Smiling Eyes

Lying in the sunshine of Your love,
Recounting humming bird days,
Flitting as flashes flung to the heavens,
I look to the horizon,
For the rising of yet another sun.

I feel I know You.
It is me I doubt,
But I don’t know why.
I have spent my life
Becoming what I think
You want me to be.
Others, though, have always
Seemed to do it better.

Here I am at eve tide,
Recounting the many waters,
That wash these shores.
Your Beauty plays for me,
Painting the setting sun;
I guess, to reassure my clay
Of The Love You are,
As I still look for me,
Reflected in Your smiling eyes.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Moments before Dawn

In these precious moments before dawn
Prepare my waking body and soul
to serve You,
As You served our heavenly Father,
In Your Incarnation.

Dawning in the Virgin’s
Womb,
Hidden Divinity,
Secret, sacred, Savior,
Announced and served by Angels,
Alive in hallowed Love,
Glorifying Man in Your Mortal Garb,
You are hidden now in me.

Manifest Your glory,
In all humility,
As, yet again,
You dawn anew,
In this heart that longs for You.

copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Family synod: full text of Pope Francis’s homily at opening Mass | CatholicHerald.co.uk

via Family synod: full text of Pope Francis’s homily at opening Mass | CatholicHerald.co.uk.

Today the Prophet Isaiah and the Gospel employ the image of the Lord’s vineyard. The Lord’s vineyard is his “dream”, the plan which he nurtures with all his love, like a farmer who cares for his vineyard. Vines are plants which need much care!

God’s “dream” is his people. He planted it and nurtured it with patient and faithful love, so that it can become a holy people, a people which brings forth abundant fruits of justice.

But in both the ancient prophecy and in Jesus’s parable, God’s dream is thwarted. Isaiah says that the vine which he so loved and nurtured has yielded “wild grapes” (5:2,4); God “expected justice but saw bloodshed, righteousness, but only a cry of distress” (v7). In the Gospel, it is the farmers themselves who ruin the Lord’s plan: they fail to do their job but think only of their own interests.

In Jesus’s parable, he is addressing the chief priests and the elders of the people, in other words the “experts”, the managers. To them in a particular way God entrusted his “dream”, his people, for them to nurture, tend and protect from the animals of the field. This is the job of leaders: to nuture the vineyard with freedom, creativity and hard work.

But Jesus tells us that those farmers took over the vineyard. Out of greed and pride they want to do with it as they will, and so they prevent God from realizing his dream for the people he has chosen.

The temptation to greed is ever present. We encounter it also in the great prophecy of Ezekiel on the shepherds, which St Augustine commented upon in one his celebrated sermons which we have just reread in the Liturgy of the Hours. Greed for money and power. And to satisfy this greed, evil pastors lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move.

We too, in the synod of bishops, are called to work for the Lord’s vineyard. Synod assemblies are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas, or to see who is more intelligent… They are meant to better nuture and tend the Lord’s vineyard, to help realise his dream, his loving plan for his people. In this case the Lord is asking us to care for the family, which has been from the beginning an integral part of his loving plan for humanity.

We are all sinners and can also be tempted to “take over” the vineyard, because of that greed which is always present in us human beings. God’s dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants. We can “thwart” God’s dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity.

My Synod brothers, to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God’s dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God.

via Family synod: full text of Pope Francis’s homily at opening Mass | CatholicHerald.co.uk.

New – Prayers of My Heart – Now Available on Amazon

Listening with the heart in quiet prayer inspired  me to writePrayers of My Heart.- conversations with God in poetry. My poetry is prayer.  It’s me, talking with God. It is often psalm-like in its rhythms. It flows from a grounded Catholic desire for holiness of life and spiritual growth.  I am always the sinner striving to be saintly to please God, Who would have me “be perfect.” These poetic conversations speak to the human condition, and of the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the beloved creation He made in His image.

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