Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

“We Are at War” and “The Angels are Better than Superman” -<strong>Dr Peter Kreeft

The Lord’s Joy

The Lord’s joy
Is my strength.
He persuades my heart
By gentleness.
His mercy is a fountain
Of inner mirth,
Springing up in all seasons,
To temper my sorrow,
To pour oil into my wounds,
To salt my friendships
And to delight the Father,
Who sees me
Running after His Son,
And dancing with David’s abandonment.

May I be the dimple
In Your smile,
Appealing as the uplifted arms
Of a child,
And the innocent sleep
Of a baby.

Gladness be my swaddling,
That You may
Impart to me
The power the weak
Have to touch
The Heart of God,
Accepting always
His Loving will.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012

Well of Sorrows

You behold my inner groaning.
You grieve within me.
Low pitched moaning
Stir my depths,
Awaiting  promised vindication.
No eye, but Yours,
Beholds the river of unspent tears,
Hidden from the world of Men.
Prayer without ceasing
Issues forth
For Your ears only.

Words without sound
Shape my inner being
Fashioning a future full of bliss.
Hope of hallowed blessing,
Worthy of a king,
Yet reserved for but a slave.

O hidden well of sorrow
Dare always hope.
Here comes in triumph and thanksgiving,
The dawn of Day Spring
And Morning Star.

Not yet,
But always present.
In Faith, believing.
The Time of the Bridegroom
Coming to claim His Bride,
Robed now in wedding garments,
Washed resplendent
By crystalline waters.
Purified eyes of soul’s desire,
Embrace the eternal Son as His Beloved.

Well of sorrow,
House of Clay,
Delight now appearing
Open unto Eternity
The door of unending Joy
Hearts beating now as One.
Thy Kingdom come.

© 2011  Joann Nelander

The Lord’s Joy

The Lord’s joy
Is my strength.
He persuades my heart
By gentleness.
His mercy is a fountain
Of inner mirth,
Springing up in all seasons,
To temper my sorrow,
To pour oil into my wounds,
To salt my friendships
And to delight the Father,
Who sees me
Running after His Son,
And dancing with David’s abandonment.

May I be the dimple
In Your smile,
Appealing as the uplifted arms
Of a child,
And the innocent sleep
Of a baby.

Gladness be my swaddling,
That You may
Impart to me
The power the weak
Have to touch
The Heart of God,
Accepting always
His Loving will.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012

Make of Me a Vessel

O crystalline waters of grace,
Pure outpouring of the Trinity,
Vessel of redemption,
Into which has been entrusted
The manifestation of the Son of man,
And Son of God,
Pour into me your holy contemplations
That my soul may behold the Light
That transformed humanity with your “Fiat.”
Restoring paradise to the fallen.

Ground of His Coming in the Flesh,
Visit me
Who am pregnant with Promise,
As I await the flowering
Of the seed of your faith,
Jesus, taking root in me.

O Women, my Mother,
Nurture the Word spoken to my heart,
That Love may again fulfill
The Will that caused Hope
To spring up in the soil
Into which His Cross
Has been planted.

Water me,
Who drinks
From the streams
Of your remembrances,
As I behold in my soul
The Water and the Blood.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas | Over The Big Moon

By Lisa on November 24, 2014.

It’s true. We have cancelled Christmas in our house this year.

Now before you all go crazy on me in the comments, let me explain. We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions. But, we have cancelled presents, Santa, and stockings. Their letters to Santa this year will be asking Santa to find someone who needs their presents more.

Here is why – John and I feel like we are fighting a very hard uphill battle with our kids when it comes to entitlement. Our kids have been acting so ungrateful lately. They expect so much even when their behavior is extremely disrespectful. We gave them good warning, either it was time for their behavior to change or there would be consequences. We patiently worked with them for several months and guess what, very little changed. One day after a particularly bad display of entitlement John said, “we should just cancel Christmas.” And, so that’s what we did.

Instead we will be taking the money we would have spent on presents and put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others this season. We are trying to teach them the pleasure of giving rather than continuing to feed their childhood desire for more.

The first project we did this season was to hold a clothing driving in our neighborhood. We gathered gently used clothing, sorted them, and packaged them up to send to a village in Northern Cebu of the Philippines. The village was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan last year. Then the kids wrote letters and found hard candy from their Halloween stash that we could ship to the kids in the village. It was awesome! Instead of being sad over giving up their Halloween candy they were excited and kept wanting to give more and more. After we had the boxes all packaged up we mailed them. The kids loved it! It was a lot of money to ship and they understand that they gave up having something, so they could give these clothes to others.

