Infant King Benign

O Infant King benign
I offer You the face
Of Mother Mary
As she gazed upon You
That very first time
Beholding long
Your holy countenance.

Her eyes, drinking in her Babe,
Her King, her Priest,
Her Son Divine,
Wept tears of joy,
And wonder,
In silent adoration,
Pondering comprehension.
She smiled in inward exultation.

You will never forget
Her look of love
As she gazed upon
Him, Who no earthly eye
Had seen,
A treasure for the world,
In her care,
To be wrapped
In lowly swaddling clothes
You, O Christ Child,
In Your humanity divine.

A King, A Victim, A Priest

A king,
A victim,
A priest,

A king accused,
A victim scourged,
A priest condemned,

A king crowned and robed,
A victim beaten and humiliated,
A priest on the altar of the Cross,

O Anointed One,
O Crucified One,
O Holy One,
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done.
Eternal Priesthood won.

by Joann Nelander

Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia

Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia.

Emilio-Labrador-CC

I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport.  They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it.

“Do you do all of the priest stuff?”
“Yep.”
“Even the Confession thing?”
“Yeah. All the time.”
One older lady gasped, “Well, I think that that would be the worst.  It would be so depressing; hearing all about people’s sins.”

I told them that it was the exact opposite.  There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when they are coming back to God.  I said, “It would depressing if I had to watch someone leave God; I get to be with them when they come back to Him.” The Confessional is a place where people let God’s love win.  The Confessional is the most joyful, humbling, and inspiring place in the world.

What do I see during Confession?
I think there are three things.  First, I see the costly mercy of God in action.  I get to regularly come face to face with the overwhelming, life-transforming power of God’s love.  I get to see God’s love up-close and it reminds me of how good God is.

Not many folks get to see the way in which God’s sacrifice on the Cross is constantly breaking into people’s lives and melting the hardest hearts.  Jesus consoles those who are grieving their sins . . . and strengthens those who find themselves wanting to give up on God or on life.

As a priest, I get to see this thing happen every day.
I see a saint in the making.
The second thing I see is a person who is still trying – a saint in the making.  I don’t care if this is the person’s third confession this week; if they are seeking the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it means that they are trying.  That’s all that I care about.  This thought is worth considering: going to Confession is a sign that you haven’t given up on Jesus.

This is one of the reasons why pride is so deadly.  I have talked with people who tell me that they don’t want to go to Confession to their priest because their priest really likes them and "thinks that they are a good kid."

I have two things to say to this.
1.  He will not be disappointed! What your priest will see is a person who is trying! I dare you to find a saint who didn’t need to God’s mercy! (Even Mary needed God’s mercy; she received the mercy of God in a dramatic and powerful way at her conception.  Boom. Lawyered.)

2.  So what if the priest is disappointed? We try to be so impressive with so much of our lives.  Confession is a place where we don’t get to be impressive.  Confession is a place where the desire to impress goes to die.  Think about it: all other sins have the potential to cause us to race to the confessional, but pride is the one that causes us to hide from the God who could heal us.

Do I remember your sins? No!

Read more via  Inside the Confessional: What Is It Like for a Priest? – Aleteia.

A King, A Victim, A Priest

A king,
A victim,
A priest,

A king accused,
A victim scourged,
A priest condemned,

A king crowned and robed,
A victim beaten and humiliated,
A priest on the altar of the Cross,

O Anointed One,
O Crucified One,
O Holy One,
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done.
Eternal Priesthood won.

by Joann Nelander

The Cure of Ars – Sermons

Here are the SERMONS OF THE CURE OF ARS – EXCERPTS

August 4

John Vianney, Priest

Memorial

Saint John Vianney was a French parish priest born in 1786. Known as the patron saint of priests, Saint Vianney became internationally respected for his pastoral care, confessional wisdom, and children’s catechesis.

Born into humble circumstances, Saint Vianney’s parents modeled a pious lifestyle, practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as a family. At age 20, Saint Vianney decided to leave his rural upbringing and attend secondary education. His studies progressed slowly and a decade later he was ordained, despite aptitudes of compassion over those of learning. With this ‘tender heart’, he opened an orphanage and began to minister in the local parish in the aftermath of the Revolution. He was appointed curé, minister of souls, and was known to spend up to 18 hours a day in the confessional. Over time, his methods rippled internationally, as up to tens of thousands of pilgrims traveled annually seek his counsel. He was canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.[1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti

Here are the SERMONS OF THE CURE OF ARS – EXCERPTS

One Shot Wednesday – Week 36

Time again for One Shot Wednesday.

Here’s my one shot:

Set the World Aright

The world, in turmoil, convulses.
Peoples flee.
Those who know You,
Run to You.
Those, who are rushing
To the pit in despair,
Flee from You,
As from Leviathan.

Show forth Your Truth and Beauty.
Stop sinners in their flight.
Smile, as the Sun from heaven,
That all men may truly see,
And all men know You, O Truth.

You are a scourge
To the proud,
But to the man,
Who clearly sees himself,
For what he is, and faints.
Then, coming to his senses,
Lies prostrate in repentance;
To that man, You are Hope
And help, and healing.

Your Mercy covers a multitude of sin.
Your blood, sprinkled on us,
Cries out “Sanctuary!”
O Altar, O Victim, O Priest.

Christ Jesus,
You know my heart,
And yet embrace it.
Your priestly garment
Covers my nakedness.
Your Kingly Mantle identifies me,
As Child of the Great King.
My name is written on Your Thigh.
Like a mother,
You brought me forth at Your Knees,
To claim me eternally.

The waters well up,
I am washed,
And carried in the current,
To ride the waves of Your Mercy
And come to rest on Your shore
For all eternity.

Celebrate the Mass
Of our Redemption,
Once for all,
And for all time.
The thunder is silent.
The quaking ceases.
The clouds of darkness part.
The Sun of Justice rises,
And the course of the world
Obeys the Will of Your Father.

O Christ, O Holy One,
Guide the course
Of this wayward planet.
Set the earth aright,
And welcome its people
Into Your Heart.

Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander    All rights reserved.

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry- Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood. It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display.

Poetry Potluck Monday- Week 25 – Congrats!

I’ll celebrate #25 of Poetry Potluck Monday with these:

A King, A Victim, A Priest

A king,
A victim,
A priest,

A king accused,
A victim scourged,
A priest condemned,

A king crowned and robed,
A victim beaten and humiliated,
A priest on the altar of the Cross,

O Anointed One,
O Crucified One,
O Holy One,
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done.
Eternal Priesthood won.

 
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.

Christ, living in 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 hands received their holy orders
From 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 abandonment.
You are adorned.
I am conformed.
Christ is adored.

 
With St. Ambrose By My Side

St. Ambrose
Walk with me
This entire year,
As a friend and mentor.

In your lifetime,
You had marvelous friends,
All of whom, you led
Closer to God.
May they also pray for me,
So to honor you.
Monica, Augustine, Marcella, Satyrus,
Were made holier
By your counsel.

You walked with Wisdom
By your side,
And made great strides.
Counsel me,
For the glory of the God
That loves me.

I will thank you most properly in heaven.
Yet, my poor heart embraces you,
As my particular friend in Christ, even now.
To God be the glory!

Amen

Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander    All rights reserved.

More poetry and enjoyment visit Poetry Potluck Monday and Jingle Poetry

Set the World Aright

The world, in turmoil, convulses.
Peoples flee.
Those who know You,
Run to You.
Those, who are rushing
To the pit in despair,
Flee from You,
As from Leviathan.

Show forth Your Truth and Beauty.
Stop sinners in their flight.
Smile, as the Sun from heaven,
That all men may truly see,
And all men know You, O Truth.

