Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

“We Are at War” and “The Angels are Better than Superman” -<strong>Dr Peter Kreeft

Beyond Tears

I just want to rest here,
In a place beyond tears.
When You see me,
In my life’s blood,
You will not pass me by.

Shepherd,
That you are,
Lift me to Your shoulder.
Carry me
The rest of the way.

I consent to Your ministries,
Trust in Your mercies.
As Your strong arms
Enfold me.

I am comfort,
Through and through,
For I will to be
One with You,
And You have given me
My heart’s desire.

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

LIFTED UP, I AM DRAWN

Lifted up,
You hang above the world.
Your outstretched arms
Measure the breath of Your Love.

How great the distance between us,
Yet, greater still,
Your unquenchable thirst for me.

I am a child, a lowly one,
Troubling you yet and always.
I tug at the hem of Your garment
While You tug at my heart.

Lord of my hopes,
Lord of my longing,
Lord of my sorrows,
Lord of my weeping,
Ruler of all Time and Space,
You draw me to an Eternity in Your Embrace.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Lifted Up, I Am Drawn

Lifted up,

You hang above the world.

Your outstretched arms

Measure the breath of Your Love.

 

How great the distance between us,

Yet, greater still,

Your unquenchable thirst for me.

 

I am a child, a lowly one,

Troubling you yet and always.

I tug at the hem of Your garment

While You tug at my heart.

 

Lord of my hopes,

Lord of my longing,

Lord of my sorrows,

Lord of my weeping,

Ruler of all Time and Space,

You draw me to an Eternity in Your Embrace.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Lifted Up, I Am Drawn

Lifted up,

You hang above the world.

Your outstretched arms

Measure the breath of Your Love.

 

How great the distance between us,

Yet, greater still,

Your unquenchable thirst for me.

 

I am a child, a lowly one,

Troubling you yet and always.

I tug at the hem of Your garment

While You tug at my heart.

 

Lord of my hopes,

Lord of my longing,

Lord of my sorrows,

Lord of my weeping,

Ruler of all Time and Space,

You draw me to an Eternity in Your Embrace.

 

©2014 Joann Nelander

There Was a Knock on the Door

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Sorrow Of Heart -The Imitation of Christ

SORROW OF HEART

IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses, and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life. Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls, but often indulge in empty laughter when we have good reason to weep. No liberty is true and no joy is genuine unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself in holy contrition. Happy is the man who casts from him all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man. Habit is overcome by habit. If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do. Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others and do not become entangled in the business of your superiors. Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself instead of your friends.

If you do not enjoy the favor of men, do not let it sadden you; but consider it a serious matter if you do not conduct yourself as well or as carefully as is becoming for a servant of God and a devout religious.

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body. Yet if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation. When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep; whether he thinks of himself or of his neighbor he knows that no one lives here without suffering, and the closer he examines himself the more he grieves.

The sins and vices in which we are so entangled that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestly if you would think more of an early death than of a long life. And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe you would willingly endure labor and trouble and would fear no hardship. But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and since we are enamored of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent. Our wretched body complains so easily because our soul is altogether too lifeless.

Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears in full measure.”[5]

Tears’ Requite

Awash on  shores of errant heart,
Crystalline soldiers wend their depart.

The battle o’er, the mend begun,
Hovering Spirit break forth thy sun.

You tugged as moon on ebbing tide,
To etch and burrow as to chide,

But than as swells of billowed lace,
You left a smile of radiant grace.

To purge my soul of sorrow’s trough,
You gently rain to Spirit off

The crust and brine of life’s past sin,
and let your troves of laughter in.

Providence of wind and wave
Serve but to resurrect and save.

by Joann Nelander

Joy and Sorrow

H/T Franciscan Flowers:

Just as one season moves into another, so are there like seasons in our life cycles. There are times of joy and beauty and times of sorrow and suffering. They sometimes go hand-in-hand. They are companions on our journey. We need to befriend them, not control them. When we hold on to either or both, we stop growth. We stop God’s work in us. Spring, summer, fall, winter–each has its beauty and difficulties; each has its dyings and risings. We need to let God be God. We need to depend on God’s strength in each phase of the journey. “Fear not. I am always with you.”

Sister La Donna Pinkelman, OSF Sylvania, Ohio

Remembering Michael

Amy Welborn shares not only her grief but her gratitude for all that is Michael.  Amy writes:

“How can I, even as I acknowledge the crushing, puzzling, confusing loss and my shattered heart  – for even Jesus wept –  how can I say that I love him and that I believe all this stuff we both said we believed is actually true – and not allow some gratitude, albeit limited and struggling gratitude – to creep into my soul, for that thing, which is not a small thing, but a great thing?”

It will be a good day to die when someone who knows me intimately can write:

He prayed the Office almost every day of the last 25 years or so. Prayed the rosary every day for longer. Went to Mass almost every day.

He prayed, and knew intimately all those words I have been praying – or trying to pray – so intensely over the past week.

Thirsting for God. Rescuing from the snares of the enemy. Letting Christ live in me, being consumed, taken over by Christ, the Risen One,  alive in Him. Praying for that. Every day. Asking God for mercy, for forgiveness, for peace. For the total embrace of Love.