Lord make this useless beggar useful.
Like the returning Prodigal
Nothing recommends me,
And everyone but You
Condemns me,
For my rags declare my misery.

You see me
But You do not turn away.
You rush to my side,
And embrace the little one
Who wanders from Your side.

I am to You
The lost and longed for
Child of Your Heart.
My provident possibility
Is all but destiny
Awaiting my “Amen”.

You draw the bath Yourself.
You allow Your angels the joy
Of tending to my wounds.
They touch me in consolation
As they once ministered strength
To You in the garden,
For they beheld me then in Your Holy Agony.

I am the child of Your sorrow
And Your glory.
Wash me and lovingly dress me
In Your robes of holiness and light.
You are creating me even now
While You gaze on me
For I am all “Yes”.

Your kindness and Your gentleness
Convince me beyond doubt.
I yield to You my sinfulness.
Every moment in Your Presence is grace-filled.
I have but to stretch out my hand
That You might place Your ring on my finger,
Put forth my feet to see them shod for
The journey to Your house.

I walk now in Your Kingdom,
For Your Presence makes light my steps
And sure the Way.
In Your embrace I find that I can dance merrily,
For the mysterious steps
Seem to come quite naturally
As long as I follow Your gentle persuasions.

Dance on my Father,
My Friend, my King, my All.
In Your arms I have found myself.
I have become Onesimus.

by Joann Nelander

For Fear Apart

Why apart? From the in-gathering, all embracing Mother Church you flee, to remain apart all the while, calling and yearning for your God.  You flee and I run after you, pursuing you at every turn, and twist and fall. I reach and you pull your hand away.  Why not stay?  My Body yearns for you. My members long to know you.

I wait upon your prayers with angels ready to dispatch.
O, Pardoned Soul, you seek your God in myriad ways, I am here, wedded to My Bride, always at her side. promised never to depart. You hold yourself apart.

You’ve built a chapel in your heart for others that play God,
I call and draw you by Love within the chapel of your heart.
You sigh as I tug at heart strings tight and taunt.  You resist Me for fear they’ll break. I woo, I’m told to wait.  You say you are not ready for Love’s music.

“Measure me Your Love,” you say.  “Give comfort, strength and sure supply, but do not on my ‘Yes’ rely.”

Perhaps the Bride, the Church, who bears My Word forth unto all centuries, has words you n’er obey, in dread fear of the “ought” you can not bear. You will your will be done on earth and choose to judge all heaven.   You want only love’s first glance, the sweet embrace and kiss upon the cheek, nothing too dear, nothing too deep.  It seems a bitter end, to lose yourself in giving all, O Measured One.

You know Love comes with a Cross, a Cross you fear to carry. You choose to stay apart and skirt the Cross. Alas, the world without has crosses, too.  They may come disguised in promised delight, but soon you’ll drag that empty dream uphill.  How long one longs and labors longingly and all alone beneath the weight of vanities profane,  I do not say. I only await a cry, a plea, glance of recognition.  When our eyes meet, then our hearts meet;  at long last your leap into the arms of One Who grasps you in your fall.

Be mine as Church joined to Husband.  At last the Lord of All can leap the walls you’ve built about yourself to know you now within His Sacred Heart, bearing your cross in His,making all things new and all your burdens light. Count now as joy life without measure.

Fear not my Church.   She is My Spouse, My very Body; I ,the Head.
I woo and wait,  now, as Groom upon the altar.  You must give yourself away.

by Joann Nelander