The Visitors

What did they say?
The men that came, then went their way.

Seeking the One all people long to see,
They left their hearths, these Wise Men Three.

“Where is He?”; the question echoes through ages long.
As He seeks a home ‘mong busy throng.

We prayed, sang and offered gifts beneath a tree.
Because He’s come for hearts, He’s come for me.

Where is He of blessed event,
Now the festive limbs are spent?

Has He found a hearth to call a throne?
Has He your heart to be His own?

©2015 Joann Nelander

Virgin Mary Consoles Eve

This painting is so consoling, I just have to share it again since Advent brings us closer and closer to the precious moment of our Savior’s birth.  He comes to save Fallen Man, and with such a gentle hand.

“Virgin Mary Consoles Eve”

Crayon and pencil by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO
Copyright 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

Scrooge and Sacramental Confession

I found John Clark’s reflection on Dickens’ Scrooge to be as the less literary say (i.e. me), “Right On!”
Via Seton Magazine

“There is an antithesis to “sleeping in Heavenly peace”; and that is, lying awake in hellish chaos. It’s a theme that arises in the great literature from the ancients to the moderns. The solution is repentance, which Scrooge would soon realize.

“He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk— that anything— could give him so much happiness.”

“Everything could yield him pleasure.”

Dickens’ words will resonate with the penitent who has just been absolved in the sacrament of Penance and regained the state of grace.

This Christmas, many penitents will stand in lines for Confession. When they step out of that Confessional, you may not see them dancing, but their hearts are doing what Fred Astaire could only imagine. Mere gravity is hopeless against tethering that joy. One need not try to fly; the tough task is staying on the ground.

There is a theological term for all this: the state of grace. The “state of grace” is a very formal term. It seems very stately and very graceful. Yet, there is a childlike exhilaration to the state of grace and an infantile innocence. The state of grace is the state of happiness, of peace, of rest, of joy, of love, of wonder, of excitement, of newness.

The story of Scrooge is a story of repentance. But the best stories of repentance are fact. Not fiction. As I have said, I love this story. It is regarded as some of the finest prose in the English language.

But please remember this: If Scrooge’s story moves you to sacramental repentance this Christmas, the greatest chapter wasn’t written by Charles Dickens. It will be written by you.”

With Charles Dickens’ Tiny Tim, we say, “God bless Us, Every One!”

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And fleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment and awe
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer:
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw!

By Joann Nelander

Blossom in the Desert

Sad the plight of Man,
Mourning the lose of Paradise.
Captive to cowardice,
Hiding from his God.
Cast out, betraying,
And accusing one another,
Empty of grace, forlorn.

One garden of hope remains.
One paradise,
Ready for the Spring.
One immaculate heaven on earth.
O Virgin, say but the Word,
And your “Fiat”
Will blossom forth in Faith,
Rarity of your virginal ground.

Immaculate fecundity,
Queen Mother, Desert Willow,
New Eve, bearer of New Adam,
With new creation, rejoicing.
Voicing all thanksgiving,
A Eucharist for the sons and daughters of God.

© 2011 Joann Nelander

Twelfth Day of Christmas

Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas
Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas!

The gift today is Twelve Drummers Drumming!
The twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of belief in The Apostles’ Creed.

The twelve points of the Apostles Creed are as follows:
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
5. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.

Merry Twelfth Day of Christmas!

via divine