Truth’s Army, Truth’s Bride

Truth was never far away.
It stood erect,
And with resolve,
Waited for the moment
Of my will’s consent.

It was relentless,
Devoid of error,
Stalwart and persistent.

Truth was the beacon
On the high mountain.
It appealed to me
On the level of the good.

It drew me
As home beckons the lost.
I journeyed closer,
But as the light
Revealed my tatters
I drew back,
Trapped by my choices.

Truth is a wedding garment,
That clothes inwardly,
As well as out.
My espousals never produced
A marriage of Truth and the holy.
In its stead, I’d wed
What I wanted.
Now, I feared our distance,
And what I had become.

Desiring the right,
Even if I was wrong,
I gathered courage to my breast
And risked all in the quest.

I shed my rags
And found a covering of prayer,
A robe of humility,
And came to Love
In holy fear.

Now, I am
Full of resolve,
A stalwart knight
On Truth’s high mountain,
Carrying lighted torch
To the Dark Valley,
Into caverns of deception.

Standing tall before the Foe,
Truth girds my waist,
And undertakes to speak
Light in the darkness.

I am become an army
On the plain,
As Truth marches not alone.
It goes forth,
Drawing with it men of valor,
Choosing the death of Pride,
And living as Truth’s Bride.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Our Lady of Sorrows–Devotion

Lifetime’s The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns — TV Review – Flavorwire

"It’s an unfathomable sacrifice to most, this dedication of your entire life to the church, and that’s what makes The Sisterhood both a fascinating watch and an illuminating amateur sociology project. As a docuseries, it succeeds because it wants to shed light on the subjects, not exploit them."

via Lifetime’s The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns — TV Review – Flavorwire.

Check-in with EWTN Live Stream

Live stream – EWTN

Devotion must be practiced in different ways – St. Francis de Sales

Cover of "Introduction to the Devout Life...

From the Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop
Devotion must be practiced in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfills all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

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Jesus King of All Nations

Jesus King of All Nations

Jesus appeared to a young American woman on December 17, 1988 as the King of All Nations. He said, “This image is to be a sign that I rule Heaven and earth, and My Kingdom, My Reign, is near at hand. . . . I give this image to mankind as a source of graces and of peace. My Most Holy Mother is preparing the great triumph. The triumph of her Immaculate Heart ushers in the Reign of My Love and Mercy. . . .  I have come to entrust to you a message of great importance for the world. I tell you, My very little one, the days are coming when mankind will cry out to Me for mercy. I tell you, My child, that in these times only one thing will be given as a remedy. I Myself AM that remedy!!! Let souls give devotion to Me, through My Most Holy Mother, as ‘Jesus, King of All Nations’. ” (Journal 7, 14, 159-160).

Good Friday of the Passion of Our Lord / DivineOffice.org

For an experience of the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church, join in the praying of the hours for Good Friday at DivingOffice.org

Office of Readings for Friday of Holy Week

Standard Podcast [ 25:43 | 11.91 MB ] | Download

Good Friday of the Passion of Our Lord
“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’” (Lk 23:44-46).

As Jesus died on the cross, all laws failed. Roman laws had accused an innocent man, natural laws had ceased to exist, and the moral law inherent in man’s own heart had crucified our Savior. As the centurion stated in Luke 23:47, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

As we continue in our reflection through Holy Week, today we must come to accept that justice may not exist in our cause. Things may not seem fair. It’s as if we must hold our breath… progress suspended.

Today’s paradox is we know a Godly commitment leads to good. We recognize that God is present with us as we strive to do His will. We have hope that new life will come; but today, unfortunately, can feel like a place without justice. Today, only the law of love remains.

Into the Stillness – Poetry & Prayer

Newly Revised – Into the Stillness

Meseret Defar’s Expressing Her Devotion to Jesus and Mary in Reaction After Winning the 5000m London Olympic

Meseret is  holding is an image of Mary,Our Lady of Perpetual Help with her Child  Jesus(1:03), which she wore under her shirt (2:03) during her run, and held high and over her face (2:26) with devotion after her winning finish.

Devotion – St. Francis De Sales

From The Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop

Devotion must be practised in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.
I say that devotion must be practised in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.
Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbour. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganised and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.
The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.
Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its colour, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.
It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.
Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

Beautifully prayed!

