Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

The Remarkable Evidence of a Transcendent Soul – Fr Robert Spitzer, SJ

Stumbling Into God’s Mercy

Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Renew the Face of the Earth

Jesus, henceforth,
Live my life
In blessed union with me,
And accept my every breath and exertion,
As Your own witness to the Father.

Pour, through me, the graces,
That change the world,
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
So that I be a portal
In Creation’s web,
As gateway,
That Heaven may flow,
Entering Matter and Time,
As on Your Altar,
That I may say with Paul,
"I live, no longer I,
But Christ lives in me,"
To the glory of God, the Father,
God, the Son,
And God, the Holy Spirit.

Command angels fly to the aid
Of this fallen land,
As ever fresh Redemption,
Fighting Your battles in the air,
And announcing Truth,
To renew in You,
Those who You have not left orphans.

The lowly exalt You,
In the garden of Earth.
As we sing Your praise,
Turn up the volume of Your Word,
That even the deaf may hear.
Issue edicts of Love,
That, at Your command,
We be Holy,
As The Father is Holy,
And You are Holy.
Holy, holy, holy.

You dedicate Yourself, eternally,
To our sanctification,
That by Faith and "Fiat"
All creation blossom forth,
A New Heaven
And New Earth,
And Your reign recognized,
And the Lie undone,
Triumphantly in the Son.

© 2013 Joann Nelander

Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Renew the Face of the Earth

Jesus, henceforth,
Live my life
In blessed union with me,
And accept my every breath and exertion,
As Your own witness to the Father.

Pour, through me, the graces,
That change the world,
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
So that I be a portal
In Creation’s web,
As gateway,
That Heaven may flow,
Entering Matter and Time,
As on Your Altar,
That I may say with Paul,
"I live, no longer I,
But Christ lives in me,"
To the glory of God, the Father,
God, the Son,
And God, the Holy Spirit.

Command angels fly to the aid
Of this fallen land,
As ever fresh Redemption,
Fighting Your battles in the air,
And announcing Truth,
To renew in You,
Those who You have not left orphans.

The lowly exalt You,
In the garden of Earth.
As we sing Your praise,
Turn up the volume of Your Word,
That even the deaf may hear.
Issue edicts of Love,
That, at Your command,
We be Holy,
As The Father is Holy,
And You are Holy.
Holy, holy, holy.

You dedicate Yourself, eternally,
To our sanctification,
That by Faith and "Fiat"
All creation blossom forth,
A New Heaven
And New Earth,
And Your reign recognized,
And the Lie undone,
Triumphantly in the Son.

© 2013 Joann Nelander

Portal to Eternity

If the past has a portal,
I take up the blood of the Lamb,
And apply it to its door-posts,
And lintels,
That it cry out for this sinner,
That the Angel of Death
May pass me by.

Cry for me, My Beloved,
In my night,
That the past,
Now cleansed,
Open in Your Heart
The door to heavenly Eternity.

Cry, my Beloved,
To plead mercy on my history,
Bring newness of Life,
In this cleansed space of being,
New Creation,
A heart and soul after Your Own,
Henceforth and forever one.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

The Breech

How great is the distance between us?

Some would say
The span from East to West,
Or measure in miles the chasm
Stretching from Heaven to Hell.
Others count the centuries
Since Your earthly Presence
In hallowed flesh.

There is no numbering
Eternity or Divinity.
You are closer than my breath.
Your Heart beats within my breast.
Day by day,
Nay, moment by moment,
I pick up Your rhythm.

Traversing the breech,
You make me Your own.
Small, but beloved,
I repose in willful abandonment.
Grace-filled faith,
A movement,
Not a measure,
Soars to the heavens,
In flights of trust in You.

From a treatise against the heresy of Noetus by Saint Hippolytus, priest -The manifestation of the hidden mystery

From a treatise against the heresy of Noetus by Saint Hippolytus, priest The manifestation of the hidden mystery

There is only one God, brethren, and we learn about him only from sacred Scripture. It is therefore our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son in the way the Father wills, and accepting the teaching he wills to give us with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that he intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.

God was all alone and nothing existed but himself when he determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as he had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact: nothing is coeternal with God. Apart from God there was simply nothing else. Yet although he was alone, he was manifold because he lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in him and he himself was all. At a moment of his own choosing and in a manner determined by himself, God manifested his Word, and through him he made the whole universe.

