What Have I?

What have I, My Lord,
But my beating heart,
My pulsing blood,
My seemingly useless toil,
The tears and sweat,
That mark my life?

Yet, I persevere,
I fight,
I cry,
I shout through the Night.
Though in the tumult,
And the rancor of holocaust,
My screams scarcely rise above a whisper.

I make of my heart a sanctuary,
A resting place for my God.
I long to comfort You,
For my wounds pierce Your Heart,
And tear Your Most Innocent Flesh.

It is You Who are rejected
In the womb of the world,
Women crying,
“Get out you untimely thing.”
Men forsaking love once declared.

Come here to me.
I will cry with You.
I will tend Your wounds,
Hold Your Hallowed Hand.

Each morn anew
I will embrace my lot.
My thoughts will meet ridicule,
But the stripes,
Fall anew on You.

Soldiers of the heart
Swell Your growing ranks,
As mere men take arms
Against Legion.
Each a knight born of a Revelation,
Your Love,
Your Faithfulness,
Your Victory.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

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Ocean of Grace

By the gracious gift of God.
You, the Invited,
Receive His Peace.
Heartbeat by heartbeat,
Breath by breath,
In each instant,
His Will comes to you,
The Called,
To freely choose.

Remain His by faith.
Living in His favor,
A rain of blessing falls,
To water your being,
And penetrate the ground
On which, and in which,
You stand.

You give consent,
And desire in Love,
And as a plentiful valley,
Moment by moment.
Rooted in the holy,
Sanctified by the Sanctifier,
Life and abundance of fruit,
Are multiplied in you,
And grown up around you,

Grace upon grace,
Help, healing and holiness,
Flow in abundance.
From the springing up,
To the watering flow,
Then to rush,
As to the waiting arms a beloved,
Presuming bath and baptism,
To the ingathering of rivers,
In consecration and convergence,
Love returns to the Ocean
Of its Source.

As a homecoming,
Meandering streams
Cut courses through Time.
The many become seas
To, at long last, mingle
In the Mighty Mind,
And Minder of our souls.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

St.Bernadette’s Thanksgiving

Via /catholic exchange

St.Bernadette looked at her life in simple thanksgiving for everything. Her testament is an exceptional statement of gratitude. In her words:

For the poverty in which my mother and father lived, for the failure of the mill, all the hard times, for the awful sheep, for constant tiredness, thank you, my God!
For lips, which I was feeding too much, for the dirty noses of the children, for the guarded sheep, I thank you!
Thank you, my God, for the prosecutor and the police commissioner, for the policemen, and for the harsh words of Father Peyramale!
For the days in which you came, Mary, for the ones in which you did not come, I will never be able to thank you…only in Paradise.
For the slap in the face, for the ridicule, the insults, and for those who suspected me for wanting to gain something from it, thank you, my Lady.
For my spelling, which I never learned, for the memory that I never had, for my ignorance and for my stupidity, thank you.
For the fact that my mother died so far away, for the pain I felt when my father instead of hugging his little Bernadette called me, “Sister Marie-Bernard”, I thank you, Jesus.
I thank you for the heart you gave me, so delicate and sensitive, which you filled with bitterness.
For the fact that Mother Josephine proclaimed that I was good for nothing, thank you. For the sarcasm of the Mother Superior: her harsh voice, her injustices, her irony and for the bread of humiliation, thank you.
Thank you that I was the privileged one when it came to be reprimanded, so that my sisters said, “How lucky it is not to be Bernadette.”
Thank you for the fact that it is me, who was the Bernadette threatened with imprisonment because she had seen you, Holy Virgin; regarded by people as a rare animal; that Bernadette so wretched, that upon seeing her, it was said, “Is that it?”
For this miserable body which you gave me, for this burning and suffocating illness, for my decaying tissues, for my de-calcified bones, for my sweats, for my fever, for my dullness and for my acute pains, thank you, my God.
And for this soul which you have given me, for the desert of inner dryness, for your night and the lightening, for your silences and your thunders, for everything.
For you-when you were present and when you were not—thank you, Jesus. (Saint Bernadette, Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Abbe Francois Trochu)

Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | A Mystical Encounter with God Catholic Spiritual Direction

Mystical encounters abound, but they are not always from God. The Church takes these experiences seriously and thus provides guidelines for our discernment. Sometimes the Church rules in a definitive way regarding their validity, but often there is no ruling or no need for one.

In my own life, I have encountered a number of mystics, some of whom I perceived to be authentic and others of whom I perceived to be false mystics. False mystics are easy to spot. Their revelations often point to how special they are and how important they are. Sometimes they are simply self-decieved, but sometimes their deception comes from a more dangerous source.

In one case, I provided spiritual direction to a person with dramatic manifestations that the individual perceived to be reflective of the heights of prayer as illustrated by St. Teresa of Avila. As I began to draw the individual into the heart of the Church, these manifestations were revealed to be demonic and dramatically changed into a nightmarish torment.

So it is with private revelation and mystical experiences that the Church admonishes caution, discernment, and no obligation to believe. Even with the officially “approved” apparitions like Fatima, the Church does not require belief, but only proposes that it may be beneficial (and often it is).”  READ ON via Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | A Mystical Encounter with God Catholic Spiritual Direction.

via Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | A Mystical Encounter with God Catholic Spiritual Direction.

Twitter & Terror – Robert Spencer on Fox’s Cavuto

Scriptural Rosary Podcast

Joyful Scriptural Mysteries – Podcast
Luminous Scriptural Mysteries – Podcast
Sorrowful Scriptural Mysteries Pt.1 Podcast
Sorrowful Scriptural Mysteries Pt.2 Podcast
Glorious Scriptural Mysteries –

Flower in the Sun @Poetry #Christian Poetry

Make me as a flower in sun and rain.
May I, as by nature, turn to follow You
In Your course throughout my life.
Let Your holy, healing waters penetrate my being,
As roots planted securely in Your Providential soil,
Drink of Your constant streams.
As it is Your nature to water and supply,
May I by Rebirth,
Unfurl my gowns to Solomon’s delight.

By Joann Nelander

Fishers of Men

O, Lord, what’s it all about,
This "blogging?"
Feeds, links, posts and pings,
So much to learn,
Much more to do.

A world within a world,
A web of letters, syllables, and words,
And people pinging people,
For seeing, or not seeing,
Things just as they do.

Why me? Why a blogosphere?
It won’t make me famous.
It surely won’t make me money.
It won’t even make me friends.

Maybe the Lord is saying:
“Jump in, My friend!”
“That’s were the fish are swimming.”
Fishers of men must use the Net.

By Joann Nelander

Fire of God’s Love

Fire of Love,
O steadfast Love,
Forge of me
Enduring Love,
As chains, whose links are born
In fire and flame.

Hammered by blows,
That in the end form
And deliver my frame.

Claim my metal
From the molten chaos
To shape and save me,
Never more, misshapen,
Wanton, amorphous,
Hardness of heart.

Copyright © 2011  Joann Nelander 

All rights reserved

Everything For You

It is hard to be alone, Lord.
I know You are by my side.
In my heart of hearts
I turn to You.
Be Lord of this day.
Here is my hand in Yours;
Lead me!

All in Your Name,
Everything for You,
Everyone in my life,
I give to you
In their present need.
Many do not know
To call to You.
Trifles control them,
And they flit away
Their Eternity with You.

It may seem preposterous
That I should dare seek
For the whole world,
Forgiveness and conversion.
I am only one poor,
And wretched sinner,
Yet, Lord, see the army
That prays with me.
See the Blood and Water of Your Son
Pleading for the Redeemed.

By Joann Nelander

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