We also ordered a couple of these 12 piece Nativity sets.

We will be choosing two families for the 12 days of Christmas. Each day we will deliver a different piece of the nativity. On Christmas day we will give them the last piece of the nativity, baby Jesus. That will be 12 nights of fun memories we will be making trying to deliver the pieces without getting caught. We are also looking into an Adopt a Grandparent program. For Christmas dinner we have invited several older widows and couples in our area that don’t have family around to eat with us.

See what I mean? How cool will this Christmas be! Instead of focusing on what they will be getting, we will be keeping the focus on what they can give!

The few presents they get from Grandparents and other families members will be more cherished because the quantity will be less. They can enjoy what they get rather than feel overstimulated with so much. Christmas morning won’t be less special without Santa coming. Instead we can enjoy our Cinnamon rolls, play games as a family, and truly enjoy the few presents they did get. There is a good possibility that Santa will be writing them a letter of how proud of them he is and perhaps put a few pieces of hard candy and an orange in their stockings. We have Santa Stationary that is free for download.

I really think that we as parents need to take a step back and look at our motivation for giving gifts to our kids. READ MORE via Why My Husband and I Canceled Christmas | Over The Big Moon.

Count It All Joy! Life’s little great blessings – Tubok

I have had this video of my dog Tubok posted as part of my "About Me".  For those of you who can use a smile today, here he is in all his glory – one of God’s beautiful creature:

Make of Me a Vessel

Lord , make of me, a vessel,
Filled to over-flowing with my God.
Transform my water,
That becoming wine,
I may be poured out
At His will and direction,
As medicine and libation,
For body, mind and soul,
Ever joyful in purity,
And grateful in thanksgiving.
Amen.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Close to Padre Pio

Click here for marvelous images  -Padre Pio

One day Padre Pio told his doctor: "I’m praying for the good death of my great great grandfather." "But he died more than one hundred years ago!" "Remember that for God there is no past and no future, and everything is present. So God made use at that time of the prayers I’m saying now."

Padre Pio on Purgatory via Infallible Catholic

  "Cleonice Morcaldi once said in the presence of Gaeta, "On the shoulders of Padre Pio rests the whole world and the Church." This expression seemed an exaggeration to the writer. But on the very same day that Gaeta had heard this, he later joined Padre Pio and some others in conversation. Padre Pio was telling the story of St. Christopher, and how he had carried the child Jesus on his shoulders across a river. Then, turning his gaze to look directly at Saverio Gaeta, Padre Pio pointedly said to the writer, "On my shoulders is the whole world." quotation from:

Padre Pio’s Secret: His Shoulder Wound by Frank M. Rega

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Playing with God

Don’t go alone.
Take God dancing.
Swim in Him.
Chase butterflies by His side.
Taste Him in the ice cream.
Try to find Him hiding in broccoli.
Look for Him in a tickle.
God goes undercover in every hug, wink and smile.
You can’t miss Him in a kiss.

You are the dimple in God’s smile.
He delights in your laughter.
When He throws you in the air,
Never fear, He catches you on the way down.
Did you know, He’s got your picture on His fridge?

©2012 Joann Nelander

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival,

RAnn of This That and the Other Thing hosts Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts of interest to Catholic bloggers.

Join the fun by visiting This That and the Other Thing and creating your own link as RAnn directs.

Posts I’m sharing this week:

Waxing Proud

Oil of Gladness

Unusual Gifts

It’s What We Call Democracy

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Reflecting on a Newborn

Joy was my initial response
to a day of silence,
more exactly, a day of listening.

The sense I had was of God’s delight.
He was looking on me as we do a newborn,
full of love  and enchantment.
He wanted me to share this delight.
He wanted me to recognize that it was me
who delighted Him.

I had an image in my mind of angels and saints,
those present at the Mass,
passing by and looking on me
as they would a precious newborn.
(I had just consumed the Eucharist.)
Each holy spirit approached,
giving me a blessing I would grow into,
or seen another way,
by which I would grow.

The Father wanted me to know
how much it delighted Him
to see me rise after a fall.
I am a sinner but I will be a saint,
if I allow His love to form me,
and continue to rise after each fall.
It would be nice if my falls were infrequent,
but if they be a thousand,
He would grace me a thousand times,
each time I washed my robe clean
in the blood of Christ,
confessing my sins and beginning anew,
a newborn.

