Purity of Heart

There is only one heart so pure,
As to remain demure,
One life lived in blessed union
With Your Own.
One so holy
As to share Your throne.

Solomon, in His wisdom
A type of Christ,
Rose from his kingly chair
To seat his mother
By his side,
Thereby made clear
Her stature in his sight,
Made queenly and motherly ruling
Her right.

Queen Mother, most pure and holy,
By the Father ‘s will made New Eve
To the New Adam, His Son,
You, Spouse of God,
Of flesh and blood,
Share in the rule
Of David’s Promised House.

When courted by the Holy Spirit,
Your “Fiat”,
Made you One,
To bring forth
Holy Son.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Heart of Love

Write my love upon my heart
That I might sign it with my life’s blood,
Coursing through its chambers,
Rushing to serve and sing to You.

With every beat,
With every pulsation,
Carry my persuasions to the ends of my being,
Returning as tides to touch anew Your Heart,
United in Spirit,
Kissing each movement and moment,
As I spread myself upon Your hidden shores,
To embrace and race,
In hurried pulse to do You Will
As my own,
Reaching for eternity.

With a kiss upon the brow
Crown all my moments
With the fiat I proffer
In Your ever Present Now.

Heart of Love,
Be in me.
Sighed and signed,
Joann

Dear Reader,
Make my prayer your prayer,
By placing it beside mine,
And together,
We shall love Him best.

Copyright 2016 Joann Nelander

Fleeting Prayers–Arrows to God’s Heart

Fleeting prayers,
Known but to God,
Recorded in His Heart.
Nothing wasted.

All to flower and  bear fruit,
Supplying for the need
Of His People, His Bride, His Church,
Reaching through Time,

Nothing wasted,
Nothing forgotten,
All in flower,
All bearing fruit.

Fleeting prayers
Known but to God
Nothing forgotten
Arrows to His Heart.

By Joann Nelander

Upon the Cross

Upon the cross,
Your blood flowed
From Crown to Foot,
In streams upon Your Body,
So that there was not one space
That was not touched by Your Blood.

Your Body, the Church,
Covered in Your Blood,
Saved throughout Time
And for all Time
Unto Eternity,
Covered by Your Blood.

Flight of Love

I press my ear
To  Your Heart, my Jesus.
With the beating  rhythm,
That bounds within Your Breast,
My Spirit takes wing,
And rushes to Your Side,
That pierced and open side,
That Gate of Heaven.

“Enter,” You invite.
Leaving without my fear,
I enter in.

I am all ear,
You, all Heart
And Fire,
A furnace of Love.

My spirit faints
With longing.
A voice of spirit
Reassures and comforts.

In flight,
My soul alights,
Coming to rest,
As coming home.

You have always
Known me.
In an instant,
I know You,
And, only now,
Know me,
In consummate repose.

Glowing, two hearts beating as one,
Union of spirit,
Mine yielding to Yours,
To become truly myself.

Complete and Resplendent,
As the dawn of New Day,
Colored by a thousand rainbows,
Breaking ranks
And melting,
In a perfusion of light,
Dancing across my soul,
Reverberating, throughout the Universe,
In happy harmony.

O, Hallowed One,
We now are Three,
Your completeness
Embraces me.
I know all of heaven,
In knowing Thee.

Heaven has made room for me,
A sacred chamber,
And a mansion,
Raised in Your Rising in me.

I hear my new name
And am transfigured,
As You speak it.
Cor ad cor loquitor.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Song of My Heart

bouguereau-compassion-1897

I sing my song of love to Thee,
My God, in Persons, Holy Three,
My Three, as You desire to be,
Have come to earth to succor me.

I, who pine, wanting Thee to please,
Lift heart and hands upon my knees,
Hoping, True God, for Thee to live,
For Your Heart beats but to forgive.

