Visit My Photo Studio for Holiday Gifts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Hollow of Your Hand

 

Hollow in the palm of Your hand,
See me here,
A child hiding in this darkness
Which is All Light and All Truth.

The brightness of Your Sun
Has blinded me.
I grasp Your hand
And cling to You,
My Three, my One.

Bright Angel,
Announce your Truth
In my soul.
Let me not fear the shadows,
But find all things
Awakening anew
My confidence in You,
Truth and Trusted One.

Reign, God of my heart,
I have sought You,
Moment by moment,
Day after day.
Holy Solace, wrap me as in petals.

Heart of healing,
Open in the warmth
Of a new and holy day,
The Lord has made,
New day,
Day of the Lord.

No fear here,
All comfort, all strength, all joy.
I have become a child
In the palm of Your hand,
Ever resting, ever secure,
O Holy Love.
To You abandoned,
to You promised,
to You wed.
By Joann Nelander

The Consecration of Russia and full Revelation of the 3rd part of the Secret of Fatima

Friday, April 18, 2014

Boom Boom (In My Womb)--Funny pregnant music parody!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ju8l-GDTw2k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

Divine Mercy Chaplet audio DIVINE MERCY NOVENA via PrayerMoreNovenas.com or go Here for the

FOR THE DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb


Luke23_50_TheBurial_Bloch

Luke23_50_TheBurial_Bloch
HOLY SATURDAY – The body of Jesus is in the tomb but His soul is among the dead to announce the kingdom. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will Live (John 5:25). Consider what it must have been like for the dead in Limbo ( the "hell" of the Apostles' Creed) to awaken to the voice of Jesus! Meanwhile The Disciples, heartbroken at the death of Jesus, observed the Jewish Sabbath in sorrow. They had forgotten the promise of Jesus that He would rise. We cannot forget His promise. We cannot forget.

We spend this day in quite reflection, weeping at the tomb of our Lord. Fasting and abstinence are recommended, but are not of obligation.

This night in our parish after sundown, at 8:30 pm, we gather for the Great Easter Vigil where we will experience Jesus rising from the dead. (Our Lord rose from the dead during this most blessed of nights, for the Gospels tell us that the faithful women went to the tomb very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and the tomb was already empty. That is why the Great Mass of Easter takes place at night.) We gather in darkness and light the Easter fire which reminds us that Jesus is light in the darkness. He is the light of the world. We attentively listen to Bible stories describing God’s saving work of the past. Suddenly, the church lights are lit and the Gloria is sung as we celebrate the moment of Christ’s resurrection. He Lives! As a Church we sing Alleluia for the first time in forty days. In the joy of the resurrection we then celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist for our Catechumens who have prepared many months for this night. Do everything you can to be present on this evening and invite friends and family to join. Our Vigil ushers in an Easter joy that never ends!

Of course the Easter Vigil fulfills the Sunday obligation - it is THE Great Mass of Easter (in fact, until the 5th century, it was the only Mass of Easter.)

Yes, the Easter Vigil is long (in our parish, about two and a half hours), but it is very beautiful. We keep it "moving right along", and it has beautiful music.
A blessed and joyful celebration of Easter to you all!
Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Worldwide Prayer – The Rosary Online

Come, Pray the Rosary | An online Rosary for participation in worldwide or individual prayer.

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA via PrayerMoreNovenas.com

or go Here for the

FOR THE DIVINE MERCY NOVENA

Let us Wash Each Others Feet in Love

General Audience with Pope FrancisPope Francis said: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”


Let us Wash Each Others Feet in Love

General Audience with Pope FrancisPope Francis said: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”


Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper

HOLY THURSDAY, is a day very dear to those who love the Mass and the most blessed Sacrament, for it is the day that Jesus gave us these great Gifts.

In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrated in our parish, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time. At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the sacred priesthood.

After the Last Supper (which was the first Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The liturgy ends in silence. It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Our parish church will remain open until midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest (cf Mt. 26:47).

3rd quarter of 16th century

Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
Rio Rancho, NM

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Counting Stars


 

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

Sarah's thoughts on science, spirituality, and practicality | How do we learn to love God and not be a judgmental jerk about it?.

Blood Moon: Should we separate scientific and spiritual interpretation?

