Passion Deed

Lord, my tears are plentiful,
As I behold Thee in Thy rest.
Kneeling in poverty of spirit,
I am thrice blessed.

Your forever Union
With our Heavenly Father
Embraces me as the child,
That I am want to be,
Obedient, merciful and mild.

The Holy Spirit of God
Rests upon me,
Gifting me in sorrow for sin,
Raising me above the world,
And lifting me
To the lap of Abba Father,
With You, within.

Here in hallowed Presence,
My tears fall upon the garden,
You plant in my soul,
To water this consecrated plot
Replete with the promised fulfillment
That heals and makes me whole.

Already, but not yet,
Here in seed,
With You in Eternity,
Won by Cross and Passion-Deed.

©2012 Joann Nelander

I See You Through Tears

I see You through tears,
Cascading as a cleansing waterfall,
Washing away,
And carrying away,
The deeds and impurities
Of the Old Man.

Virginal flesh as gift,
Are my arraignment.
Looking in the mirror,
I see me with my eyes,
But in faith,
I see You.

The taint and stain of Sin,
The mocking of the Accuser,
Can not touch me.
Here in Your arms,
Under Your Mantle.
I find rest.

Tent with me.
Cover me.
Grace me,
And transform me,
As a land restored
And fertile .

Let me hear the roar
Of the cleansing waterfall.
Drown out
With a holy whisper,
The remembrance of Egypt,
And the shame of slavery.

My tears remind me
Of the interior bath,
And healing balm,
The gracious gift of Your work
By Your Presence,
And Your ministries.

River of Life,
I have eyes only for You.
You carry me,
And sweep along with me,
Making holy,
All those I hold dear.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Holy of Holies

Give me a heart
Desirous of Truth.
You, Who rent
In two the veil,
That hid Your Divinity
In the mystery
Of Flesh and Blood,
Incarnation for my salvation,
Open the Way
For me to enter in,
That loving You,
I may taste
The heavenly Bread,
And walk, henceforth,
A child, at home
In the Holy of Holies.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

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

Passion-Deed

Lord, my tears are plentiful,
As I behold Thee in Thy rest.
Kneeling in poverty of spirit,
I am thrice blessed.

Your forever Union
With our Heavenly Father
Embraces me as the child,
That I am want to be,
Obedient, merciful and mild.

The Holy Spirit of God
Rests upon me,
Gifting me in sorrow for sin,
Raising me above the world,
And lifting me
To the lap of Abba Father,
With You, within.

Here in hallowed Presence,
My tears fall upon the garden,
You plant in my soul,
To water this consecrated plot
Replete with the promised fulfillment
That heals and makes me whole.

Already, but not yet,
Here in seed,
With You in Eternity,
Won by Cross and Passion-Deed.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Holy of Holies

Give me a heart
Desirous of Truth.
You, Who rent
In two the veil,
That hid Your Divinity
In the mystery
Of Flesh and Blood,
Incarnation for my salvation,
Open the Way
For me to enter in,
That loving You,
I may taste
The heavenly Bread,
And walk, henceforth,
A child, at home
In the Holy of Holies.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Mary, the Means by the Will of God

O Mary, living for Christ,
From the beginning, Immaculata,
As the Father willed,
Bring forth Christ for all mankind.

Make me the fruit of your holy labor.
Mary, the means and not the end,
Carry me within your bosom blest.

O Mary, living in me,
May I receive your thoughts and inspirations.
Let your heart beat with my own.
May your soul inflame my own.
May the soul of Christ,
One with yours
By His Holy Spirit espoused,
Be seed, substance and fruition in me.

May Christ, one with your soul,
Extend His victory in me,
As your protectorate,
That the Conqueror now conquer me.

May the angels wonder at my change,
As your light and inspirations
Become my constant delight.
O, you who are all grace by the Word of God,
Supply the grace for good to me,
As your heart received His holy orders
Obedient to Him who held all sway over your being.

Be in me, the gracious gift of God,
As is all grace.
All is grace and gratitude
To His glory and your merit.
I am abandoned.
You are adorned.
I am conformed.
Christ is adored.

©2013 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

I See You through Tears

I see You through tears,
Cascading as a cleansing waterfall,
Washing away,
And carrying away,
The deeds and impurities
Of the Old Man.

Virginal flesh as gift,
Are my arraignment.
Looking in the mirror,
I see me with my eyes,
But in faith,
I see You.

The taint and stain of Sin,
The mocking of the Accuser,
Can not touch me.
Here in Your arms,
Under Your Mantle.
I find rest.

