UNITY BY GOD ALONE

UNITY BY GOD ALONE

From an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
The paschal sacrament brings together in unity of faith those physically separated from each other

Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Savior. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I too will ack

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I too will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven.”

Answer Me This

When did you last speak His Name?
Of what do you usually speak?
What occupies your thoughts and rules your moments?
Whose name shall be on your lips as life slips away?
Who will carry you home?

© 2017 Joann Nelander

Looking at the Sun

Looking at the Sun

Last evening, I saw the sun in a surprising way. Looking at the sun directly, it appeared to have a silvery and ” cool” disc over its center, which would normally be ” hot”and bright and would force my eyes to instinctively close or my eyes to look away. I watched it for some time in wonder and amazement, seeing soft red rays around its silvery core.

To me, it is mysterious. I mean, I do not know how I could gaze at it quite comfortably, watching the rays seem to spread out around it’s cool center.. I watched it for some time wondering at the occurrence, the ability to look upon it, and wondering why I was seeing it. I have seen this at other times in the past, often on a Church feast day, like the Feast of the Transfiguration, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

I write about it because I don’t know what it means but accept it as a gift, a grace. I have been wanting to write about grace and supernatural grace but I can’t seem to put what I understand of them into words, at least, into my words. So, like looking at the sun, I shall simply gaze on them a while more.

Looking at the Sun

Looking at the Sun

This evening, I saw the sun. Looking at the sun directly, it appeared to have a silvery and ” cool” disc over its center, which would normally be ” hot”and bright and would force my eyes to instinctively close or my eyes to look away. I watched it for some time in wonder and amazement, seeing soft red rays around its silvery core. To me, it is mysterious. I mean, I do not know how I could gaze at it quite comfortably, watching the rays seem to spread out around it’s cool center.. I watched it for some time wondering at the occurrence, the ability to look upon it, and wondering why I was seeing it. I have seen this at other times in the past, often on a Church feast day, like the Feast of the Transfiguration, or the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

I write about it because I don’t know what it means but accept it as a gift, a grace. I have been wanting to write about grace and supernatural grace but I can’t seem to put what I understand of them into words, at least, into my words. So, like looking at the sun, I shall simply gaze on them a while more.

Who Notices?

God Notices

How many moments in the day
Pass into a supposed oblivion?
“Just another day,” they say.

Another runny nose,
Another cranky cry,
Another, and another, and another.

Cloudy horizons,
Dreams caught off guard
By the mundane of reality,

Where is the “anything”,
They said I could be?
No time in the day just for me.

How many selfless moments,
Written in timeless sands,
Seemingly, lost with yesterday?

Hidden moments,
Stripped of vain glory.
Only God notices.

© 2017 Joann Nelander

One Holy Night

One Holy Night

Holy Infant of the stable
You shattered my darkness
In one Holy Night.

Though, tyrants and terrors
Threaten and pursue
Peace shines forth in Your angelic Light.

I, too, shiver in the cold,
As enemies draw near,
Simply trusting, in my plight.

Taking heart that angels ring me ’round.
Trusting that You will be ever near,
Hallowed, Holy, God of Might.

© 2017 Joann Nelander