Happy Passover. Also, happy Blood Moon lunar eclipse day! The first in a set of four consecutive total “blood moon” eclipses visible from the United States. Don’t worry, a blood moon eclipse is fairly normal from a scientific standpoint. View the story below from USA Today to see all the buzz about this particular set of events:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/14/blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-john-hagee-end-of-world/7694331/

I am bringing this blood moon topic up in my blog in order to address an issue I see recurring throughout the media, science, and even religious or spiritual conversation. Often these topics are brought up this way:

“such and such pastor/spiritual leader/religious enthusiast said this..”

“but SCIENTISTS disagree saying this….”

Is this how we should come at these topics? I don’t think so. To me, science should explain phenomena. How often do blood moons occur? Can we predict them? What is the astronomical significance if there is any?

Science does not explain causation, purpose, or belief. Yes, there will be a blood moon tonight. Yes, it coincides with Passover. Scientists (and others) should not belittle any religious or spiritual significance to the interesting correlation between the two. Perhaps a scientist is atheist/agnostic/non-Judeo-Christian. His or her INTERPRETATION of these events would be thus:

“These events may be happening at the same time, but this is merely coincidence and means nothing”

OK, but a Jewish or Christian person might INTERPRET it this way:

“These correlating events have spiritual meaning to me. God allowed for this to happen as a reminder to us to look to Him in these times.”

My point is that scientific explanation does not need produce an interpretation that is purely void of God or spirituality. Who is the scientist to say there is no God, or that God didn’t know about this simply because we can explain astronomical phenomena? Explanation is not causation and does not eliminate the possibility of a being who understood or allowed these things to happen.

Interpretation of scientific events CAN have spiritual meaning to individuals. Scientists, can’t you allow for this type of thinking? Oh no, you can’t. That’s why I am a scientist who hides her opinions in an anonymous blog.

Psalms 19:1-2

via Sarah's thoughts on science, spirituality, and practicality | How do we learn to love God and not be a judgmental jerk about it?.

Golgotha of Jasna Gora - Passion Art

H/T Julia : Golgotha of Jasna Gora - Artist: Jerzy Duda Gracz

More Golgotha of Jasna Gora

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, March 30, 2014

12 year old address Life

From Bump to Buzz–viral video

The Banquet

You who eat to gladden your gut,
You who indulge to comfort the flesh,
Come to a true banquet!

Rejoice your spirit,
Give joy to your soul.
Fatten your prayer on faith.

Let words ravish the Heart of God.
Even words unspoken, but burning in your heart,
Call angels to your side.

Quiet the world, by stepping apart,
Still your flesh in earnest fast,
Widen the breath of your praise.

The majesty of God inclines to your lips.
For it is He, Who has promised.
Whisper and He smiles.

© 2011 Joann Nelander All rights reserved.

The Banquet

You who eat to gladden your gut,
You who indulge to comfort the flesh,
Come to a true banquet!

Rejoice your spirit,
Give joy to your soul.
Fatten your prayer on faith.

Let words ravish the Heart of God.
Even words unspoken, but burning in your heart,
Call angels to your side.

Quiet the world, by stepping apart,
Still your flesh in earnest fast,
Widen the breath of your praise.

The majesty of God inclines to your lips.
For it is He, Who has promised.
Whisper and He smiles.

Copyright Joann Nelander © 2011 All rights reserved.

Shocking Video: Bill Maher Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy–via Informed Catholic Voter

Shocking Video: Bill Maher Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy
I wouldn't have believed that liberal talk show host Bill Maher could actually have a segment that is worth circulating, but here it is the video as evidence. I do not know who the two liberal panelists are, but it really doesn't matter: you could take the heads off any liberals and switch them around and it wouldn't matter because they are all parrots for the Obama agenda.Kudos to Bill Maher for actually doing a neutral piece, and for exposing the hypocrisy of his own kind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prayer to the Powerful Babe

 

O, Jesus, True God,
Beginning human life
In the womb of Mary,
I come to You in Your first moments,
O powerful Babe.

Mother Mary's "Fiat"
Brought the Father's Will to Earth,
Wrapped in the stuff of Man,
Purity's Flesh emerging as cells divide.

