The Cross and the Furnace,

I want to spend my day loving You
And embracing life as You send It to me.
Nothing comes but by Your Will,.

Not that I haven’t thwarted Your Will.
I have!
I know I have,
But even as this moment
Bears the imprint of the hammer,
That struck the nails impaling You on Your Cross,
The Cross remained Yours,
And Your All Holy, All Chosen Will,
All of Your choosing
From the beginning of Time.

You are above Sin,
Above my sin and error,
The New Adam,
Obedient to the Father,
A Trinity of Union,
In Love.

By the Will of God ,
And the hand of man,
All infraction of the Divine Will
Was nailed to Your Holy Cross.
In You, I die to Sin,
And rise to live Your Dying
In my day.

In You,
Given for Men
Given for me,
I live God’s permissive Will,
Fashioned for me,
In the purifying furnace
Of His Perfect Will.

In this new day,
I choose the Cross and the Furnace,
I choose You,
Who are forging a union of hearts,
Perfect Love loving Man,
Desiring the perfection of every man,
Loving and perfecting me.

(C) 2016 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.”

LONGINUS, SOLDIER SAINT

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

The Strength of a Man

The strength of a man
Is not in weapons and might,
But in his heart,
Powered by faith in God.

©2014 Joann Nelander

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

Darkly Here

Though I perceive myself without You,
I could not reach for You, as I do,
But for You.
Therefore You are with me,
In my waiting,
In my hoping,
In my believing.

Never alone in my great wanting,
Satisfied in my enduring,
Tomorrow felt in my longing,
Smiling with every tear.
I am of high and holy cheer,
Believing You are near,
Certain You are darkly here.

©2016 Joann Nelander.