Peace Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace:

            where there is hatred let me sow love,

            where there is injury, pardon,

            where there is doubt, faith,

            where there is despair, hope,

            where there is sadness, joy.

 

O Divine Master grant that I may no so

            much seek to be comforted as to comfort,

            to be understood as to understand,

            to be loved as to love.

 

Because it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

Conor

Keep Smiling!

 

https://www.tasteofloveblog.com/

@TheeConor(Twitter)

Prayer of Abandonment

Father,

I abandon myself into your hands;

Do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you:

I am ready for all, I accept all.

 

Let only your will be done in me,

And in all your creatures –

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

 

Into your hands I commend my soul;

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,

For I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,

To surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence.,

For you are my Father.

 

Charles de Foucauld

  

Conor

Keep Smiling!

 

https://www.tasteofloveblog.com/

@TheeConor(Twitter)

 

Simply stated, Love.

” Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy,

it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered, it keeps no record

of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with

the truth.

It always protects, always trust, always hopes,

always perseveres.”

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Conor

Find a way!

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Love and Forgiveness

We are all called by God to live a just life following the Laws of God, and I believe the most important, can be summed up in Love and Forgiveness. The laws of The Commandments; “Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not kill… speak of what not to do, and yes, we need to obey. However, they “don’t move us to love more; they just keep us from failing to love.

True love overtakes us and leads us to do more than we ever thought possible of ourselves. We can develop patience, forgiveness and kindness over and over. It allows us to Forget, truly Forget grudges and past wrongs. What God is asking of us, is no more than he is doing for us and our failings.
What are some small ways we can move forward showing our love especially for our neighbors, or those strangers that cross our path every day for a reason? And how can we show it whether they see it or not?

It is a love with patience for someone who doesn’t get it or is incapable of understanding. It is understanding someone who has a different opinion or perspective than we do. It is that act of kindness like holding the door for someone and smiling at them. A few kind words to someone you pass by, as that maybe the only person they have in their life that day to talk too. A compliment to someone you don’t know to make their day, or just a simple thank you. A kind word of “Keep Smiling” that always evokes a surprise and a smile from them. Hopefully, you have made their day!
An easy scripture to remember that you can carry with you all day is ‘You shall love.” (Romans 13:9) Yes, I fail at times, as there are people I have tried to live with what I have noted above. But in a particular case, I have failed for years with a certain neighbor. But, I am still called to keep trying as these situations ring true to me: “Make us know the shortness of life/that we may gain wisdom of the heart.” (Ps. 90:12)

I recently participated in the Year of Mercy by attending the ceremonies and Mass for the relics of St. Maria Goretti. A very moving time and an overwhelming experience of forgiveness. Learning how to forgive and forget. Many miracles of recent times were shared with those in attendance, and in this special time, it was impossible for anyone to leave and not further embrace Love and Forgiveness.
I am noting some very powerful words that speak to Love below by Etty Hillesum:

“There is a passage in the Bible from which I always draw new strength. I think it goes something like: “He that loveth me, let him forsake his father and mother:” Last night I had to struggle again not to be overwhelmed by the pity I had for my parents, since it would paralyze me if I gave in to it. I know that we must not lose ourselves so completely in grief and concern for our families that we have little thought or love left for our neighbors. More and more I tend toward the idea that love for everyone who may cross my path, love for everyone made in God’s image, must rise above love for blood relatives. Please don’t misunderstand me. It may seem unnatural-and I see that it is still far too difficult for me to write about, though so simple to live.”

(Words by Etty Hillesum from Amsterdam, Holland and put to death in Auschwitz.)
And as the time ended with the ceremony for St. Maria Goretti, the Saint Child who shows us how to forgive, a speaker ended on this powerful and reflecting note. For those who pray the Our Father every day, and does not subscribe to forgiveness as we are asked, the speaker said: “I dare you pray for forgiveness; yes I dare you to pray for forgiveness.” As it goes in the Our Father, “give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespasses again us.”

So how do we ask God for forgiveness, when we are not willing to forgive. We will see.

Conor
Find A Way!!

Novena for the victims at Emanuel AME Church (Charleston, SC)

“Lord, we pray for those who have been debated

by recent tragedies. We remember those who have

lost their loves so suddenly. We hold in our hearts

the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring

them consolidation and comfort. Surround them with

our prayers for strength. Bless those who have sur-

vivid and heal their memories of trauma and divas-

tation. May they have the courage to face the days

ahead. Help us to respond with generosity in prayer,

in assistance, and in comfort to the best of our ability.

Keep our hearts focused on the needs of all the

community. We ask this in the Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Please pray a novena for the victims of the massacre.

Monsignor Steven Brovey

Conor

Find A Wa

Fathers with Daughters

Fathers with Daughters

Dad,

“A father holds his
daughter’s hand for a
short while, but he
holds her heart forever.

Today a bride,
Tomorrow a wife,
Always your little girl.”

With Love,

Erin

Conor
Find A way!

For the willing and unafraid

Prayer of Abandonment.

Father:

I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

Charles de Foucauld

Conor
“Find A Way”
________________________________________

Time with God

We need to take time every day to quiet our many concerns, fears and responsibilities so that we can hear the Spirit’s whisper, oh so gentle in our hearts. “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

It is easy to be occupied mentally, to busy physically, to have excellent reasons why “now” is not a convenient time. Still, God is inviting you! He’s worth rearranging your schedule for Him, just as you would cancel all your appointments if you were invited to an important dinner or if you had the chance to meet someone, who you had always hoped you would, and now you get the opportunity.

Pray to God to stir your heart to make the changes and find that quiet time you will never stop or give up, once you have heard that whisper in “your quiet” time.

Conor
Find a way!

Emily the Elephant (MY Christmas Wish)

Emily was a couple of years older than Edward. She knew so much more than Edward and told Edward that every day. I mean everyday! That did not bother Edward though, as he really liked his sister. He loved her and liked following her all around the fields looking for food. He liked meeting all of her friends too. They were so nice to him. Sometimes better than Emily. She could be a mean sister!

One day as Emily was supposed to be watching Edward, she got involved with her elephant friends and lost sight of Edward. He must have wandered away, she thought. She looked around and did not see him. All of a sudden she got scared, as Edward was too young to be out here in the fields all by himself. She thought, “What am I going to do? Where do I start looking for Edward? Oh No! What have I done?

Emily was having so much fun with her friends; she had no idea how long Edward was gone. As often as she told Edward how much more she knew than him, she felt real bad about losing Edward. She became real sad! She was worried! She knows the danger with other animals here in the jungle.

Edward was off running around, and guess what! He found a bunch of puddles and could not wait to get in them. He was having so much fun just rolling around and getting muddy. Boy, did he love being muddy!

Edward did not realize that Emily was not around, because all he was thinking about was rolling in the water and dirt. He loved doing that and he liked filling up his trunk, again and again with water! But then Edward looked around and realized what he did—He walked away from Emily and got so involved with the puddles, that now he doesn’t know where Emily is. He cannot see her anywhere. Oh no! Where am I?

As Edward got up from the mud, he heard noises from other animals that he did not know. It sounded like quite a few animals. He heard elephant yelling too! They were yelling at each other and at the other animals too. What was going on? That is Emily and her friends!! I hear Emily screaming! I got to find her!
Edward started walking slowly towards all the noise he heard in the distance. He then started to run, because he was worried about his sister. What am I’m going to do? I’m scared! Then he remembered what his mother told him after he got in trouble last time with the puddles. She said, “It is ok to be scared. We all get scared sometimes, but we must be brave and always do the right thing. We must always help family and friends, and other animals too that need help. And yes, you always need to listen to what Mom and Dad tell you.”

Edward then started to run even faster now. The noises were louder and he could not stop thinking about Emily. She’s my sister! My sometimes mean sister! He got behind the trees and he could see 3 young lions running around the elephants trying to get one of them alone. They were much faster than the elephants, but the elephants were bigger. It looked like they were trying to get Arnold, my friend, one of the smaller elephants like me.

Edward just watch them trying to figure out what they were going to do next. Edward slipped around the side where there were more trees, so he could get even closer. He knew he had to surprise the lions, so the other elephants could help him chase the lions away.
Edward thought and knew what to do. He was so glad he did what he always loved doing in the puddles. He had filled his trunk up to the top with water. Now, he was ready!

Edward waited for the right moment and then charged the lions. Emily saw Edward, so she charged from the other side towards Edward. The lions were caught in the middle! The lions saw elephants coming at them from all sides. They knew they had to run and get away or they would be hurt.

It worked! The lions left. Emily could not wait to get to Edward and say how sorry she was for not looking after him. She promised that it would never happen again. And she told Edward she was sorry for always telling him she knew more than him. She was wrong. Emily also told Edward, that because of what he did, he saved everyone from getting hurt. Yes Edward, you knew more than me today. I am so proud of you! Thank you for helping and I want you to know, I love my little brother. She put her trunk around his head and gave him a hug!

The elephants all gathered together and started a line to go back home. Edward was feeling pretty good for helping, but it meant so much to him, to hear his sister tell him how much she loves him. Emily means so much to me and I love her too!

Edward now couldn’t wait to get home and tell Mom and Dad what he did.

“Find a way.”
_Conor

Branch 2 *Perfection

Dear Souls,

I write as I once did to no one, and everyone, with God in Mind
and Spirit. The inner sanctum of our souls need to be strengthened
and nourished incessantly………

When you doubt someone’s love for you, you are also considering
your personal worthiness of love. You are asking if you are
adequate of praise and/or deserving.

God loves you because of His Grace and Mercy. He has the
discretionary honor of pardon. He shows us leniency. He is
tender, soft, compassionate and of course righteous. He is the
epitome of all things Good.

He didn’t say He would only love us if we like His favorite colors,
green or blue. He didn’t say He would only love us if we hang our
towel straight, eat all our vegetables, or take the garbage out
every Wednesday night. (smile)

God isn’t waiting for us to be perfect, because He merits
Perfection. Does that mean we can do anything we want? Certainly
not! We are told in 1st Timothy 6:11 to “Pursue righteousness,
Godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”

*If our God can forgive our imperfection, exemplify us as worthy
of love, and we long for righteousness, couldn’t we do the same for
others?

Sharing the story

Have you reflected on your life recently to look back, and at the present, and see in honest eyes how you are doing and what you have done? Have you made a difference? Have you tried, changed and improved through your life experiences and maturity? Maybe the help came to you, and not knowing, you think you did it on your own. Have you used all the gifts granted to you or have you been focused on all the gifts and trappings of life for yourself?

Who we are and what makes us our own individual self, is all a gift from God. He expects us to use what has been given and to make a difference, and that comes in many shapes and forms. Can you name the gifts you have been given in this life, and how you are using them? The bigger question though, God has given you so much to make you who you are, so the question to you, what are you going to give back to God for those gifts given to you?

Depending on your belief system, there are different perspectives on end of life. More specifically though, is how are you going to meet judgment day? There are three areas I’d offer you to reflect on:

• Judgment – Our Lord asks you what you have done. Lord I did everything for you. I was honest, did not steal, was a good spouse and raised my kids to know you.” Our Lord asks again, what have you done for me/others? Lord I followed your commandments, made church every week. Again Our Lord asks, “What have you done for me?” I have been faithful to my spouse, never cursed or gossiped. “Yes I understand , but I have given you gifts to help the least of your brethren. Did you feed the hungry? Did you visit the sick and those in need? Did you help the elderly, the poor with their needs, the lonely? Did you not see me there with them? Did you not see me when you looked in their eyes? Did you not only love Me with your heart, mind and soul, but did you not love your neighbor as you would love me? “Those that are given much, more will be given.”

• Freedom – Were you not given your freedom? Did you not have a free will to do as you please? How was that used for others, but also for me? Did I not knock on your front door and you just said no to me. Did I not knock on your door and you just let me in the foyer? Did I knock on your door and you let me in the living room, but not the rest of the house? Is that how you did that to Me as I tried to be in your heart and be with you? Why did you not allow me to be totally in you, be with you always, day and night, and not just on a Sunday for an hour? Yes, I gave you freedom, but why did you lock me out?

• Grace – Did I not give you my grace to help you? Remember those times in need, those dark hours how you yelled out to me? Did I not get you through to the other side? Wasn’t I there when you were not interested in me, ignored me, and in fact forgot about me? Was that a yes? And yes, how about those times you hid things from friends and family, because you knew it was wrong and you felt ashamed. Did I not forgive you? Haven’t I always been there waiting for you? Haven’t I always been waiting to love you? Yes, love you and bring peace and happiness to you. Make you right. Make you a full person, a person you could be proud of and thankful? Make you an image of Me?

What is your answer after reflecting? Me too! Maybe not the time to pray to Him, but speak to Him, all by yourself from the heart. Yes, from the heart! No need to be afraid being alone with Him. God is the one that loves you and is always waiting on you. Always remeber, God Loves You!

Conor
Find A Way!

The World and The Church Today

As I sat in church last week, I happened to look up into the balcony, and then around to the side pews of the church, and it struck me how empty they were this day. My mind immediately drifted off to Christmas when there was standing room only. I have seen this many times before, but then it hit me why I was bothered.

Like most people today, regardless of one’s political beliefs, all are greatly moved by the scenes and stories of the persecutions of Christians and the other minority religious groups in the Mid-East. The genocide started last year in Syria, where 1.2 million Christians have been displaced and 130,000 people have been killed for failing to covert to Islam. Now this violence has spread to Iraq, with the continuation of genocide happening now for Iraq Christians’ and a fairly large religious group called the Yazidis.