I come to You, God-Man,
In Your holy beginning,
Awaiting, with all creation,
The formation of Your Sacred Heart
In Time.

O, Happy Fruition,
O, Incarnate Son,
In Mary's virginal womb,
Bless with inner healing
The whole of my life.
Bring to my concupiscence
Conformity to the Father's Will.

I am the least in my Father's house,
But by my spiritual visitation,
My willing presence,
In the nascent Being of the Christ,
One, so small and mean as me,
Can find a home
As the Heart of Jesus
Is formed and fired.

O, powerful Babe,
O, pure and holy Fetus,
I trust in You
From Your beginning
As Prophet, Priest and King,
To bring me,
And all creation,
To a happy end.
Amen

©Joann Nelander 2011

All rights reserved

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Was Irish Once

[audio http://lionslair.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/audio-post-2014-03-19-01-17-53.mp3|titles=Audio Post]

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin's reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory's place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Will and Testament - a Prayer

O my Lord, God Almighty,
Rule on the throne of my life.
Set right.
Set straight.
Set at peace.
Subjugate all within my sphere.
All that I have,
All that I desire,
All that I am,
I will to You.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Portal to Eternity

If the past has a portal,
I take up the Gift,
The blood of the Lamb,
And apply it to the door-posts,
And lintels,
That it may cry out for this sinner,
And my heritage,
That the Angel of Death
May pass me by.

Cry for me, My Beloved,
In my night,
That the past,
Now cleansed,
Open in Your Heart
A door to heavenly Eternity.

Cry, my Beloved,
Plead mercy on my history,
And newness of Life,
In this cleansed space of being,
New Creation,
A heart and soul after Your Own.
Henceforth and forever one.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Angel Story

Here is one of my personal angel stories:

Years ago my husband and I were in a movie theater engrossed in the movie, when suddenly I was inspired to pray, so I did. The feeling was so unexpected and strong, I stopped watching the screen, closed my eyes and turned my attention to prayer as I felt directed to do. Then I had peace and wondered what that was all about. 

When we returned home, my, then teenaged, daughter couldn't wait to tell us what had happened. She said she was comfortably seated in an easy chair in the family room, reading a book. Then phone rang, so she reluctantly got out of the chair to answer it. As soon as she was out of the chair, a large and heavy sound unit that had been on the highest shelf in a built in bookcase, fell onto the every spot she had occupied just seconds before.

The light came on for me and I immediately understood why I was prodded to pray. My daughter and I remember this incident with thanksgiving to the angels to this day!

©2013 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Angel Story

Here is one of my personal angel stories:

Years ago my husband and I were in a movie theater engrossed in the movie, when suddenly I was inspired to pray, so I did. The feeling was so unexpected and strong, I stopped watching the screen, closed my eyes and turned my attention to prayer as I felt directed to do. Then I had peace and wondered what that was all about. 

When we returned home, my, then teenaged, daughter couldn't wait to tell us what had happened. She said she was comfortably seated in an easy chair in the family room, reading a book. Then phone rang, so she reluctantly got out of the chair to answer it. As soon as she was out of the chair, a large and heavy sound unit that had been on the highest shelf in a built in bookcase, fell onto the every spot she had occupied just seconds before.

The light came on for me and I immediately understood why I was prodded to pray. My daughter and I remember this incident with thanksgiving to the angels to this day!

©2013 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Art of Growing Up - My Lent

Matt27_29_JesusFallBeneathTheCross

"If you spot it, you got it!"

It's common for folks to notice the faults of others, perhaps missing these very attributes in themselves.  Psychology calls it "projection" .

It may be the person I can't abide simply reminds me of me.  Perhaps in praying for him, a passing angel will polish away my flaws, a two for one in the realm of  abundant grace.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

By Your Presence

You, by Your Presence, O Lord,
Are Light to my darkness.
You are the kiss upon my brow,
The oil upon my head,
The arms of sweet embrace,
The banner over my heart.

You, All Love,
Bless this child of Your magnificent
And magnanimous Mercy.
Day by day.
I find You all about me.

Flowers and fields,
Spread before me
As a welcoming blanket.
Come rest awhile, You invite.
I come and I delight.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

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

The Breech

How great is the distance between us?

