Pray-as-you-go Mini-retreat–Acts of the Apostles

Pray-as-you-go Mini-retreat–Acts of the Apostles

Islam’s "Human Rights"


Islam’s "Human Rights"

by Janet Tavakoli

  • No intelligent government

David the King: Reflections on the Spirituality of I & II Samuel – Bishop Robert Barron–Video

A Drop in the Ocean

A drop in the ocean of the Lord,
Minuscule,
Tear-sized,
Hardly felt upon the cheek,
Brushed away
To fall into the river of Your love.

Once alone,
Barely a something,
Really "a nothing",
A lonely singularity,
But felt upon a Heart.

The tears of others,
Conjoined,
Confusion,
Profusion,
Holy joy in headlong rush,
Whisked over rock and rubble,
Carried by unseen arms,
Pressed on
By force of a Holy Will.

Cascades’ roar arousing fear,
Bewilderment,
Mingled vigor,
Hope rises to the surface
And churns the deep.

Fate creates a splash
And a rivulet of escape,
An instant of choice,
Puddle or precipice?

I hang upon a prayer,
Borne aloft in new fall,
Truly free fall,
Onto the rushing stream,
And weeping humanity prevails.

One drop,
Now millions,
Energy,
Direction,
Momentum,
Kinetic kaleidoscope,
Mirroring Divine power.

The tide of many waters,
Convergence,
At the edge,
And then the fall,
Not like the first,
In free abandonment.

One drop,
Transformed by divine law,
Holy Obedience.
Tumultuous streams
Carve the land without,
And all within.

Fertile flood of holy tears,
Serve now His Plan,
A drop in the ocean of God.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

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Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

On Earth As It Is in Heaven

I love analogies when they immediately shed a ray of light in my struggle for understanding. In the Our Father, Jesus teaches us to ask for His Father’s "Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." I got stumped trying to understand how His Father’s Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven is possible while we are on this earth as we still suffer the effects of the Fall. Even with the gift of the sacraments, we are prone to sin again, and again, despite our honest resolve to turn away from sin and to sin no more.

Believing this request to be infinitely more than a simply desirable and beautiful rhetorical phrase, I asked Jesus, how can this be, when sin once committed can’t be undone, even by God. While great theological answers are beyond me, I was happily satisfied, when an image of my favorite handbag popped into mind.

Bits and pieces of old, worn, discarded remnants of seemingly useless cloth make-up my bag. The new creation is to me beautiful. Looking on it now with an internal gaze, I grasped a bit more of the wonder of Salvation and the Church’s cry, "O Happy Fault".IMG_8068

Sinners, despite their irrevocable falls, being infinitely loved by God, receive His answer to their prayer in Jesus. Their need draws God to themselves. The dilemma of Sin and our frailty, which is the contradiction to the Father’s Will for the perfection of Heaven He desires for the Earth, is solved by the coming of God, Himself. God comes! He comes, draws us to Himself, and in this, Heaven reigns on Earth with the Father’s Will. The answer is in the works, and we are the work. We, the bits and pieces, find a heavenly place in the Son.

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

Move the Hands of God by Prayer

In the silence God invites without words.
My prayers are often noisy affairs
Filled with faces, memories, love
And feelings of sorrow. 

I am often overwhelmed
And moved to tears
By the poignancy of a fleeting thought.

My heart tells me
That what seems insignificant
Holds a treasure. 

God’s gifts often come in disguise
Like the beggar at the door
Who is Christ.
 
The Spirit says minister
Here in this place, at this time;
Reach back through the years
To move the hand of God
By prayer.

I am with God,
The Lord of All,
Including Time. 
I may have missed or misused
Moments to do good,
But God reigns in Eternity,
As present in the Past
As He is in my heartbeat. 

God’s hands are not tied
By the flow of Time. 
He is there
And here
And Eternal Now. 

My lowly prayer,
Clothed in The Name,
Breaks down the wall that stands
Between my need or regret, and blessing. 
Like the little donkey that carried the King of Kings,
My humble prayer
Sets in motion
The flow of grace to love,
To heal, to mend,
To restore and bless anew.

Joann Nelander

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?

Arm in Arm

Consider the multitudes,
Throng upon throng,
Gathered across Europe,
Arm in arm.

Regard the throng,
Witness of flesh,
Standing tall,
Staring down terror and the terrible,
Arm in Arm.

A proclamation for peace,
For life, for freedom,
In the aftermath of death,
To face the future,
Arm in arm.

A call to arms:
Arms to embrace,
Arms to hold dear,
Arms to forge, in heart-felt resolve,
In the furnace of trial, tears and tragedy,
An alliance of hope,
Arm in arm.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

A Drop in the Ocean

A drop in the ocean of the Lord,
Minuscule,
Tear-sized,
Hardly felt upon the cheek,
Brushed away
To fall into the river of Your love.

Once alone,
Barely a something,
Really "a nothing",
A lonely singularity,
But felt upon a Heart.

The tears of others,
Conjoined,
Confusion,
Profusion,
Holy joy in headlong rush,
Whisked over rock and rubble,
Carried by unseen arms,
Pressed on
By force of a Holy Will.

Cascades’ roar arousing fear,
Bewilderment,
Mingled vigor,
Hope rises to the surface
And churns the deep.

Fate creates a splash
And a rivulet of escape,
An instant of choice,
Puddle or precipice?

I hang upon a prayer,
Borne aloft in new fall,
Truly free fall,
Onto the rushing stream,
And weeping humanity prevails.

One drop,
Now millions,
Energy,
Direction,
Momentum,
Kinetic kaleidoscope,
Mirroring Divine power.

The tide of many waters,
Convergence,
At the edge,
And then the fall,
Not like the first,
In free abandonment.

One drop,
Transformed by divine law,
Holy Obedience.
Tumultuous streams
Carve the land without,
And all within.

Fertile flood of holy tears,
Serve now His Plan,
A drop in the ocean of God.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

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