Love’s Mansion

A child lost,
A child stolen,
A child abandoned,
But not by Love.

Love held his hand,
As Death pursued.
Love clutched his life
To hold him in her heart.

When all doors shut,
When clouds descended,
When law conspired,
When men called evil good.

Love shared his pain.
Love healed.
Love fostered love.
Prepared a home.

Love opened the earth
To receive the blood
Of innocence,
Once more.

Love found a way,
To thwart the grave,
To forgive, to forget,
To encompass and enfold.

Love builds a mansion
With waiting rooms,
For mother, father
And lineage long.

From Adam past
Unto blessed Eternity,
Love reclaims,
Love invites to Mercy feast.

Love simply loves,
Sinner, martyr, saint,
The lost, the stolen, the abandoned,
Now espoused.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Time, Trial and Chaff

Father, help me be patient,
As I receive the answer
To all my prayers.
In faith, I wait.

Trial, and time
In steady supply,
Over and round
By threshing sledge ground,
Crushed be
The husk of me.

Tossed, then,
High in hope,
To brave both
Flight and fall,
As Spirit winds,
A winnowing fan,
Carry my chaff
To all forgetful clouds.

Hallowed be the ground,
On which I come to rest.
Only Son,
Of Three in One.

Waiting, winning,
Gathering the wheat,
One with me
The answer be.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty


O’ God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the Light and the saving Truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty, Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Conversion Miracles in the Ether of Cyberspace

 

Leah Libresco a prominent atheist blogger at Patheos, a religion website, has left the ranks of the faithful no-faith for true believer status among the Christian hordes. Debate sparked this unexpected decision. 

“The great thing about a lot of the atheist and skeptic community is that people talk more critically about ideas and want to see proof provided,”  “That kind of analytical thinking is completely useful and the Catholic Church doesn’t need to and should not be afraid of because if you’ve got the facts on your side, you hope they win.”

Fortnight For Freedom

A call to prayer for our great nation by our bishops has gone forth.  Now it is for the people to pray.

H/T  USCCB

 

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Vigilance

O, Trinity, mine,
As I am Thine,
Indwelling with sacred flame,
Dispatch as for battle
Angels and Archangels,
Sword in hand.

Penetrate my darkness,
Infiltrate clandestine deceptions
Masquerading as light.
Pull down cruel strongholds,
Erected by Minion’s guile,
Surreptitious and in disguise.

Where blindness
Has made me vulnerable,
Where folly
Has let down my guard,
Where allurement
Has entrapped me,
Give power, sword and wing,
To Your Michael.

Bid him ride the dawn
To stand arrayed for the frey,
Here, by my side.
Bright Angel of Truth,
Mount ye,
Who Is Like God,
Ever upward,
Empowered by my prayer,
Whispered in the Name,
All Hallowed.

Hashem, do You battle,
Vanquish the hidden
Enemies of my soul,
By my union,
In Your Death.

By my Baptism,
Let Your Blood
Cry out as Your Able,
From the ground
Of my being.

Give Life ever new.
In Your rest,
Empty Tomb,
Witness in me,
By Eucharistic grace,
The triumph of Your Resurrection.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Then and Now – The Dilemma and the Dialog

It’s been fifty years, since I was first confronted by issues of life in the womb, and of choice conflicting with traditional morality. It’s an old story, but very personal, and fraught with emotional triggers. Then, I was a student nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital, where Dr. Alan Guttmacher and Margaret Sanger were being hailed as super-heroes of Womankind. In a lecture presented to student nurses in our formative years, opinions were presented as fact. The class focused on birth control, under the banner of Women’s Health. A one-sided presentation of the history of Planned Parenthood took center stage. I knew, then, the class was skewed, avoiding the issue, and immorality of abortion, which, in reality, eventually raises its ugly head in an unbiased arena.

I was silent, asked no questions, although I was aware that what was being said was not the whole, unadulterated story. The heroine, Margaret Sanger, in truth, wrote prolifically, revealing the underpinning of her eugenic philosophy. Her own words promote a foundational agenda more akin to racial cleansing, than savior of womankind. Her involvement in the Negro Project and speeches to the Klu Klux Klan should have been red flags stripping her of any moral authority. She was, and, is no hero, to at least half our Nation. Yet, fifty years, and Sanger’s own words, have not deterred Planned Parenthood from canonizing her, and striving to re-write her actual history. Then, I didn’t know her history; I do now.

You can find Sanger’s writings online, as well as ample examples of her questionable associations and eugenic thought processes. I wish I knew all this years ago, for my experience of the lecture left me feeling that my inexperience and naiveté, made me vulnerable to propaganda. I was not prepared to confront the status quo, and those in authority, even at this level, in a teaching venue.

Well, it has been fifty years, and in reading our Alumnae News, spring 2012, an article entitled, “The Past- Planned Parenthood from the Beginning” brought me back to that day and my dilemma. What bothered me most about the recent, well-meaning article was the writer’s voice that seemed to me to assume moral superiority. There is a false compassion that plays to emotionalism and worse case scenarios, and I heard it in the tone of this piece. It, yet again, presented its cast of characters as pioneer heroines, and their cause as above reproach. Yet, there are many Mt. Sinai alumnae, and millions of people in this country, who, in a just righteousness, also seek the welfare of women, desire to protect the living, the home, and the foundational fabric of society as guardians of family and the individual, and who do not agree with this stance, and suppositions made here. They are ignored in this article, as they were in the lecture of years ago.

Motherhood plays poorly, when pregnancy is portrayed as an albatross hung about its neck. For a true dialog, and the Big Picture, the voice of the other side needs to be heard by student nurses and society as a whole, for the good of women and society. It is a necessary and rational voice, lifted to oppose, what it views as a pseudo-sophisticate, myopic view presented as progressive. This other valid voice addresses life issues compassionately, while being circumspect and prophetic, speaking for, and caring for, the good of the person and humanity. It, too, takes a moral stance that is unselfish, sometimes unpopular, and honors the wisdom of cultures and the sages of present and past ages. Dismissive attitudes do no justice to truth and learning. Student nurses, and society as a whole, deserve the whole truth. Our personal humanity hangs in the balance.

I, for one, want a voice, not a label. I’ll stand with those that reject a culture, in which truth doesn’t matter, that seeks the material over life, “whose morality is only a mask, which covers confusion and destruction”1and in doing so comes dangerously close to denying the Creator of life.

Our motto, “Vota Vita Nostra”, “We devote our lives,” speaks not only to our personal decision, but to there being One, and a cause, greater than ourselves, worthy of sacrifice, and our dedication, greater even than the Mt. Sinai from which we ventured forth, will never forget, and now are carrying into this day and this hour of history. Keep it real. Keep it honest. Listen for truth with the heart of a nurse.

© 2012 Joann  Nelander