As An Eagle

Lord, Most High,
Most Good,
Most Holy,
As an eagle, soar our nation’s skies,
Look down and take pity on a people losing their way.

See us as we struggle.
See our deceivers.
See our cherished deceptions.
See our broken law.

The weight of haughty deception,
Oppresses a people,
Fearing the gift of Life.

It is hard to juggle our many gods.
To our folly,
Mammon has supplanted our love for You.

Resisting Your Love.
We choose Death
As an answer to Life.

We think the blessing, a curse,
And the curse, a blessing, nay, a right,
Negation the same as something, someone.

Give Your People Your eagle’s wings,
To scale the heights
With You.

Carry us on Your strong pinions
To safety in the clefts of the Rock.
Hide us in Your Sacred Wounds.

With an Eagle’s talons,
Swoop upon the Enemy
Who carries off our young.

Lord, Most High,
Most Good,
Most Holy,
Carry us on eagle ‘s wings to the safety of Your bosom,
Your Truth.

The Lamb Standing

See, Sweet Lord, how noisy I am.
I come before Thee, the God Who Is,
With the clash and chatter of my day.

You, O Arion, the Lamb Standing,
Who appears to have been slain,
Reign, triumphantly before me.

You, O Agnus Dei, Lamb of God,
Establish, Your Rule and Victory,
In my poor heart.

In this Stillness,
You rest,
Having vanquished all Sin, my sin.

See, Sweet Lord, how I rest in abandonment.
I sleep, as a child, in Your arms,
Stilled before Love,

You, hidden,
‘Neath the appearance of Bread,
Succor me, now, in silence.

With the Living Water,
Flowing from the East side of the Temple,
Wash my life.

Quench my thirst,
Water my way,
Provide rich and abundant fruit.

See, Sweet Lord, my need,
Here, You, heal and restore,
Your Way in this New Day.

©2017 Joann Nelander

Distractions in Prayer

REMEDY AGAINST DISTRACTIONS

When you are distracted in prayer, commend it to the Heart of Jesus, to be perfected by Him, as our Lord Himself taught St. Gertrude. One day, when she was much distracted in prayer, He appeared to her, and held forth to her His Heart with his own sacred hands, saying: Behold, I set My Heart before the eyes of thy soul, that thou mayest commend to it all thine actions, confidently trusting that all that thou canst not of thyself supply to them will be therein supplied, so that they may appear perfect and spotless in My sight.

Remember always to say the Gloria Patri with great devotion. The hermit Honorius relates that a certain monk who had been accustomed to say his office negligently appeared to another after his death, and being asked what sufferings he had to undergo in punishment of his carelessness, he said that all had been satisfied for and effaced by the reverent devotion with which he had always said the Gloria Patri.

AN EFFICACIOUS METHOD OF OFFERING OUR ACTIONS TO GOD

While St. Gertrude was offering a certain action to God, saying:

O Lord, I offer Thee this work through Thine Only Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the praise of Thine eternal Majesty; it was revealed to her that whatever action was thus offered would acquire a worth and acceptableness to God beyond all human comprehension. For as all things appear to be green when seen through a green glass, so whatever is offered to God through His Only-begotten Son cannot be otherwise than most precious and pleasing in His sight.

That you may understand how useful it is to offer all your works to God, listen to what our Lord said on one occasion to St. Gertrude: All thy works are most perfectly pleasing to Me. And as she could not believe this, He added: If you held in your hand some object which you had the means and the skill to render perfectly pleasing to everyone, and if you tenderly loved that object, would you neglect to adorn it? Even thus, because you are accustomed to offer all your works to Me, I hold them in My hand; and as I have both the power and the skill, My love rejoiceth to cleanse and perfect them all, that they may be most perfectly pleasing in My sight.

An Act of Faith

I have seen enough to know,
I just don’t know,
But there is One Who does,
Giver of Life,
Giver of generations,
Giver of prayer.

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
Mother, and father,
Grandmother, grandfather,
A circle of care
To pray it forward.

Faith waits upon the Lord,
A gift beyond measure,
A mystery waiting to happen,
Not in our time,
But in our Father’s.

No seed too bad
To wait upon,
Hope for,
Entrust to God,
In His Mercy,
And providential time.

