Upon the Altar


Pristine the whiteness
Engulfed in radiant flame,
Golden the rays,
Set about Your throne upon the altar.

For all the beauty of the monstrance,
You outshine the artist’s creation,
Just as You outshine creation.
Give me eyes to see reality.

My eyes are designed to apprehend matter,
Yet on Your altar
At the heart of the sacred monstrance
You give us Mystery and Divinity.

I long to look upon Your fleshly Flesh,
To see Your locks curl mildly on Your shoulders,
To see your holy Face,
The flash of smile and twinkle of the eye,
Majesty of manner, and goodly gentleness.

I gaze upon the Host,
All the while my heart and mind
Bring visions to the fore.
Power subdued in obedience
Might bowed to the Father’s Will.

Abandonment, a fulfillment of prophetic word,
Suffering and salvific,
A Babe, a Boy, a Man.

I see also your first dwelling
Your ark and monstrance,
Your beloved Mother.
With You in life,
And with You in Your dying,
Her Love undying.
Offering You to Father God
From womb to tomb,
In ignominy,
In dignity.

A life to quench God’s thirst for sanctity,
A life to swallow up God’s just wrath.
From the Cross You bequeathed to us Your Mother,
Your ark and monstrance,
With You at the center of all .

I gaze and contemplate,
You are Forever Sacrifice
And Redemption,
Refuge of the sinner
On the altar of Your Love.

Joann Nelander