Throw Away Life

How sad is Man?
He values the rare,
Exults the extraordinary,
Crowns the celebrity.

God, on the Other hand, proliferates.
He calls good all He creates,
Dignifies life by His Love,
And Humankind by His Incarnation.

For want of goodness,
Man may usurp the place of God,
Seat himself
Upon that lofty throne.

For the want of love
Man may throw life away,
Too small, too young, too needy
Too dependent to matter.

How sad is Man upon his throne?
He beats his chest,
And declares his liberty;
Forgets his neighbor, chooses self.

How sad is Man,
Unencumbered of diety,
His own god,
And lord of all he has stolen.

Yet, God dignifies his defiant creature.
God respects the time of Man,
And give His Goodness
Sway over Holy Wrath.

Out-side of Time.
There is only the Eternal.
In Time, mind and Man are matter-dependent,
Sustained in rhythms tuned by the Creator.

When Time is rolled up
With the stars, like a scroll,
And fire devours all matter,
Where will the spark of Man exist?

While living, Man chooses,
Until Death declares
All he has chosen final,
The Star of Hope extinguished.

O Man, gladden the lot of Men.
Your eternity begins in the Heart of God.
You are rare.
You are extraordinary.

Celebrate the Lord, Your God!

©2011 Joann Nelander

Too Many Words

 

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Too many words.  What is missing is love, foremost love of God.  Jesus assures, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Yesterday I read a message purported to be given by Jesus to a visionary and passed on to the public.  Was it actually Jesus speaking?  I don’t know.  I read them and can only judge if they are in accordance with the Church, that is Holy Scripture, and Big T "Tradition." I also apply a more homey test; do they melt into my soul like butter on pancakes? I pray all else fall out of my head, leaving me to be at peace.

The message of October 26, 2013 did strike a chord in me with a resonance of Truth.  Whether they came from Jesus may remain a mystery, but you can judge whether they are in accordance with God’s Word and something Jesus might be want to say to the people of our age:

"These days, mankind has come to regard himself as the source of all good.  Consequently, he trusts only in himself and his own efforts.  He does not look for the grace of My Provision, which is often overlooked or hidden in the problems of the present moment."   "My Provision is always present, complete and perfect towards the soul’s salvation.  The soul can follow his human inclinations, evil suggestions or Divine Inspiration.  The free will choice is his to make.  But I always provide the grace to choose according to My Father’s Divine Will.  If you learn to trust in My Provision, you will also learn to look for it."   ————————- "

The Slave of the Slaves

From a letter by Saint Peter Claver, priest
To preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim pardon to captives

Yesterday, May 30, 1627, on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, numerous blacks, brought from the rivers of Africa, disembarked from a large ship. Carrying two baskets of oranges, lemons, sweet biscuits, and I know not what else, we hurried toward them. When we approached their quarters, we thought we were entering another Guinea. We had to force our way through the crowd until we reached the sick. Large numbers of the sick were lying on the wet ground or rather in puddles of mud. To prevent excessive dampness, someone had thought of building up a mound with a mixture of tiles and broken pieces of bricks. This, then, was their couch, a very uncomfortable one not only for that reason, but especially because they were naked, without any clothing to protect them.

We laid aside our cloaks, therefore, and brought from a warehouse whatever was handy to build a platform. In that way we covered a space to which we at last transferred the sick, by forcing a passage through bands of slaves. Then we divided the sick into two groups: one group my companion approached with an interpreter, while I addressed the other group. There were two blacks, nearer death than life, already cold, whose pulse could scarcely be detected. With the help of a tile we pulled some live coals together and placed them in the middle near the dying men. Into this fire we tossed aromatics. Of these we had two wallets full, and we used them all up on this occasion. Then, using our own cloaks, for they had nothing of this sort, and to ask the owners for others would have been a waste of words, we provided for them a smoke treatment, by which they seemed to recover their warmth and the breath of life. The joy in their eyes as they looked at us was something to see.
This was how we spoke to them, not with words but with our hands and our actions. And in fact, convinced as they were that they had been brought here to be eaten, any other language would have proved utterly useless. Then we sat, or rather knelt, beside them and bathed their faces and bodies with wine. We made every effort to encourage them with friendly gestures and displayed in their presence the emotions which somehow naturally tend to hearten the sick.