The Brown Scapular

The Anchoress writes about the World’s Tiniest Hair Shirt, her scapular, which after hanging for years on her bedpost, now hangs about her neck as a “discipline.”  I can relate.

Wearing the cloth scapular has been an on and off battle which I believe my scapular is now winning.  From the stand point of pure convenience, I argued with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,  that wearing the medal was better and would make this devotion easier for me to undertake.  So I wore the medal, but the cloth scapular glared at me from between socks, peeked through the clutter in my dresser drawer, or from wherever I last left it. Mary wasn’t buying my arguments. The Anchoress is right. It is a “discipline” – before it turns to love.

I finally found one I can wear with a minimum of hassle, though each morning, I still wake up with it intertwined with the chain of my Miraculous Medal. I used to grumble.  Now I just smile.  I think I owe the change in my motus primo primi (firstly first movement) to the efficacy of the scapular. It wraps me in the love of Mary and weaves the movements of her heart with mine.  Does that make any sense?

Grace of Devotion

From Thomas a’ Kempis’ My Imitation of Christ

A Prayer for the Grace of Devotion

O Lord my God, You are all my good. And who am I that I should dare to speak to You? I am Your poorest and meanest servant, a vile worm, much more poor and contemptible than I know or dare to say. Yet remember me, Lord, because I am nothing, I have nothing, and I can do nothing. You alone are good, just, and holy. You can do all things, You give all things, You fill all things: only the sinner do You leave empty-handed. Remember Your tender mercies and fill my heart with Your grace, You Who will not allow Your works to be in vain. How can I bear this life of misery unless You comfort me with Your mercy and grace? Do not turn Your face from me. Do not delay Your visitation. Do not withdraw Your consolation, lest in Your sight my soul become as desert land. Teach me, Lord, to do Your will. Teach me to live worthily and humbly in Your sight, for You are my wisdom Who know me truly, and Who knew me even before the world was made and before I was born into it.

The Fourth Chapter

We Must Walk Before God in Humility and Truth The Voice of Christ: MY CHILD, walk before Me in truth, and seek Me always in the simplicity of your heart. He who walks before Me in truth shall be defended from the attacks of evil, and the truth shall free him from seducers and from the slanders of wicked men. For if the truth has made you free, then you shall be free indeed, and you shall not care for the vain words of men. The Disciple: O Lord, it is true. I ask that it be with me as You say. Let your truth teach me. Let it guard me, and keep me safe to the end. Let it free me from all evil affection and badly ordered love, and I shall walk with You in great freedom of heart. The Voice of Christ: I shall teach you those things which are right and pleasing to Me. Consider your sins with great displeasure and sorrow, and never think yourself to be someone because of your good works. You are truly a sinner. You are subject to many passions and entangled in them. Of yourself you always tend to nothing. You fall quickly, are quickly overcome, quickly troubled, and quickly undone. You have nothing in which you can glory, but you have many things for which you should think yourself vile, for you are much weaker than you can comprehend. Hence, let none of the things you do seem great to you. Let nothing seem important or precious or desirable except that which is everlasting. Let the eternal truth please you above all things, and let your extreme unworthiness always displease you. Fear nothing, abhor nothing, and fly nothing as you do your own vices and sins; these should be more unpleasant for you than any material losses. Some men walk before Me without sincerity. Led on by a certain curiosity and arrogance, they wish to know My secrets and to understand the high things of God, to the neglect of themselves and their own salvation. Through their own pride and curiosity, and because I am against them, such men often fall into great temptations and sins. Fear the judgments of God! Dread the wrath of the Almighty! Do not discuss the works of the Most High, but examine your sins — in what serious things you have offended and how many good things you have neglected. Some carry their devotion only in books, some in pictures, some in outward signs and figures. Some have Me on their lips when there is little of Me in their hearts. Others, indeed, with enlightened understanding and purified affections, constantly long for everlasting things; they are unwilling to hear of earthly affairs and only with reluctance do they serve the necessities of nature. These sense what the Spirit of truth speaks within them: for He teaches them to despise earthly things and to love those of heaven, to neglect the world, and each day and night to desire heaven.