A Prayer in Adoration

Here I am Lord,
Sitting, kneeling,
Prostrate in spirit
Before You, adoring.
Who You are in Your glory
Lies hidden under the appearance
Of this Holy Bread before me.

You have revealed to Your Church
The wonder, and magnificence
Of Your living Presence.
With Mother Church,
I extol Your beauty.
Truths come to mind
And I give assent.

I am married to You,
O Holy Bridegroom.
In the fullness of time,
I will embrace You
With a glorified vision and body,
But, for now, I reach with heart
And mind’s eye to catch a glimpse
Of this splendid Truth
Hidden as it is
‘Neath Bread and Wine
And broken Body on a Cross.

Favor me with an increase
Of love and desire,
Until my longing tears free
From all that holds me captive still.

I know my blindness,
And have seen my foolishness.
In my poverty and need,
I seek refuge here
Before Your eyes.

Your Truth,
Your splendid Truth, be mine!
These are such glorious Truths,
I can not comprehend them
In their reality and breath.
I can only glimpse them,
And cry out in hope and faith.

My adorable Lord,
Looking upon me now as always,
Gather to Yourself,
The groans and sighs of Spirit born,
Unto Your memories,
As so many Communions
And resurrections of spirit,
As chains of Love in Time,
But always,
Only One Adorable Lord.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

I love because I love, I love that I may love

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?

Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.

What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?

Your Glory I Give Them

From a homily on the Song of Songs by Saint Gregory of Nyssa, bishop

The glory you gave to me, I have given to them

When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good. They will possess the perfection ascribed to the dove, according to our interpretation of the text: One alone is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only child of her mother, her chosen one.

Our Lord’s words in the gospel bring out the meaning of this text more clearly. After having conferred all power on his disciples by his blessing, he obtained many other gifts for them by his prayer to the Father. Among these was included the greatest gift of all, which was that they were no longer to be divided in their judgment of what was right and good, for they were all to be united to the one supreme Good. As the Apostle says, they were to be bound together with the bonds of peace in the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. They were to be made one body and one spirit by the one hope to which they were all called. We shall do better, however, to quote the sacred words of the gospel itself. I pray, the Lord says, that they all may be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so they also may be one in us.

Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, he gave this glory to his disciples when he said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although he had always possessed it, even before the world existed, he himself received this glory when he put on human nature. Then, when his human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all his kin, beginning with his disciples. This is why he said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.

Whoever has grown from infancy to manhood and attained to spiritual maturity possesses the mastery over his passions and the purity that makes it possible for him to receive the glory of the Spirit. He is that perfect dove upon whom the eyes of the bridegroom rest when he says: One alone is my dove, my perfect one.

Entombed With Eucharistic Love

You, O Lord, inflame my heart.
Rush on me, O Lord!
Rush on me, O Holy Spirit,
As I devour You, O God,
Devour Me.

Descend into my depths.
Awaken my soul.
Resurrect my poor spirit.
Rise in my heart.
I am Your servant, Lord.

My members are now
Your members, Jesus.
My heart, Your heart,
My eyes, Your eyes,
My ears, Your ears.

Arise, O Lord! Inflame, O Lord!
On every cell imprint Your Name.
On every fiber, imprint Your Image.
My frame, Your temple,
My will, Your altar.

Yours, Yours, I am Yours.
Lay me down next to You,
Entombed in Eucharistic Love,
Now and forever, Yours.

Heart of my heart,
I love you,
Repaying Love with love,
Yet, wholly inadequate,

Living out of Your Being for supply.

Answering Your call,
The Spirit and the Bride, say “Come!”
I answer, “Come. Come, Lord Jesus,
Bridegroom of my soul!
Finally, eternally, come!

Come Eternal Flame!
Baptise me, O Holy Spirit;
Holy Fire of the Father’s Love.
Eternal Father, Trinity,
One Son, forever.  Eucharistic Sun.

by Joann Nelander