©2016 Joann Nelander

Flight of Love

I press my ear
To  Your Heart, my Jesus.
With the beating  rhythm,
That bounds within Your Breast,
My Spirit takes wing,
And rushes to Your Side,
That pierced and open side,
That Gate of Heaven.

"Enter," You invite.
Leaving without my fear,
I enter in.

I am all ear,
You, all Heart
And Fire,
A furnace of Love.

My spirit faints
With longing.
A voice of spirit
Reassures and comforts.

In flight,
My soul alights,
Coming to rest,
As coming home.

You have always
Known me.
In an instant,
I know You,
And, only now,
Know me,
In consummate repose.

Glowing, two hearts beating as one,
Union of spirit,
Mine yielding to Yours,
To become truly myself.

Complete and Resplendent,
As the dawn of New Day,
Colored by a thousand rainbows,
Breaking ranks
And melting,
In a perfusion of light,
Dancing across my soul,
Reverberating, throughout the Universe,
In happy harmony.

O, Hallowed One,
We now are Three,
Your completeness
Embraces me.
I know all of heaven,
In knowing Thee.

Heaven has made room for me,
A sacred chamber,
And a mansion,
Raised in Your Rising in me.

I hear my new name
And am transfigured,
As You speak it.
Cor ad cor loquitor.

Copyright 2012 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.

Purity of Heart

There is only one heart so pure,
As to remain demure,
One life lived in blessed union
With Your Own.
One so holy
As to share Your throne.

Solomon, in His wisdom
A type of Christ,
Rose from his kingly chair
To seat his mother
By his side,
Thereby made clear
Her stature in his sight,
Made queenly and motherly ruling
Her right.

Queen Mother, most pure and holy,
By the Father ‘s will made New Eve
To the New Adam, His Son,
You, Spouse of God,
Of flesh and blood,
Share in the rule
Of David’s Promised House.

When courted by the Holy Spirit,
Your "Fiat",
Made you One,
To bring forth
Holy Son.

purity of heart  AUDIO

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Eyes of My Soul

O eyes of my soul,
Eyes of my spirit,
Eyes of my heart,
See!

See the glory revealed
In all creation.
See the Son
Hidden in the least
To the greatest.

Recognize the Christ,
Lord of all.
Lord over the earth
Lord over the sea
Lord raised above the heavens.

Enthrone Him, King,
King of your soul,
King of your spirit,
King of your heart.

As light illuminates,
See that you are a new creation.
See Christ, in this moment,
As in the breaking of the Bread.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Eyes of My Soul

O eyes of my soul,
Eyes of my spirit,
Eyes of my heart,
See!

See the glory revealed
In all creation.
See the Son
Hidden in the least
To the greatest.

Recognize the Christ,
Lord of all.
Lord over the earth
Lord over the sea
Lord raised above the heavens.

Enthrone Him, King,
King of your soul,
King of your spirit,
King of your heart.

As light illuminates,
See that you are a new creation.
See, in this moment,
As in the breaking of the Bread.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Here We Are

Good morning, Jesus.
Here we are again,
At the beginning of a new day.

Can you feel me?
Here I am in Your Great Heart,
Reaching for You with my heart.

I feel Your eyes upon me.
You are perfume to my senses.
You are the touch of sweetness
I taste wafting on the breeze of Spirit.

You sound in my heart
With the beating of Yours.
Ever near, ever dear, everlasting,
Song of my soul.

Good morning, my Jesus.
Hold me here,
On the brink of eternity.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Holy See

I was looking at Your Heart,
Alight with rays,
Gushing from Your parted Breast.

I realized that heart was just like mine,
Human,
Yours aflame,
Shooting forth on wings of Holy Dove,
And mine,
Still learning how, what
And Who to love.

Love You are, and Love You give,
Bursting upon Time and Space, and Me,
And myriads akin to me,
Merely mortal, and yet more.

Heart rays, sacred emanations
Of Who You Are,
Enflame, to fire fleshly hearts
In Your Eternal Streams
Giving Your Life all
Who dare in hope
To welcome and adore.

