Becoming Flame

I offer You the straw of my life,
O Lord of my redemption.
Send Your angels, day by day,
To glean my field,
To fuel the fire of Your Love.

Did You not say,
"Learn from Me,
For I am meek,
And humble of heart?"
You do not need my riches.
You seek my poverty, my emptiness.

Your Fire penetrates my stubble.
I become like You,
All aglow As light and heat
Testify to Your Presence in the flame
That shoots to the heavens.

I am surrender and trust
In welcome transformation.
I am lost and yet eternal.
In You, straw by straw,
As kindling,
I am become the Flame.

New – SONG OF MY SOUL

textfront waterfall

KINDLE EDITION

Higher than the Mountains- Newly published – Available on Amazon

“Higher than the Mountains”, a book of poetry and prayer. It is a respite for your quieter moments. It is for those who “are anxious and worried about many things” and who now desire “the better part”, the something, or Someone, clothed in the ordinary, hidden in your heart. While drawing from my life experience as wife, mother, nurse, and artist, I also find inspiration all about me, though it is in the stillness that I listen best. Then my own voice fades away, but not until I speak my heart to God. In solitude, the world does seem to stand aside for the whisper or thunder or just the beating of my heart.

A Prayer in Adoration

A Prayer in Adoration

Here I am Lord,
Sitting, kneeling,
Prostrate in spirit
Before You, adoring.
Who You are in Your glory
Lies hidden under the appearance
Of this Holy Bread before me.
You have revealed to Your Church
The wonder, and magnificence
Of Your living Presence.
With Mother Church,
I extol Your beauty.
Truths come to mind
And I give assent.
I am married to You,
O Holy Bridegroom.
In the fullness of time,
I will embrace You
With a glorified vision and body,
But, for now, I reach with heart
And mind’s eye to catch a glimpse
Of this splendid Truth
Hidden as it is
‘Neath Bread and Wine
And broken Body on a Cross.

Favor me with an increase
Of love and desire,
Until my longing tears free
From all that holds me captive still.
I know my blindness,
And have seen my foolishness.
In my poverty and need,
I seek refuge here
Before Your eyes.

Your Truth,
Your splendid Truth, be mine!
These are such glorious Truths,
I can not comprehend them
In their reality and breath.
I can only glimpse them,
And cry out in hope and faith.

My adorable Lord,
Looking upon me now as always,
Gather to Yourself,
The groans and sighs of Spirit born,
Unto Your memories,
As so many Communions
And resurrections of spirit,
As chains of Love in Time,
But always,
Only One Adorable Lord.

©2010 Joann Nelander

A Thousand Little Moments

I fail and I fall.
"Yes, Father, it’s me, again."
My prayers and tears reach Your heart with plaintiff sighs.

I reach for Love, as a baby grasps the finger,
Securing You to my heart,
Binding You by trifles.
A thousand little moments, like a knitter’s weave,
Trivial triumphs conquering like souls,
For made in Your image, I desire only You.

Of wooing, my begging be a part.
I turn, my God, to You, as a prayer with every care.
Prayer and tears, now, all one,
I nestle to Your breast and am all ear.
I listen as beat upon beat,
Love’s rhythm reassures me of the next ,
And, of Your eternal constancy.
I listen, as for a whisper, and fear not
Whisper every care, and fretful prayer.

I reach for You with every breath,
And sigh when You draw nigh.
You answer with a mother’s warmth,
Bending low, picking me up, and pressing me
To Your consoling bosom.

"What is it my child. Am I not here? Haven’t I given you all?"
You kiss away my tears
And delight in the exchange.
I have given nothing but complaint,
Yet, You are full of smiles.

A thousand little moments knit our day.
I cry and You comfort.
I beckon and You bend in kind regard.
You draw me into that chamber,
In which I was formed,
That hallowed space,
In which my time began.

Heaven and rest contained
In one all holy Name.
Name me, my God,
And I will come into being,
Called forth from my darkness
Into Your marvelous Day.

All our moments measured by Your mercy,
I cry out for a heart made unto Your own,
That I may grow to give Your Love.
Love begetting love, for love alone.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Sweet Solitude – Newly Published

ebook Apple iBookstore -Sweet Solitude -Available for ipad, iphone,ipod touch 

Into the Stillness – Poetry & Prayer

Miracle of the Sun–Faith for Today

Miracle of the Sun – Oct 13, 1917 – Apparitions of Fatima

Sixth Apparition at Fatima of the Virgin Mary

By October the news of Fatima spread more, and the people learned that a miracle was to happen. The children began to speak of the miracle which was to happen.

