Pray-as-you-go Mini-retreat–Acts of the Apostles

Pray-as-you-go Mini-retreat–Acts of the Apostles

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

Sweetly Count Our Hours

Lord, I’ m offering You a new day.

Already, You know,

‘this isn’t going to be pretty.’

I count on You to do what You have always done.

Take the morsels which Your hand has touched.

As for the rest,

with one mighty exhalation of  Holy Breath

Spirit the chaff away.

At day’s end,

as with all my yesterdays,

I will lay my head upon Your Breast,

and sweetly count our hours.

 

By Joann Nelander

I Dream of Heaven

Night and day, I dream of heaven.

O, not the dream that slumber brings,

that mirage that is tortuous,

with struggles and comings and goings,

jumbles and journeys

taking me far, far from home.

No, I speak now of the dream of my heart.

I dream of heaven, the cry of my heart.

With longing and yearning and surety of soul,

I labor in love for a home that I know.

Through all life’s long journey,

my days are replete

with a pilgrim’s desire,

that sheds light ‘to my feet.

Though weary, and broken, I no longer doubt,

That all heaven is waiting to welcome with shout,

one miserable sinner, it can’t do without.

By Joann Nelander

On Dying Today

crucificionicon

icon by the hand of Joann Nelander

A note from the Anchoress on retreat:

Just found this scrawled, uncharacteristically, in the back of a book –

When we meet God face-to-face, it is always a moment of grace,
but too it is a moment of judgment for us.
Judgment day, then, can be any day, any time, any particular
moment of an hour.
And so our death can happen many times,
a process of conversion, a process of turning to.
We die to ourselves, die to a particular sin or attachment,
and begin again, turning toward.
We no sooner die to one thing that we immediately
attach and live to another,
and judgment will come to that, too.
Sacrament of confession
hastens our dying and our rising,
the dying to the old self,
the rising to the new,
always, always, toward Christ.
Toward oneness, completion.
The Whole.
Life is a process of Incarnation.
Our reality, our wholeness, our completeness
in this world comes
through repeated offerings which we receive or refuse.
The Eucharistic Christ contributes to this formation, this process.
He enters us, we welcome Him.
One flesh.
Incarnation.
My whole woeful life just begun, again.

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.