As the Father is Perfect

Be perfect, You say.
"Be perfect, as the Father is perfect."

"Perfection" is held before our eyes,
Hung in the heavens, like a star,
Like a luminous star,
As a star going before us,
Beckoning to us,
Inviting, "Come follow me."

In the dark of Your Mystery,
We make ready,
We journey forth,
Answering a call,
A call written on the heart,
Engraved, as by prophetic fathers,
Beyond imagining,
More certain than Death’s curtain,
Far, far, greater than the cost.

"Perfection" begins life as a babe,
Bound in swaddling,
A law conceived in the soul,
Bidding trust,
Coaxing obedience.
"Come, follow Me"

Journey through the Night.
When you have done all,
Spent all,
Lay down your dreams,
Your treasure,
For the rest lies with the Heavenly Host.

Touching the earth once more
In celestial wonderment,
With a loving caress,
And a word of command,
Fulfilled, as it is spoken,
"Be perfect, as the Father is perfect",
Angels whisper you home.


Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Hope’s Longing

I find you in tears.
I find you in longing.
I find you covered in the news of the day,
Lying in the cold,
Under the blanket of the night,
Under heaven’s gaze.

Who wipes your tears?
Who comforts and consoles?
Who sees you in your many disguises,
Crying in the child,
Laughing with young,
Smiling down from Heaven?

Give me eyes to see through the tears.
Give me a heart to feel hope beyond sorrow.
Give me the shelter of your company.
Here in the Now,
I find You sweet within me
Promising Forever.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

St. John the Apostle in the Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great

The glory and the gain of one Pater Noster daily in honor of the Apostle:

from the Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great – Part IV chapter IV

“The Apostle had a magnificent rational[1] on his breast, to indicate his prerogative of having reposed on the bosom of Jesus during the last Supper. The words, In principio erat verbum, were written on it in letters of living gold, to show the marvelous virtue of the words contained in his Gospel. Then St. Gertrude said to our Lord: “O most loving Lord, why is Thy beloved one manifested to a creature so unworthy as I am?” Our Lord answered: “I have done this that he may be united to you by a special friendship; and as you have no apostle, I have appointed him to be ever your faithful advocate with Me in heaven.” “Teach me, then, my sweetest Lord,” she replied, “how can I show my gratitude to him?” Our Lord answered: “If any person says a Pater noster daily in honor of this Apostle, reminding him of the sweet fidelity with which his heart was filled when I taught this prayer, he will not fail to obtain for whoever prays thus the grace of persevering faithfully in virtue, even to the end of his life.”

This Apostle also appeared to the Saint as she assisted at matins, on his Feast, when she applied with a special fervour to her usual exercises. Gertrude then recommended some of the religious of whom she had charge very fervently to him; he received her prayer very lovingly and said: “I am like my master in this—that I love those who love me.” The Saint inquired: “What grace, then, and what benefit, can I hope for, who am so unworthy, on your dear Feast?” “Come,” he replied; “come with me, thou elect one of my Lord, and let us repose together on the sweetest bosom of the Lord, in which all the treasures of beatitude lie hidden.” Then, taking her up in spirit, he presented her to our loving Saviour; and having placed her on His right side, he placed himself on the left, and reposed there. Then he exclaimed, pointing reverently to the bosom of Jesus: “Behold, this is the Saint of saints, who draws to Himself all that is good in heaven and on earth!”

She then inquired of St   John why he placed himself on the left hand, and had given the right to her. He replied: “it is because I have become one spirit with God, and am able to penetrate where flesh cannot enter; but you are not yet able to penetrate into such high things, because you are still in the flesh. I have therefore placed you at the opening of the Divine Heart, from whence you may drink in all the sweet consolations which flow from it with such impetuous abundance, that it is capable of satisfying all who desire to taste thereof.” Then, as she felt the constant pulsations of the Divine Heart, and rejoiced exceedingly thereat, she said to St. John: “Beloved of God, didst not thou feel those pulsations when thou wert lying on the Lord’s Breast at the Last Supper? “Yes, he replied; “and this with such plentitude, that liquid does not enter more rapidly into bread than the sweetness of those pleasures penetrated my soul, so that my spirit became more ardent than water under the action of a glowing fire.”

“And why,” she inquired, “have you neither said nor written anything of this for our edification?” He replied: “Because I was charged with instructing the newly formed Church concerning the mysteries of the uncreated Word, that those truths might be transmitted to future ages, as far as they would be capable of comprehending them, for no one can comprehend them entirely; and I deferred speaking of these Divine pulsations until later ages, that the world might be aroused from its torpor, and animated, when it had grown cold, by hearing of these things.” Then, as she contemplated St. John reposing upon the bosom of the Lord, he said to her: “I now appear to you in the same form as when I lay on the bosom of my beloved Lord and only Friend at the Last Supper; but if you wish it, I will obtain for you the favour of beholding me in the form in which I now enjoy the delights of heaven.” And as she desired this favour very ardently, she beheld an immense ocean within the Heart of Jesus, in which St. John appeared to float with ineffable joy and perfect freedom; and she learned that the Saint became so filled and inebriated with the torrent of pleasure which he tasted in God, that a vein came from his heart, whereby he poured forth the sweet waters of the Divinity—that is to say, his instructions, and above all, his Gospel—over the face of the earth.”

