Let Me Entertain You

My pastor commented on a quasi-supernatural event at our church as an example of how we are so spectacularly entertained by new media and extravaganzas of the 21 century, that we seem to conclude God had better produce better productions, if He wants to keep us.

Seems a lady noticed the face of Jesus in the veil before the tabernacle (shadows and light / a wink from the Almighty?) Well by the next day, 800 people had trooped into the church midweek to see the marvel.

As the liturgical rubrics of the season would have it, though, the veil had to be changed to a purple one, and so it was. How many people visited the next day?

The score:

Signs and Wonders – 800

Real Presence – 0

I Watched a Friend at Prayer

I watched a friend at prayer.
From the moment her eyes
Met Yours on the Cross,
She was enraptured.

What is it that passes between like souls?
The gulf between You, God,
And Your creature is unfathomable,
Yet, Your love spans the distance and dissimilarity
With the intimacy of a mother
Suckling her infant,
All giving, all gift and all grace.

I watched my friend at prayer.
The world about her changed.
A holy space surrounded her,
As angels hurried to and fro,
Now bowing, now prostrate, now adoring.

All prayer unites,
As earth receives its Savior-God,
As Man exercises dominion,
Freed from Sin and chains.

Angels in swift flight,
Aloft on mission-wings ,
Now ascending,
Now descending.

Peace on earth
To men of good will,
As Time and Eternity kiss,
Love knowing no distance.

I watched my friend at prayer,
As her prayer became my prayer,
You drawing all to Yourself.
Draw me now,
And all will in turn
Run after the odor of Your ointments.

 ©2011 Joann Nelander

Going Up to Jerusalem

O God, let me climb
The Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.

Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels 
Of my garment,
And run with me,
Drawn heavenward
By Your Cross.

On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
Rescue,save, deliver,
My Bridegroom comes.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Life Everlasting – All Glory to God

Thomas Aquinas stained glass window.

Image via Wikipedia

From a conference by Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest

I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen It is fitting that the end of all our desires, namely eternal life coincides with the words at the end of the creed, “Life everlasting. Amen.” The first point about eternal life is that man is united with God. For God himself is the reward and end of all our labors: I am your protector and your supreme reward. This union consists in seeing perfectly: At present we see through a glass, darkly; but then we shall see face to face. Next it consists in perfect praise, according to the words of the prophet: Joy and happiness will be found in it, thanksgiving and words of praise. It also consists in the complete satisfaction of desire, for there the blessed will be given more than they wanted or hoped for. The reason is that in this life no one can fulfill his longing, nor can any creature satisfy man’s desire. Only God satisfies, he infinitely exceeds all other pleasures. That is why man can rest in nothing but God. As Augustine says: You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our heart can find no rest until it rests in you. Since in their heavenly home the saints will possess God completely, obviously their longing will be satisfied, and their glory will be even greater. That is why the Lord says: Enter into the joy of your Lord. Augustine adds: The fullness of joy will not enter into those who rejoice, but those who rejoice will enter into joy. I shall be satisfied when your glory is seen, and again: He who satisfies your desire with good things. Whatever is delightful is there in superabundance. If delights are sought, there is supreme and most perfect delight. It is said of God, the supreme good: Boundless delights are in your right hand. Again, eternal life consists of the joyous community of all the blessed, a community of supreme delight, since everyone will share all that is good with all the blessed. Everyone will love everyone else as himself, and therefore will rejoice in another’s good as in his own. So it follows that the happiness and joy of each grows in proportion to the joy of all.