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.

Host upon the Altar

Pristine the whiteness
Engulfed in radiant flame,
Golden the rays,
Set about Your throne upon the altar.
For all the beauty of the monstrance,
You outshine the artist’s creation,
Just as You outshine Creation.

Give me eyes to see the Reality.
My eyes are designed to apprehend matter.
Here, You give us Mystery, Divinity.
I long to look upon Your fleshly Flesh,
To see Your locks curl mildly on Your shoulders,
To see the flash of smile and twinkle of the eye,
Majesty of manner, and goodly gentleness.

I gaze upon the Host,
All the while my heart and mind
Bring visions to the fore.
Power subdued in obedience,
Might bowed to the Father’s Will,
Abandonment, a fulfillment of prophetic word,
Suffering and salvific.

A Babe, a Boy, a Man,
Commending unto You
From womb to tomb,
In ignominy, yet dignity,
A Life and Death
Swallowing up Your wrath.

He bequeathed to us His Mother,
His ark and monstrance,
Forever refuge of the sinner at the altar.
At the altar of His Dying,
He willed to us a Mother,
Pristine Whiteness.

Host upon the Altar

Pristine the whiteness
Engulfed in radiant flame,
Golden the rays,
Set about Your throne upon the altar.
For all the beauty of the monstrance,
You outshine the artist’s creation,
Just as You outshine Creation.

Give me eyes to see the Reality.
My eyes are designed to apprehend matter.
Here, You give us Mystery, Divinity.
I long to look upon Your fleshly Flesh,
To see Your locks curl mildly on Your shoulders,
To see the flash of smile and twinkle of the eye,
Majesty of manner, and goodly gentleness.

I gaze upon the Host,
All the while my heart and mind
Bring visions to the fore.
Power subdued in obedience,
Might bowed to the Father’s Will,
Abandonment, a fulfillment of prophetic word,
Suffering and salvific.

A Babe, a Boy, a Man,
Commending unto You
From womb to tomb,
In ignominy, yet dignity,
A Life and Death
Swallowing up Your wrath.

He bequeathed to us His Mother,
His ark and monstrance,
Forever refuge of the sinner at the altar.
At the altar of His Dying,
He willed to us a Mother,
Pristine Whiteness.

Everyday

Everyday is good.
Everyday is holy.
All days are present
In Your Light.

With my life lived
Under Your gaze,
I implore of You
A river of love.

Pour the many waters
To wash the dross away,
Then You, Yourself,
Provide pure gold.

Through the heart
And hands of the Virgin,
Purify my gift each day
As I sigh to You.

All my ways,
The moments now arrayed
Gilded by Christ
Shine in holiness.

And, though my acts
Be as the poor trinkets of a child,
Your wearing of them,
In Our Father’s Presence,
Makes Him smile.

Look on me loving You
With every beat of my heart,
Skipping happily,
As a playmate at Your side,
Everyday.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Healing the Original Wound

“If you have loved and been loved in return, you have some idea of what the promise of eternal life is.  You can think a little of the love of God.  If you feel that you have been unloved or have not really loved, then you have a great hunger inside of you for the mysterious love of God.  In either case, you know something about the imperative need, the restlessness, the hunger that we all have to find love, unfailing love, in the brief reality we call our lives.”

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel died recently after a long life of love and service.  I’ve asked him to be my spiritual director now that he has eternity to answer my questions. I’ll start small with his book.

Read a bit more  about Fr. Groeschel

Greatest Offering by Tswi da ChristMic

Everyday

Everyday is good.
Everyday is holy.
All days are present
In Your Light.

With my life lived
Under Your gaze,
I implore of You
A river of love.

Pour the many waters
To wash the dross away,
Then You, Yourself,
Provide pure gold.

Through the heart
And hands of the Virgin,
Purify my gift each day
As I sigh to You.

All my ways,
The moments now arrayed
Gilded by Christ
Shine in holiness.

And, though my acts
Be as the poor trinkets of a child,
Your wearing of them,
In Our Father’s Presence,
Makes Him smile.

Look on me loving You
With every beat of my heart,
Skipping happily,
As a playmate at Your side,
Everyday.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Amending Our Lives

The Imitation of Christ
Thomas à Kempis

From Book I – Twenty-Fifth Chapter

ZEAL IN AMENDING OUR LIVES

“One day when a certain man who wavered often and anxiously between hope and fear was struck with sadness, he knelt in humble prayer before the altar of a church. While meditating on these things, he said: “Oh if I but knew whether I should persevere to the end!” Instantly he heard within the divine answer: “If you knew this, what would you do? Do now what you would do then and you will be quite secure.” Immediately consoled and comforted, he resigned himself to the divine will and the anxious uncertainty ceased. His curiosity no longer sought to know what the future held for him, and he tried instead to find the perfect, the acceptable will of God in the beginning and end of every good work.

“Trust thou in the Lord and do good,” says the Prophet; “dwell in the land and thou shalt feed on its riches.” ”

……………When a man reaches a point where he seeks no solace from any creature, then he begins to relish God perfectly. Then also he will be content no matter what may happen to him. He will neither rejoice over great things nor grieve over small ones, but will place himself entirely and confidently in the hands of God, Who for him is all in all, to Whom nothing ever perishes or dies, for Whom all things live, and Whom they serve as He desires.

Always remember your end and do not forget that lost time never returns. Without care and diligence you will never acquire virtue. When you begin to grow lukewarm, you are falling into the beginning of evil; but if you give yourself to fervor, you will find peace and will experience less hardship because of God’s grace and the love of virtue.

Cyber Liberary – Imitation of Christ

Why I Remain Catholic

Today, On Good Friday, Here’s Why I Remain Catholic

Though the ill aspects of the Catholic Church have recently been highlighted in the news, commentator Elizabeth Scalia says the good aspects have never gotten enough attention.

Published: April 02, 2010
by Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia is a contributing writer to First Things Magazine as the blogger known as The Anchoress.

The question has come my way several times in the past week: “How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?”

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, while the keeper of “the keys” denied him, and his first priests ran away. Through 2,000 imperfect — sometimes glorious, sometimes heinous — years, the church has contemplated and manifested the truth that dark and light, innocence and guilt, justice and injustice all share a kinship, one that waves back and forth like wind-stirred wheat in a field, churning toward something — as yet — unknowable.

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

But then, my country is the most generous and compassionate nation on Earth; it is also the only country that has ever deployed nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

My government is founded upon a singular appreciation of personal liberty; some of those founders owned slaves.

My family was known for its neighborliness and its work ethic; its patriarch was a serial child molester.

Read the complete essay here.

Holiness Consists In This

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

(Text: Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889
Music: Robert Jackson, 1842-1914

Act  justly.
Love mercy.
Walk humbly

‘What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:6

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.

You May Have Noticed

Although I picture sanctity robed in the gentle manner of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, I think I need to find another saint to show me how I can tame sarcasm, anger and cynicism.  Is there some sort of “Way” for me?  St. Jerome may be my man, since he won a halo despite his reputation for fury.  I haven’t read anything, however of his having tempered his temper or tamed his tantrums.  Perhaps, my best bet is to be myself and allow life to wear my down like a rock in a tumbler chipping away turn after turn.  The prospect hurts!  I know,  the saints  “Count it all joy!”  Turning up the prayer  can’t hurt.  I’m a candidate for your prayer list, wouldn’t you say?  I change very slowly,  so this blog probably won’t witness any miracles.  I’m open to one,  though!