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.

Riding the Wind

He rides the Wind in power and right,
Born of Eternal Light.
All goodness follow in His train,
Like comet tails, falling stars,
That fire my night.

Here light upon my soul and nest,
As spirit bird, find place of rest,
Spreading feathered wing
As shelter, and friend,
To Godly bless.

Stirring, fan the embers of my love,
To blaze anew in fire from above
Transforming dust and dross,
To forge one who walks
Amongst the flame, O Holy Dove.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Flight of Love

I press my ear
To  Your Heart, my Jesus.
With the beating rhythm,
That bounds within Your Breast,
My Spirit takes wing,
And rushes to Your Side,
That pierced and open side,
That Gate of Heaven.

“Enter,” You invite.
Leaving without my fear,
I enter in.

I am all ear,
You, all Heart
And Fire,
A furnace of Love.

My spirit faints
With longing.
A voice of spirit
Reassures and comforts.

In flight,
My soul alights,
Coming to rest,
As coming home.

You have always
Known me.
In an instant,
I know You,
And, only now,
Know me,
In consummate repose.

Glowing, two hearts beating as one,
Union of spirit,
Mine yielding to Yours,
To become truly myself.

Complete and Resplendent,
As the dawn of New Day,
Colored by a thousand rainbows,
Breaking ranks
And melting,
In a perfusion of light,
Dancing across my soul,
Reverberating, throughout the Universe,
In happy harmony.

O, Hallowed One,
We now are Three,
Your completeness
Embraces me.
I know all of heaven,
In knowing Thee.

Heaven has made room for me,
A sacred chamber,
And a mansion,
Raised in Your Rising in me.

I hear my new name
And am transfigured,
As You speak it.
Cor ad cor loquitor.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Over at Poetic Picnic Week 33 they having a blast …of words, rhyming or not.  Enjoy here

A Man Clothed in Sin

A man clothed in sin
Walked the long aisle
To stand before the Crucifix.

Long years,
No tears,
He came to say,
“You died for me,
And I don’t give a damn!”

The hardened before the Hallowed,
The clock running down,
Time spent and unreflected,
Deeds done and unrepentant.

Challenged to say the words,
He began,
“You died for me,
And I don’t give…”

Undaunted, he repeated,
“You died for me
And I don’t…..”
Gaze focused
On that bloodied Corpse,
Resolute, again, he began.
“You died for me…”
…….
“You died for me…”
“You died for me!”

Tears, tears,
Rivers of tears,
Years unspent,
And now in flood.

Miracles at the Red Sea,
Yet, none greater
Than the Passover,
One innocent Lamb,
Slain, and yet standing,
Lifted up,
Drawing thee.

© 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

 

Inspired by another story :

 

MONDAY, 6 AUGUST 2007

Cardinal Lustiger RIP 1926-2007


I didn’t always agree with the former Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who died yesterday, but his tenure of that see brought a great deal more good than harm, I think. On his watch, the Catholic life of the city gained a huge boost; the new movements revitalized many parishes, and vocations to the priesthood soared. I remember that he habitually celebrated Mass in Notre Dame almost every Sunday evening for the young people who came to that Mass; a great example to the other bishops of France, many of whom are facing the priestly extinction of their dioceses.
I heard a story attributed to him—maybe it is one he told rather than a story about himself (since he himself was a Jewish convert). I was given to understand that the story is a true one.
Two boys were, out of mischief, determined to tease their parish priest, so they went to confession and made up outrageous sins, just to see what the priest would say. The priest, listening to the second boy, realizing that he was being ‘had’, and hurt by the mockery of the sacrament, asked the second lad as a ‘penance’ to go to the crucifix over the tabernacle and shout out loud, three times ‘you died for me, and I don’t give a damn’. The lad did as he was asked; by the third time he was in tears. Some years later, he was ordained a priest.
May Jean-Marie Lustiger rest in peace.

The Church Conformed to Your Passion

Jesus Passions, Holy Monastery of Stavronikita...

Image via Wikipedia

Psalm-prayer for this day from the Office of Readings:

Lord Jesus, you foretold that we would share in the persecutions that brought you to a violent death. The Church formed at the cost of your precious blood is even now conformed to your Passion; may it be transformed, now and eternally, by the power of your resurrection.

Becoming Flame

Christ supported by two angels

Image via Wikipedia

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 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.

By Joann Nelander

Commentary on the Gospel of John by Saint Cyril of Alexandria

From a commentary on the gospel of John by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop

If I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you After Christ had completed his mission on earth, it still remained necessary for us to become sharers in the divine nature of the Word. We had to give up our own life and be so transformed that we would begin to live an entirely new kind of life that would be pleasing to God. This was something we could do only by sharing in the Holy Spirit. It was most fitting that the sending of the Spirit and his descent upon us should take place after the departure of Christ our Savior. As long as Christ was with them in the flesh, it must have seemed to believers that they possessed every blessing in him; but when the time came for him to ascend to his heavenly Father, it was necessary for him to be united through his Spirit to those who worshipped him, and to dwell in our hearts through faith. Only by his own presence within us in this way could he give us confidence to cry out, Abba, Father, make it easy for us to grow in holiness and, through our possession of the all-powerful Spirit, fortify us invincibly against the wiles of the devil and the assaults of men. It can easily be shown from examples both in the Old Testament and the New that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell; he so transforms them that they begin to live a completely new kind of life. Saul was told by the prophet Samuel: The Spirit of the Lord will take possession of you, and you shall be changed into another man. Saint Paul writes: As we behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, that glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit, transforms us all into his own likeness, from one degree of glory to another. Does this not show that the Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives? With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely other-worldly in outlook, and for cowards to become men of great courage. There can be no doubt that this is what happened to the disciples. The strength they received from the Spirit enabled them to hold firmly to the love of Christ, facing the violence of their persecutors unafraid. Very true, then, was our Savior’s saying that it was to their advantage for him to return to heaven: his return was the time appointed for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Purification in the Paschal Mystery

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council
(Gaudium et spes, nn. 37-38)

All human activity is to find its purification in the paschal mystery

Holy Scripture, with which the experience of the ages is in agreement, teaches the human family that human progress, though it is a great blessing for man, brings with it a great temptation. When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others.