Who but God could conceive
So great a good;
Your Heart is mine,
And mine is Thine
And I , at long-last, see.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Mary stored up all these things in her heart

From a sermon by Saint Lawrence Justinian, bishop Mary stored up all these things in her heart

While Mary contemplated all she had come to know through reading, listening and observing, she grew in faith, increased in merits, and was more illuminated by wisdom and more consumed by the fire of charity. The heavenly mysteries were opened to her, and she was filled with joy; she became fruitful by the Spirit, was being directed toward God, and watched over protectively while on earth. So remarkable are the divine graces that they elevate one from the lowest depths to the highest summit, and transform one to a greater holiness. How entirely blessed was the mind of the Virgin which, through the indwelling and guidance of the Spirit, was always and in every way open to the power of the Word of God. She was not led by her own senses, nor by her own will; thus she accomplished outwardly through her body what wisdom from within gave to her faith. It was fitting for divine Wisdom, which created itself a home in the Church, to use the intervention of the most blessed Mary in guarding the law, purifying the mind, giving an example of humility and providing a spiritual sacrifice.

Imitate her, O faithful soul. Enter into the deep recesses of your heart so that you may be purified spiritually and cleansed from your sins. God places more value on good will in all we do than on the works themselves. Therefore, whether we give ourselves to God in the work of contemplation or whether we serve the needs of our neighbor by good works, we accomplish these things because the love of Christ urges us on. The acceptable offering of the spiritual purification is accomplished not in a man-made temple but in the recesses of the heart where the Lord Jesus freely enters.

Light to My Light

Round and round,
Oft’ repeated action,
Oft’ repeated sin,
I go,
Blinded by the storm within,
To folly’s fortune,
And wayward whim.

Hunger and thirst
Assail in just desert,
Assail with a vengeance.
Who will pay the piper?
Who will ransom the captive heart,
Break my fetters,
And smash my chains?

Crying into the night
Black my heart ache
Black my guilt.
Still my tears betray my hope,
As for Love I grope,
Calling, because primal urge
Causes me to shout into the Darkness.

I am the smoldering candle,
That will not go out.
That will not curse the darkness.
You are fan to my flame,
And breath in my nostrils,
You are the oil that fuels my lamp
To show the way out of darkness,
Light to my light.

© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

– An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

iPieta- An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus O divine Heart of Jesus, grant, I beseech Thee, eternal rest to the souls in purgatory, final grace to all who are to die today, true repentance to sinners, the light of faith to pagans, Thy blessing to me and to all who are mine. To Thee, O most loving Heart of Jesus, do I therefore commend all these souls, and for them I offer all Thy merits, together with the merits of the most Blessed Mother and of all the saints and angels, and also together with all the Sacrifices of the Mass, the Holy Communions, the prayers and good works that are made today throughout the entire Christian world.

A Thousand Little Moments

I fail and I fall.
Yes, Father, it’s me, again.
My prayers and tears reach Your heart
With plaintiff sighs.

I reach for Love,
As a baby grasps the finger,
Securing You to my heart,
Binding You by trifles.
A thousand little moments,
Like a knitter’s weave,
Trivial triumphs conquering like souls,
For made in Your image, I desire only You.

Of wooing, my begging be a part.
I turn, my God, to You
As a prayer with every care.
Prayer and tears, now, all one.
I nestle to Your breast
And am all ear.

I listen as beat upon beat,
Love’s rhythm reassures me of the next
And of Your eternal constancy.
I listen, as for a whisper,
And fear not to whisper every care
And fretful prayer.

I reach for You with every breath,
And sigh when You draw nigh.
You answer with a mother’s warmth,
Bending low, picking me up, pressing me
To Your great and consoling bosom.

“What is it my child. Am I not here?
Haven’t I given you all?”
You kiss away my tears,
And delight in the exchange.
I have given nothing but complaint,
Yet You are full of smiles.