You are a scourge
To the proud,
But to the man,
Who clearly sees himself,
For what he is, and faints.
Then, coming to his senses,
Lies prostrate in repentance;
To that man, You are Hope
And help, and healing.

Your Mercy covers a multitude of sin.
Your blood, sprinkled on us,
Cries out “Sanctuary!”
O Altar, O Victim, O Priest.

Christ Jesus,
You know my heart,
And yet embrace it.
Your priestly garment
Covers my nakedness.
Your Kingly Mantle identifies me,
As Child of the Great King.
My name is written on Your Thigh.
Like a mother,
You brought me forth at Your Knees,
To claim me eternally.

The waters well up,
I am washed,
And carried in the current,
To ride the waves of Your Mercy
And come to rest on Your shore
For all eternity.

Celebrate the Mass
Of our Redemption,
Once for all,
And for all time.
The thunder is silent.
The quaking ceases.
The clouds of darkness part.
The Sun of Justice rises,
And the course of the world
Obeys the Will of Your Father.

O Christ, O Holy One,
Guide the course
Of this wayward planet.
Set the earth aright,
And welcome its people
Into Your Heart.

Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander All rights reserved.

A King, A Victim, A Priest

A king,
A victim,
A priest,

A king accused,
A victim scourged,
A priest condemned,

A king crowned and robed,
A victim beaten and humiliated,
A priest on the altar of the Cross,

O Anointed One,
O Crucified One,
O Holy One,
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done.
Eternal Priesthood won.

Why I Remain Catholic

Today, On Good Friday, Here’s Why I Remain Catholic

Though the ill aspects of the Catholic Church have recently been highlighted in the news, commentator Elizabeth Scalia says the good aspects have never gotten enough attention.

Published: April 02, 2010
by Elizabeth Scalia

Elizabeth Scalia is a contributing writer to First Things Magazine as the blogger known as The Anchoress.

The question has come my way several times in the past week: “How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?”

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, while the keeper of “the keys” denied him, and his first priests ran away. Through 2,000 imperfect — sometimes glorious, sometimes heinous — years, the church has contemplated and manifested the truth that dark and light, innocence and guilt, justice and injustice all share a kinship, one that waves back and forth like wind-stirred wheat in a field, churning toward something — as yet — unknowable.

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

But then, my country is the most generous and compassionate nation on Earth; it is also the only country that has ever deployed nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

My government is founded upon a singular appreciation of personal liberty; some of those founders owned slaves.

My family was known for its neighborliness and its work ethic; its patriarch was a serial child molester.

Read the complete essay here.

Ordination 2009 New York

H/T  nypriest.com and Grassroots Films:

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 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!”

Ordination Ceremony – Prostration & Litany of the Saints

Ordination _ Kiss of Peace

More – O Happy Day – Ordination Video

Update: O HappyDay:


entrance-processional

Procession of the Cross


procession-steenson-follow-book

The Candidate for the Sacred Priesthood –  Jeffrey Neil 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!


Cool and Charitable!

The Anchoress is right on.  This is cool indeed!  A priest with a heart for the poor brings doodling celebs into the picture to do good with their pictures.   The big bucks their art brings are really great when they’re turned into loaves and fish.

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!


This is the Day The Lord Has Made!

Update:  Old Bishop, New Priest

I’ll be off in a bit to attend the ordination of Jeffrey Steenson.  I can only imagine what is going on in his heart and head at this moment.  Please say a prayer for Jeff, his family, and his church family, both  Anglican and Catholic.

New directions bring mixed blessings for partings are hard.  For Jeff, the need to explain his conscientious decision is an integral part of moving forward.  “Forward” in God’s grace and plan means continuing to put your hands to the plow and looking back only with gratitude for the gift of the past.  Friends, mentors, and teachers, all helped to prepare Jeff for this day.  Now  is a time of celebration.  Now, with the Laying on of Hands, Jeffrey becomes a priest of the Roman Catholic Church.  He  enters on a new path on the road home.  God bless you, soon-to-be, Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neil Steenson!