Our Heritage – Incredible Sacrifice

archaeological digs to unearth the secrets of America’s first settlers. https://t.co/ahVBzi2CsN

— Jenna Lee

Come, O Creator

Depravity now has its day,
The festering city
Erupts to spew abuse,
First on its children,
And then on those
Who come to its aid.

Perversity mocks virtue,
Opening it’s robes,
To welcome strangers for a night,
No home, no family, no love.

Let Sin not reign,
Call out again.
Seek liberty of spirit,
Spurn license,
And licentiousness.

Love the enemy
Within and without.
All men have sinned,
All suffer,
Abused and abuser.

Come, O Creator of Man.
Come holy plan.
Fight the battle
With heavenly hosts.
Build on these ruins,
A nation that is pure and just.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Kindling and Sacrifice

Light a fire in my lowly heart
That I may love Thee
More and more.

Accept my straw as kindling.
Ignite me as a sacrifice.
To be consumed.

Breathe on me in the furnace
Of your desires
For this child of Your creation.

Blaze to transform
By grace and Thy Holy Spirit,
My base metal into the finest gold.

Enflame my yearning heart
That love may burst forth,
Forevermore.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Just One More Day

A Nation cries
In want of Thee.
Time hurries,
All the while consuming,
That which our hands have built.

Our plenty devoured
In furnaces of desire.
"More, give us more,
The engines roar. "

You wait,
That we might recognize
Your reign.
Your sun rises on each new day.
You are patient.
Wait, wait, wait….

Obedience is not our way.
We turn only blind eyes
And misprize chastisement’s scourge.
We know only
The gates of Hell demand,
Demand our sacrifice,
Human sacrifice.
We do not deny them.

No place too sacred to invade.
Give the gods their due,
For they pay our way.
After all, we are only clay,
Living to be merry
One more day.

You speak of Love and Eternity.
Our bellies cry out "Now"
"Who needs Your Throne!"
Give us bread without God Alone.
Our way,
Just one more day.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Just One More Day

A Nation cries
In want of Thee.
Time hurries,
All the while consuming,
That which our hands have built.

Our plenty devoured
In furnaces of desire.
“More, give us more,
The engines roar. ”

You wait,
That we might recognize
Your reign.
Your sun rises on each new day.
You are patient.
Wait, wait, wait….

Obedience is not our way.
We turn only blind eyes
And misprize chastisement’s scourge.
We know only
The gates of Hell demand,
Demand our sacrifice,
Human sacrifice.
We do not deny them.

No place too sacred to invade.
Give the gods their due,
For they pay our way.
After all, we are only clay,
Living to be merry
One more day.

You speak of Love and Eternity.
Our bellies cry out “Now”
“Who needs Your Throne!”
Give us bread without God Alone.
Our way,
Just one more day.

purity of heart.m4a

 

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

Love Take Me Captive


O Captain of my heart
On Love’s Tree
You penetrate the Lie.

You, victorious in Death,
Descend, piercing the Earth
To ransom Adam’s seed.

Scale my stony ramparts;
Pull down vanity’s tower;
Besiege the Gates of Hell.

Trumpet Your holy rage.
As with thundering steed and burnished sword,
Capture and hold fast my soul.

Call “Beloved” Your desolate one;
Call “Espoused” she who mourns
Her innocence’s demise.

Circle me about with Promise.
Covenant me in Blood Sacrifice.
Ascend on high with wedded bride..

O, Love Divine, make me Thine!

 

by Joann Nelander

Prayer Turns Aside the Whole Anger of God

From the treatise On Prayer by Tertullian, priest

The spiritual offering of prayer

Prayer is the offering in spirit that has done away with the sacrifices of old. What good do I receive from the multiplicity of your sacrifices? asks God. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, and I do not want the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and goats. Who has asked for these from your hands?

What God has asked for we learn from the Gospel. The hour will come, he says, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. God is a spirit, and so he looks for worshipers who are like himself.

We are true worshipers and true priests. We pray in spirit, and so offer in spirit the sacrifice of prayer. Prayer is an offering that belongs to God and is acceptable to him: it is the offering he has asked for, the offering he planned as his own.

We must dedicate this offering with our whole heart, we must fatten it on faith, tend it by truth, keep it unblemished through innocence and clean through chastity, and crown it with love. We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and hymns. Then it will gain for us all that we ask of God.

Since God asks for prayer offered in spirit and in truth, how can he deny anything to this kind of prayer? How great is the evidence of its power, as we read and hear and believe.