When the Word was hidden within God himself he was invisible to the created world, but God made him visible. First God gave utterance to his voice, engendering light from light, and then he sent his own mind into the world as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made him visible so that the world could be saved by seeing him. This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through him; but he alone is begotten by the Father.

The Son gave us the law and the prophets, and he filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and his will.

So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through whom the whole universe was made. He says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things came into being; not one thing was created without him. And further on he adds: The world was made through him, and yet the world did not know him. He entered his own creation, and his own did not receive him.

Your Presence–Audio Post–#Presence

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

Your Presence

Your presence is all around me,
And Your glory shines forth
From even the smallest of Your creation.

If I were to feel Your effects all day long
I would live in tears,
Rejoicing with tearful gladness,
And weeping, conscious of my deserts.

So I avert my gaze from these flowers of love
That I may carry on
Keeping my feet anchored on earth,
Though my soul would have me take flight
And keep company with the angels.

My spirit strains upward
As over and above all
I reach for You in humility of heart,
Worn out by Your mercies,
Never tiring in Your consolation.

Come Holy Spirit!
Make Your home in me
With customary gentleness.

Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us – St.Bernard

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot
Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us.

Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.

Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.

When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.

Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.

The Saints Crowned in Glory

The Saints are longing for us,
Longing that we share their glory.
No harm in such ambition,
Says Bernard.

This glory is to be spread abroad
By God’s sovereignty
And generosity.
This glory is  none other
Than the glory in which the Father
Robed His dying Son.

It is  now reflected in His Saints,
Who in life picked up their cross,
And followed  Him upon their knees.

The battle they fought on Earth now is ours.
They continue with us,
The Church Triumphant,
Pleading for the Church Militant.

Blessed are those who were poor in spirit,
Who were merciful, loving their enemies,
Who mourned and who were persecuted,
Who were pure of  heart,
And sought peace
Through the wood of the Cross.

Blessed are all those gathered
To the Father’s  bosom.
Blessed are they and generous,
Interceding for the saints,
As they look for us to follow in their steps.

Brothers and Sisters,
Radiant in glory,
Beam forth Christ.

All happiness to His Saints
Rewarded now and forever.
All glory to the Father,
The Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen!

By Joann Nelander

The Angelic Choirs

I spent yesterday and today learning more about the nine choirs of angels and angels in general.  I have missed a great deal of blessing, help and intercession by knowing so little about these marvels of God’s creation and their role in adoration and service to the Holy Trinity and also the angels’ role in relationship to Man and the Cosmos.

New Age teaching have polluted our understanding of these spiritual beings.  We need to correct that, for we need the help of all nine choirs of angels now more than ever.

Here are some links to help you get started if you would like to begin a holy relationship with the being created just for you, your guardian angel and the three hierarchies of Angels.

Angels in the writings of the Saints

Angel Stories

Angels Explained: What You Should Know About the Nine Choirs   (well worth downloading for a pittance)

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
approved this Consecration prayer
on May 31, 2000 for use in Opus Angelorum.

The Consecration to the Holy Angels

O Holy Angels of God, here, in the presence of the Triune God and in the love of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer, I, N.N., poor sinner, want to make a covenant with you, who are his servants, so that in union with you, I might work with humility and fortitude for the glory of God and the coming of his Kingdom. Therefore, I implore you to assist me, especially – in the adoration of God and of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar,  – in the contemplation of the word and the salvific works of God, -in the imitation of Christ and in the love of his Cross in a spirit of expiation, – in the faithful fulfillment of my mission within the Church, serving humbly after the example of Mary, my heavenly Mother, your Queen. And you, my good guardian angel, who continually behold the face of our Father in heaven, God entrusted me to you from the very beginning of my life. I thank you with all my heart for your loving care. I commit myself to you and promise you my love and fidelity. I beg you: protect me against my own weakness and against the attacks of the wicked spirits; enlighten my mind and my heart so that I may always know and accomplish the will of God; and lead me to union with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
approved this Consecration prayer
on May 31, 2000 for use in Opus Angelorum.

Chaplet of St. Michael

Prayers Given by God

St. Gertrude the Great:

Daily:

I ADORE, praise, and salute Thee, O most sweet Heart of Jesus Christ, fresh and gladdening as the breath of spring, from which, as from a fountain of graces, sweeter than the honeycomb, floweth ever more all good and all delight. I thank Thee with all the powers of my heart for having preserved me throughout this night, and for having rendered to God the Father praises and thanksgivings in my behalf. And now, O my sweet Love, I offer Thee my wretched and worthless heart as a morning sacrifice; I place it in Thy most tender Heart, and entrust it to Thy keeping; beseeching Thee that Thou wouldst deign to pour into it Thy Divine inspirations, and to enkindle it with Thy holy love. Amen.

