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

The #Saints Crowned in Glory

The Saints are longing for us,
Longing that we share their glory.
No harm in such ambition,
Says Bernard.

This glory is to be spread abroad
By God’s sovereignty
And generosity.
This glory is  none other
Than the glory in which the Father
Robed His dying Son.

It is  now reflected in His Saints,
Who in life picked up their cross,
And followed  Him upon their knees.

The battle they fought on Earth now is ours.
They continue with us,
The Church Triumphant,
Pleading for the Church Militant.

Blessed are those who were poor in spirit,
Who were merciful, loving their enemies,
Who mourned and who were persecuted,
Who were pure of  heart,
And sought peace
Through the wood of the Cross.

Blessed are all those gathered
To the Father’s  bosom.
Blessed are they and generous,
Interceding for the saints,
As they look for us to follow in their steps.

Brothers and Sisters,
Radiant in glory,
Beam forth Christ.

All happiness to His Saints
Rewarded now and forever.
All glory to the Father,
The Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen!

By Joann Nelander

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

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

Invite the Angels and Saints

I’ll be headed out the door in a few minutes to attend the Mass. It amazes me that year after year I have been given the grace to participate in daily mass. It is a great blessing especially since I am no saint.  I’m slogging it out here below hoping one day that Jesus will call me and bid me come to Him that with angels and saints I might be with Him forever.

Sometimes at communion, I am overjoyed but most often my feelings are like those expressed by the Little Flower.  Would that my response also be as hers.

What can I tell you, dear Mother, about my thanksgivings after Communion? There is no time when I taste less consolation. But this is what I should expect. I desire to receive Our Lord, not for my own satisfaction, but simply to give Him pleasure. I picture my soul as a piece of waste ground and beg Our Blessed Lady to take away my imperfections–which are as heaps of rubbish–and to build upon it a splendid tabernacle worthy of Heaven, and adorn it with her own adornments. Then I invite all the Angels and Saints to come and sing canticles of love, and it seems to me that Jesus is well pleased to see Himself received so grandly, and I share in His joy. But all this does not prevent distractions and drowsiness from troubling me, and not unfrequently I resolve to continue my thanksgiving throughout the day, since I made it so badly in choir. You see, dear Mother, that my way is not the way of fear; I can always make myself happy, and profit by my imperfections, and Our Lord Himself encourages me in this path.”

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