Refuge of Sinners

Refuge of Sinners

I sit in the sunshine of Your New Day.
Forgiveness has washed over me.
At Your Word,
Mercy has rained upon Your Beloved.

Hear now, You say to me:
You are safe, My little one.
You have chosen to hide yourself
In the Wound of My Sacred Heart.

The world about is cold and unholy,
Yet you are surrounded by angels of Light.
Warm and welcoming is the Living Flesh
That is your constant refuge.

I enfold you,
As you have  made My Body,
Your Food, your Heart,
Your own.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Brink of Eternity

Good morning, Jesus.
Here we are again,
At the beginning of a new day.

Can you feel me?
Here I am in Your Great Heart,
Reaching for You with my heart.

I feel Your eyes upon me.
You are perfume to my senses.
You are the touch of sweetness
I taste wafting on the breeze of Spirit.

You sound in my heart
With the beating of Yours.
Ever near, ever dear, everlasting,
Song of my soul.

Good morning, my Jesus.
Hold me here,
On the brink of eternity.

©2014 Joann Nelander

Smiling Eyes

Lying in the sunshine of Your love,
Recounting humming bird days,
Flitting as flashes flung to the heavens,
I look to the horizon,
For the rising of yet another sun.

I feel I know You.
It is me I doubt,
But I don’t know why.
I have spent my life
Becoming what I think
You want me to be.
Others, though, have always
Seemed to do it better.

Here I am at eve tide,
Recounting the many waters,
That wash these shores.
Your Beauty plays for me,
Painting the setting sun;
I guess, to reassure my clay
Of The Love You are,
As I still look for me,
Reflected in Your smiling eyes.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

On the Way to Heaven

I like to think it’s all about transformation here or hereafter that is if we choose by our lives to love God. Here is a homily given on All Souls Day-2014 by  Fr. Michael DePalma
“-Padre Pio had many incredible, mystical gifts.  One such was the gift of being able to witness many souls in Purgatory who came to visit him during the course of a typical day.  Often they would just be there, asking him to pray for their intercession. Other Franciscan priests have verified this, because on occasion they themselves were also able to see the person who had come to visit Padre Pio.
-But on one occasion Padre Pio was in the choir loft after the church was locked saying his prayers when he heard what sounded like a candlestick falling.  He looked down from the loft and saw a Friar moving around the altar.  So he shouted down to him asking who he was and what was he doing there. The friar said that he was visiting.  Padre Pio came down the stairs and asked which monastery he was from.  The friar said, “This one.”  Padre Pio replied, “How could that be, I’ve been here for years and I have never seen you.”  The friar said, “I was here 100 years ago.  I was the sacristan.” It was then that Padre Pio noticed that the friar had been dusting the candlesticks on the altar.
-And the friar at the altar turned to Padre Pio and said that he was sent from Purgatory for he had been there 100 years and no one had ever prayed for him. He was requesting Padre’s prayers. Padre Pio asked the friar what did he do to merit Purgatory and the friar answered that when he was saying Mass, and when he was performing his duties as sacristan, he wasn’t always reverent to the Holy Eucharist.  He was very sloppy, especially around the altar.  The next morning Padre Pio said Mass for the intention of this friar, and he was able to mystically see this poor soul from Purgatory enter into heaven itself.
– “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”  Only the pure get to go to heaven.  That is why so many saints and theologians have said over the centuries that for those who will avoid going to hell, the majority of people will have to go through Purgatory first, before receiving the great reward of heaven.
-Though it sounds a bit cheesy, it is still true:  heaven is for people who are dying to get there.  And anything that gets in the way of us getting to our eternal home has to go, has to be removed—we have to die to ourselves.
-But most of us are not at that point yet.  We are still too attached to our ways:  to our hatred and anger, to our gossiping, to our lustfulness, to our overindulgences, to our selfish thoughts.
We need purification.  We need Purgatory.
-However, belief in Purgatory has declined in modern times because the modern mind has forgotten two extremely important things:  the purity of God, and the horror of sin.
-Because so many people today are used to getting away with so much that they should not be doing, we have to admit that our teachers, our bosses, our husbands or wives, our mothers or fathers would be amazed to know all of the stuff that we do behind their backs.  And we just continue with that attitude, going so far as to think that even God is not aware of what we are doing, or if He is, no worries, He will just let us slide. Continue reading

Prayer and the Indwelling Christ

Your gaze have made it very easy,
praying that is.
Yet, for such as me,
it’s still very hard,
not seeing You across the table.

Your eyes follow me.
I know You hear me.
“It’s not You, it’s me”,
as faulting lovers say.

Your gaze never leaves me,
I can feel it
in the depths of my being.
I am never alone.

You wait,
as I turn to trifles,
or beat down troublesome giants.
You dwell upon my last words,
feeling my joy or pain
through every season of my soul.

Though my words can stop mid-sentence
or conversation cease,
still You know the whole.
With the patience of eternity, my God waits.

Eventually, I turn back to You.
Your eyes sear my soul,
O, that my heart could return that gaze.

On the best of days,
unless You bind me to You, I flit.
A thousand trumpets vie for my ear
and I am torn.

New love has a magic,
erasing the world, and becoming all.
Re-ignite that flame in me
To shut out causes, fears and strife.

Your Presence felt is strength and consolation,
Your tug is joy
and Your conversation sweetness.
If pain be the messenger
that draws me back to You,
so be it.
Better the torment of an earthly purgatory
than the foretaste of hell.

If it seems I sit at our table alone,
the note of sadness betrays the truth.
I miss you and the missing is from You.
You beckon anew.

Sup with me.
Dwell with me.
Gaze on me.
I am not alone.
My Christ is with me.

By Joann Nelander

Mother of Our Re-Creation – the New Eve

John the Baptist baptizing Christ

Image via Wikipedia

Mother of our re-creation, Chosen One,
Queen Mother of Our Savior and Salvation,
Through You The Father has restored
Life and beauty to Creation.

The poison of Adam’s Fall
Has now an antidote and more.
Your humility lifts Eve to her feet,
And sets her wailing heart at peace,
For her children have a Remedy.

The punishment of Death decreed,
Which we suffer in this life,
And at its end,
Because of Father Adam’s Sin,
That Death is now a Door.

God made us like Himself,
So we, too, have a choice.
We may enter the waters of Baptism
As Christ entered the waters of Mary’s womb,
Clothing Himself in human form,
And the waters of the Jordan,
Preparing a way for our resurrection.

Jesus despised not our wretchedness,
But invested Himself in our plight,
By taking flesh as a mantle,
Worn into battle for the fight.

At the beginning of His earthly life,
Jesus entered the water of humanity
In the womb of Mary.
At the beginning of His earthly ministry,
Christ’s purifying presence
Entered the Sea of Man and Sin
In the waters of the Jordan.

Jesus, Son of Mary, the New Eve,
Blessed the Jordan waters.
By entering our pollution,
The Sinless Savior made it a symbol
Of the endless stream,
That washes sin away
And joins us to Himself.

Christ has offered us
His Life and Resurrection
In bidding us, ‘Come to the Water.’
This Water is for all the Children of Eve
Both womb, and tomb.

All Creation rejoices at our Restoration.
In Baptism’s holy bath,
We are saved and re-created,
The First Fruit of the glory
Of the Virgin’s First Born Son,

Our new Mother receives us from our dying
As she did the Body of her Son at the Cross.
Mother Mary is rewarded for her sorrow
And crowned for her hope.

By Joann Nelander