O JESUS, full of compassion, I commend to thee my spirit and my soul, in union with that love wherewith thou didst commend Thine Own to the Father on the Cross; and I place them in the most sacred wound of Thy tender Heart, that they may be therein protected from all the snares of the enemy. Thou knowest, O good Jesus, and I know by my own sad experience, how weak and frail I am, so that I could not of myself persevere in good, or resist temptation even for one single hour. Wherefore I pray Thee, by the reverence due to that union wherein Thy manhood is united to the adorable Trinity for our glorification, that Thou wouldst deign to unite my will to Thine, and so to strengthen and secure it, that it may be unable to rebel against Thee. In union with Thy most sinless limbs, I commend to Thee all the members of my body, with all their movements, that they may throughout this day love for Thy glory alone, for Thy praise and Thy love. Amen.

O LORD, my God, for Thy sake I resolve to perform all my actions, whether outward or inward, purely for Thy glory, and for the salvation of the whole world; with such intention and in such manner as Thou dost desire and enjoin; and in union with that love whereby Thy Son came down from Heaven, and wrought out the whole work of our salvation, especially during His Passion. Wherefore I entirely disclaim all merit, all reward and grace which I might otherwise hope to obtain by these actions, that I may offer to Thee, my God, a pure sacrifice of praise, and give Thee a proof of my love.

O ALMIGHTY God, I sanctify, dedicate, and consecrate to Thee every beating of my heart, and every pulsation of my blood; and I desire to make this compact with Thee, that their every beating shall say to Thee: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; and I beseech Thee to impute this meaning to them, so that they may be before Thy Divine Majesty as the unceasing echo of that heavenly canticle, which seraphims sing without ceasing unto Thee. Amen. Amen.
Whole week covenant

Weekly:

O LORD God, my Creator, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee; but inasmuch as the necessities of this life prevent the constant application of my mind to Thy praise, I make with Thee this covenant, earnestly desiring that it may remain in force throughout this week:
O my sweet Jesus,
Whenever I look up towards Heaven, I desire and intend to rejoice with Thee in Thine infinite perfections; that Thou art what Thou art, supremely strong and wise and loving and just.
As often as I open or close my eyes, I desire and intend to approve and concur in all the holy actions which Thine Only-begotten Son, and all the Saints in Heaven and just on earth, have ever done, or shall ever hereafter do, to Thy glory, and desire to be held a partaker in them all.
O LORD God, my Creator, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee; but inasmuch as the necessities of this life prevent the constant application of my mind to Thy praise, I make with Thee this covenant, earnestly desiring that it may remain in force throughout this week.As often as I draw my breath, I offer to Thee the Life and Passion and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merits and sufferings of all the Saints, to Thine eternal glory, for the welfare and peace of all the whole world, and in satisfaction for the sins of all men.
Whenever I sigh, I intend to detest and abhor every sin, as well my own sins as those which have ever been committed from the beginning of the world against the honour of Thy Name. Would that the slight and worthless offering of my blood might be accepted in satisfaction for them! Lastly, as often as I move my hand or my foot, so often do I cast myself with entire resignation upon Thy most holy will, desiring that Thou wouldst dispose of me in time and in eternity, according to Thine adorable good pleasure.
And, lest this fivefold covenant should be in any way made void, I seal it with the seals of Thy five most Sacred Wounds, earnestly desiring that it may have its full force with Thee, even though in any one of these actions it be not actually present to my mind.

Prayer Before Leaving Church
O MOST pitiful Jesus, I give thee thanks for every good gift which Thou hast bestowed on me in this church. And now that I am about to leave it, I offer Thee, in union with Thine Own most perfect prayers, all the prayers and other devotions which I have performed therein; beseeching Thee that Thou wouldst deign to ennoble and perfect them in Thy Divine Heart, to unite them with every holy intention and every feeling of devotion which Thou hast ever elicited from any heart of man, and to offer them to God the Father, for all my negligences and omissions, as a grateful satisfaction and a most acceptable sacrifice: and I implore Thee to grant me that most holy blessing which Thou gavest to Thine Apostles when Thou didst ascend into Heaven, so that by its force and efficacy I may be enabled to persevere in Thy grace, and to serve Thee faithfully ever more. Amen.

