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 their 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

Black Lives Matter and Other Opinions–Ben Carson–USA TODAY

Not everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag allegedly walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism. When a survivor of the ordeal reports that the killer shouted before opening fire, "You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go" — well, that sounds to me a lot like racial hatred.

Let’s call this sickness what it is, so we can get on with the healing. If this were a medical disease, and all the doctors recognized the symptoms but refused to make the diagnosis for fear of offending the patient, we could call it madness. But there are people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate.

USA TODAY

Hillary, pay your interns: Column

I understand the sensitivities. To some, calling the events in Charleston, S.C., a hate crime reinforces a stigma, which they have fought hard to put behind them. But refusing to call it what it is — racism — is a far more dangerous proposition. It reminds me of the early response to Ebola. American health officials were alerted to an epidemic in West Africa, and yet when a patient who had recently left one of the most affected regions showed up at a hospital displaying all the symptoms, the doctors failed to diagnose his condition. This not only led to the eventual death of the patient due to inadequate care but also exposed dozens of others to the deadly virus. When you wait too long to identify the problem, you miss your best chance to stop it.

We know what’s at stake here, so let’s stop all the interpretive dance around the obvious. Was it a depraved act of violence? Of course. Was it an act of unspeakable evil? Affirmative. Was it an attack on innocent Christians? Manifestly so. Is this killer a sick individual? In my professional opinion, yes, he is. What is his sickness? It’s the sickness of racism, a spiritual sickness that distorts the mind and heart and causes irrational and baseless fear and hatred in people of all colors. Racism was once epidemic in America, but through struggle, sacrifice, soul-searching and meaningful social change, we have made much progress. Clearly, the struggle is far from finished, and we must own up to that fact and that challenge.

USA TODAY

Charleston slaughter demands we heal our sick society: Column

Let’s not delude ourselves here. The stakes are too high. If we do not do something as a people to directly address the divisions caused by this sickness, we risk losing all of the ground we have made as a country over the past 50 years. And certainly the youth will take cues from their leaders. If we teach them it is OK to deny racism exists, even when it’s plainly staring them in the face, then we will perpetuate this sickness into the next generation and the next.

When an event of this magnitude occurs in the middle of an election cycle, politicians are often quick to try to score political points, look for scapegoats and easy answers. That’s the lowest common denominator of politics at a time when we need true leadership. Now is the time to abandon political expediency and seize this opportunity to demonstrate what we are really made of as a people, as a great country. We have come together in times of crisis, and we have risen to the test time and time again. We are a people whose courageousness has consistently triumphed over fear. We can come out stronger on the other end of this terrible tragedy, and we can heal this sickness that is crippling our nation. I know we can. But first we have to face the facts.

Ben S. Carson is a Republican candidate for president in 2016. He is the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

via Ben Carson: Call it racism.

Saint Louis and ”the Holy Chapel”, Sainte-Chapelle

Today we celebrate two great saints; St. Louis IX and St. Joseph Calasanz. St. Louis IX was King of France in the 13th century, having become king at age13. Throughout his reign, St. Louis defended justice and promoted peace. He organized ‘the court of the king;’ bringing regular reviews of feudal cases. He prioritized the poor; founding many hospitals and charitable organizations. Also, he loved architecture; supporting the famous Sorbonne University and the Sainte Chappelle, the ‘Holy Chapel’ known for its architectural complexity with stained glass. He was canonized in 1297 by Boniface VIII.

– See more at: divineoffice.org

 

By Your Presence

You, by Your Presence, O Lord,
Are Light to my darkness.
You are the kiss upon my brow,
The oil upon my head,
The arms of sweet embrace,
The banner over my heart.

You, All Love,
Bless this child of Your magnificent
And magnanimous Mercy.
Day by day.
I find You all about me.

Flowers and fields,
Spread before me
As a welcoming blanket.
Come rest awhile, You invite.
I come and I delight.

©2011 Joann Nelander

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Becoming Flame

I offer You the straw of my life,
O Lord of my redemption.
Send Your angels, day by day,
To glean my field,
To fuel the fire of Your Love.

Did You not say,
"Learn from Me,
For I am meek,
And humble of heart?"
You do not need my riches.
You seek my poverty, my emptiness.

Your Fire penetrates my stubble.
I become like You,
All aglow As light and heat
Testify to Your Presence in the flame
That shoots to the heavens.

I am surrender and trust
In welcome transformation.
I am lost and yet eternal.
In You, straw by straw,
As kindling,
I am become the Flame.

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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