Truth’s Army, Truth’s Bride

Truth was never far away.
It stood erect,
And with resolve,
Waited for the moment
Of my will’s consent.

It was relentless,
Devoid of error,
Stalwart and persistent.

Truth was the beacon
On the high mountain.
It appealed to me
On the level of the good.

It drew me
As home beckons the lost.
I journeyed closer,
But as the light
Revealed my tatters
I drew back,
Trapped by my choices.

Truth is a wedding garment,
That clothes inwardly,
As well as out.
My espousals never produced
A marriage of Truth and the holy.
In its stead, I’d wed
What I wanted.
Now, I feared our distance,
And what I had become.

Desiring the right,
Even if I was wrong,
I gathered courage to my breast
And risked all in the quest.

I shed my rags
And found a covering of prayer,
A robe of humility,
And came to Love
In holy fear.

Now, I am
Full of resolve,
A stalwart knight
On Truth’s high mountain,
Carrying lighted torch
To the Dark Valley,
Into caverns of deception.

Standing tall before the Foe,
Truth girds my waist,
And undertakes to speak
Light in the darkness.

I am become an army
On the plain,
As Truth marches not alone.
It goes forth,
Drawing with it men of valor,
Choosing the death of Pride,
And living as Truth’s Bride.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Whispers in the Loggia: "Merry Christmas – Go To Confession": The Pope’s Tree-Lighting Message

"As 2014 begins to wrap up, one of the year’s indelible images bears recalling: the moment at the Lenten penance service in St Peter’s when the Pope stunned his MC – and everyone else – by going to Confession himself before heading to his own box to conduct the sacrament for others.

Indeed, it was an unprecedented public sight of a Roman pontiff. And as was said at the time, having made Reconciliation his most frequent and urgent cause among the sacraments over 21 months in office – not to mention doing so infinitely more than his recent predecessors – Francis’ affinity for the confessional stands as a principal proof that the reality of Jorge Bergoglio is far from the caricature accepted either by his champions or his castigators.

In the latest instance of the push, the Pope issued an appeal for penitents last night, while following in the footsteps of B16 at lighting the mega-tree of Gubbio – the evergreen-shaped display along a side of Mt Ingino that’s won the Perugian town the distinction of "world’s largest Christmas tree," even if it isn’t one per se.

As his predecessor did in 2011, Francis lit the tree via a tap on a tablet… and here, video of his pre-lighting remarks with English translation:

Buona sera! I wish you a holy and happy Christmas.

When we turn on the lights of the creche [sic – he said "Presepio" but meant "albero" (tree)], we want the light of Christ to be in us. A Christmas without light isn’t Christmas. So let there be light in our souls, in our hearts; let there be our forgiveness for others; and let there not be hatred, for this are darkness. Let there be the light of Jesus, which is so beautiful. This is my wish for all of you. Many thanks for your gift – it’s beautiful. And I give you my warmest tidings of peace and happiness.

If you have something dark on your soul, ask the Lord’s forgiveness. This is a beautiful chance Christmas gives us – to clean up our souls, eh! Don’t be afraid – the priest is merciful, he forgives everything in the name of God, because God forgives everything. May the light be in your hearts, in your families, in your cities. And now, with this wish, let’s turn on the lights.

May almighty God bless you, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Merry Christmas and pray for me!

via Whispers in the Loggia: "Merry Christmas – Go To Confession": The Pope’s Tree-Lighting Message.

A People Who Dwell in Darkness…

NCRegister | The Four First Things.

The world was without form and void, and God said, "Let there be light" (Genesis 1). Therefore, the first of the first things is Light. I capitalize the word "Light" because we are talking about the Light of Lights; the source and beginning of all things is Light.

Physicists tell us that energy is simply Light in various different forms or expressions. Atheists like to point out what they consider foolish about the creation story in Genesis: "How can you believe this when Light is created first, but the sun, moon and stars that give the Light are only created on the fourth day?"

They have missed the theological point. They have been too literal and fundamentalistic about the text. Light is created first because there is a Source of Light that is greater than the sun, moon and stars. This is why the story of Genesis is echoed in the last book of the Bible, where we are told that in heaven there is no sun or moon because "The Lamb is the Light in the city of God."

There’s the answer to the riddle! Christ the Lamb is the Light. The Son is the Source of the Sun. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Light of the World.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/the-four-first-things/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-12-814:07:01#ixzz2mubkU52s

“O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity”–St. Augustine

From the Confessions of Saint Augustine, bishop

O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity

Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No, it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things; and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as heaven is above the earth. This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light.

O Eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me.”

I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you.
But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever. He was calling me and saying: I am the way of truth, I am the life. He was offering the food which I lacked the strength to take, the food he had mingled with our flesh. For the Word became flesh, that your wisdom, by which you created all things, might provide milk for us children.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace

I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

Light to My Light

Round and round,
Oft’ repeated action,
Oft’ repeated sin,
I go,
Blinded by the storm within,
To folly’s fortune,
And wayward whim.

Hunger and thirst
Assail in just desert,
Assail with a vengeance.
Who will pay the piper?
Who will ransom the captive heart,
Break my fetters,
And smash my chains?

Crying into the night
Black my heart ache
Black my guilt.
Still my tears betray my hope,
As for Love I grope,
Calling, because primal urge
Causes me to shout into the Darkness.

I am the smoldering candle,
That will not go out.
That will not curse the darkness.
You are fan to my flame,
And breath in my nostrils,
You are the oil that fuels my lamp
To show the way out of darkness,
Light to my light.

© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Days of Darkness–Days of Light

Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

Yup, Word Press congratulated me!  Four years today!  To celebrate, I’m re-blogging my first post with a bit of tweeking to fit the season.

 

Days of Darkness–Days of Light

We just celebrated the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  It was he, who said in a letter addressed to the Roman church (Rom.5:20), “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more"  Well, here’s the vision, as it was told to me. I want you to picture it so that you feel it with your heart:

You and I squeak in,  passing  through those towering Pearly Gates.  People of all ages overwhelm even our enhanced understanding of the generations descended from Adam and Eve.  We can’t wait to embrace them.  We know them intimately. Instantly, we know their stories.  These are those who lived Salvation history.

“What was it like?”,  we ask over and again?   These, after all, are those who walked dry shod through the walls of water escaping Pharaoh’s chariots.  Here, too,  are the masses who had pressed upon the Christ.  They’d witnessed the manner and miracles of Jesus.  Some has eaten the bread and fish He’d multiplied.  Others admitted that they had shouted, “Crucify Him.”  Others had stood along the way as He pushed on to Calvary. The martyrs from all past centuries were among the most joyful.  They now rejoiced that their blood shed for Christ seeded the proceeding eons to bear fruit in such as we.

For all our eagerness to express our gratitude to them and give glory to God, they pressed the more upon us, for their need js to know our stories.  “Tell us,”  they asked, “how black did the times become when men who pretend to knowledge denied life in the womb.  How dark were the days in which the hearts of mothers died, choosing  to bring forth corpses instead of  living children.  You, who lived with blindness and deafness,  how did you survive?  Like Peter, was it repentance that  re-ignited your flame?   How did you find courage walking  the Valley of the Shadow of Death?  How bright was the Light that brought you home?”

That Light is shining now, on everyone. Who will guide the blind and who will lead the thirsty to the Living Water, if not you and me.

Truth’s Army, Truth’s Bride

Truth was never far away.
It stood erect,
And with resolve,
Waited for the moment
Of my will’s consent.

It was relentless,
Devoid of error,
Stalwart and persistent.

Truth was the beacon
On the high mountain.
It appealed to me
On the level of the good.

It drew me
As home beckons the lost.
I journeyed closer,
But as the light
Revealed my tatters
I drew back,
Trapped by my choices.

Truth is a wedding garment,
That clothes inwardly,
As well as out.
My espousals never produced
A marriage of Truth and the holy.
In its stead, I’d wed
What I wanted.
Now, I feared our distance,
And what I had become.

Desiring the right,
Even if I was wrong,
I gathered courage to my breast
And risked all in the quest.

I shed my rags
And found a covering of prayer,
A robe of humility,
And came to Love
In holy fear.

Now, I am
Full of resolve,
A stalwart knight
On Truth’s high mountain,
Carrying lighted torch
To the Dark Valley,
Into caverns of deception.

Standing tall before the Foe,
Truth girds my waist,
And undertakes to speak
Light in the darkness.

I am become an army
On the plain,
As Truth marches not alone.
It goes forth,
Drawing with it men of valor,
Choosing the death of Pride,
And living as Truth’s Bride.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Free to Love

I choose to love You, Lord.
My free will is Your gift.
I can decide Your Way too narrow,
And banish You
From my mind, my home, my life,
And the world about me.

I am free to celebrate gods,
I fashion as my own,
To revel in idolatry,
To exult with the mocking crowds
Making fun and sport of You,
You, Who are “so out of touch.”

