Franciscan Short Way Of The Cross (1-3)

First Station

Jesus Condemmed to Death

 

O Jesus! So meek and uncomplaining, teach me resignations in trials.

 

Second Station

Jesus Carries His Cross

 

My Jesus, this cross should be mine, not Thine; my sins crucified Thee.

 

 

Third Station

Our Lord Falls the First Time

 

O Jesus!  By this first fall, never let me fall into mortal sin.

 

 

 

Conor

Keep Smiling!

 

https://www.tasteofloveblog.com/

@TheeConor(Twitter)

 

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!

An Apology

An Apology

Instead of an apology, when the words “I’m sorry” are too difficult to find,

sometimes it may not be necessary.

The response—I love you is all that is needed.

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”
________________________________________

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

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!

Through the narrow door

“Strive to enter through the narrow door.”
_Luke 13:24

Striving requires contending with whatever comes our way. Making good out of bad, and becoming a better person. Choosing encouragement instead of criticism. Choosing love rather than disrespect or hatred. We are all challenged with choices, hardships, disappointments, pain and suffering and the weight of our cross. How do we choose to manage this, and what decisions are we making to control all of this in our lives? But also, how do we manage this so we can put the beauty of life in front of our challenges, and enjoy and share the love around us?

It is hard to find those answers when you in the valley rather than on top of the mountain. But being in the valley allows us to get to the mountain as we learn, grow, and develop ourselves by the experiences of the valley. It is in the valley where we learn the important lessons of life.

Prayer should be part of our daily life, but even more so during those difficult times. Prayer, along with our quiet time with God talking from the heart, is the best way to get to the waiting love, strength and understanding of Our Lord.

Reflect on this, as you deal with all the challenges of the narrow door.

_Conor

“Find a Way.”

Letters to God through the eyes of children

• Dear God:
My parents took me to church for a wedding yesterday. I saw a couple kissing. Is that allowed in church?

• Dear God:
I got a new pair of shoes this week. I will wear them to church on Sunday to show you.

• Dear God:
I learned in Sunday school today that you created light. In school this week I learned that Thomas Edison created light. Did he steal your idea?

May we all learn to develop the attributes of children and become more child like in our relationship with God?

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

A letter to a (my) daughter

Life delivers all kinds of hurdles, tests and challenges of our faith and the “who are we” of our character. The feelings become overwhelming; the dark is really ugly and a sick feeling prevails throughout your entire body. The questions flood in how am I going to deal with this, and get to a point of peace, sanity and closure? How do I do this day after day?

It is all so unfair, not right in any way you look at it, and the impact; is not just on me, but my children. It is especially hard on my 5 year old daughter who cannot begin to understand any explanation I offer to her to help alleviate the pain of the absence of her daddy. Where do I begin? Now what? Which direction do I take and who can I lean on for help, as I think I cannot do it alone?

I don’t have all the answers, but what I can tell you for sure, is what I have seen. You dug deep to do all that you have done during these very difficult and trying times. You were always a great mom, but you became “thee” anchor and support for your two beautiful girls. Every day you were there for them to bring normalcy into their lives, while I know you cried yourself to sleep most nights, if not all. You put on that face of determination and went to work to help with bills and expenses, and then; returned home to be that Mom you knew your children wanted and needed.

The strength of your character that you have shown during these times, cannot yet be fully appreciated and understood by you, but to those who know you, rest assure they can recognize and see all the changes in you. You were put to a test and you came out the other end even more beautiful. You should continue to hold your head high, keep that confidence close at hand and take that normalcy you fought so hard for. Go forward with your 2 beautiful kids in tow. And when you have that empty feeling or another challenge facing you, remember you have that confidence in your pocket, and continue forward for what you know is right and needed.

How can I say all of this at this time? Well, in many cases the last person to know is the person living it. Take it in faith in what we share, and the love I have for you. I have looked at you my whole life and watched the changes over time and have admired whom you have become. You understand the real beauty and the important things in life to protect and nurture. Today, through these challenges, you have taken yourself new levels. It shows in the remarkable person you have become through this ordeal. You are that new person! You are full of love, understanding, kindness and beauty. And it does show!

In time, you will find and realize the “high good” and you will know that someone was always present for and with you.

You have many who care, love and support you, but know; “He loved you before you loved Him.”

Time is now to Keep Smiling!

Love you, and know that it is true; as love with conditions, is not true love.

My best to you; always.

Dad
Continue to Find a Way

God’s Whispers

I think of the times I failed in so many areas of my life. Some small and insignificant, while others changed my future. But most importantly, others could of changed not only the future, but eternity for me. I just “missed the hand writing on the wall.” or, “If it was a snake, it would have bitten me.” All of these and other expressions applied to me.

I remember a little statue I had as a kid of three monkeys’s sitting together with one covering their eyes, the other their ears and the other covering his mouth. The statue represented “see no evil, hear no evil and say no evil. “Is it true today? Yes, and hopefully to a much greater extent for me, but I believe evil is everywhere today. Much more than in the past. The world has changed to such an extent that the children of today will be speaking of life much differently in their future.