Tent with me.
Cover me.
Grace me,
And transform me,
As a land restored
And fertile .

Let me hear the roar
Of the cleansing waterfall.
Drown out
With a holy whisper,
The remembrance of Egypt,
And the shame of slavery.

My tears remind me
Of the interior bath,
And healing balm,
The gracious gift of Your work
By Your Presence,
And Your ministries.

River of Life,
I have eyes only for You.
You carry me,
And sweep along with me,
Making holy,
All I hold dear.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Mary, Un-doer of Knots

O loving Mother Mary,
Un-doer of Knots,
Look upon the jumble of my life,
And work the wonder
Graced by God to thee

It is said that He Who Is
Writes straight
With crooked lines.
May He Who is the Author of Life,
And Creator
Of my all too brief story,
Allow you to edit these pages.
Untangle the chaos
With your sweet simplicity.

Place Your Child upon my breast;
So may the beating of His heart
Set the rhythm of mine,
That it be in tune
With the eternal chorus,
Singing My God’s praises,
All for the glory
Of He of Whom the angels
Serenade in a perpetual,
"Holy, Holy, Holy! "

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Holy of Holies

Give me a heart
Desirous of Truth.
You, Who rent
In two the veil,
That hid Your Divinity
In the mystery
Of Flesh and Blood,
Incarnation for my salvation,
Open the Way
For me to enter in,
That loving You,
I may taste
The heavenly Bread,
And walk, henceforth,
A child, at home
In the Holy of Holies.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Holy Praise

Holy hands
Lifted in prayer,
Holy hearts
Wed to the Lord,
Alleluias raised,
As in thankfulness,
We sing Your praise.

©2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

On Eucharist

 

Reflection on St. Augustine’s, “I seemed to hear your voice from on high: ‘I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me’.”

On Eucharist

O Christ, I receive Thee
That I might become Thee.
I desire to be as You would have me,
To be, Christ, living Your Life,
In the time and place and space
That is me,
Soul and matter one,
And wed to my All Holy Three.

Come, O come to me, My Christ.
My blind eyes see but bread.
Hope lights my darkness.
Faith assures me
Of what I can not now behold.

You are the food,
That transforms my being
To Your Being,
Though the steps and stages
Be but measured.
You respect my frailty,
Adding strength upon strength,
That the common might be wed
To the Magnificent
Without my dissolution..

Only in union can I live
“Thy Will be done,”
As You, the Son.
Grow me, grace me,
That I might become mature.
Sanctify this soul
So unlike Your own,
That free of Sin.
I be as the moon to You, O Sun.

I want to become,
To be of You,
And by You completely transformed.
I pray that Your Holy Spirit
Conform me to the Will of the Father,
That I may answer
As Mother Mary, “Fiat.”.

In Fire’s purifying ardor
Remove my dross.
Make me malleable.
Impress Yourself on me.
Ready me, as melted wax,
That I may receive the image,
That You conceived for me.
That with all my being,
I may spend myself totally
On the Father’s All Holy Will,
Answering with the voice of Christ
One great “Amen.”

As a desert penitent
May I shed my tears for Your cause in me,
And in the world of souls,
For whom You shed Your blood.
May I complete my time on this earth
Running the race with You as my Way.

Although I am all effort,
And that pleases You,
A thousand efforts
Do not make the slightest grace.
So grace me, Beloved,
That the Father will delight
To see His Only Son in me.

More than a Conqueror,
You become my very being.
May I live my life in Your Life.
Come, O Eucharist,
O, Sanctifier of my soul.

By Joann Nelander

Into the Stillness – Poetry & Prayer

Kiss of Prayer

No one would argue
That I exist
And live this day
On Earth.
Yet, I know
That I am with You.

Here in this place
At this Time,
I breathe Heaven’s air
As I pray
“Come Holy Spirit”
And You come,
Bringing Heaven with You
To dwell in the land
You make Your own
And, by grace, call holy.

Here, love and truth meet,
Justice and peace kiss.
Am I not caught
In this embrace?

©2012 Joann Nelander

Passion-Deed

Lord, my tears are plentiful,
As I behold Thee in Thy rest.
Kneeling in poverty of spirit,
I am thrice blessed.

Your forever Union
With our Heavenly Father
Embraces me as the child,
That I am want to be,
Obedient, merciful and mild.

The Holy Spirit of God
Rests upon me,
Gifting me in sorrow for sin,
Raising me above the world,
And lifting me
To the lap of Abba Father,
With You, within.