You have fallen from fashion.
Your Cross, an embarrassment.
This world demands signs,
And leeks, and onions,
And grande cappacinos.

No, You will not stop me.
Without Your grace,
I can not stop myself.
I seem at times to prefer
The company of men,
All who purport to know.

Truth, though, gives witness
To a milieu
Of blatant braggadocio
With holes,
Through which their errors flow
To seed a field with tares.
For a prideful people
Seeking a rose garden,
Yet only thistles grow.

I choose to love You, Lord.
Be Sun to my darkness,
Be my Light
That I might see.
Protect and command me,
That I might obey.
Love demands freedom.
Freely, I turn to Thee.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Glory Dwelling in the Land

From my small domain,
A mere spot
On the face of the Earth,
Shine out!

Like a monstrance,
Held high before me,
Give light to a world
In need.

O You, my Eucharist,
Heart of Love
Rule my heart.
Soul of sanctity
Convert all peoples.
Holy Truth,
Go forth to illuminate the Nations.
Then shall the heavens witness,
Your “Glory dwelling in the land.”

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012

All rights reserved

Be the Sun in Me

Be, O Lord, the Sun in me.
Despite, my clouds,
Masking Your Beauty,
Be seen as light invisible,
Going forth, in the Spirit,
To the world,
A world in need of Revelation.

Pierce the veil of my travail.
Linger long to suffer my malaise,
My unsettled wine.

By grace, bless me,
As you bless those
Blind to Your Presence in me.

Sacrament and penance,
My claim upon Your Heart.
Light, undiminished,
Under my bushel,
Burning bright within my core,
Make of me a lampstand,
In Your Father’s House.

Be, O, Lord,
The Sun in Me,
To a world in need of illumination.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2012
All rights reserved

Miracle of the Sun

 

Darkness had come upon the land,

A darkness so thick,

It could be felt.

 

You spoke and said to me,

I will awake the dawn.

Rising early, I raised my arms to heaven

And Your sun entered my soul.

 

 

A thousand candles,

Burn on the altar of my heart.

Piercing the darkness,

Are Your eyes of Love.

Cascading streams of Light,

Illuminating that cavern,

That was Sin.

 

Lord, help me

Return Your gaze.

I behold You, darkly,

New to the blinding Light.

 

Dancing Miracle of Sun

Accustom my open eyes to Your Spirit

To receive the sun and moonbeams

As You eclipse the Night.

 

© 2012  Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

In Times of Darkness – The Cross

A Prayer for the World

Lord Jesus, let flow from Your precious wounds opened in Your Crucifixion and Death on the Cross, a fresh torrent of Love and Mercy upon the world.  Like stars lighting up the sky as did the Star of Bethlehem, let Your Light proceed from the nail holes in that eternal Wood on which you hung.  Planted Now in Heaven, may that Tree bear fruit ever sweet and fresh to the world for whose Sin You willingly died. Amen.

Words of Jesus to St. Faustina

“All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be a great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.”

Go Light Your World

Go Light Your World


by Chris Rice

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

So carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Cause We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hepeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

The Whole Truth – Make it Plain, Brother!

You don’t usually get to hear a Lutheran congregation holler an, “Amen” or “Preach it, Brother. ” Today was no  different, but the minister seemed to want one.  I was visiting with the Lutherans and the minister confessed that the one time he could remember that someone called out, “Amen, Brother”, it caught him so by surprise that it totally threw him into confusion.  Now, however, Jesus was talking plain in the Gospel and the minister felt he could use a reminder from the pews to, “Make it plain; make it plain!” He was preaching John 3:16, “the Bible in a nutshell.”

The evening before, I heard a priest of the Roman Catholic Church preach it.  He truly kept it simple.  He said,
“Life is short. Hell is for Eternity. Think about it!”  He sat down.  That was it! Talk about nutshells.

My Lutheran friend said a bit more, before remembering his injunction to himself, “Make it plain!”  The plain fact was that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” The minister said that the love He bore us was not the stuff of  “warm fuzzies” but “agape”, that  to die for love that willing died for all mankind; sparing not a drop of blood, or leaving a breathe unspent.

The sermon in my head reminded me, Jesus plainly and emphatically proclaimed that verse, now made famous by placards at football games and  verse17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” However, not many people finish the message.  Jesus’ “make it plain” message,  was also recorded by John in chapter 3:18-19.

No “warm fuzzies” here, either, only the uncomfortable part of the Truth, John 3:18-19.

“Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.”

Jesus spoke the whole Truth and so should we because:  “Life is short. Hell is for Eternity. Think about it!”