Some would say
The span from East to West,
Or measure in miles the chasm
Stretching from Heaven to Hell.
Others count the centuries
Since Your earthly Presence
In hallowed flesh.

There is no numbering
Eternity or Divinity.
You are closer than my breath.
Your Heart beats within my breast.
Day by day,
Nay, moment by moment,
I pick up Your rhythm.

Traversing the breech,
You make me Your own.
Small, but beloved,
I repose in willful abandonment.
Grace-filled faith,
A movement,
Not a measure,
Soars to the heavens,
In flights of trust in You.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kremlin-Paid TV Anchor Goes Rogue

Via Mediaite – Abby Martin , “An anchor for the English language network RT — a Kremlin-controlled news outlet”

 

“Condemns Russian Actions in Crimea”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/kremlin-paid-tv-anchor-goes-rogue-condemns-russian-actions-in-crimea/#ooid=c3bTAwbDrmdyvm-QjTtiCFL9zxNWQ5az

An anchor for the English language network RT — a Kremlin-controlled news outlet whose coverage on the crisis in Ukraine has been, er, selective — went off-script Tuesday morning and condemned Russia’s incursion into the Crimean peninsula.

At the end of her show, Abby Martin, host ofBreaking the Set, asserted her strong disagreement with Russia’s actions, which she explicitly called a “military occupation”:

“Before I wrap up the show, I wanted to say something from my heart about the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, and Russia’s military occupation of Crimea. Just because I work here, for RT, doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence. And I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations’ affairs. What Russia did is wrong.”

Martin admitted she did not have an expert’s grasp on the history of Ukraine’s relations with Russia (perhaps a dangerous admission, as we’ll see below), but objected to military intervention in any and all cases.

“I admittedly don’t know as much as I should about Ukraine’s history or the cultural dynamics of the region, but what I do know is that military intervention is never the answer. And I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression.

[snip] “All we can do now is hope for a peaceful outcome for a terrible situation, and prevent another full-blown Cold War between multiple superpowers. Until then, I’ll keep telling the truth as I see it.”

Her reward? A free trip to the Crimean Peninsula. RT responded shortly after Martin’s missive

more via Mediaite

Cry of One Forgiven

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
For that moment,
In which You scattered
My accusers,
And took my part?

As I looked up
From the mud of my despair,
Your majestic countenance
Was all.
You loomed before me,
Brighter than the Sun.

Who could have imagined
Such grandeur?
You wore holiness like a crown
That more than circled Your brow.
Rather, it emanated,
As light from Your Being,
Announcing Who You are?

Only humility can receive You,
And dare Your gaze.
For Your Eyes
Pierce the soul,
Revealing all.

Only those crying for a Savior
Dare look up,
To confess with that glance
Their fault and nakedness,
Helpless and all pleading.

Only the thirsty
Can drink in the majesty
Of Your knowing.
For pride is the travesty,
That hides,
For fear of revelation.

That moment shattered my fear
And rent the clouds of all my life.
Taking proffered Hand,
I rise to my feet
Then, as now, again,

Light embraces me
As my rags fall to my feet.
In their place
Love has woven a mantle,
A robe of Being,
That more than clothes me.

It is a signal grace,
That names me,
With it, You announce
To all Creation
Who I am in You.

My "Yes" reverberates
Throughout the Universe.
I am new,
Like a star at its birth,
Bursting forth
With Your Holiness;
Baptized in Your Redemption.

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
O, You, Who took my part?
Go now,
In search of my accusers.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Upon the Cross

Upon the cross,

Your blood flowed

from Crown to Foot,

in streams upon Your Body,

so that there was not one space

that was not touched by Your Blood.

Your Body, the Church,

covered in Your Blood;

saved throughout Time

and for all Time

unto Eternity,

covered by Your Blood.

by Joann Nelander

Friday, February 28, 2014

Bathed in the Spirit - #ChristianPoetry #HolySpirit

I bathe my whole life
In the Blood of Christ.
In Spirit, I place my Soul,
Envisioned as a new born,
In the water that flowed
From the Side of Jesus,
At the piercing
Of His most Sacred Heart.

O Holy Bath, flow over me.
Flow within me,
Permeating even
To the marrow of my bones.