Here in hallowed Presence,
My tears fall upon the garden,
You plant in my soul,
To water this consecrated plot
Replete with the promised fulfillment
That heals and makes me whole.

Already, but not yet,
Here in seed,
With You in Eternity,
Won by Cross and Passion-Deed.

©2012 Joann Nelander

When the Twain Shall Meet

There is a delicacy of old
With which men speak to one another.
Though, approaching from the farthest ends,
Never meeting in the middle,
Yet, do they honor one another,
In their humanity.

They offer the gift of presence,
Gifting to the other
An open ear
That wills to hear.

To do the Good
For the sake of Good,
To forge the best of thought
For presentation at the gate
Is the beginning of our holy end.

Though all men be wrong
In varying degrees,
There is something right
In putting down one’s arms
To meet as warring friends,
In hope and trust
That they serve a higher call,
When men do speak of peace.

Who is honored by this respect,
If not the Maker of all Men,
Who alone can change
Hearts of stone to flesh,
Becoming like unto His own.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Purgatory

 

My many sins

Have gone up in flames,

And all that is left,

You deem holy.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

 

Holy Hope

Holy Hope, I see before me the path of Jesus.
It trails into my future, while it’s clarity fades as it leaves this present moment.
I am like Bartimeus along this way.
I call out for my Savior.
At my plea angels hurry to my side with the balm to heal my blindness.
I see the Christ with me, before me, beside me, beneath me as hallowed ground, above me as Sun’s light and warmth.
In Hope I never walk alone.
Companions of my life, hand in hand,
Faith and Love abide with me.
My life follows in His steps to that place prepared for me.
Here on this Earth, I, too, know the Cross.
And in this Day, I, too, experience the Paradise of His Presence.

Hidden Grace of the Sacrament

Thomas A’ Kempis’words in My Imitation of Christ are ever new speaking to the heart. Preparations of a soul are often given little regard in the world, so let’s draw apart from the world to consider the gift, the soul and the benefits of our Faith received:

Here in the Sacrament of the altar You are wholly present, my God, the man Christ Jesus, whence is obtained the full realization of eternal salvation, as often as You are worthily and devoutly received. To this, indeed, we are not drawn by levity, or curiosity, or sensuality, but by firm faith, devout hope, and sincere love. O God, hidden Creator of the world, how wonderfully You deal with us! How sweetly and graciously You dispose of things with Your elect to whom You offer Yourself to be received in this Sacrament! This, indeed, surpasses all understanding. This in a special manner attracts the hearts of the devout and inflames their love. Your truly faithful servants, who give their whole life to amendment, often receive in Holy Communion the great grace of devotion and love of virtue. Oh, the wonderful and hidden grace of this Sacrament which only the faithful of Christ understand, which unbelievers and slaves of sin cannot experience! In it spiritual grace is conferred, lost virtue restored, and the beauty, marred by sin, repaired. At times, indeed, its grace is so great that, from the fullness of the devotion, not only the mind but also the frail body feels filled with greater strength. Nevertheless, our neglect and coldness is much to be deplored and pitied, when we are not moved to receive with greater fervor Christ in Whom is the hope and merit of all who will be saved. He is our sanctification and redemption. He is our consolation in this life and the eternal joy of the blessed in heaven. This being true, it is lamentable that many pay so little heed to the salutary Mystery which fills the heavens with joy and maintains the whole universe in being. Oh, the blindness and the hardness of the heart of man that does not show more regard for so wonderful a gift, but rather falls into carelessness from its daily use! If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God’s grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world. Thanks be to You, Jesus, everlasting Good Shepherd, Who have seen fit to feed us poor exiled people with Your precious Body and Blood, and to invite us with words from Your own lips to partake of these sacred Mysteries: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” Book 4: chapter 1

The Dying of the Little Flower

From The Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Ame):
The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Therese Martin (of Lisieux)

At last dawned the eternal day. It was Thursday, September 30,
1897. In the morning, the sweet Victim, her eyes fixed on Our
Lady’s statue, spoke thus of her last night on earth: “Oh! with
what fervour I have prayed to her! . . . And yet it has been pure
agony, without a ray of consolation. . . . Earth’s air is failing
me: when shall I breathe the air of Heaven?”

For weeks she had been unable to raise herself in bed, but, at
half-past two in the afternoon, she sat up and exclaimed: “Dear
Mother, the chalice is full to overflowing! I could never have
believed that it was possible to suffer so intensely. . . . I can
only explain it by my extreme desire to save souls. . . .” And a
little while after: “Yes, all that I have written about my thirst
for suffering is really true! I do not regret having surrendered
myself to Love.”