Our own close their ears
To the prophet at home
Or next door,
But no one knows
What God has in store.

“Place them here
With Me in the tabernacle,”
Whispers God to the heart.
“I’ll have the last word,
My Love to impart.”

One generation to pray
For the next generation.
“All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of thing
Shall be well.”     (Bl.Julianna of Norwich)

©2012 Joann Nelander

The mother kingbird feeds her babies!

The Why and the What of Sanctifying Grace

The Why and the What of Sanctifying Grace

This is a very helpful excerpt from Frank J. Sheed’s book, Theology for Beginnings:

“Putting it bluntly, the life of heaven requires powers which by nature we do not possess. If we are to live it, we must be given new powers. To make a rough comparison: if we wanted to live on another planet, we should need new breathing powers, which by nature our lungs have not got. To live the life of heaven, we need new knowing and lovinig powers, which by nature our souls have not got. 

For heaven our natural life is not sufficient; we need supernatural life. We have it only by God’s free gift, which is why we call it grace (the word is related to gratis). Sanctifying grace will be our next topic. Everything the Church does is connected with it, and can be understood but cloudily if we do not grasp what it is. 

SANCTIFYING GRACE 

When we come to die there is only one question that matters—have we sanctifying grace in our souls? If we have, then to heaven we shall go. There may be certain matters to be cleared, or cleansed, on the way, but to heaven we shall go, for we have the power to live there. If we have not, then to heaven we cannot go; not because we lack the price of admission, but because quite simply our soul lacks the powers that living in heaven calls for. It is not a question of getting past the gate, but of living once we are there; there would be no advantage in finding a kindly gate-keeper, willing to let us in anyhow! The powers of intellect and will that go with our natural life are not sufficient: heaven calls for powers of knowing and loving higher than our nature of itself has. We need super-natural life, and we must get it here upon earth. To die lacking it means eternal failure. 

We must look at grace more closely if we are to live our lives intelligently. Two things about it must be grasped. 

First: It is supernatural, it is wholly above our nature, there is not even the tiniest seed of it in our nature capable of growing, there is nothing we can do to give it to ourselves. We can have it only as God gives it, and He is entirely free in the giving. That, as we have seen, is why it is called grace; and because its object is to unite us with God, it is called sanctifying grace. 

Second: Even the word supernatural does not convey how great a thing it is. It is not simply above our nature, or any created nature. It enables us to do—at our own finite level, but really—something which only God Himself can do by nature: it enables us to see God direct. That is why it is called “a created share in the life of God.” That is why those who have it are called “sons of God”: a son is like in nature to his father; by this gift we have a totally new likeness to Our Father in heaven. 

Giving us this new life, God does not give us a new soul with new faculties. He inserts it, sets it functioning, in the soul we already have. By it our intellect, which exists to know truth, is given the power to know in a new way; our will, which exists to love goodness, is given the power to love in a new way. 

We get the supernatural life here on earth. Not until we reach heaven will it enable us to see God face to face and love Him in the direct contact of the will. But even on earth its elevating work has begun; it gives the intellect a new power of taking hold of truth—by faith; it gives the will new powers of reaching out to goodness—by hope and by charity. 

Faith, then, does not mean simply feeling that we believe more than we used to; hope does not mean simply feeling optimistic about our chances of salvation; charity does not mean simply feeling pleased with God. All three may have their effect on our feelings; but they are not feelings; they are wholly real. 

The supernatural life in our souls is a new fact, as real as the natural life we have to start with. The powers it gives are facts too; they enable us to do things which without them we could not do: they are as real as eyesight, and considerably more important. Without eyesight, we could not see the material world. But without sanctifying grace we should not be able to see God direct, which is the very essence of living in heaven. 

Not only that: here below we should not be sharers of the divine life, sons of God, capable already of taking hold of God by faith and hope and charity, capable of meriting increase of life. This increase of life must be realized; one can be more alive or less, and our life in heaven will differ according to the intensity of faith and hope and charity in our souls when we come to die. 

We shall go on to consider these three virtues in detail. Meanwhile concentrate upon one truth: grace is not just a way of saying that a soul is in God’s favor; it is a real life, with its own proper powers, living in the soul; and he who has it is a new man. A soul with sanctifying grace in it is indwelt by God.”  (Frank J. Sheed.)