People of Praise

Your people praise you, O Lord.
As points of light,
Scattered about
The surface of the Earth.
Together with angelic choirs,
That dot the firmament,
Your children sing.

With fish, and bird,
With rivers and seas,
With mountains,
And heavenly heights,
Creation sings in chorus,
Affirmation,
Acclamation,
And affection,
In sanctifying hosannas,
That fall as bountiful rain,
To water man and beast
With fruitful exaltation,
Multipling our delight,
As we magnify our God.

We are your mothers,
Fathers, sisters,
Brothers, friends
Of Your fold,
Returning praise,
And worship due
The Most High Lord
Of all creation.
In Your Light we
Become Your Light.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

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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.
Cacophony 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

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

Rome Sweet Home

Isn’t It Aaronic? John Keisling Parody Video

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

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

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And fleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment and awe
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer:
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw!

By Joann Nelander

Eyes

How often I beseech “All the angels and saints”,
Yet, fail to realize
The multitude of the holy,
Whom I call to my side.

They do come.
They come ready to aid,
To do battle,
To protect,
And do bless.

God give me eyes,
That I may see,
For, indeed,
I am, too often, blind.

There are Wise infrared eyes,
Spying the sky.
We see our universe at its birth.
For eons,
We knew of no such birth.

Blindness of a kind
Can kill.
A child in the womb,
Heart beating for the cameras,
Still fails
To make a Presence known.

How blind the eyes
That refuse to see.

Father of all that is,
Give me eyes of the heart,
That I may
Make a start.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

7As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.8

Child of the Cross

Mother Mary,
Witness of the Passion,
Suffering witness,
Living the Passion,
As your Jesus
Hung on the Cross.

Pray, Mary.
Pray, My Mother,
Pray for me,
Who am so scattered,
Distracted and disengaged.

Pray every moment
Of my life here on earth,
That I be prepared for suffering,
That I be prepared for eternity.
That I find my Life
In the dying of Your Son,
My Lord.

Hold my hand, O Mother,
Every moment of everyday.
Pray for my yesterdays,
My today, and tomorrows.
Guide my feet to follow
In His steps.

As forbidden fruit
Appeals in its many disguises,
And occasions of evil spring-up,
Pull me out of harm’s way.
Steer me true, O Mother,

As my heart yearns for eternity
Let my glory be
As that of Jesus,
The Cross, the Crucifixion,
And the Dying.

May I live now,
Dying to Sin.
Witnessing at your side,
As Jesus beholds you.
He pronounces me your child.

I am a child
Of the Cross of Christ,
Which came to be
To ransom men.
I behold you, Mother Mary,
And you meet your Son in me.

© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

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