She repeated these last words several times. A little later she
added: “Mother, prepare me to die well.” The good Mother Prioress
encouraged her with these words: “My child, you are quite ready to
appear before God, for you have always understood the virtue of
humility.” Then, in striking words, Therese bore witness to
herself:

“Yes, I feel it; my soul has ever sought the truth. . . . I have
understood humility of heart!”

. . . . . . .

At half-past four, her agony began–the agony of this “Victim of
Divine Love.” When the Community gathered round her, she thanked
them with the sweetest smile, and then, completely given over to
love and suffering, the Crucifix clasped in her failing hands, she
entered on the final combat. The sweat of death lay heavy on her
brow . . . she trembled . . . but, as a pilot, when close to
harbour, is not dismayed by the fury of the storm, so this soul,
strong in faith, saw close at hand the beacon-lights of Heaven,
and valiantly put forth every effort to reach the shore.

As the convent bells rang the evening Angelus, she fixed an
inexpressible look upon the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, the
Star of the Sea. Was it not the moment to repeat her beautiful
prayer:

“O thou who camest to smile on me in the morn of my life, come
once again and smile, Mother, for now it is eventide!”[15]

A few minutes after seven, turning to the Prioress, the poor
little Martyr asked: “Mother, is it not the agony? . . . am I not
going to die?” “Yes, my child, it is the agony, but Jesus perhaps
wills that it be prolonged for some hours.” In a sweet and
plaintive voice she replied: “Ah, very well then . . . very well
. . . I do not wish to suffer less!”

Then, looking at her crucifix:

“Oh! . . . I love Him! . . . My God, I . . . love . . . Thee!”

These were her last words. She had scarcely uttered them when, to
our great surprise, she sank down quite suddenly, her head
inclined a little to the right, in the attitude of the Virgin
Martyrs offering themselves to the sword; or rather, as a Victim
of Love, awaiting from the Divine Archer the fiery shaft, by which
she longs to die.

Suddenly she raised herself, as though called by a mysterious
voice; and opening her eyes, which shone with unutterable
happiness and peace, fixed her gaze a little above the statue of
Our Lady. Thus she remained for about the space of a _Credo,_ when
her blessed soul, now become the prey of the “Divine Eagle,” was
borne away to the heights of Heaven.

(From the Project Gutenberg Ebook)

Oh Happy Day!

THE ORDINATION OF JEFFREY NEILL STEENSON TO THE SACRED PRIESTHOOD

SATURDAY,THE TWENTY-FIRST OF FEBRUARY,TWO THOUSAND AND NINE

At SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, RIO RANCHO, NEW MEXICO


entrance-processional

Procession of the Cross


procession-steenson-follow-book

The Candidate for the Sacred Priesthood –  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


entrance

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

approach1

Calling and Presentation of the Candidate for the Priesthood  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


prostration

Prostration and Litany of the Saints

ordination1

Ordained and Invested


greeting-brother-priests

Kiss of Peace


brotherly-greeting-fr-scott

Greeting by Rev. Fr. Scott Mansield

family-presenting-gifts

Presentation of the Gifts by the Steenson Family


eucharist

Eucharist


a-few-words

A Few Words

recessional-frjeff

Recessional  – Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neill Steenson


bishop-sheehan1

Recessional and Blessing by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

Thanks Be To God!


Irked by the Mother of God?

It amazes me that the Mother of Jesus has come to be such a contentious figure.  Some time ago, I painted Our Lady with the Child Jesus in her arms.  It showed at the Parker Gallery in CO.   A church met in the same building, so members of the congregation would stop by to see the artwork after services.  One Sunday only a young girl, about 9 years old, wondered  from painting to painting,  until she came to Mother and Child.  She stood before it a moment considering the painting and then to my astonishment made a disdainful sound, “Psst!” motherchild12 Then,  the child tossed her head and left abruptly.  The gesture seemed beyond her years.  Wouldn’t you expect an image of a mother and a child to touch a soft spot in a young and tender heart? Instead,  it struck like a rock bouncing off unyielding ground.   I remembered the lyrics of a song from South Pacific:

You’ve to to be taught before it’s too late,

Before you are six or seven or eight

To hate all the people your relatives hate,

You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Prejudice can effect, or more accurately,  infect us at any age or stage.  It’s sad when it blinds us to goodness; saddest when it makes us immune to holiness, which, I guess,  it always does.