Of old, prayer was able to rescue from fire and beasts and hunger, even before it received its perfection from Christ. How much greater then is the power of Christian prayer. No longer does prayer bring an angel of comfort to the heart of a fiery furnace, or close up the mouths of lions, or transport to the hungry food from the fields. No longer does it remove all sense of pain by the grace it wins for others. But it gives the armor of patience to those who suffer, who feel pain, who are distressed. It strengthens the power of grace, so that faith may know what it is gaining from the Lord, and understand what it is suffering for the name of God.

In the past prayer was able to bring down punishment, rout armies, withhold the blessing of rain. Now, however, the prayer of the just turns aside the whole anger of God, keeps vigil for its enemies, pleads for persecutors. Is it any wonder that it can call down water from heaven when it could obtain fire from heaven as well? Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. But Christ has willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good.

Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains. Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.

All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee. As they come from their barns and caves they look out to heaven and call out, lifting up their spirit in their own fashion. The birds too rise and lift themselves up to heaven: they open out their wings, instead of hands, in the form of a cross, and give voice to what seems to be a prayer.

What more need be said on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord himself prayed. To him be honor and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Celebrating My Feastday!

My middle name is Concetta.  Growing up my mom translated it as “Constance” which I always liked because I felt called to be “constant” in my faith.  I think that helped me try harder.  This year I looked up “Concetta” and found:

CONCETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Italian cognate of CONCEPCIÓN

CONCEPCIÓN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: kawn-thep-THYON (Spanish), kawn-sep-SYON (Latin American Spanish)

Means “conception” in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

What a gift this late in life to find yet another call on my life.  I’ve worn the Miraculous Medal since childhood and now I feel a bit closer to the mystery of what God has in mind for me. So I celebrate this day in an even more personal way.

That brings me to the other side of celebration. As I was heading off to Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and my Feastday, I was greeted by an icy driveway, and lots of slipping and sliding.  Treacherous as the roads and walks were,though, what a delight it was to make it through the church doors and have my heart lifted by the stalwart souls packing the pews. Sacrifice and celebration seem to go hand in hand.

The winds are still blowing outside and now the roads are littered with tumble weed.  What joy! Crazy as it my seems, when it costs me a bit,  I value the moment all the more.

Intense Hunger for God – Purgatory

Since these Easter days lead up to Mercy Sunday, I read a little from Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina’s diary.  Here’s what got my attention. It has to do with purgatory.

1185 July 9.1937. This evening, one of the deceased sisters came and asked me for one day of fasting and to offer all my [spiritual] exercises on that day for her. I answered that I would.

1186 From early morning on the following day, I offered everything for her intention.  During Holy Mass, I had a brief experience of her torment, I experienced such intense hunger for God that I seemed to be dying of the desire to become united with Him.  This lasted only a short time, but I understood what the longing of the souls in purgatory was like.

Praying for the souls in purgatory is, of course, a good work and a good habit, but sometimes I lose track of who they actually are. They can seem a homogenous mass of unknown people, like the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on our Statue of Liberty.  Who are they to me personally.  For me, they are my mother and father, my husband’s mother and father, sister and brother, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who have preceded me in death, intimate loved ones awaiting my prayers. Somehow it makes a difference to how I pray and that I pray.

My Imitation of Christ

The Voice of Christ:

“COME to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

The bread which I will give is My Flesh, for the life of the world.

Take you and eat: this is My Body, which shall be delivered for you. Do this for the commemoration of Me.

He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”


The Offering of Christ on the Cross; Our Offering

The Voice of Christ:

AS I offered Myself willingly to God the Father for your sins with hands outstretched and body naked on the cross, so that nothing remained in Me that had not become a complete sacrifice to appease the divine wrath, so ought you to be willing to offer yourself to Me day by day in the Mass as a pure and holy oblation, together with all your faculties and affections, with as much inward devotion as you can. What more do I ask than that you give yourself entirely to Me? I care not for anything else you may give Me, for I seek not your gift but you. Just as it would not be enough for you to have everything if you did not have Me, so whatever you give cannot please Me if you do not give yourself. Offer yourself to Me, therefore, and give yourself entirely for God — your offering will be accepted. Behold, I offered Myself wholly to the Father for you, I even gave My whole Body and Blood for food that I might be all yours, and you Mine forever. But if you rely upon self, and do not offer your free will to Mine, your offering will be incomplete and the union between us imperfect. Hence, if you desire to attain grace and freedom of heart, let the free offering of yourself into the hands of God precede your every action. This is why so few are inwardly free and enlightened — they know not how to renounce themselves entirely. My word stands:”Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be My disciple.” If, therefore, you wish to be My disciple, offer yourself to Me with all your heart.