Believe

O Man, believe
That the Virgin did conceive
Her God and mine
And happily thine.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Centering Prayer’s Misunderstading of Contemplation SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Centering Prayer’s Misunderstanding of ContemplationOctober 24, 2015 by Connie Rossini Filed under Books, Centering Prayer, Connie Rossini, FEATURED, New Age, Prayer 18 3 1 3 Centering Prayer’s Misunderstanding of ContemplationThe following is an excerpt from Connie’s new bookIs Centering Prayer Catholic? Fr. Thomas Keating Meets Teresa of Ávila and the CDF.This excerpt comprises Chapter Five: The Nature of Contemplation. DetailThomasKeatingDiscussionWithTheDalaiLamaBoston2012Fr. Keating writes, “Contemplation is a fundamental constituent of human nature and hence available to every human being.”[1] This is a serious error. It makes contemplation into a merely human action, like thinking or loving. Fr. Keating says that Christian contemplation and Buddhist meditation “are basically the same thing,” and both employ many methods.[2] He also says, “Contemplation… is not so much a gift as a given.”[3] Contrast this with the Catechism: “Contemplative prayer is the simplest expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty.”[4]What does this mean more concretely? If contemplation is a gift, as the Catechism says, then God gives it as he wills and to whom he wills. Contemplation is really a deeper entering into the life of God through intimacy with Christ. It is not an altered state of consciousness. It cannot be achieved by human endeavor. Although God wills to draw every person into this intimacy, that does not mean that everyone, wherever he may be in the spiritual life, has immediate access to it. Human nature is not enough to make one a contemplative. Even the sacramental grace given at Baptism is insufficient to make one a contemplative. Contemplation requires a special act of God. When the soul has done all it can with ordinary grace to draw near to God, God draws near to the soul. This is the orthodox view. Letter to the Bishops indicates that Fr. Keating’s mistake is a Gnostic one: In combating the errors of pseudognosticism the Fathers [of the early Church] affirmed that matter is created by God and as such is not evil. Moreover, they maintained that grace, which always has the Holy Spirit as its source is not a good proper to the soul, but must be sought from God as a gift.[5]

Source: Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Centering Prayer’s Misunderstading of Contemplation SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

All You Have Given Me

I love You, Lord. You embrace me in our communion of Eucharist. I believe in Your love for the sinner. I am that sinner. You come to me. I am empty and poor, yet You make my poverty Your paradise. Here I bring to You all You have given me.

Behold Your streaming waters tumbling over my rocky ground. Your light penetrates my depths; the caverns of my heart yield their darkness to You, O Holy Sun! Sit here beside me in silence, as praise becomes an uncontainable river within me.  Flow  from my humble abode to water Your thirsting world without.  Delight, O Lord, at the crashing thunder as majestic waves rise before You in a crescendo of thanksgiving, finally pounding down upon the shore of my unworthiness.  They ebb and flow and gather strength as I remember Your Mercies.  All You have given me, I give now with gratitude.

Eagles dance in the air above our heads, grasping as claws hold fast, spinning  in wedded bliss;  their flight a symbol of our holy love.

Joann Nelander

Mysterious Will of God

From Your Cross
You looked upon Man
Your eyes were blinded
By Your Own Blood.
You could not even wipe
That Blood away,
For bound to a Cross,
Your Hands were held fast
To the mysterious Will
Of Your Father.

In Your Bloody Blindness,
You felt the anguish of rejection,
The rejection of Your People,
The rejection of the kings of the Earth,
The rejection of the once adoring crowds,
The rejection of cowardly friends,
Rejection of High Priests of Covenant Old,
And the rejection of disciples,
Destined to proclaim the New,
Alone,
Save for the Mother,
The Beloved Disciple
At her side,
And the repentant Magdalene,
Who knew both Sin
And deliverance at Your Hand.

From Your Cross
Look upon me.
See with Your heart
To forgive my Sin.
Draw me by way
Of the Blood and Water
Flowing from Your Pierced Side.
Wash away my Sin
In that Holy Tide,
That the Mysterious Will
Of Your Father
Give life to yet another son.
Thy will be done.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Home, Hearth, and Throne

Mother Mary,
You were with Jesus
From the instant
Of His Incarnation.
With your "Fiat",
The Promise
Became a Man,
Dwelling with you,
In profound peace
And humility.

It was you
Who knew
This first intimacy,
Who cherished and adored.
Who waited upon Him,
With heart,
And mind,
And body.

The only eyes
That could see Him
At this tender age,
Were yours,
As you gazed on Him
With the eyes
Of your intellect
And soul.

An inward glance
Set your Immaculate Heart ablaze,
As you became,
Home and hearth,
And throne,
For a Child of one cell,
Growing and destined
To rule the world,
As He had reigned
From eternity.

A Man like no other
And, yet,
Intimately,
One with all.

Open our eyes
To your Son.
With the Centurion,
Who presided
Over the Crucifixion
Of the Christ,
And opened His Side.
End our idolatry,
So we, too, cry
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Mother Mary,
Behold your Son
In me.
Prepare me to be
Home and hearth
And throne,
For Christ alone.

©2012 Joann Nelander

To Seek Bliss

Seek grace before bliss.
To seek bliss,
Is to seek the gift
May be to shun the Giver.

Who conjures dreams matters.
My pleasure may  spring
From forbidden springs.

Before I entrust
Myself to gods,
Should I not seek
To discern truth
From Truth.

Come, come,
O, kind Spirit of Truth,
Though You contradict my way,
I promise to obey,
Clad in Your grace,
Day by day.

©2012  Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Today’s Flowers

Today, as I pick flowers,
From the garden of life,
In which You have
Chosen to plant me,
By the gift,
You have granted me,
From Your Most Holy Cross,
In giving me
Your very own Mother,
I press each blossom,
Fresh and humble,
Into the open
Hand of Mother Mary.

I await,
With great expectation,
The magnificent bouquet,
The Woman is arranging,
As she gathers
In Her Immaculate Heart,
All the prayers,
Works and sacrifices,
Proffered by the saints,
Poured out in faith
Through the ages.

May the sweet aroma
Scent the hope
Of this day,
And please You,
You, Who,
In the Love,
That brought You
To Your Cross,
Receive my heart’s desire,
As You accepted
The precious tears
Of the Magdalen,
And the sweet anointing oil,
Lavished upon You,
In repentant sorrow.

You, Who love eternally,
Those who love much,
In return for Your Divine
And undying forgiveness,
Press these,
All abloom,
To Your Most Sacred Heart.

Copyright 2013 Joann Nelande
All rights reserved