By Joann Nelander

Joy and Sorrow

H/T Franciscan Flowers:

Just as one season moves into another, so are there like seasons in our life cycles. There are times of joy and beauty and times of sorrow and suffering. They sometimes go hand-in-hand. They are companions on our journey. We need to befriend them, not control them. When we hold on to either or both, we stop growth. We stop God’s work in us. Spring, summer, fall, winter–each has its beauty and difficulties; each has its dyings and risings. We need to let God be God. We need to depend on God’s strength in each phase of the journey. “Fear not. I am always with you.”

Sister La Donna Pinkelman, OSF Sylvania, Ohio

"Everything Is Ready Now" – Towards Living

Because Lent leads us to think about the Last Four Things, it is a good preparation for life as it is for death.  A little more than a year ago, Richard John Neuhaus died, Jan. 8, 2009.  On that day First Things reprinted an article he published in 2000, Born Toward Dying.(Read here) It recounted his near death experience, which became for him as much a confirmation of life as it was a preparation for death.

Neuhaus recalls the children’s nighttime prayer  “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep; if I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take.”

“Death is the most everyday of everyday things. It is not simply that thousands of people die every day, that thousands will die this day, although that too is true. Death is the warp and woof of existence in the ordinary, the quotidian, the way things are…..Every going to sleep is a little death, a rehearsal for the real thing.

Neuhaus surveys our way with death from reticence and silence to “processing”, even to commercial exploitation. Whether your own or a loved one, he writes:

“The worst thing is not the sorrow or the loss or the heartbreak. Worse is to be encountered by death and not to be changed by the encounter.”

Neuhaus writes of his own encounter(summarized):

The days in the intensive care unit was an experience familiar to anyone who has ever been there. I had never been there before, except to visit others, and that is nothing like being there. I was struck by my disposition of utter passivity. There was absolutely nothing I could do or wanted to do, except to lie there and let them do whatever they do in such a place. Indifferent to time, I neither knew nor cared whether it was night or day. I recall counting sixteen different tubes and other things plugged into my body before I stopped counting….

Astonishment and passivity were strangely mixed. I confess to having thought of myself as a person very much in charge. Friends, meaning, I trust, no unkindness, had sometimes described me as a control freak. Now there was nothing to be done, nothing that I could do, except be there. Here comes a most curious part of the story, and readers may make of it what they will. Much has been written on “near death” experiences. I had always been skeptical of such tales. I am much less so now. I am inclined to think of it as a “near life” experience, and it happened this way.

It was a couple of days after leaving intensive care, and it was night. I could hear patients in adjoining rooms moaning and mumbling and occasionally calling out; the surrounding medical machines were pumping and sucking and bleeping as usual. Then, all of a sudden, I was jerked into an utterly lucid state of awareness. I was sitting up in the bed staring intently into the darkness, although in fact I knew my body was lying flat. What I was staring at was a color like blue and purple, and vaguely in the form of hanging drapery. By the drapery were two “presences.” I saw them and yet did not see them, and I cannot explain that. But they were there, and I knew that I was not tied to the bed. I was able and prepared to get up and go somewhere. And then the presences—one or both of them, I do not know—spoke. This I heard clearly. Not in an ordinary way, for I cannot remember anything about the voice. But the message was beyond mistaking: “Everything is ready now.”

That was it. They waited for a while, maybe for a minute. Whether they were waiting for a response or just waiting to see whether I had received the message, I don’t know. “Everything is ready now.” It was not in the form of a command, nor was it an invitation to do anything. They were just letting me know. Then they were gone, and I was again flat on my back with my mind racing wildly. I had an iron resolve to determine right then and there what had happened. Had I been dreaming? In no way. I was then and was now as lucid and wide awake as I had ever been in my life.

Tell me that I was dreaming and you might as well tell me that I was dreaming that I wrote the sentence before this one. Testing my awareness, I pinched myself hard, and ran through the multiplication tables, and recalled the birth dates of my seven brothers and sisters, and my wits were vibrantly about me. The whole thing had lasted three or four minutes, maybe less. I resolved at that moment that I would never, never let anything dissuade me from the reality of what had happened. Knowing myself, I expected I would later be inclined to doubt it. It was an experience as real, as powerfully confirmed by the senses, as anything I have ever known. That was some seven years ago. Since then I have not had a moment in which I was seriously tempted to think it did not happen. It happened—as surely, as simply, as undeniably as it happened that I tied my shoelaces this morning. I could as well deny the one as deny the other, and were I to deny either I would surely be mad.

