You Looked Down

You looked down
From Your Cross
To behold faithfulness.
There stood Your Mother.

You beheld her look of grief,
Her suffering Your pain.
You wed it
To Your Own,
Presenting all
Before Our Father’s holy throne.

© 2013 Joann Nelander

A Willing Heart

The least of Your children, O Lord,,
Can bring forth fruit one hundred fold.
Such is the mystery of grace and love
Planted in a willing heart.

By Joann Nelander

Candles on Altars

Candles on Altars

An almost burnt-down lit candle on a candle ho...

All men are candles,
Burning on some altar.
Some disappear into nothingness,
Before worldly idols,
Unable to sustain their spark
Beyond the veil,
Into eternity.

Others light the heavens
As they are consumed
On the altar of Love,
Merging imperceptibly,
Creature with Creator.

When my wax is spent,
I pray I am not distracted
By my sin.
When I melt
Into the arms of God,
May it be that Love,
That lit my flame,
Outshines my imperfections
In holy consummation.

Burn candle, all alight
Warming with mercy rays the night,
To Penetrate hearts of friend and foe,
To soothe and mend wounds,
Dispelling darkness
With the Uncreated Light
That set creation into being.

Now and forever,
I cast myself
Into the flame,
The furnace of His Sacred Heart.
Passing through pierced side,
One with the Virgin,
Holy angels and expurgated saints of ole,
Melted in union,
I am formed anew in Christ,
With the Father and Spirit,
Candle, altar and Salvation might.

© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

All Yours for Time and Eternity

All Yours:
All that is uncreated,
All that is of matter,
All we know,
All that is yet unfathomable,
All we shall never know,
All that is yet to be.

Though my will is free,
Yours are the hours that come to me.
You count out my years,
Allot the days of my life.
You feed me,
And so I am still here,
But one day not.

Why do I count the cost?
Why do I hoard?
Why do I envy?
Why do I paw the ground?
You Who span the Universe
Have paid the price,
And covenanted with me.

When I am dust again,
You will remember me.
Outside of Time,
You will hold me still.
My frame is written in Your being
For I am of the Son,
Who died for my eternity.

©2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Jesus of the Cross

Jesus of the Cross,
Jesus of the Suffering,
Jesus of the Dying,
Hanging from Your Cross
Before our eyes,
Hanging in Your Suffering,
Bleeding out Your Love,
Hanging in Your Dying
Above the world,
First Born Son
And New Beginning,
Birthing in the hearts
Of the Children of Man,
Children for God.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Chosen

O Holy Father,
On my death,
And the occasion of my judgment,
I offer You Jesus’ Love for me.

See how He wants me eternally.
Dying to hold me,
His Blood claims me as His own.

He created me with such care,
As I took form in my mother’s womb.

He lavished attentions on me
As living flesh, imbued with eternal soul,
Flourished in the abundant waters of Life.

Unique among His creations,
He smiled upon me, seeing my beauty,
And my need.

See how He sought me,
Playfully with joys,
And in sorrow as I hid myself.

See the iron of His intention,
Bent on me.

See His fury at the Foe,
Who pursued me,
Seeing His Grace reclaiming me.

My Father, minister to Your daughter,
That leaving behind my earthly life,
Heavenly couriers might present me
Before the One,
Whose Spirit lives in me.

See His pieced Side,
Opened wide inviting me,
All the more, longing,
He for me,
And me for Thee in Three,
As leaving the mortal for the immortal,
I seek sanctuary.

You are everywhere in Being,
And in me.
I wrap my heart around Your Godhead,
Your Jesus.

He embraces me with Spirit,
Even in judgment,,
I am chosen for the Son.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

LONGINUS, SOLDIER SAINT

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, by George...
Alfred Lord Tennyson/Wikipedia

This poem by Alfred, Lord  Tennyson seems very appropriate for the New Year -the Advent New Year beginning today.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Be Ready for the Infant King

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder un-allayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
The humble He teaches His Way.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Infant King Benign

O Infant King benign
I offer You the face
Of Mother Mary
As she gazed upon You
That very first time
Beholding long
Your holy countenance.

Her eyes, drinking in her Babe,
Her King, her Priest,
Her Son Divine,
Wept tears of joy,
And wonder,
In silent adoration,
Pondering comprehension.
She smiled in inward exultation.

You will never forget
Her look of love
As she gazed upon
Him, Who no earthly eye
Had seen,
A treasure for the world,
In her care,
To be wrapped
In lowly swaddling clothes
You, O Christ Child,
In Your humanity divine.

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