Listening and Silent

It seems…
I am always talking to You,
That I am always with You,
And have no doubt
You are with me,
Listening and silent.

I am an endless monologue.
You, hovering Spirit,
Wordlessly eloquent
Abide.
You are Presence and Truth,
Listening and silent,
Thunderously silent,
Save for the stirring of my heart,
And the sometime rush of thought,
Coming, as it were,
From the bowels of my being
With frightening conviction,
And challenging my reticence
To speak aloud
The thoughts of solitude.

Reluctant always
To go about,
And leave the cloister of my heart,
Where in Your chambers I find,
And hold dear,
Private audience with the King,

The world without is a noisy charade,
And woos the pride of me take center stage.
Where suddenly I realize
I have been talking much, too much,
To my regret.

I, naggingly, suspect
I have diminished
What was my treasure
And ceased to learn.
Cacophany of me,
I cease to learn,
And simply rearrange,
That with which I am familiar.

Where do prophet, poet and a would be recluse
Find voice if not in You,
Rejecting even audience
To find You in my silence,
Your silence?

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

A Blessing for New Life

All Holy, Almighty, Jesus, Purest Heart,
Look upon the sweet beings, God’s good creations,
Nestled in the sanctity of human wombs.
Encircle the world through these little ones,
With Triune Love.

Bless Mother Eve with the “Fiat” grace of Mother Mary,
To bring forth a generation wed to Your Holy Will,
Peacemakers, pious through obedience,
Loving by Your Spirit,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

May these, as Children of the Light, recognize You,
From their coming forth into a new day,
Giving witness, and preparing Your Way,
As John (blessed in his mother’s womb).

Give dominion to these,
As You did the First Adam,
To reclaim and grace Your Good Earth.

Endeavor

I love the way
You keep trying
To take the beautiful,
And make it more beautiful.

Is there no city on a hill,
No mountain grandeur,
Nor sweeping vista,
That can truly satisfy,
In its worldly reality?
Having travelled all byways,
Having scaled the heights,
Plumbed the depths
As far as you dare,
Seek still you will.
You want yet more.
You always will.

Memory does not suffice,
Camera and canvas fail.
Pixels and pigments,
Even when teased to their ends,
Falter and fall short
Of the image
Engraved on your heart.

It is as though,
At some level,
You intuit.
You fear.
You suspect.
No, you truly know.

There will always be,
One more quest,
Another dream,
Perfecting,
The not yet perfect.

You glimpse the Creator in creating.
With moon and stars,
With waterfall and rainbow,
With the wilderness and the wild,
You point.

For the sum of all,
Sunrises and sunsets,
Venues and vistas,
Still will not equal,
Just simply point.

You rise to the challenge,
Build to the crescendo,
And then must wait,
Wait till the Perfect comes.

At last,
At long, long last,
To know
The One to whom creation points
To know at last
The One True,
All Beautiful,
God.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Eyes

How often I beseech
“All the angels and saints”,
Yet, fail to realize
The multitude of the holy,
I call to my side.

They do come.
They come ready to aid,
To do battle,
To protect,
And do bless.

God give me eyes,
That I may see,
For, indeed,
I am, too often,
Blind.

There are wise infrared eyes,
Spying the sky.
We see our universe at its birth.
For eons,
We knew of no such birth.

Blindness of a kind
Can kill.
A child in the womb,
Heart beating for the cameras,
Still fails
To make a Presence known.
How blind the eyes
That refuse to see.

Father of all that is,
Give me eyes of the heart,
That I may
Make a start.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Out of Darkness

I AM WHO AM,
God beyond my grasp,
Outside of Time and Space,
How am I to know You?

Calling with the cry of a Babe,
You reveal Yourself,
To a people in darkness
That we may behold You.

You bring Light to my blindness.
I see in this Holy Infant,
“The Father and I are One.”,
“Whatever you do for one of the least,
You do for me.”

The heavy weight of Adam’s Sin
Is lifted as the Babe become Man,
Dies for the sons of Man.
You bring Salvation,
Good out of Evil.

I know You in believing.
I know You in repentance.
I know you in my deliverance,
And freedom to cry, “Abba”.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

Effects of Divine Love

My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a’ Kempis

Book Three-Fifth Chapter

The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love

The Disciple:

I BLESS You, O heavenly Father, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, for having condescended to remember me, a poor creature. Thanks to You, O Father of mercies, God of all consolation, Who with Your comfort sometimes refresh me, who am not worthy of it. I bless You always and glorify You with Your only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, forever and ever. Ah, Lord God, my holy Lover, when You come into my heart, all that is within me will rejoice. You are my glory and the exultation of my heart. You are my hope and refuge in the day of my tribulation. But because my love is as yet weak and my virtue imperfect, I must be strengthened and comforted by You. Visit me often, therefore, and teach me Your holy discipline. Free me from evil passions and cleanse my heart of all disorderly affection so that, healed and purified within, I may be fit to love, strong to suffer, and firm to persevere. Love is an excellent thing, a very great blessing, indeed. It makes every difficulty easy, and bears all wrongs with equanimity. For it bears a burden without being weighted and renders sweet all that is bitter. The noble love of Jesus spurs to great deeds and excites longing for that which is more perfect. Love tends upward; it will not be held down by anything low. Love wishes to be free and estranged from all worldly affections, lest its inward sight be obstructed, lest it be entangled in any temporal interest and overcome by adversity. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things. One who is in love flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free, not bound. He gives all for all and possesses all in all, because he rests in the one sovereign Good, Who is above all things, and from Whom every good flows and proceeds. He does not look to the gift but turns himself above all gifts to the Giver. Love often knows no limits but overflows all bounds. Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of troubles, attempts more than it is able, and does not plead impossibility, because it believes that it may and can do all things. For this reason, it is able to do all, performing and effecting much where he who does not love fails and falls. Love is watchful. Sleeping, it does not slumber. Wearied, it is not tired. Pressed, it is not straitened. Alarmed, it is not confused, but like a living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle. If a man loves, he will know the sound of this voice. For this warm affection of soul is a loud voice crying in the ears of God, and it says: “My God, my love, You are all mine and I am all Yours. Give me an increase of love, that I may learn to taste with the inward lips of my heart how sweet it is to love, how sweet to be dissolved in love and bathe in it. Let me be rapt in love. Let me rise above self in great fervor and wonder. Let me sing the hymn of love, and let me follow You, my Love, to the heights. Let my soul exhaust itself in praising You, rejoicing out of love. Let me love You more than myself, and let me not love myself except for Your sake. In You let me love all those who truly love You, as the law of love, which shines forth from You, commands.” Love is swift, sincere, kind, pleasant, and delightful. Love is strong, patient and faithful, prudent, long-suffering, and manly. Love is never self-seeking, for in whatever a person seeks himself there he falls from love. Love is circumspect, humble, and upright. It is neither soft nor light, nor intent upon vain things. It is sober and chaste, firm and quiet, guarded in all the senses. Love is subject and obedient to superiors. It is mean and contemptible in its own eyes, devoted and thankful to God; always trusting and hoping in Him even when He is distasteful to it, for there is no living in love without sorrow. He who is not ready to suffer all things and to stand resigned to the will of the Beloved is not worthy to be called a lover. A lover must embrace willingly all that is difficult and bitter for the sake of the Beloved, and he should not turn away from Him because of adversities.