Embrace my thoughts.
As a river in flood,
Envelope all in Your path.
Possess all.
Carry the delinquent and wayward,
As a torrent,
To the ever peaceful Mind of Christ,
Redeeming and reconciling opposites.

May the Christ,
As priestly chrism,
Penetrate the mundane of me,
And divinate my being.
Heal forever my disparity,
Remove all trace
Of Sin’s dominion and damage.
O Holy Love, at Your insistence,
I trust in You.

Coming forth from this bath,
Dry me, Your child,
As tears upon Your cheek
to honor all the tears
You shed for want of me.

Be solace to my regret .
Be comfort in my sorrow.
Wrap me, in my infancy,
In the heart of the Mother,
That Immaculate Heart
That longed with You
For my birth anew,
And enflesh me as a child.
By water and the Spirit
As Your child.

Sweet Peace, O Holy Peace,
You are All in All.
I, a child of God, will thank You
For all Eternity
In Triune embrace,
A happy word, whispered in Spirit,
From the Son to the Father.

© 2013  Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Holy Desire – St. Augustine

"The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied."

“Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.”

Holy Desire – St. Augustine

"The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied."

“Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.”

Our Heart Longs for God

From the Tractates on the first letter of John by Saint Augustine, bishop
Our heart longs for God

We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? And how can we, so greatly inferior to John in merit, add anything of our own? Yet we have received, as John has told us, an anointing by the Holy One which teaches us inwardly more than our tongue can speak. Let us turn to this source of knowledge, and because at present you cannot see, make it your business to desire the divine vision.

The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.

Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.

So, my brethren, let us continue to desire, for we shall be filled. Take note of Saint Paul stretching as it were his ability to receive what is to come: Not that I have already obtained this, he said, or am made perfect. Brethren, I do not consider that I have already obtained it. We might ask him, “If you have not yet obtained it, what are you doing in this life? This one thing I do, answers Paul, forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the prize to which I am called in the life above. Not only did Paul say he stretched forward, but he also declared that he pressed on toward a chosen goal. He realized in fact that he was still short of receiving what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived.

Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. Let me return to the example I have already used, of filling an empty container. God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.

We may go on speaking figuratively of honey, gold or wine—but whatever we say we cannot express the reality we are to receive. The name of that reality is God. But who will claim that in that one syllable we utter the full expanse of our heart’s desire? Therefore, whatever we say is necessarily less than the full truth. We must extend ourselves toward the measure of Christ so that when he comes he may fill us with his presence. Then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

via divineoffice.org

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Beautiful Woman

My Beautiful Woman

God’s Word is an Inexhaustible Spring of Life

From a commentary on the Diatessaron by Saint Ephrem, deacon


God’s word is an inexhaustible spring of life

Lord, who can comprehend even one of your words? We lose more of it than we grasp, like those who drink from a living spring. For God’s word offers different facets according to the capacity of the listener, and the Lord has portrayed his message in many colors, so that whoever gazes upon it can see in it what suits him. Within it he has buried manifold treasures, so that each of us might grow rich in seeking them out.

The word of God is a tree of life that offers us blessed fruit from each of its branches. It is like that rock which was struck open in the wilderness, from which all were offered spiritual drink. As the Apostle says: They ate spiritual food and they drank spiritual drink.

And so whenever anyone discovers some part of the treasure, he should not think that he has exhausted God’s word. Instead he should feel that this is all that he was able to find of the wealth contained in it. Nor should he say that the word is weak and sterile or look down on it simply because this portion was all that he happened to find. But precisely because he could not capture it all he should give thanks for its riches.

Be glad then that you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you. A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring. So let this spring quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring. For if you can satisfy your thirst without exhausting the spring, then when you thirst again you can drink from it once more; but if when your thirst is sated the spring is also dried up, then your victory would turn to your own harm.

Be thankful then for what you have received, and do not be saddened at all that such an abundance still remains. What you have received and attained is your present share, while what is left will be your heritage. For what you could not take at one time because of your weakness, you will be able to grasp at another if you only persevere. So do not foolishly try to drain in one draught what cannot be consumed all at once, and do not cease out of faintheartedness from what you will be able to absorb as time goes on.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Garden

Lord, make of me a place of roses,
A gathering of saints,
A palace of Your glory,
Alive with the radiant splendor
Of Your Holy Spirit.

