Prayer for Sleep

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN AND OTHER SAINTS

To thy maternal faithfulness and to thy special care, O most blessed Virgin Mary, I commend myself this night, beseeching thee to protect me from all the snares of the enemy. O my beloved Angel guardian, and thou, holy Saints, my patrons, defend me and keep me in safety through this night. Praise my God for me without ceasing while I sleep ,and deign to bestow on me thy blessing in answer to my humble prayer. Amen.

 

INTENTION BEFORE SLEEP

Taught to St. Gertrude by our Lord.

O LORD JESUS, I accept this sleep in the love with which Thou didst sanctify it when Thou didst deign to sleep in Thy most sacred Humanity, to the glory of God the Father, and for the salvation of all the whole human race; beseeching Thee that, in union with Thy Divine Love, it may tend to the increase in grace and glory of all Thine elect, in Heaven, on earth, and in Purgatory. Amen.

Before you lie down to sleep, trace on your forehead these four letters, I. N. R. I., saying:

MAY Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, preserve me from sudden and unprepared
death. Amen.

Our Lord revealed to St. Edmund that those who use this prayer shall be preserved from sudden death in the night.

On one occasion when St. Gertrude could not sleep, she learned this prayer from Christ Himself.

By Thine Own eternal and unruffled repose in the bosom of God the Father, by Thy most
peaceful rest in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, by the most ecstatic rapture with which Thou didst ever take thy delight in the hearts of those who love Thee, I beseech Thee, O most loving Lord, deign to grant me needful sleep, not for my pleasure or advantage, but that the weary members of my body may be refreshed to labour for Thine eternal praise and glory. Amen.

 

Counting Stars

I counted stars today.
As prophets and dreamers,
Glimpsing God through the darkness,
My wonder soared.
I, too, beheld
The promise of eternity,
Stretched across the eons.

Mere points of light
In a midnight sky,
Announcing Truth veiled in mystery,
Of things hidden and unseen,
Of ages long past and yet to be.
Who with me
Knows that there is more,
Much more?

Lanterns hung in the heavens
Make of me their lampstand,
That Eternal Light
Might shine more brightly,
Giving voice to creation.

No dumb marvel,
Rather angelic themes,
To sing high praises
In celestial chants,
For all who turn their gaze
Heavenward, counting,
And loosing count,
Journey home.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander

On Martyrdom

From a sermon of St. Augustine

“I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord’s garden are to be found not only the roses of his martyrs. In it there are also lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows. On no account may any class of people despair, thinking that God has not called them. Christ suffered for all. What the Scriptures say of him is true: He desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Let us understand, then, how a Christian must follow Christ even though he does not shed his blood for him, and his faith is not called upon to undergo the great test of the martyr’s sufferings. The apostle Paul says of Christ our Lord: Though he was in the form of God he did not consider equality with God a prize to be clung to. How unrivaled his majesty! But he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, made in the likeness of men, and presenting himself in human form. How deep his humility!

Christ humbled himself. Christian, that is what you must make your own. Christ became obedient. How is it that you are proud? When this humbling experience was completed and death itself lay conquered, Christ ascended into heaven. Let us follow him there, for we hear Paul saying: If you have been raised with Christ, you must lift your thoughts on high, where Christ now sits at the right hand of God.”

From a sermon by Saint Augustine
He ministered the sacred blood of Christ

 

 

A Thousand Little Moments

I fail and I fall.

“Yes, Father, it’s me, again.”

My prayers and tears reach Your heart with plaintiff sighs.

I reach for Love, as a baby grasps the finger,

Securing You to my heart,

Binding You by trifles.

A thousand little moments, like a knitter’s weave,

Trivial triumphs conquering like souls,

For made in Your image, I desire only You.

Of wooing, my begging be a part.

I turn, my God, to You, as a prayer with every care.

Prayer and tears, now, all one,

I nestle to Your breast and am all ear.

I listen as beat upon beat,

Love’s rhythm reassures me of the next,

And, of Your eternal constancy.

I listen, as for a whisper, and fear not

Whisper every care, and fretful prayer.

I reach for You with every breath,

And sigh when You draw nigh.

You answer with a mother’s warmth,

Bending low, picking me up, and pressing me

To Your consoling bosom.

“What is it my child. Am I not here? Haven’t I given you all?”

You kiss away my tears

And delight in the exchange.

I have given nothing but complaint,

Yet, You are full of smiles.

A thousand little moments knit our day.

I cry and You comfort.

I beckon and You bend in kind regard.

You draw me into that chamber,

In which I was formed,

That hallowed space,

In which my time began.

Heaven and rest contained

In one all holy Name.

Name me, my God,

And I will come into being,

Called forth from my darkness

Into Your marvelous Day.

All our moments measured by Your mercy,

I cry out for a heart made unto Your own,

That I may grow to give Your Love.

Love begetting love, for love alone.

Sunrise in High Heaven

Empty the tomb,
The wrappings set aside.
No Body to be found,
Faith in triumph shouts.

It is Easter dawn.
Joy spills or’ heaven’s ledge
As sun rises to high heaven.

Hope blankets earth’s face.
Love penetrates its depth.
A people, newborn,
Called forth to be light.

Witnesses stand forth,
Wrapped about in wedding garb,
They go forth to meet the Groom.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

 

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