A thousand little moments knit our day.
I cry and You comfort.
I beckon and You bend in kind regard.
You draw me into that chamber,
In which I was formed,
That hallowed space,
In which my time began.

Heaven and rest contained
In one all holy Name.
Name me, my God,
And I will come into being,
Called forth from my darkness
Into Your marvelous Day.

All our moments measured by Your mercy,
I cry out for a heart made unto Your own,
That I may grow to give Your Love.
Love begetting love, for love alone.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Purity of Heart

There is only one heart so pure,
As to remain demure,
One life lived in blessed union
With Your Own.
One so holy
As to share Your throne.

Solomon, in His wisdom
A type of Christ,
Rose from his kingly chair
To seat his mother
By his side,
Thereby made clear
Her stature in his sight,
Made queenly and motherly ruling
Her right.

Queen Mother, most pure and holy,
By the Father ‘s will made New Eve
To the New Adam, His Son,
You, Spouse of God,
Of flesh and blood,
Share in the rule
Of David’s Promised House.
When courted by the Holy Spirit,
Your “Fiat”,
Made you One,
To bring forth
Holy Son.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Purity of Heart

My Bump by the Brown-eyed Keyz- Music Video

May My Heart Be Your Paradise

May my heart be Your paradise on earth, empty of self, save for You, Who are the wellspring of my very being, the great I Am Who Am. Cloth me in Your Heart and dream Holy dreams that create Your life in me. I am empty awaiting the waters of life to inundate my poor, longing soul. Speak peace Beloved. I gaze into Your Soul in its anguished Gethsemane. All ages await your healing Death on the Cross the Father laid upon your bosom in a bath of blood and tears. Fill Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow as with Mary”s “Fiat” her womb became Your world.

Life, precious ointment of Love, consume the death You find in me.

Hold a Thought

Hold a thought in your heart today:

“Let your heart be an altar.” Saint Peter Chrysologus


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.

Restlessness of Soul

Imitation of Christ

Chapter33

Restlessness of Soul — Directing Our Final Intention Toward God

The Voice of Christ: MY CHILD, do not trust in your present feeling, for it will soon give way to another. As long as you live you will be subject to changeableness in spite of yourself. You will become merry at one time and sad at another, now peaceful but again disturbed, at one moment devout and the next indevout, sometimes diligent while at other times lazy, now grave and again flippant. But the man who is wise and whose spirit is well instructed stands superior to these changes. He pays no attention to what he feels in himself or from what quarter the wind of fickleness blows, so long as the whole intention of his mind is conducive to his proper and desired end. For thus he can stand undivided, unchanged, and unshaken, with the singleness of his intention directed unwaveringly toward Me, even in the midst of so many changing events. And the purer this singleness of intention is, with so much the more constancy does he pass through many storms. But in many ways the eye of pure intention grows dim, because it is attracted to any delightful thing that it meets. Indeed, it is rare to find one who is entirely free from all taint of self- seeking. The Jews of old, for example, came to Bethany to Martha and Mary, not for Jesus’ sake alone, but in order to see Lazarus. The eye of your intention, therefore, must be cleansed so that it is single and right. It must be directed toward Me, despite all the objects which may interfere.

Enter by the Gate

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” John 10:9

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Looking at the large image, that hangs in my church during the Easter season,  of the Resurrected Christ with His wounds visible, the wound in Jesus’ chest captured me.  Jesus had called Himself the Good Shepherd and also referred to Himself as the gate.  I wondered at the two positions He took in this discourse in John 10.  It could be confusing, but as I looked at Christ’s side, the open wound was like an open invitation.  It became my gate into the Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Foot Washing at Washington Park

It speaks for itself.

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

Love's Little Way

For those of us who are small at heart, ill equipped for great undertakings, yet desiring to fulfill in perfection the Will of God in our little lives simply to please Him, take heart.  There is a Little Way.