Give me that sincere and true humility,
That clears my ground
Of briars, weeds and thistle,
That rakes away debris
And furrows my field crosswise
To welcome the rains
And receive the seed
Of love and deeds as new growth
Sprouting joy and fruit aplenty.

Come here to my happy garden
To take Your rest,
Lay aside Your Cross
In promised Resurrection
Bringing forth the Sun
To shine on all.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Contemplative Prayer is Silence

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2717   Contemplative prayer is silence, the “symbol of the world to come”12 or “silent love.”13 Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the “outer” man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus. (533, 498)

Happy Garden

Lord, make of me a place of roses,
A gathering of saints,
A palace of Your glory,
Alive with the radiant splendor
Of Your Holy Spirit.

Give me that sincere and true humility,
That clears my ground
Of briars, weeds and thistle,
That rakes away debris
And furrows my field crosswise
To welcome the rains
And receive the seed
Of love and deeds as new growth
Sprouting joy and fruit aplenty.

Come here to my happy garden
To take Your rest,
Lay aside Your Cross
And bring forth the Sun
To shine on all.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, February 10, 2014

Loving Your Idle Neighbor | Values &amp; Capitalism

RJ Moeller

R.J. Moeller graduated from Taylor University in 2005 with a degree in business and is currently a...Read more about RJ Moeller

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something in my “Bible & Economics” series, but I think a return to the topic is well served by the verses from II Thessalonians I’ve selected to delve in to today. This passage, more than perhaps any other in all of the New Testament, is responsible for directing a younger version of the R.J. Moeller that blogs before you today on a path leading sharply away from conventional modern thinking on the topics of welfare, wealth redistribution and the seemingly inescapable “social justice.” (By the way, is there “social truth” or “social patience”?)

From II Thessalonians 3:6-12:

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

A simple, straight-forward reading of this text is a clear and present danger to advocates of a welfare state, but especially to those who also claim allegiance to the body of Christ and his word. However, in a sinful, fallen world—one wrought with hypocrisies, guilt, past societal sins, etc.—“simple” and “straight-forward” are luxuries the thoughtful believer can rarely enjoy, at least not when entering the contentious fray of the public square with their theological convictions in tow (as they most definitely should).

So let me quickly give my brief exegetical overview of the passage above, and then connect a few dots between what Paul wrote and some of the appropriate conclusions one ought to be able to draw in terms of public policy debates.

Now there are some who try to deflect the very real importance of these verses to a Christian’s attitude about how best to help the poor by saying that the “idlers” Paul is calling out are simply misguided believers who are under the impression Christ’s return was imminent. This is a distinction without a difference. Being lazy on a nuclear submarine with the key that launches Armageddon might be different in form, but is no different in substance than an idle Dairy Queen worker who procrastinates sweeping up the sprinkles his portly manager asked him to take care of the previous day.

Habitual idleness is a matter of the heart. (Believe me, I know first-hand.)

Refusing to work or provide for your family because you’re convinced Jesus is returning over the upcoming three-day weekend is, according to scripture, just as much of a sin as an able-bodied human being refusing to work or provide for their family because some well-intentioned bureaucrat is intent on giving them money they didn’t earn.

Right off the bat in verse 6, Paul exhorts the church body to “keep away from” anyone who is living an idle, lazy life and remains needlessly dependent on others. Pretty harsh, no? Not very “social” of him, right? I’ll even admit that nearly every time I read these words, I wince a little. All of the “But what about…” exceptions and exemptions start piling up on my conscience.

But if we’re serious about scripture, we know that scripture is serious about sin. Idleness and making yourself a prolonged and unnecessary burden on someone else, is a sin. There’s no way around that. The Greek translation for the phrase “in idleness” translates to “in an undisciplined, irresponsible or disorderly manner.” Keep that definition in mind for later.

Verses 7-9 are Paul’s reminder that he hasn’t simply preached against things like idleness and being a burden on others, but has modeled for the good people of Thessalonica the appropriate way to live. Paul was a minister of the gospel, and therefore was entitled to living off of the charity that came from other believers. But he feared that a lifetime of such dependency would weaken his witness, and, I don’t think it is unfair to infer, his character.