For the Glory

O God,
See Your Saints,
And in them
See Your Son.

Behold in their living
And their dying the Cross
And the glory of God.

Enfleshed anew,
It is the Holy Spirit,
As in the womb of the Virgin
Who gIves to the world
Proof of Your Love.

Your lowly creature, Man
Receives in his very being,
The splendor of Your might,
The eternal evidence
Of Your victory.

Satan and Sin, conquered,
Death defeated,
You dawn
And the Son arises.

You shine in Your own,
Giving glory to God,
The Bridegroom,
Loving the Bride.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Scott Hahn: The Hour Is Coming

Abandonment to the Will of God

Abandonment to the Will of God,
That’s the Call.
What is holding you back
From accepting the Cross?

Give God your plans.
Give God your anger.
Give God your pain.
Give God your way.

Give God the nails
That nail you to your will.
Allow the nails in His Hands
To hold you fast with Him.

Our mouths may praise
His Father with Him
In this the Holy Hour of Abandonment.
We call His Name
As the crowds cry “Crucify.”

This is the hour for prayer.
Then shall come the fruit of Crucifixion,
Then will God’s Justice descend,
Then will the rain fall.

In each heart that looks,
Cries, mourns,
Goes to their homes disheartened,
And yet believes,
A flower will grow.

God will yet feed the multitude,
Not with the bread of Mammon,
But with His Holy Flesh
Willing supplied,
The same flesh
Savagely devoured
By the mob.

As the praise goes up,
Then will His Reign begin,
Then will God bless the Land,
Then will the Father
Kiss the multitude
Who dared lift the Son
High above the Earth.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Abandonment  (Read by author)

Cloud Clutter

Grey the day with cloud and clutter,
Music’s muted melody obscured,
Discord in search of harmony,
Gives lie to the Promise of His Presence,
If Truth were only that which can be seen.

Faith, though,
Believes not vision, but God,
For God’s sake.
All powers of perception,
But a touch of His finger,
A curtain parted for a peek,
Hardly the measure
Of the Almighty’s might.

By Faith,
The eyes of the soul see,
And pierce the veil,
Rendering gain,
That gleaned in blindness,
So I  count the clouds joy,
For Faith keeps hope alive.

I am all believing,
And with conviction,
Clutched and cradled,
Felt with the fingers of my trust.
I live the Promise of His Presence.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Poetry Picnic week 23

The Hollow of Your Hand

The Hollow of Your Hand

Hollow in the palm of Your hand,
See me here, a child hiding in this darkness, Which is All Light and All Truth.
The brightness of Your Sun has blinded me.
I grasp Your hand and cling to You, my Three, my One.

Bright Angel announce your Truth in my soul.
Let me not fear the shadows,
But find all things awakening anew my confidence in You,
O Truth and Trusted One.

Reign. God of my heart;
I have sought You moment by moment,
Day after day.
Holy Solace, wrap me as in petals.
Heart of healing, open in the warmth of a new and holy day,
The Lord makes new day, Day of the Lord.

No fear here, all comfort, all strength, all joy.
I have become a child in the palm of Your hand, Ever resting, ever secure, O Holy Love,
To You abandoned, to You promised, to You wed.

By Joann Nelander

The Rosary -a Prayer, a Place, a Promise

Mary, the Mother of God, revealed herself as the Lady of the Rosary. This is akin to saying “I Am the Woman of the Book.” The rosary is prayer alive on the lips and in the heart of Mary’s children. In the Rosary, we pray the Scriptures which speak of Jesus. They foretell and tell forth the story of Salvation. Mary in effect says pray the story of your salvation. Tuck it in your heart and you will become the womb of Jesus who in gladsome labor births My Son, the Son of God, into the world.

Fr. Groeschel speaks of the Rosary as a place. He calls it a”chapel.” For me, it is that and more. It is my cocoon in the Womb of Mary, centered in the Heart of the Lamb of God. I am formed as I live and as I pray.

The promise of the Rosary lives on the lips of Jesus. As I pray I can hear His Spirit whispering, consoling, proclaiming to me personally, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” “I will come in and eat with you, and you with me. “

Something Bigger Than Ourselves

I’m thinking about Fr. Jeff’s homily.  He was serious today, though he always is,so much so, it makes me laugh hearing his mental gymnastics.  Today he got straight to the point, however.  The point being: haven’t we all felt a part of something bigger than ourselves?