Seventy to one hundred thousand pilgrims came to the Cova da Iria.

It was pouring down rain and everything was very muddy. My family was very uncertain and feared that if the miracle did not take place; the people would want to kill the three children.

Once there, moved by an interior impulse, I asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray a Rosary. Soon after that there was a flash of light, and Our Lady appeared above the oak tree. Lucia asked: “What do you want of me?”

I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.”

“I have many things to ask you: the cure of some sick persons, the conversion of sinners, and other things . . . “Read more.

“Some yes, but not others. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.” Looking very sad, Our Lady said: “Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended.”

Then, opening her hands, she made them reflect onto the sun, and as she ascended, the reflection of her own light continued to be projected on the sun itself.

Who Is the Poorest of the Poor

Who is the poorest of the Poor?
Is it not the one deprived of womb?
Is it not the one gone unnamed?
Given a frame
But denied rightful claim,
Stripped bare of place,
No space to grow,
Deprived of a proper birth?
Is it not the one evicted,
Before drawing it’s first breath,
Whose beating heart is silenced,
With the sanction of the Court!?
With privacy,
Lest the whole world hear it’s cry?

Though a mother forget her child,
The Father of all fathers
Will not, no never, forget.
He has a place,
And a name,
For all the poor,
For the poorest
Of the poor,
Called “Beloved”
And “Poor No More”.

©2012 Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

I’m Spiritual, Not Religious

“I’m spiritual, not religious.”

I’ve heard this so often from  the most sincere people.  They seem to wear it as a badge for having accomplished some sort of rite of passage.

What is your translation for:

“I’m spiritual, not religious.”

Here’s mine:

“I want the comforts of Christianity, without the challenges.”

Becoming like Jesus Christ – a challenge that lasts a lifetime, it certainly takes committment and direction from something more substantive than one’s gut. Reflecting further:  Christ without a Body, why bother with the Cross.

I agree Church is work, and messy at times, just like a family, but Jesus thought we were up to this challenge with a little help from the Others in His Family, the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Actually, Christians get two Mothers, Mary and the Church.  The Church isn’t optional.  It is the Body of Christ.

"Moving Our Country from Democracy to Despotism,"

A call to action delivered by Cardinal Francis George:

As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we are deeply concerned that such an action on the government’s part would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism. Respect for personal conscience and freedom of religion as such ensures our basic freedom from government oppression. No government should come between an individual person and God–that’s what America is supposed to be about. This is the true common ground for us as Americans. We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion–including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.”

Full text follows:

“Hello. I am Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I’d like to take a moment to speak about two principles or ideas that have been basic to life in our country: religious liberty and the freedom of personal conscience.

On Friday afternoon, February 27, the Obama Administration placed on a federal website the news that it intends to remove a conscience protection rule for the Department of Health and Human Services. That rule is one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers–for doctors, nurses and others–who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith I God.

As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we are deeply concerned that such an action on the government’s part would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism. Respect for personal conscience and freedom of religion as such ensures our basic freedom from government oppression. No government should come between an individual person and God–that’s what America is supposed to be about. This is the true common ground for us as Americans. We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion–including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.

Conscientious objection against many actions is a part of our life. We have a conscientious objection against war for those who cannot fight, even though it’s good to defend your country. We have a conscientious objection for doctors against being involved in administering the death penalty. Why shouldn’t our government and our legal system permit conscientious objection to a morally bad action, the killing of babies in their mother’s womb? People understand what really happens in an abortion and in related procedures–a living member of the human family is killed–that’s what it’s all about–and no one should be forced by the government to act as though he or she were blind to this reality.

I ask you please to let the government know that you want conscience protections to remain strongly in place. In particular, let the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington know that you stand for the protection of conscience, especially now for those who provide the health care services so necessary for a good society. Thank you and God bless you.”

acertainslantoflight writing in Catholics in the Public Square reports the meeting of President Obama with Cardinal Francis George.  “The statement from the USCCB said: “The meeting was private. Cardinal George and President Obama discussed the Catholic Church in the United States and its relation to the new administration. The meeting lasted approximately 30 minutes.”

Private, yes, but one can guess that Obama’s attack on conscience issues in health related fields had to be in mind and mouth. The meeting followed by one day Cardinal George’s warnings of emerging “depotism” with the removal of conscience protection.

EWTN report here