Verse 10 is the big one: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Paul did not teach this difficult practice of the Christian life from afar, but said it face-to-face. Christian friends don’t enjoy confronting friends. Christian parents don’t delight in having to withhold certain things from their beloved children. Confronting people with difficult subject matter is made no less daunting by how true the subject matter is. It stinks. No way around it.

via Loving Your Idle Neighbor | Values & Capitalism.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Prayer

Words are swirling
Like leaves,
Lifted heavenward,
On bursts of emotion,
Only to settle quietly,
As the storm of love passes
Into Abiding Presence.

By Joann Nelander

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love the Lord and Walk in His Ways

From a sermon by John the Serene, bishop
Love the Lord and walk in his ways

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? How great was that servant who knew how he was given light, whence it came, and what sort of man he was when he was favored by that light. The light he saw was not that which fades at dusk, but the light which no eye has seen. Souls brightened by this light do not fall into sin or stumble on vice.

Our Lord said: Walk while you have the light in you. What other light did he mean but himself? For it was he who said: I have come as a light into the world, so that those who have eyes may not see and the blind may receive the light. The Lord then is our light, the sun of justice and righteousness, who has shone on his Catholic Church spread throughout the world. The prophet spoke as a figure of the Church when he cried: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The spiritual man who has been thus illumined does not limp or leave the path, but bears all things. Glimpsing our true country from afar, he puts up with adversities; he is not saddened by the things of time, but finds his strength in God. He lowers his pride and endures, possessing patience through humility. That true light which enlightens every man who comes into the world bestows itself on those who reverence it, shining where it wills, on whom it wills, and revealing itself according to the will of God the Son.

When this light begins to shine upon the man who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, in the darkness of evil and the shadow of sin, he is shocked, he calls himself to account, repents of his misdeeds in shame, and says: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Great is this salvation, my brethren, which fears neither sickness nor lethargy and disregards pain. We should then in the fullest sense not only with our voice but with our very soul cry out, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? If he enlightens and saves me, whom shall I fear? Even though the dark shadows of evil suggestions crowd about, the Lord is my light. They can approach, but cannot prevail; they can lay siege to our heart, but cannot conquer it. Though the blindness of concupiscence assails us, again we say: The Lord is my light. For he is our strength; he gives himself to us and we give ourselves to him. Hasten to this physician while you can, or you may not be able to find him when you want him.

Vatican Spokesman Censures ‘Rolling Stone’ Article on Pope |Blogs | NCRegister.com

by Edward Pentin Wednesday

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

Although he acknowledged that the Holy Father’s appearance on the publication’s front cover shows a diverse interest in the Pope, the Jesuit spokesman denounced the article's negative portrayal of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s pontificate, saying the piece disqualifies itself as serious journalism.

“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness,” Fr. Lombardi said in a statement.

In the piece titled "Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin'", author Mark Binelli calls Benedict’s papacy “disastrous” and goes so far as to attack the former pontiff’s appearance and character. He also describes Benedict’s acclaimed apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis as “wonky” but without explaining further.  

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/fr.-lombardi-censures-rolling-stone-article-on-pope#ixzz2rvK29qU7

Friday, January 24, 2014

Trent Horn: Making the Case for Life - DVD CLIP

Non-Violent Solutions for Life Problems? Abortion – a Moral Solution?

Devotion must be practiced in different ways - St. Francis de Sales

Cover of "Introduction to the Devout Life...

From the Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop
Devotion must be practiced in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfills all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Prayer of Abandonment

God has created me to do some definite service. God has committed some work to
me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I am a link in a
chain, a bond of connection between persons. I have not been created for naught. I
shall do good. I shall do God’s work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep the commandments.
 
Therefore I will trust in God. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve God; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve
God; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve God. God does nothing in vain, but
knows what all is about.
~ John Henry Newman

Reaching Out to an Abortion-Wounded Nation | Daily News | NCRegister.com

A conversation with Project Rachel’s Vicki Thorn.

BY SUE ELLEN BROWDER 01/22/2014

Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel.

As crowds of impassioned pro-lifers gather once again on Jan. 22 for the annual March for Life in Washington, Pope Francis has said more should be done in reaching out to women who’ve had abortions.

Vicki Thorn, founder of the post-abortion apostolate Project Rachel, recently spoke to Register correspondent Sue Ellen Browder about why abortion is still such a hot-button emotional issue and how Catholics can help pour “oil on the wounds” of abortion in our culture today.

As the March for Life unfolds once again, what’s the

via Reaching Out to an Abortion-Wounded Nation | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 17, 2014

Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius -Saint Anthony receives his vocation

From the Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, bishop
Saint Anthony receives his vocation

When Anthony was about eighteen or twenty years old, his parents died, leaving him with an only sister. He cared for her as she was very young, and also looked after their home.

Not six months after his parents’ death, as he was on his way to church for his usual visit, he began to think of how the apostles had left everything and followed the Savior, and also of those mentioned in the book of Acts who had sold their possessions and brought the apostles the money for distribution to the needy. He reflected too on the great hope stored up in heaven for such as these. This was all in his mind when, entering the church just as the Gospel was being read, he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor—you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.

It seemed to Anthony that it was God who had brought the saints to his mind and that the words of the Gospel had been spoken directly to him. Immediately he left the church and gave away to the villagers all the property he had inherited, about 200 acres of very beautiful and fertile land, so that it would cause no distraction to his sister and himself. He sold all his other possessions as well, giving to the poor the considerable sum of money he collected. However, to care for his sister he retained a few things.

The next time he went to church he heard the Lord say in the Gospel: Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Without a moment’s hesitation he went out and gave the poor all that he had left. He placed his sister in the care of some well-known and trustworthy virgins and arranged for her to be brought up in the convent. Then he gave himself up to the ascetic life, not far from his own home. He kept a careful watch over himself and practiced great austerity. He did manual work because he had heard the words: If anyone will not work, do not let him eat. He spent some of his earnings on bread and the rest he gave to the poor.

Having learned that we should always be praying, even when we are by ourselves, he prayed without ceasing. Indeed, he was so attentive when Scripture was read that nothing escaped him and because he retained all he heard, his memory served him in place of books.

Seeing the kind of life he lived, the villagers and all the good men he knew called him the friend of God, and they loved him as both son and brother.

Friday, January 10, 2014

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah

TIM GRAY

Scholars have often wondered how the practice of Christian Eucharist could have arisen from the Lord’s Supper, which occurred in the context of the Jewish Passover. Since Passover occurs only once a year, how is it that the Christians got the notion that they could celebrate Jesus’ sacrificial meal weekly, if not daily?

The Last Supper

Gustave Dore

The answer is found in the ancient Israelite sacrifice called the todah.

While most people have heard of Old Testament sacrifices such as the holocaust offering or burnt offering, those who have heard of the todah sacrifice are as rare as lotto winners. Today\'s ignorance concerning the todah, however, should not imply that it was unimportant to the Jews. Far from it. The todah was one of the most significant sacrifices of the Jews.

Indeed, an old Rabbinic teaching says: \"In the coming Messianic age all sacrifices will cease, but the thank offering [todah] will never cease.\"(1) What is it about this sacrifice that makes it stand alone in such a way that it would outlast all other sacrifices after the redemption of the Messiah?

A todah sacrifice would be offered by someone whose life had been delivered from great peril, such as disease or the sword. The redeemed person would show his gratitude to God by gathering his closest friends and family for a todah sacrificial meal. The lamb would be sacrificed in the Temple and the bread for the meal would be consecrated the moment the lamb was sacrificed. The bread and meat, along with wine, would constitute the elements of the sacred todah meal, which would be accompanied by prayers and songs of thanksgiving, such as Psalm 116.

What does the word \"todah\" mean? It is Hebrew for \"thanksgiving,\" although it also connotes a confession of praise in addition to gratitude. For example, Leah gave thanks to God when she bore her fourth son, and so she named him yehudah — or Judah — which is the verbal form of todah — to give thanks.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people offering todah — thanks — to God. Jonah, while in the belly of the whale, vows to offer up a todah sacrifice in the Temple if he is delivered (cf. Jon. 2:3-10). King Hezekiah offers up a todah hymn upon recovering from a life-threatening illness (cf. Is. 38). However, the best example of todah sacrifice and song is found in the life of King David.

via From Jewish Passover to Christian Eucharist: The Story of the Todah.