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

People of Praise

Your people praise you, O Lord.
As points of light,
Scattered about
The surface of the Earth.
Together with angelic choirs,
That dot the firmament,
Your children sing.

With fish, and bird,
With rivers and seas,
With mountains,
And heavenly heights,
Creation sings in chorus,
Affirmation,
Acclamation,
And affection,
In sanctifying hosannas,
That fall as bountiful rain,
To water man and beast
With fruitful exaltation,
Multiplying our delight,
As we magnify our God.

We are your mothers,
Fathers, sisters,
Brothers, friends
Of Your fold,
Returning praise,
And worship due
The Most High Lord
Of all creation.
In Your Light we
Become Your Light.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Beholding Past, Present & Future

christ_of_saint_john_of_the_cross

In Time,
Yet above it,
Beholding Past, Present and Future,
Christ, look upon my fore-bearers,
Still alive by virtue of an immortal soul.

Look upon my world, spinning in Space,
Held in its journey through Time,
By Your Father’s Almighty Word,
Destined for Judgement,
Bequeathed Mercy.

Look upon me,
In my time,
In my place,
On my journey.

My Jesus, Mercy.

 

© 2016 Joann Nelander