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

I Watched a Friend at Prayer

I watched a friend at prayer.
From the moment her eyes
Met Yours on the Cross,
She was enraptured.

What is it that passes between like souls?
The gulf between You, God,
And Your creature is unfathomable,
Yet, Your love spans the distance and dissimilarity
With the intimacy of a mother
Suckling her infant,
All giving, all gift and all grace.

I watched my friend at prayer.
The world about her changed.
A holy space surrounded her,
As angels hurried to and fro,
Now bowing, now prostrate, now adoring.

All prayer unites,
As earth receives its Savior-God,
As Man exercises dominion,
Freed from Sin and chains.

Angels in swift flight,
Aloft on mission-wings ,
Now ascending,
Now descending.

Peace on earth
To men of good will,
As Time and Eternity kiss,
Love knowing no distance.

I watched my friend at prayer,
As her prayer became my prayer,
You drawing all to Yourself.
Draw me now,
And all will in turn
Run after the odor of Your ointments.

 ©2011 Joann Nelander

Gathering Flowers

As a child,
Gathering flowers in a meadow,
I spend these hours
By your side, dear Mother.

Happily, you kiss each bloom,
I offer, playfully, to your lips.
Bunching them as a bouquet,
I press them into your hands,
And you, as mother’s do,
Press them to your heart.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Folly’s Zeal

Immodest child,
Immoderate man,
So, you think to slay dragons,
By wit and prowess,
Armed with nature’s sword.

You think it cruel
And mean-spirited,
That a “good” God
Choose to temper you,
By merciful humiliation.

He thwarts your inventions,
And plans of glory.
“All for God,” your dream,
Yet you are at the center,
With your well-chosen cross.

“Indiscreet zeal”
Immature man,
Undone by impatience,
Intemperance,
And swollen pride.

Each day God waits
Supplies the Way,
Plans a day
Filled to the brim
With humility’s simplicity.

Abandonment,
Acceptance,
Both arrow and bow,
To hit the mark
Marked out by Love.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Acknowledgement:

In a chapter called, “Immature Zeal” Ralph Martin points out the effectiveness overtime of “ordinary grace” and “common life,” in his book, The Fulfillment of All Desires, a Guidebook to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints.

Ralph quotes Sts. Teresa of Avila and Bernard to point out our folly in relying inordinately on ourselves to become holy and to do great things for God, both early in the spiritual life, and later on, when temptations are subtler.

Jesus , Savior in Repose

O, my Jesus, 
In gentle and humble repose upon the altar,
Wrap Your arms about me.
My body yearns for Your embrace. 

Only Your Humanity can unlock 
The treasure trove of grace, 
You hold in store for me, 
A repentant sinner,
Grace, You purchased for me 
By Your coming to Man as Man, 
In Your weakness and poverty and might.

You called Yourself,"Son of Man",
And by Your obedience, 
Suffering and Death upon the Cross, 
Showed us True Love.

All Holy, All Human, All Love, All God,
Son and Servant of God, 
Benefit and Benefactor of Man,
Apply the fruit of Your Saving Death
To my humanity,
To the glory of God,
And the continuous deification
Of my poor, desirous body and soul.

Conceive in me thoughts, words and deeds, 
Which bring to fulfillment our Father's plan 
For my life and eternity,
So, that purged of all Sin and concupiscence,
I might shine with radiant joy,
Hidden and secure in Your Heart, 
As does Your Virgin Mother, Mary.
"Be it done to me according to Your Word."
Amen.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

The Lord’s Joy

The Lord’s joy
Is my strength.
He persuades my heart
By gentleness.
His mercy is a fountain
Of inner mirth,
Springing up in all seasons,
To temper my sorrow,
To pour oil into my wounds,
To salt my friendships
And to delight the Father,
Who sees me
Running after His Son,
And dancing with David’s abandonment.

May I be the dimple
In Your smile,
Appealing as the uplifted arms
Of a child,
And the innocent sleep
Of a baby.

Gladness be my swaddling,
That You may
Impart to me
The power the weak
Have to touch
The Heart of God,
Accepting always
His Loving will.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander