Prayers Forever Answered

Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century pop...

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Saints have prayed prayers,

Prayers hanging over Time,

Still being answered:

“God protect Your Church.”

“God spare Your People.”

“God forgive Sin.”

“God make holy.”

“God preserve and enlighten.”

Prayers that never end

Prayers forever answered.

 

by Joann Nelander

People of Praise

Your people praise you, O Lord.
As points of light,
Scattered about
The surface of the Earth.
Together with angelic choirs,
That dot the firmament,
Your children sing.

With fish, and bird,
With rivers and seas,
With mountains,
And heavenly heights,
Creation sings in chorus,
Affirmation,
Acclamation,
And affection,
In sanctifying hosannas,
That fall as bountiful rain,
To water man and beast
With fruitful exaltation,
Multipling our delight,
As we magnify our God.

We are your mothers,
Fathers, sisters,
Brothers, friends
Of Your fold,
Returning praise,
And worship due
The Most High Lord
Of all creation.
In Your Light we
Become Your Light.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Listening and Silent

It seems…
I am always talking to You,
That I am always with You,
And have no doubt
You are with me,
Listening and silent.

I am an endless monologue.
You, hovering Spirit,
Wordlessly eloquent
Abide.
You are Presence and Truth,
Listening and silent,
Thunderously silent,
Save for the stirring of my heart,
And the sometime rush of thought,
Coming, as it were,
From the bowels of my being
With frightening conviction,
And challenging my reticence
To speak aloud
The thoughts of solitude.

Reluctant always
To go about,
And leave the cloister of my heart,
Where in Your chambers I find,
And hold dear,
Private audience with the King,

The world without is a noisy charade,
And woos the pride of me take center stage.
Where suddenly I realize
I have been talking much, too much,
To my regret.

I, naggingly, suspect
I have diminished
What was my treasure
And ceased to learn.
Cacophony of me,
I cease to learn,
And simply rearrange,
That with which I am familiar.

Where do prophet, poet and a would be recluse
Find voice if not in You,
Rejecting even audience
To find You in my silence,
Your silence?

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

LONGINUS, SOLDIER SAINT

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Smiling Eyes

Lying in the sunshine of Your love,
Recounting humming bird days,
Flitting as flashes flung to the heavens,
I look to the horizon,
For the rising of yet another sun.

I feel I know You.
It is me I doubt,
But I don’t know why.
I have spent my life
Becoming what I think
You want me to be.
Others, though, have always
Seemed to do it better.

Here I am at eve tide,
Recounting the many waters,
That wash these shores.
Your Beauty plays for me,
Painting the setting sun;
I guess, to reassure my clay
Of The Love You are,
As I still look for me,
Reflected in Your smiling eyes.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Advent – Prayer in Waiting

Advent is upon my soul.
Divine gift of season,
I listen for the cry of a First Born Son,
Begotten before Time begun,
And fleshed in the Virgin’s womb.

I come to her,
Who is the Ark,
Your Mercy Seat.
Kneeling beside her
In these pregnant moments,
I lay my head upon her lap.

Her wonderment and awe
In steadfast contemplation,
Inspire angels’ songs.

I hear their reverent voices
In my night.
Their chorus bids me come.
Come to the stable of simplicity.

Leave the noisy city for a deserted place,
The Wilderness whose hidden way
Leads to the waiting manger,
Now, in expectant readiness,
For the Food that will feed
The hungry world.

My Advent prayer:
Come, O Holy Infant!
Come to my straw!

By Joann Nelander

Seed of Hope

The seed is alive,
With the Future.
The seed
Buried seeking light.

The one Adam,
The store of generations,
Begetting,
But not solely of himself.

One alike in nature,
But unique to the task,
Played by his side,
The delight of Paradise.

Sin entered in.
Nature, sublime,
Met the devil in his slime.
Havoc and hell followed,
On a Fall
For the all,
Yet to be.

Generation,
Degeneration,
Retribution.
No restitution,
No remedy for institution.

Generations
Living under a curse,
Dying in time.
Eden lost,
Without return.

Until the One,
The sent
The holy.
Began His reign,
Faith born.
To invite again,
To turn again
From the mire!
Unto hope.

Confronting the curse
Hanging from the cross,
Accursed,
Bcoming Sin,
Sin meeting its end
In Him.

Meeting His end
Defeating the end
To be the beginning,
First born of the Dead.

To be for us
To be forever New,
New life
New hope.

Finding Adam in his grave
Dry bones moved by the Spirit.
Rise with him.

A new beginning
Rising from death
To call all to life.

The life of Adam,
Born through the ages,
Played out in generations.
Out of one, many.

He, Christ,
Descending
Gathering ,
Mending,
All ascending ,
Captive to the Light.

The seed
Become
His Life,
The future without end,
Living life without end.

© 2016 Joann Nelander