The result is that the world is not yet a home of true brotherhood, while the increased power of mankind already threatens to destroy the human race itself.

If it is asked how this unhappy state of affairs can be set right, Christians state their belief that all human activity, in daily jeopardy through pride and inordinate self-love, is to find its purification and its perfection in the cross and resurrection of Christ.

Man, redeemed by Christ and made a new creation in the Holy Spirit, can and must love the very things created by God. For he receives them from God, and sees and reveres them as coming from the hand of God.

As he gives thanks for them to his Benefactor, and uses and enjoys them in a spirit of poverty and freedom, he enters into true possession of the world, as one having nothing and possessing all things. For all things are yours, and you are Christ€™s, and Christ is God€™s.

The Word of God, through whom all things were made, himself became man and lived in the world of men. As perfect man he has entered into the history of the world, taking it up into himself and bringing it into unity as its head. He reveals to us that God is love, and at the same time teaches us that the fundamental law of human perfection, and therefore of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love.

He assures those who have faith in God€™s love that the way of love is open to all men, and that the effort to restore universal brotherhood is not in vain. At the same time he warns us that this love is not to be sought after only in great things but also, and above all, in the ordinary circumstances of life.

He suffered death for us all, sinners as we are, and by his example he teaches us that we also have to carry that cross which the flesh and the world lay on the shoulders of those who strive for peace and justice.

Constituted as the Lord by his resurrection, Christ, to whom all power in heaven and on earth has been given, is still at work in the hearts of men through the power of his Spirit. Not only does he awaken in them a longing for the world to come, but by that very fact he also inspires, purifies and strengthens those generous desires by which the human family seeks to make its own life more human and to achieve the same goal for the whole world.

The gifts of the Spirit are manifold. He calls some to bear open witness to the longing for a dwelling place in heaven, and to keep this fresh in the minds of all mankind; he calls others to dedicate themselves to the service of men here on earth, preparing by this ministry the material for the kingdom of heaven.

Yet he makes all free, so that, by denying their love of self and taking up all earth€™s resources into the life of man, all may reach out to the future, when humanity itself will become an offering acceptable to God.

Blazing Anger – Triumphant Day

The crew of Divine Office.org in a “chatter & cheese” segment (spontaneous sharing after prayer), brought up a certain delight in God’s burning anger that we have been hearing about in the readings from the Book of Revelation for the last week or so.  The delight springs from a desire for justice that has been long awaited by the saints, martyrs, and, now by us in this Age.  Finally, the raging anger and wrath of God lays low all His enemies who throughout time have set themselves against Him, and caused suffering for His People.

One prevalent thought that emerged in the discussion voiced the notion that this Day of Wrath was in fact the Day of the Cross-the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord Jesus- the Day an unsuspecting Satan was conquered for all time and Eternity by the bloody sacrifice on Calvary.

“Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was (called) “Faithful and True.” He judges and wages war in righteousness. His eyes were (like) a fiery flame, and on his head were many diadems. He had a name  inscribed that no one knows except himself. He wore a cloak that had been dipped in  blood, and his name was called the Word of God.” Rev. 19:11-13

The discussion voiced another light, “The One on the Horse is Jesus.” Chris, said, “Maybe that battle was fought and won.” This Mystery, still unfolding in the world and in the Church in Time is one of triumph and exaltation of the King of Kings who is at hand and enthroned in Heaven and in His Church.

Another thought reflected the idea of transformation, transformation through the sacraments, through Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders.  “Burning anger is transformative, purifying.” We are transformed, become new creatures and are yet being fit for the Kingdom, here and yet to come, already but not yet, ”Yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

I image the Mystery of it in this way: it is as a block buster movie being made; when complete, the movie is presented as a whole, but in the process of becoming, it is made up of bits and pieces filmed at different times and different places, yet all part of the complete work and necessary to it.  We are being spliced into the triumphant victory of the Day of the Lord, so to speak, as each of us contributes her/his part.

Maranatha!

My Morning Prayer

son-of-justice1

If  Time and Space and all the created resist You, their Maker, let me be the void, a nothing, a nobody, empty as a vacuum, demanding Your entrance by Love if not by law.  Fill my space and time.  Topple my pride by Your Uncreated Presence. Now master chaotic waters and silence my current.  Still the fallen artistry of the proud “I, myself.”

Conqueror of all You survey, probe me, and finding me “all flaw”,  reign in Your handiwork, Oh Hearer of my prayer.  One person, one prayer, one poor heart’s entreaty; who can resist You or stand in the way of  Your advance?  My faith rests in Your infinity, your unending answer to trust.  Love transforms the Law by Covenant.  “The Lord sat enthrones over the flood; the Lord sits as King for ever.” (Psalm 29)