“Everything is ready now.” I would be thinking about that incessantly during the months of convalescence. My theological mind would immediately go to work on it. They were angels, of course. Angelos simply means “messenger.” There were no white robes or wings or anything of that sort. As I said, I did not see them in any ordinary sense. But there was a message; therefore there were messengers. Clearly, the message was that I could go somewhere with them. Not that I must go or should go, but simply that they were ready if I was. Go where? To God, or so it seemed. I understood that they were ready to get me ready to see God. It was obvious enough to me that I was not prepared, in my present physical and spiritual condition, for the beatific vision, for seeing God face to face. They were ready to get me ready. This comports with the doctrine of purgatory, that there is a process of purging and preparation to get us ready to meet God. I should say that their presence was entirely friendly. There was nothing sweet or cloying, and there was no urgency about it. It was as though they just wanted to let me know. The decision was mine as to when or whether I would take them up on the offer…………………………

Tentatively, I say, I began to think that I might live. It was not a particularly joyful prospect. Everything was shrouded by the thought of death, that I had almost died, that I may still die, that everyone and everything is dying. As much as I was grateful for all the calls and letters, I harbored a secret resentment. These friends who said they were thinking about me and praying for me all the time, I knew they also went shopping and visited their children and tended to their businesses, and there were long times when they were not thinking about me at all. More important, they were forgetting the primordial, overwhelming, indomitable fact: we are dying! Why weren’t they as crushingly impressed by that fact as I was?

Surprising to me, and to others, I did what had to be done with my work. I read manuscripts, wrote my columns, made editorial decisions, but all listlessly. It didn’t really matter. After some time, I could shuffle the few blocks to the church and say Mass. At the altar, I cried a lot, and hoped the people didn’t notice. To think that I’m really here after all, I thought, at the altar, at the axis mundi, the center of life. And of death. I would be helped back to the house, and days beyond numbering I would simply lie on the sofa looking out at the back yard. That birch tree, which every winter looked as dead as dead could be, was budding again. Would I be here to see it in full leaf, to see its leaves fall in the autumn? Never mind. It doesn’t matter.

It took a long time after the surgeries, almost two years, before the day came when I suddenly realized that the controlling thought that day had not been the thought of death. And now, in writing this little essay, it all comes back. I remember where I have been, and where I will be again, and where we will all be.

God bless you Richard John Neuhaus for being a part of my living and laying the ground work for my dying. No doubt we’ll meet someday and know each other in our depths of being;simply a glance will unleash a new joy and speak volumes of God’s mercies and designs.


Inner Life vs Distraction

“Cell phones, Blackberries, e-mail, laptops allowing people to bring their work anywhere, news arriving in perfectly condensed and filtered snippets via the Internet and TV, never before has communication been so instantaneous and information distributed so quickly. Never before have people been so connected.”

“One would assume that this preponderance of advanced communication technology would promote a well-informed and close-knit society. While this is true to some extent and there are many benefits to be gained from these technologies, award-winning author and journalist Maggie Jackson surprisingly has found that compared to past generations, we are in fact less capable of quality analytical thinking, more ignorant about many issues, and more fragmented as a community. Never before have we been so disconnected.”  Source:Medical News Today

The subject caught my attention, so I guess I still am capable of attention.  However,  it caught my attention simply because it seems something is always vying for my attention.  There’s that nagging feeling, I’m forgetting something; worse still, that I’m forgetting Someone.

I can’t complain because things are rather simple around here. Kids are off being mature adults.  Only a husband and dog – neither demanding – have a real claim on my time.  I’m not even as plugged in as the rest of society seems to be.  I don’t walk around talking into space with a thing in my ear.  Why, I’ve even got the computer under control.  (Husband might seriously ???) So, I ask myself, “Why self?  What’s our problem?”

Enter Maggie Jackson, who wrote, DISTRACTED: THE EROSION OF ATTENTION AND THE COMING DARK AGE (Prometheus Books).  Medical News today writes:

Jackson’s definition of “attention” stems from studies in neuroscience that have identified a cognitive system comprised of three networks – awareness, focus, and executive attention (planning and decision making) – that work together to act as the “brain’s conductor, leading the orchestration of our minds.” The awareness and focus networks are systems responsible for gathering information about the environment, and the executive attention network is responsible for making decisions based on that information. Sustained attention is necessary for learning, deep thinking, emotional development, building relationships, and many other essential tasks. Attention is the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. Without it, it would be impossible to function in any meaningful way. In today’s world, this altered perspective has been greatly accelerated. Cell phones, e-mails, and numerous other devices compete for our attention. Because of this constant nagging, it becomes nearly impossible to utilize our capacity for sustained attention, and the implications are felt in business, the home, and society at large.