From Story of a Soul by St. Theresa of Lisieux – Manuscript B, Chapter IX – MY VOCATION IS LOVE:

St. Theresa of Lisieux, “I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR.  finally I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for You, O Jesus. I feel within my  the courage of the crusader, the Papal Guard, and I would want to die on the field of battle in defense of the Church………….

At prayer these desires made me suffer a true martydom. I opened the Epistles of St. Paul to seek some relief. The 12th and 13th chapters of the First Epistle to the Corinthians fell before my eyes. I read, in the first, that not all can be apostles, prophets, and doctors, etc., that the Church is composed of different members, and that the eye cannot also be at the same time the hand.

The answer was clear, but it did not satisfy my desires, it did not give me peace…. Without being discouraged I continued my reading, and this phrase comforted me: “Earnestly desire the more perfect gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31). And the Apostle explains how all gifts, even the most perfect, are nothing without Love… that charity is the excellent way that leads surely to God. At last I had found rest…. Considering the mystical Body of the Church, I had not recognized myself in any of the members described by St. Paul, or rather, I wanted to recognize myself in all… Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church has a body composed of different members, the noblest and most necessary of all the members would not be lacking to her. I understood that the Church has a heart, and that this heart burns with Love. I understood that Love alone makes its members act, that if this Love were to be extinguished, the Apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood… I understood that Love embraces all vocations, that Love is all things, that it embraces all times and all places… in a word, that it is eternal!

Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: “O Jesus, my Love, at last I have found my vocation, my vocation is Love!… Yes, I have found my place in the Church, and it is you, O my God, who have given me this place… in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be Love!…. Thus I shall be all things: thus my dream shall be realized!!!”

I am a child… It is not riches or glory (not even the glory of Heaven) that this child asks for… No, she asks for Love. She knows but one desire: to love you, Jesus. Glorious deeds are forbidden her; she cannot preach the Gospel or shed her blood… But what does that matter, her brothers work in her place, and she, a little child, stays close to the throne of the King and Queen, and loves for her brothers who are in the combat… But how shall she show her love, since love proves itself by deeds? Well! the little child will strew flowers, she will embalm the royal throne with their fragrance, she will sing with a silver voice the canticle of Love.

Yes, my Beloved, I wish to spend my life thus… I have no other means of proving my love except by strewing flowers, that is to say, letting no little sacrifice pass, no look, no word–profiting by the littlest actions, and doing them out of love. I wish to suffer out of love and to rejoice out of love; thus I shall strew flowers before your throne. I shall not find one without scattering its petals before you… and in strewing my flowers I will sing (can one weep in doing so joyous an action?) I will sing, even if my roses must be gathered from among thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns, the sweeter shall be my song.

Begin today with a desire and a prayer, looking not at yourself  but at the generous Heart of Jesus.

Do I hear an, “Amen” ?

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

Meditation from Br. Lawrence of the Resurrection

Spiritual Maxims, Page 36

The holiest, most ordinary, and most necessary practice of the spiritual life is that of the presence of God. It is to take delight in and become accustomed to His divine company, speaking humbly and conversing lovingly with Him all the time, at every moment, without rule or measure, especially in times of temptation, suffering, aridity, weariness, even infidelity and sin. We must continually apply ourselves, so that all our actions, without exception, become a kind of brief conversation with God, not in a contrived manner, but coming from the purity and simplicity of our hearts.

Meditation from Carmel

God does not ask a great deal from us.  A brief remembrance from time to time. A brief act of adoration occasionally to ask Him for his grace,or offer Him your sufferings.  At other times to thank him for the graces He has given you and is giving you. In the midst of your work find consolation in Him as often as possible. During your meals and conversations occasionally lift up your heart to Him The least little remembrance of Him will always be most agreeable.  You need not shout out.  He is closer to us than we may think.

A meditation by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (Letter 9 –  page 69)