Benediction

I reach for You in the night,
On my bed, desiring.
Knowing You present in the darkness,
Watching, loving, desiring me.

As I look to You,
My desire grows,
Believing I can attain You,
You, Who are beyond me of myself,
An impossibility on my own,
Yet I invite and hope, believing.

Presuming not the power of myself,
But wholly choosing You,
My Honored Guest, my Holy Quest
I beg Your residence eternal and supreme.

Prepare me for the Day
Of Your Perfect and Perpetual Presence,
When faith and hope are fed and satisfied
At the Banquet of Abundance.

Rejoicing and hungry no more,
Possessed and possessing You,
The end of my prayer,
Forever new ,
Forever beginning ,
Forever Day,
In the Eternal Now,
Then to live Life and Love,
Forever Knowing.

© 2016 Joann Nelander

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Darkly Here

Though I perceive myself without You,
I could not reach for You, as I do,
But for You.
Therefore You are with me,
In my waiting,
In my hoping,
In my believing.

Never alone in my great wanting,
Satisfied in my enduring,
Tomorrow felt in my longing,
Smiling with every tear.

I am of high and holy cheer,
Certain You are near,
Believing You are darkly here.

©2016 Joann Nelander.

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.

Thirsty For You

Jesus,
Everyday, everyday, everyday,
Fall upon my tongue
As dew upon the obedient grass,
Which yields to Your Wind,
To be proclaimed anew.

Holy One,
Forever, forever, forever,
Go forth from my mouth,
As spring rains
To water the parched earth,
Thirsty for You.

©2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

That Man, Job

That man, Job,
That sad man, Job,
That mad man, Job,
That angry man,
That suffering and troubled soul,
Behold my man, Job.

Have we not all been there?
Why, O Lord?
Am I not well-meaning,
One of the good guys,
A nice person?

Why must the Cross
Touch my life?
Am I not
Like a son to You?

With these words,
He  made me see,
"You are, indeed,
Like a Son to Me."

Who really died?

Who really died?
I never saw
The light of day.
Black descended,
Of a kind
I knew not,
And then no more….

How did I know you?
All I knew was you.
You flavored my becoming,
Your genes, my genes,
Your feelings,
Emotional rhythms,
Touching me
By blood connection.
All this,
And then no more…..

How did I feel you?
Warmth, gentle rocking
To and fro.
I felt you,
Heart-sounds
Surrounding me,
Pressing me,
Impressing me.
You whooshed at times
And hummed.
And then no more…..

How did I leave you?
I knew anguish
As once I knew you,
Your blood feeding mine,
I knew as parting,
Leaving behind mother
As gift withdrawn,
And bid goodbye.
Too young for endings,
Too soon to die,
And then no more…..

How now and by and by?
Sorrow and black
And then the Light.
New Day, as womb,
Enfolding me.
Life ending
Beginning yet again.
And I behold
The Face of God.
I live,
Knowing Love,
Yet still,
I wait for you.

Eternity has a door,
God knocks from His side,
I listen for you.
Pray but open the latch.
That you might die no more,
And free from sin,
Enter in.

There is yet more.
Who really died that day?

Sweet Cause

The world of men is full of accusers,
Innocent as doves in their own eyes.
Only the sinner finds a place at Your table,
Garbed, no longer in rotting rags,
But in wedding dress and festive best.

The lowly come
And are welcomed.
Choosing a place at Your feet
You invite "Come up higher".
At Your breast the disciple rests.

Hearts make merry,
While the wine of wisdom
Turns sorrow into joy,
Allowing the cross no less,
Sweet cause of happiness.

©2013 Joann Nelander

Cleaning Up Your Act

I can only clean up your dirt,
If you give it to me.
Is it pride that stands in your way?
Think, then, of the filth in which you wallow.

Being prostrate in repentance,
Is in reality a rising,
A lifting of your head,
A step up, my man!

Really now, how proud can a man be,
Who is chained to his sin,
A slave in bondage to habit,
Following the crowd?

Mire and muck,
What trappings are these,
But for a prince of fools?
Fall on your knees to stand up!

© 2011 Joann Nelander   All rights reserved

Bathed in the Spirit

I bathe my whole life
In the Blood of Christ.
In Spirit, I place my Soul,
Envisioned as a newborn,
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

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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

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