The Christians and the Yazidis all have been forced to leave their homes with only what was on their back because of their refusal to convert. The other option facing them if they were unwilling to leave, was death by mass grave killings (either alive or dead), nailed to a cross or beheaded by the sword.

Their churches are being destroyed; papers, books and manuscripts dating back 2000 years are all being burned. Crosses are torned downed and burned, while others are used for crucifixions, while others head’s of those failing to give up their beliefs are paraded around town, photographed and put on the internet for all to see and witness.

Readers of history and those who study the bible could take these current events, and if the time line is unknown to them, could very easily think they were reading something happening 2000 years ago. But no, it is now!

We know how small the world is today, but how does one begin to understand what is happening a plane ride 7-8 hours away? How do we balance those situations with our own situations and our faith and daily lives? How do we reconcile those forced to die, as well as those willing to die for their faith, against the empty pews in church I witnessed last week? Where is the disconnect? Why such an expansive gulf? What don’t we understand, but just as important, what can we do?

“For all those suffering persecution for their faith and the love of you, our hope is in you Lord to find the answers to bring those people to safety and rest in your loving care.

Hear our prayer O Lord.”

Conor
Find a Way!

Prayer

What is prayer? Just something you do once a week at services because you feel an obligation? Is it something you have no interest in at all, and no time to consider because of your schedule? Or maybe you feel you only need to pray when you need something or some tragedy has entered your life?

Or, is it that you do pray occasionally but it has no meaning or purpose in your life? See no results. In fact, the praying you are doing is boring, burdensome and awkward. Almost very discomforting.

Is it maybe you don’t know how to really pray? Would you be surprised to know that sometimes, and over a period of time, praying is sometimes lonely, empty and very dry for those that do pray? And do you know why?

Let me ask, have you in your life ever worked hard at something like a sport, project, an advanced degree, or a skill set you never had, but so desired by you? Maybe to play a musical instrument or being an accomplished public speaker? And you did it by your simple determination, effort and with help along the way. And yes, it did not happen overnight, as it required a lot of effort and commitment on your part. You had to make time for it in order to get something out of it and get where you needed to be.

What a great feeling! And when you have experienced that great feeling, wouldn’t you do anything to get that same feeling again?

There is a saying in the martial arts, whether you’re a white belt or a dedicated black belt that simply says, “You need more practice.” And where does that not apply in our lives?

Know that God loves you and He wants to be with you and be part of your life. He has loved you before you even knew Him, and He can be part of your life. It requires you to “open your heart” to Him and put the above efforts into praying.

Have you heard of the analogy of how you protect what is most important to you? It is explained through rock, sand and water. In a large jar of water, you are asked to put in pebbles, sand, water and also rocks, with rocks being the things most important in your life. Without putting the rocks in first, one will never have the important things in their life.

As I have noted in previous writings, find your corner. Find your spot to pray and make it yours. Start out with 5 minutes, settle down and clear your mind and let it grow from there. As you begin to notice change slowly, experience God’s love and mercy, and you will want to grow that time together. Sometimes prayer is not needed. Just speak from your heart. Settle in His presence, feel nourished and know that you are in His love.

Know, you are never alone.

Conor
Find a Way!

Hugs and Your Corner

In this post time of Easter and Passover, it is important to share our hugs and joy with others. And yes, we then need to find “our” corner to pray and give thanks.

Yes, it is time to change; to be the adult in the room, to be positive, accepting, and quietly showing our strength and commitment by example. Touching others’ lives, helping those in need, and yes, being who we are intended to be. And then, back to our private corner to pray and to listen for God, and wait for our hugs and overwhelming love.

In the secret place of “our” corner, we can pray and to speak to God through prayer, silence, reflection or just the words from our heart. Sometimes, just from our heart is the only way God is waiting to hear from us. Just tell Him whatever is happening and what you’re going through. Tell Him how you feel! Tell it straight out. Those times are not disrespectful, but in fact, in these times we can become even closer to God. He knows what is written on our hearts. It is a powerful and close way to pray, and know He can handle it.

God is always waiting on us so He can give His love and attention to us along with His mercy and forgiveness. In these times, He will forgive us if we are remorseful for our actions and one with a contrite heart.

However, sometimes it may feel like He is not listening in any way to you. It may be temporary or for some extended time, but be assured; He is next to you and with you always. It may be a test of faith and patience, or one of your trust in Him. In these cases, just stop asking why and develop your trust in the one who loves you.

But do know; you can always find Him waiting in the corner of your home.

Find Him there and know how much He loves you.

Find a Way!
Conor