Known But by Grace

Only, and far flung God,
Bursting upon the scene of Time
To start the clock
By uncreated might,
And usher forth
Your manifold good will,
In the splendor of creation,
Look on me,
In my becoming.
In this, the only now I know,
This precious fleeting instant,
Reveal Yourself evermore.

You entered Time
That Man might enter Heaven.
You, Who are Eternal Being,
Let me contemplate Thee
Wrapped in swaddling clothes,
Nursing at the Virgin’s breast,
Growing as men grow,
Yet knowing the Father Creator
As only Son.

I see Thee arrayed,
Transfigured in the Light,
Even as You are stretched
Between Heaven and Earth
On Your Holy Cross,
Becoming Sin,
And dying in my stead.
Lifted above the earth in Your divinity,
Higher than the mountains,
Yet pervading depth and breathe,
To shake and shape
The cursed land and Man anew,
In elegant Revelation of Mystery,
Rising from the dead,
To live in universal blessedness,
Across all time and space,
Known but by grace.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander

Renew the Face of the Earth

Jesus, henceforth,
Live my life
In blessed union with me,
And accept my every breath and exertion,
As Your own witness to the Father.

Pour, through me, the graces,
That change the world,
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
So that I be a portal
In Creation’s web,
As gateway,
That Heaven may flow,
Entering Matter and Time,
As on Your Altar,
That I may say with Paul,
“I live, no longer I,
But Christ lives in me,”
To the glory of God, the Father,
God, the Son,
And God, the Holy Spirit.

Command angels fly to the aid
Of this fallen land,
As ever fresh Redemption,
Fighting Your battles in the air,
And announcing Truth,
To renew in You,
Those who You have not left orphans.

The lowly exalt You,In the garden of Earth.
As we sing Your praise,
Turn up the volume of Your Word,
That even the deaf may hear.
Issue edicts of Love,
That, at Your command,
We be Holy,
As The Father is Holy,
And You are Holy.
Holy, holy, holy.

You dedicate Yourself, eternally,
To our sanctification,
That by Faith and “Fiat”
All creation blossom forth,
A New Heaven
And New Earth,
And Your rein recognized,
And the Lie undone,
Triumphantly in the Son.

© 2013 Joann Nelander

Medjugorje February 2, 2013 – Apparition to Mirjana

Published on Feb 5, 2013

“Dear children; Love is bringing me to you — the love which I desire to teach you also — real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My Motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God’s will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God’s love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you.”

The Blessing of Sleep

St. Gertrude Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, I accept this sleep in the spirit of love with which Thou didst sanctify it when Thou didst deign to sleep in Thy most sacred humanity, to the glory of God the Father, and for the salvation of all mankind; beseeching that, in union with Thee, it may tend to increase in grace and glory of all Thine Elect in heaven, on earth, and in purgatory.
Amen.

Saint Bonaventure – Mystical Wisdom


From the Journey of the Mind to God by Saint Bonaventure

Mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit

Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.

For this passover to be perfect, we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affections, directing them to God alone. This is a sacred mystical experience. It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, should come and inflame his innermost soul. Hence the Apostle says that this mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardor of his loving passion. Only he understood this who said: My soul chose hanging and my bones death. Anyone who cherishes this kind of death can see God, for it is certainly true that: No man can look upon me and live.

Let us die, then, and enter into the darkness, silencing our anxieties, our passions and all the fantasies of our imagination. Let us pass over with the crucified Christ from this world to the Father, so that, when the Father has shown himself to us, we can say with Philip: It is enough. We may hear with Paul: My grace is sufficient for you; and we can rejoice with David, saying: My flesh and my heart fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my heritage for ever. Blessed be the Lord for ever, and let all the people say: Amen. Amen!

The Mystery of Man’s Reconciliation With God

From a letter by Saint Leo the Great, pope:

Lowliness is assured by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity. To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that was incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer. Thus, in keeping with the healing that we needed, one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, was able to die in one nature, and unable to die in the other.
He who is true God was therefore born in the complete and perfect nature of a true man, whole in his own nature, whole in ours. By our nature we mean what the Creator had fashioned in us from the beginning, and took to himself in order to restore it.
For in the Saviour there was no trace of what the deceiver introduced and man, being misled, allowed to enter. It does not follow that because he submitted to sharing in our human weakness he therefore shared in our sins.
He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself visible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.
Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.
He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.
He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the pre-eminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.
As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfills what is proper to the flesh.
One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.
One and the same person – this must be said over and over again – is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.