Keep Praying

Here I am,
Your poor one,
Your lowly one,
Your empty one,
Kneeling in adoration..

You spread out Space and Time,
Knowing You would call me forth.
And then You did.

You called to me,
Forming me from the Earth,
You Who played among the Pleides,
Stooped to play with me.

You kissed me,
With the Breath of Your Mouth,
You filled me,
Shaping me,
Empowering me,
Placing in me a formless hope.

Hope grew with the babe,
And sought with fingers of my senses.
Peeling back the covering of Mystery,
Revealing treasures hidden in the earth,
And dancing in the heavens,

Witnessed with wonder in the Night,
The Universe invited me to You,
To join You in the dance,
For which all Time and Space,
All days and all nights,
All mystery had poured forth,
With Your Cry for Light.

Your Heartbeat created the rhythms of the constellations,
The ebb and flow of cosmic seas.
Your Heart beat for Your dream of Man,
Your dream of me.

You, given as gift,
Hidden from blind eyes,
Hidden among the stars,
Spreading across Your Time,
Filling all Your Majestic Space,
Slowly whispering Your secrets,
And revealing truths,
Revealed Ultimate Truth.
You in Your Way spoke to me.

There was more than matter wrapped in my being.
Secreted without shape,
Without form,
Without stuff,
With only the power to will,
And, thereby, to Love,
To know,
And, thereby, to seek and search,
That, in living, I might come to discover You,
With me, beside me and all around me,
Waiting for me to love You.

You, Who always knew me,
And loved me,
In my ignorance,
In my blindness
And in my very being,
Even while Sin entered in to obscure Your work,
And the wonder of me,
Graced me with a soul.

I didn’t know You.
I couldn’t see You.
I didn’t know to seek after You.
Until I saw You hanging there,
Crossing the abyss,
Above the world,
Suspended and told throughout Time,

Now, at long last, I pray,
And gasp for You, my Breath.
You are the shape of me,
Saved for an eternity
Beyond gaseous matter,
And starry night,
A Day created by the One Uncreated,
And lived in the Wedding
Of Love, of soul and Spirit-being.
For this I will,
With my indomitable will,
Keep praying.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

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.

Many Veils

Still the many veils
Stand between us.
I know they are the weave
Of my concupiscence,
Hanging over my heart,
Weighing the corners
Of my smile,
Hiding me from You
In my shame.

Must I forgive myself
For being other
Than Your Christ?
My imperfection,
And repeated falls
Spoil my high hopes,
But I find them useful as well,
For the crushing of my pride.

The temptation to reign
In the place of God
Is Satan’s prompt,
And plays persistently,
Appealing in its disguise
As progressive,
And Evolution at its finest.

Unveiled before you
In humility
I see my call to be least,
And allow You to reign
Great in me.

Lord, triumph over vain glory,
Accomplish all
The Father desires for me,
That my baptismal garment
Of purest white
May appear
In all the colors
Of Your Glory,
God resplendent
Even in His smallest work
And humblest creature.

Hidden Gifts

Be attentive to the small.
Diminutive things hide gift,
Less the glory,
Inviting in simplicity
And in need,
Making room for God to move
Upon the empty places,
To spend Himself.

God will not keep company
With vain glory,
Nor suffer the competition
Of the arrogant will.
The humble,
Empty of self,
Win the Heart of God.

 

©2012 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.

Many Veils

Still the many veils
Stand between us.
I know they are the weave
Of my concupiscence,
Hanging over my heart,
Weighing the corners
Of my smile,
Hiding me from You
In my shame.

Must I forgive myself
For being other
Than Your Christ?
My imperfection,
And repeated falls
Spoil my high hopes,
But I find them useful as well,
For the crushing of my pride.

The temptation to reign
In the place of God
Is Satan’s prompt,
And plays persistently,
Appealing in its disguise
As progressive,
And Evolution at its finest.

Unveiled before you
In humility
I see my call to be least,
And allow You to reign
Great in me.

Lord, triumph over vain glory,
Accomplish all
The Father’s desires for me,
That my baptismal garment
Of purest white
May appear
In all the colors
Of Your Glory,
God resplendent
Even in His smallest work
And humblest creature.

Hidden Gifts

Be attentive to the small.
Diminutive things hide gift,
Less the glory,
Inviting in simplicity
And in need,
Making room for God to move
Upon the empty places,
To spend Himself.

God will not keep company
With vain glory,
Nor suffer the competition
Of the arrogant will.
The humble,
Empty of self,
Win the Heart of God.