God Bless America

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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

How must we interpret this law of God? How, if not

How must we interpret this law of God? How, if not by love? The love that stamps the precepts of right-living on the mind and bids us put them into practice. Listen to Truth speaking of this law: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Listen to Paul: The whole law,he declares, is summed up in love; and again: Help one another in your troubles, and you will fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ—does anything other than love more fittingly describe it? Truly we are keeping this law when, out of love, we go to the help of a brother in trouble.

But we are told that this law is manifold. Why? Because love’s lively concern for others is reflected in all the virtues. It begins with two commands, but it soon embraces many more. Paul gives a good summary of its various aspects. Love is patient, he says, and kind; it is never jealous or conceited; its conduct is blameless; it is not ambitious, not selfish, not quick to take offense; it harbors no evil thoughts, does not gloat over other people’s sins, but is gladdened by an upright life.

The man ruled by this love shows his patience by bearing wrongs with equanimity; his kindness by generously repaying good for evil. Jealousy is foreign to him. It is impossible to envy worldly success when he has no worldly desires. He is not conceited. The prizes he covets lie within; outward blessings do not elate him. His conduct is blameless,for he cannot do wrong in devoting himself entirely to love of God and his neighbor. He is not ambitious. The welfare of his own soul is what he cares about. Apart from that he seeks nothing. He is not selfish. Unable to keep anything he has in this world, he is as indifferent to it as if it were another’s. Indeed, in his eyes nothing is his own but what will be so always. He is not quick to take offense.Even under provocation, thought of revenge never crosses his mind. The reward he seeks hereafter will be greater in proportion to his endurance. He harbors no evil thoughts. Hatred is utterly rooted out of a heart whose only love is goodness. Thoughts that defile a man can find no entry. He does not gloat overother people’s sins. No; an enemy’s fall affords him no delight, for loving all men, he longs for their salvation.

On the other hand, he is gladdened by an upright life. Since he loves others as himself, he takes as much pleasure in whatever good he sees in them as if the progress were his own. That is why this law of God is manifold.

Via divineoffice.org

Joann Nelanderlionessblog.com

Rejoice in the Lord always

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
Rejoice in the Lord always

The Apostle tells us to rejoice, but in the Lord, not in the world. Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, says Scripture, will be reckoned an enemy of God. As a man cannot serve two masters, so one cannot rejoice both in the world and in the Lord.

Let joy in the Lord prevail, then, until joy in the world is no more. Let joy in the Lord go on increasing; let joy in the world go on decreasing until it is no more. This is said, not because we are not to rejoice while we are in this world, but in order that, even while we are still in this world, we may already rejoice in the Lord.

You may object: I am in the world; if I rejoice I certainly rejoice where I am. What is this? Do you mean that because you are in the world you are not in the Lord? Listen again to the Apostle, speaking now to the Athenians: in the Acts of the Apostles he says this of God and the Lord our creator: In him we live and move and have our being. If he is everywhere, where is he not? Surely this was what he was exhorting us to realize. The Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything.

This is a great truth, that he ascended above all the heavens, yet is near to those on earth. Who is this stranger and neighbor if not the one who became our neighbor out of compassion?

The man lying on the road, left half-dead by robbers, the man treated with contempt by the priest and the levite who passed by, the man approached by the passing Samaritan to take care of him and help him, that man is the whole human race. When the immortal one, the holy one, was far removed from us because we were mortal and sinners, he came down to us, so that he, the stranger, might become our neighbor.

He did not treat us as our sins deserved. For we are now sons of God. How do we show this? The only Son of God died for us, so that he might not remain alone. He who died as the only Son did not want to remain as the only Son. For the only Son of God made many sons of God. He bought brothers for himself by his blood; he made them welcome by being rejected; he ransomed them by being sold; he honored them by being dishonored; he gave them life by being put to death.

So, brethren, rejoice in the Lord, not in the world. That is, rejoice in the truth, not in wickedness; rejoice in the hope of eternity, not in the fading flower of vanity. That is the way to rejoice. Wherever you are on earth, however long you remain on earth, the Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything.

Via divineoffice.org

Dreams Dreamt Before

Oh, I’ve waken to new sunshine

Of dawns risen o’er the hills.

I’ve swum in quivering rivers,

And climbed in flight as gulls.

I’ve shown bright with each moonlight

And fallen with each star.

I’ve feathered clouds with soft down

And sprinkled rain afar.

I’ve snuggled to a blade of grass

And clutched a rose as dew.

I’ve painted rainbows ‘cross the sky,

And lavished them with hue.

I’ve suckled sweetness from a bloom,

And fluttered, free to soar.

I’ve slept beneath the Tree of Life

And dreamt these dreams before.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Dawn Comes

O see,
Dawn comes
The first rays of Light
Upon the mountain.
How I have waited.
How I have longed.
Having embraced Faith
I possessed Truth,
But it was like the dawn,
Outside myself.
Written, as on tablets,
But, not yet,
Written on my heart.
It’s glory was God"s,
And not my own,
Not of my forging,
Not for me to fashion,
As a graven image,
Or molten calf,,
Arising from the fires
Of my concupiscence,
A counterfeit for Love,
Revealing only the blindness
Fallen on hearts,
Minds, and wills
Apart from Light
Of Dayspring
On Holy Night.

Now come
The long awaited symbolon
To make whole
To heal my soul.

O Holy Night
Putting an end
To lonely darkness
O Holy sight,
I wait
To see aright.

By Joann Nelander

Prayer for Our Day

Lord of Power and Might,
Harness the Four Winds
To serve Your Plan,
And bless Your inheritance.

Prostrate before You,
The Church raises a mighty cry,
To pierce the heavens,
And touch Your Merciful Heart.

Though our sins poison the many waters,
And our idolatry empower the Enemy,
May the sack clothe and ashes of our repentance,
Be sweet incense.

May our prayer and penance,
Be a shield emblazoned
With Your Name,
O Mercy Divine.

Reign down upon the Fiend,
The punishment our crimes deserve,
Chain Hell’s fury,
As in humility and meekness,
We render You Praise.

Salvation is Your Name,
O, Jesus.
Glad hosannas encircle Your Throne,
And the Glory of God
Shows forth in Love.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
The Seraphim cry in adoration,
As Powers, Thrones and Dominions,
Principalities and Virtues,
Pour down the Blood of Christ,
On Adam’s sin and seed,
To banish the Long Night.

Our God reigns,
His Cross lights up the sky.
Witnesses of Past and Present shout for joy.
Cherubim return to Your Jerusalem of Gold,
Spreading their wings above your Mercy Seat .

Your Temple is Presence,
Welcoming "Men of Good Will",
As Angels and Archangels
Secure the Children of God.
Amen.

©2014 Joann Nelander