..”
Gaze focused
On that bloodied Corpse,
Resolute, again, he began.
“You died for me…”
…….
“You died for me…”
“You died for me!”

Tears, tears,
Rivers of tears,
Years unspent,
And now in flood.

Miracles at the Red Sea,
Yet, none greater
Than the Passover,
One innocent Lamb,
Slain, and yet standing,
Lifted up,
Drawing thee.

© 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

 

Inspired by another story :

 

MONDAY, 6 AUGUST 2007

Cardinal Lustiger RIP 1926-2007


I didn’t always agree with the former Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who died yesterday, but his tenure of that see brought a great deal more good than harm, I think. On his watch, the Catholic life of the city gained a huge boost; the new movements revitalized many parishes, and vocations to the priesthood soared. I remember that he habitually celebrated Mass in Notre Dame almost every Sunday evening for the young people who came to that Mass; a great example to the other bishops of France, many of whom are facing the priestly extinction of their dioceses.
I heard a story attributed to him—maybe it is one he told rather than a story about himself (since he himself was a Jewish convert). I was given to understand that the story is a true one.
Two boys were, out of mischief, determined to tease their parish priest, so they went to confession and made up outrageous sins, just to see what the priest would say. The priest, listening to the second boy, realizing that he was being ‘had’, and hurt by the mockery of the sacrament, asked the second lad as a ‘penance’ to go to the crucifix over the tabernacle and shout out loud, three times ‘you died for me, and I don’t give a damn’. The lad did as he was asked; by the third time he was in tears. Some years later, he was ordained a priest.
May Jean-Marie Lustiger rest in peace.

Where True Beauty Lies


Forsaking the Land of Shadows, yet again,
And prostrate before You,
I enter with my candle,
Wick, barely alive,
Smoldering,
Awaiting the gentle breeze,
That will kindle my flame
To blaze forth, anew.

Praise rises in my soul,
As a lifetime of thanks given,
Recall to memory
The reason for my trust.
Can Faith be called blind,
When a thousand thousand yesterdays
Form the foundation of our friendship?

Now, I look upon You,
Upon the Altar of Adoration.
Beauty captures my attention.
The monstrance, a delight to my eye,
All aglow,
As it catches the early rays of morning.
Golden shafts stream from its center,
Whispering “Glory.”

The pedestal,
Ornate with pomegranates, grapes and lilies,
Celebrate the gift of Your Creation.
Yet, You, in Your splendid Humility,
Reside in true beauty, Unadorned, and at rest,
Your work accomplished,
Awaiting only my disfigurement.

What will You with me?
Transfigure in longed for alchemy of Spirit.

By heartfelt confession and remorse,
At Your Word,
Spoken in Persona Christi,
I wash my robes clean
In the Blood of the Lamb.
You do not horde Your beauty,
But send it forth,
To renew all creation,
And, forgetting not the least,
Remember me.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander


Sweet Confession Refreshing the Soul

A young woman called into Immaculate Heart Radio,hesitantly asking the host, how to return to the Catholic Church. She had stopped going to church after the sixth grade in Catholic school.  The caller described her life as, “let’s say a miserable life.” She had been thinking a lot about returning to the Church but had no idea how to proceed.  The woman had had an abortion which now bothers her a great deal. “But, obviously, she said, “I can’t bring that life back.”  All she wanted to know was could she come back and what was the way back?

Sweet Confession! Jimmy Akin, the host,  gently described how to go about making her confession including the possibility of writing down what she couldn’t bring herself to say out loud. Impressed by his thoroughness and great compassion, I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone thinking of coming close to God again could find a helping hand as well as the courageous this young woman found to take the first step.

H/T Anchoress for March 1st – to Confession.

The Archdiocese of New York , in a move that will be replicated in many Diocese throughout the country, will be offering ’round the clock confession on March 5-6.

A well-publicized 24-hour period of confessions has proved to be an effective invitation to the sacrament, and there are always big “turn-outs,” which some might find surprising. As I am swamped today (in a good way) I wanted to direct you to Deacon Greg’s very personal, thoughtful and inspiring story of his owntransformative experience of a confession, which occurred when his lukewarmness was giving away to renewed love for the sacraments and fervor for the Mercy of Christ ( more.)

Gardening and the Soul – 101

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Lent means that spring is just around the corner.  Looking at my garden, it was obvious that it was in need of some serious tender loving care. All I had the energy for was to uproot a few of the hundreds of weeds, but I did begin. Immediately, a thought interrupted my picking. “Many souls are dead and don’t even know it.” Surprised by the seriousness of the pronouncement, I turned to the Lord,  “Why is that, Lord?”

“Look at the weeds you’re uprooting; they look healthy and well, don’t they? Yet, you know they’re counterfeits; you root them up.  Many people no longer know what’s good for them.  They opened their soil to the world and allowed the world to decide what grew in them;  no questions asked!

Empty places invite weeds.  Weeds take the place of authentic, productive life.  Soon they choke out the good by sheer  numbers and their greedy appetites.  Weeds look pretty good for a while.  It isn’t until you miss the flowers and the fruit,  that you notice something has gone awry.  In life, people are like gardens. Some are dying but still look good.  Sin like weeds is deceptive.  People are kept busy and entertained by counterfeit life.  Yet they are loosing ground to the world.  They are losing the reward of their time and effort.  Their work and play have no eternal end,  just transitory vigor and flash. It’s really death wrapped in greenery.

This morning I weeded my entire garden. I also went to confession.

Jesus Takes Revenge

In today’s reading, Jer 11:18-20, Jeremiah wants revenge.  He sees himself as a trusting lamb led to slaughter; although he knew he was in danger, he did not realize that his enemies were hatching plots against him.  Jeremiah wants vengeance and he wants to be there to witness it in spades.

“Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!”

In today’s homily, Monsignor, asks, “How does Jesus take vengeance on His enemies?”  Monsignor answers,  “He dies for them!”

Christians imitate Jesus. Scripture directs us in dealing with our enemies:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:43-44
If your enemy be hungry, give him food to eat, if he be thirsty, give him to drink;
For live coals you will heap on his head, and the LORD will vindicate you. Proverbs 25:22

We are all in the same boat, we are all sinners, enemies of  God, so long as we persist in Sin.  Jesus, for his part, dies for us. He has prayed for his enemies, “Father, forgive them!” He has fed them, “Take and eat!” He has satisfied their thirst, “Take and drink!”

Jesus appeals to the heart of men.  We can turn away.  We can experience, with Jesus, rejection.  In all these circumstances Jesus says pray.  That prayer is powerful, whether it is prayer of praise, worship, thanksgiving, adoration, or petition.

If we could only see it with Heaven’s eyes as John did as he records in the Book of Revelation:

“And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Rev 5:8

“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple.”Rev 7:14

What is this washing of their robes, if it is not the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  If it were referring to Baptism, they would not be doing the washing, whereas in Reconciliation we have an active role.

Jesus wants what’s best for each of us. He wants enemies (sinners) to feel the hot coals of  prayer heaped upon them.  To see ourselves as Jesus sees us when we sin can be distressing. Such a moment, though wrenching, is a moment of grace. Jesus desires a response of the heart that sends the sick and sorrowful to show themselves to the priest for healing and forgiveness.

Our revenge is to be like our Christ. Our revenge is to die to ourselves with our Christ.  Our revenge is to see the enemies of Christ come forth from the confessional with tears of joy and thanksgiving in all humility; no longer enemies but as brothers.

What will it take? Prayer.  All are called, moment by moment, while we live, “Repent and believe the Good News!” Mk 1:15