Jackson notes that the average worker switches tasks every three minutes and once interrupted takes nearly half an hour to go back to the original task. Families and friends find it increasingly difficult to meet face-to-face and even more difficult to do so without interruption or willful multitasking. News segments bombard us with superficially simple pieces of information. We have essentially been ushered into a world of constant distraction in which reflective thinking and undivided attention (single-tasking) has become exceedingly rare.

Jackson further laments: “The erosion of attention is largely equivalent to the erosion of our society.”

Not to worry, forewarned is forearmed.  Awareness is half the battle. Bewareness is the other half.  The  world is a little ditsy in its quest for self-awareness and I think, goes off the deep end into navel-gazing and self-absorption.  Inner strength, on the other hand, stems from an inner joy.  That’s what I don’t want to lose.  The acronym JOY still works for me.  When you’re frazzled, check your priorities: Jesus, Others, Yourself.

Hold on to Your Joy

I don’t know about you but I have to fight to hold on to peace and joy.  A friend brought me a gift yesterday as a memento of her trip to celebrate St. Joseph’s Feast Day with her family. I prayed this morning than opened it for encouragement.  Here is the answer to my prayer:

Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise me, in this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His Tabernacle He shall hide me; He sall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing; yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.  When You said, “seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:3-8

This is all the more meaningful to me because I did an oil painting of the face of Christ and it hangs near my desk.  I do gaze on Him throughout the day.  Sometimes, like today, I need a reminder.

St. Therese of Lisieux-Before Profession

(During her retreat before profession)

September 4, 1890.

The heavenly music falls but faintly on the ear of your child, and
it has been a dreary journey towards her Bridal Day. It is true
her Betrothed has led her through fertile lands and gorgeous
scenery, but the dark night has prevented her admiring, much less
revelling in, the beauty all around. Perhaps you think this
grieved her. Oh, no! she is happy to follow her Betrothed for His
own sake, and not for the sake of His gifts. He is so ravishingly
beautiful, even when silent--even when concealed. Weary of earthly
consolation, your little child wishes for her Beloved alone. I
believe that the work of Jesus during this retreat has been to
detach me from everything but Himself. My only comfort is the
exceeding strength and peace that is mine. Besides, I hope to be
just what He wills I should be, and in this lies all my happiness.
Did you but know how great is my joy at giving pleasure to Jesus
through being utterly deprived of all joy! . . . . Truly this is
the very refinement of all joy--joy we do not feel.

Faith Walk – Hope Eternal

“We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

No one knows that better than Myah who’s been walking the walk with grace and joy.  Now she walks it with Faith, her beautiful babe in arms. Myah writes:

I was told that my baby was only alive because she was attached to me, but that she couldn’t survive on her own. The doctor said that I could continue the pregnancy safely, but that my baby would die shortly after being born. Or I could choose to terminate the pregnancy then, which would mean being induced at 20 weeks and letting my baby die without ever seeing or holding her (I don’t even want to know what they do with babies in this case). Well, to some people this would be a difficult decision, but it wasn’t for me. I knew there was nothing to gain by terminating the pregnancy and I already loved my daughter more than anyone else in the world. Even if she was unconscious like the doctors said and lived for only a few seconds or minutes –even if she was stillborn –it was worth it to me. And so we began our journey…

Pursuing Holiness writes:

Faith has confounded the medical community, helped her mother and other family members rely wholly on God, and she is the recipient of a very great love. And if those things are the extent of her success and achievement in her life, it will have been a life well-lived.

Best to read the whole story. The photos tell a beautiful tale of 32 days of love with more to follow.  Keep Faith and Myah at the top of your prayer list.

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


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Procession of the Cross


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The Candidate for the Sacred Priesthood –  Jeffrey Neill Steenson


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Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

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


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Prostration and Litany of the Saints

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Ordained and Invested


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Kiss of Peace


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Greeting by Rev. Fr. Scott Mansield

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Presentation of the Gifts by the Steenson Family


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Eucharist


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A Few Words

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Recessional  – Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neill Steenson


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Recessional and Blessing by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan

Thanks Be To God!