Some times changes in direction happen quickly, even with just one impulsive decision.  I guess all the other choices in our lives leads us to make that decision, so impulsive or not, it’s more than happenstance, it’s who we are at the moment. With that said, Fr. Jeff spoke of God breaking into the world He had created and wanting, at this moment in Time, to renew it.  He offers a Covenant, which if lived out in the lives of this people, peculiar to the Lord, His Chosen People, would cause all peoples to look on them and desire their God.

Fr.Jeff said, “God’s modus operandi has not changed. Human history is repeating this scenario day after day.” We are called to live exemplary lives.  What a dreamer God must be!  That’s the vision, though.  When Jesus faced the pharisees and said “I Am” they had a choice to make.  They could recognize Him as God, the new Moses, and follow Him…….. or stone him.  You know how it goes from here, from bad to worse.  “Stone him!” they say.” Later it becomes, “Crucify him!”

Jesus confronts us,when we least expect it, and confounds us, as he did the pharisees.  We are unprepared at many junctures in our lives and being unprepared, caught of guard, or rebellious, with the pharisees and mob, we holler, “Stone him!”  Thankfully, moments of reflection follow in our lives, changes in course, second chances.  The Jews got it wrong, but St. Paul promises a day when their blindness will end.  The Church is the New Israel, a second chance at Covenant.  We, too, have a hard time getting it right, but we have the promise made to the Church, “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”Matthew 16:18

The Reading from Genesis 17:3-9 was:

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you

The Gospel was:

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
John 8: 51-59

St. Gertrude the Great – God's Promise

You may find the language of St. Gertrude the Great difficult.  The arcane style is cumbersome in these days of expediency.  If I simplified it, you would lose the sense of the Saint, herself.  Slogging your way through is well worth the effort to get to the treasure . God made promises to St. Gertrude the Great, recorded by the Saint, herself, contained in The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great.  When you consider Who it is who condescends to make the promise, how likely is it that we in our day have outgrown the promise in favor of modernity?

Your liberality, O Lord, has bestowed on me this gift, more necessary than all – certifying to me that whoever, in their charity, will either pray for me – the vilest of God’s creatures – or perform any good works, either for the amendment of my life, or the forgiveness of the sins of my youth, or the correction of my iniquity and malice, shall receive this reward from thy abundant liberality – namely, that they shall not die until, by Your grace, their lives have been pleasing to You; and that You will dwell in their souls by a special friendship and intimacy………

You have added to all these favors, my kind God, by an abundant liberality – that if anyone, after my death, considering with how much familiarity You did communicate with my unworthiness while in this life, should recommend themselves humbly to my prayers, You would hear them as willingly as if they invoked the intercession of any other person, provided that they had the intention of repairing their faults and negligence, and that they humbly and devoutly thanked You for five special benefits which You granted me.

First. For the love by which You  freely chose me from all eternity, and which I declare to be the greatest of all the benefits which You have bestowed on me: for as You were not ignorant of, or rather did foresee, the corrupt life which I should lead, the excess of my ingratitude, and how I should abuse Your gifts, so that I deserve to have been born a pagan, and not an enlightened human being – Your mercy, which infinitely exceeds our crimes, has chosen me, in preference to many other Christians, to bear the holy character of a religious.

Secondly. Because You have drawn me blessedly to You; and I acknowledged it to be an effect of the clemency and charity which is natural to You, Who have won, by the attractions of Your caresses, this rebellious and stubborn heart, which deserves to be loaded with fetters and chains; and it has seemed as if You hadst found in me the faithful companion of yYour love, and that Your greatest pleasure was to be united to me.

Thirdly. Because You have united me so intimately to You; and I declare, as I am bound, that I am indebted for this only to Your signal liberality, as if the number of the just was not great enough to receive the immense abundance of Your mercies, not that I had better dispositions than others, but, on the contrary, that Your charity might be the more signalized in me thereby.

Fourthly. That You have taken pleasure and delight in dwelling in my soul; and this, if I may so speak, proceeds from the ardor of Your love, which has deigned to testify, even by words, that it is the joy of Your all – powerful wisdom to stoop to one so dissimilar to You, and so utterly ungrateful.

Fifthly. That it has pleased You to accomplish Your work happily in me; and, it is a favor which I have hoped with humble confidence from the tenderness of Your most benign charity, and for which I adore You with gratitude, declaring, O sovereign, true, and only treasure of my soul, that I have in no way contributed to it by my merits, but that it is a true gift of Your liberality.

All these benefits coming from Your immense charity, and being so far above my nothingness, I am unable to give thanks for them worthily; but You has further assisted my misery, in exciting others, by the most condescending promises, to render thanksgivings to You, the merit of which may supply my deficiencies. For which may all creatures in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, glorify You and thank You continually!

What hope we have, when we consider the lengths to which our Lord goes, reaching through the centuries, to supply for our lack of merit.