After this we began an elementary instruction about baptism, that is, the wonderful effects of the sacrament on body and soul. When by their answers to our questions they showed they had sufficiently understood this, we went on to a more extensive instruction, namely, about the one God, who rewards and punishes each one according to his merit, and the rest. We asked them to make an act of contrition and to manifest their detestation of their sins. Finally, when they appeared sufficiently prepared, we declared to them the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Passion. Showing them Christ fastened to the cross, as he is depicted on the baptismal font on which streams of blood flow down from his wounds, we led them in reciting an act of contrition in their own language.

On the incarnation of the Word

From a discourse by Saint Athanasius, bishop

On the incarnation of the Word

The Word of God, incorporeal, incorruptible and immaterial, entered our world. Yet it was not as if he had been remote from it up to that time. For there is no part of the world that was ever without his presence; together with his Father, he continually filled all things and places.

Out of his loving-kindness for us he came to us, and we see this in the way he revealed himself openly to us. Taking pity on mankind’s weakness, and moved by our corruption, he could not stand aside and see death have the mastery over us; he did not want creation to perish and his Father’s work in fashioning man to be in vain. He therefore took to himself a body, no different from our own, for he did not wish simply to be in a body or only to be seen.

If he had wanted simply to be seen, he could indeed have taken another, and nobler, body. Instead, he took our body in its reality.

Within the Virgin he built himself a temple, that is, a body; he made it his own instrument in which to dwell and to reveal himself. In this way he received from mankind a body like our own, and, since all were subject to the corruption of death, he delivered this body over to death for all, and with supreme love offered it to the Father. He did so to destroy the law of corruption passed against all men, since all died in him. The law, which had spent its force on the body of the Lord, could no longer have any power over his fellowmen. Moreover, this was the way in which the Word was to restore mankind to immortality, after it had fallen into corruption, and summon it back from death to life. He utterly destroyed the power death had against mankind—as fire consumes chaff—by means of the body he had taken and the grace of the resurrection.

This is the reason why the Word assumed a body that could die, so that this body, sharing in the Word who is above all, might satisfy death’s requirement in place of all. Because of the Word dwelling in that body, it would remain incorruptible, and all would be freed for ever from corruption by the grace of the resurrection.

In death the Word made a spotless sacrifice and oblation of the body he had taken. By dying for others, he immediately banished death for all mankind.

In this way the Word of God, who is above all, dedicated and offered his temple, the instrument that was his body, for us all, as he said, and so paid by his own death the debt that was owed. The immortal Son of God, united with all men by likeness of nature, thus fulfilled all justice in restoring mankind to immortality by the promise of the resurrection.

The corruption of death no longer holds any power over mankind, thanks to the Word, who has come to dwell among them through his one body.

Advent Patient Preparation

I wait:
For peace on Earth,
I must know it first
Within my soul.

Come to me,
Passing through locked doors,
As Christ’s Mass,
Anticipates Easter grace,
For the Christmas gift
Of Incarnation,
Is key and remedy.

Make passage
Into my soul.
For gathered
With your Church,
I wait.

Home, Hearth and Throne

Mother Mary,
You were with Jesus
From the instant
Of His Incarnation.
With your “Fiat”,
The Promise
Became a Man,
Dwelling with you,
In profound peace
And humility.

It was you
Who knew
This first intimacy,
Who cherished and adored.
Who waited upon Him,
With heart,
And mind,
And body.

The only eyes
That could see Him
At this tender age,
Were yours,
As you gazed on Him
With the eyes
Of your intellect
And soul.

An inward glance
Set your Immaculate Heart ablaze,
As you became,
Home and hearth,
And throne,
For a Child of one cell,
Growing and destined
To rule the world,
As He had reigned
From eternity.

A Man like no other
And, yet,
Intimately,
One with all.

Open our eyes
To your Son.
With the Centurion,
Who presided
Over the Crucifixion
Of the Christ,
And opened His Side,
End our idolatry,
So we, too, cry
“My Lord and my God.”

Mother Mary,
Behold your Son
In me.
Prepare me to be
Home and hearth
And throne,
For Christ alone.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Virgin Mary Consoles Eve

This painting is so consoling, I just have to share it again since Advent brings us closer and closer to the precious moment of our Savior’s birth.  He comes to save Fallen Man, and with such a gentle hand.

“Virgin Mary Consoles Eve”


Crayon and pencil by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO
Copyright 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey