Remind the World

Remind the World

“Remind the world Who its King Is, Who it is that they are to worship.”

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From the Introduction to the Devout Life

From the Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales

Devotion must be practiced in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfills all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

From the Introduction to the Devout Life

From the Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales

Devotion must be practiced in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfills all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

Wings of Silence

Wings of Silence

My Lord,
I spread my wings in this,
My poor prayer.

I wait,
Trustingly, wait,
For You, My Lord.

You come, hovering,
And then,
Like a breeze
Beneath my pinions,
Fill and lift me.

I rest on the Wind,
Knowing,
It is Your Spirit
Holding me aloft.

At Your invitation,
I rise,
Ever higher,
Resting on the Wind.

Hugging Your hallowed Presence,
I can simply be,
Knowing,
You know me.

It is the silence of my heart That dares speak,
As soaring,
Without effort,
I hear Your Silence,
Your knowing,
Loving, Silence.

© 2018 Joann Nelander

A Life of Gratitude

A Life of Gratitude

St. Bernadette looked at her life in simple thanksgiving for everything. Her testament is an exceptional statement of gratitude. In her words:

  • For the poverty in which my mother and father lived, for the failure of the mill, all the hard times, for the awful sheep, for constant tiredness, thank you, my God!
  • For lips, which I was feeding too much, for the dirty noses of the children, for the guarded sheep, I thank you!
  • Thank you, my God, for the prosecutor and the police commissioner, for the policemen, and for the harsh words of Father Peyramale!
  • For the days in which you came, Mary, for the ones in which you did not come, I will never be able to thank you…only in Paradise.
  • For the slap in the face, for the ridicule, the insults, and for those who suspected me for wanting to gain something from it, thank you, my Lady.
  • For my spelling, which I never learned, for the memory that I never had, for my ignorance and for my stupidity, thank you.
  • For the fact that my mother died so far away, for the pain I felt when my father instead of hugging his little Bernadette called me, “Sister Marie-Bernard”, I thank you, Jesus.
  • I thank you for the heart you gave me, so delicate and sensitive, which you filled with bitterness.
  • For the fact that Mother Josephine proclaimed that I was good for nothing, thank you. For the sarcasm of the Mother Superior: her harsh voice, her injustices, her irony and for the bread of humiliation, thank you.
  • Thank you that I was the privileged one when it came to be reprimanded, so that my sisters said, “How lucky it is not to be Bernadette.”
  • Thank you for the fact that it is me, who was the Bernadette threatened with imprisonment because she had seen you, Holy Virgin; regarded by people as a rare animal; that Bernadette so wretched, that upon seeing her, it was said, “Is that it?”
  • For this miserable body which you gave me, for this burning and suffocating illness, for my decaying tissues, for my de-calcified bones, for my sweats, for my fever, for my dullness and for my acute pains, thank you, my God.
  • And for this soul which you have given me, for the desert of inner dryness, for your night and the lightening, for your silences and your thunders, for everything.
  • For you-when you were present and when you were not—thank you, Jesus. (Saint Bernadette, Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Abbe Francois Trochu)

Choices Have Consequences and Some Are Forever – Greater is the Mercy of God – Repentance is an Eternal Gift

Choices Have Consequences and Some Are Forever – Greater is the Mercy of God – Repentance is an Eternal Gift

Choice

I believe that if we realized the person in-utero is not hanging in some ethereal place while we decide whether or not we can accomodate our lives to their presence in the here and now, realizing that they are a reality and not a choice, and that their one life is all they have on earth and they want it just as much as we want, defend and protect our own, for they precious to us, then the abortion debate would be over.

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Here I Am

Here I am, beneath your heart,
My heart beating in happy harmony,
As my frame perceives
The gentle throbbing within your breast,
Serene.

I began in secret and in darkness,
A mystery, even to myself.
Day by day, nature shapes my clay,
As you await the blessed dawn of my birth day.

What I know, I know by existence.
I am now all trust,
Simply growing,
Simply becoming who I am.

Comfort, you give comfort.
Love, you are all I know of love.
As you wait for me, my mother,
The eyes of my soul are wide open.
I behold you, smiling upon me.

Expectant, vigilant and gleeful,
Mother of my moments,
You cradle me.
You are my home of sweet delight.

© 2011 Joann Nelander