I believe I have grown and fortunately somewhat wiser, and because of God’s unending love and forgiveness for me, I now see and have learned to always listen for God’s whisper. It can be in time of need, prayer, help, out of nowhere and for no reason, or just by my love for Him. I am reminded of his total presence in this world and all that is in it. This is expressed beautifully in the You Tube link below and should cause us to reflect.

I hope you enjoy and feel the love God is sending us every day. It is all around us, and maybe you can share and do the same for others in your life, that you care for so much.

And finally for me, these monkeys have served their purpose.

I am so thankful, and there is something for all, with love and patience.

Conor
Find A way

Happy Thanksgiving

“Whatever we do for ourselves dies with us.

Whatever we do for others is immortal and lives on.”

_Unknown

The world has changed to such a lighting pace, it is even more important on days like today, that we reflect and give thanks, as we share it with family and friends. So so important as all our days fly bye, we can only wonder where all the time has gone. And yes, and most importantly; we need to thank our Maker, God.

My blessing for Thanksgiving-

Lord, we thank you for the food we have to share here today, that many do not have.

Lord, we ask for your continued love for us, and may we continue to grow our love for you, and all those we encounter every day.

Lord, may we make the time to stop and make an effort to help those in need. May it be a minute to listen to what they have to say, as many do not have anyone to talk too.

Lord, May we smile to those that are carrying hardships and struggles, so we can lighten burdens in some small way.

Lord, May we show kindness to others, even if it is just simply holding the door for them, so we may touch them in some way.

Lord, judge us on not how big we try to do things for others; rather judge us in the amount of love we do these things for others.

Lord, thank you for all those that have gone before us for making this a great country through their sacrifices, and the families that taught, love and nurtured us, that are now with you.

Lord, may you steer us to use our strengths and skills for others to make a difference. May these gifts you have given all of us, be given away to others, so it may truly become a gift.

Lord, a special request to continue to bless the children and grandchildren here today, and for those who are not able to be with us here today. Let them soar with confidence and never look back.

Lord, finally give our love to all those who have left us to be with you, and tell them we miss and love them every day.

_Find a way!

Conor

The Purpose of Me

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I need to be.

How often, if not always, do we think and dream of what we want to be and accomplish in life? Those thoughts, in many cases, reflect our age, where we are trying to go and how fast we want to get there. What standard of life are we trying to attain? Obligations to meet, children to raise and care for, opportunities, college… and the list goes on endlessly. What needs do I have and what path, job, and skill sets do I have to master? What do I need to do to pull all of this off?

All good things. Great goals, and the satisfaction that comes with all that, is what I need and all I’ll ever want. And yes, lest we forget, what sacrifices do I need to make for all of that, for me? Time away from loved ones, missed games and recitals, loneliness, missing the important things in life like family time together and teaching and leading by example to those around me. The important things in life.

A tough balancing act!

So we fast forward 20, 30 or 40 years and what? What is that nagging feeling inside of me? I have all the money I’ll ever need and I have accomplished all I intended to do. Something is missing and how did I not see it? I feel like I lost something and never found it. This is exactly what I wanted to do! And I did “my way.”

I’m not saying the above path is wrong. It’s admirable to set lofty goals and go for them. But remember, this is your agenda and what you set out your purpose in life to be. But, is it God’s path for you? Is this how and what he has asked you to do? Maybe yes, maybe no. Or maybe a different version of what you have done.

Balance? Not “my way,” but maybe “Your Way Together.”

God is love, all forgiving, merciful and patient. Yes, patient. He has given all creation Free Will to do all that they want. But; could I have done what I did in life a little different? Could I have even done it without other’s help, including God’s? Would I of made different decisions if He was part of my life? Would I have had the strength to do more? Would I of found peace that I lost a long time ago? Would my life of been the same, but differ at the same time?

Only one way to find out. Maybe you can begin to pray like you did when you were a child. No? Well, can you just talk to God from your heart like He is your best friend? Can you act like a child again, and just say what you see and think, to Him? He will listen; but then it will be your turn to be quiet, still, patient and listen. And yes, you will know.

Yes, God is patient! Yes, He is loving and does care for me, and I am important to Him! Yes, I know I’ll be alright, and most importantly, He needs to be part of my life, and He is!

That is the purpose of my life!

Thank you God.

“Find a way.”
Conor

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

― John Lennon

Happiness is a wonderful state of life. What more could you want or ask for? But, there are some questions that need to be addressed along with happiness. Some happiness is for a moment, or an event in our life, while others are for some period of time. But how do we sustain happiness for ourselves?

Happiness is needed in all dimensions of our existence; that is physical, mental and spiritual. However, it begs the question, are they mutually exclusive of one another, or are they parallel or are they sequential?

There is another way of saying what John Lennon said so simply. That is striving for the quiet or “peace of the heart.” God has promised that to all that pursue Him in prayer. And if one does not have prayer in their life, or is just beginning a prayerful life, one doesn’t have to fear it. One can also speak from the heart; everyday to God, in your own words. Just the two of you. Many times that is the only way we should speak to God. “God is merciful and will hear your prayer…..it is the key to God’s heart.” And when we have a peaceful heart, all else finds it home.

Reflect to the answer, but we all need to “Find a Way.”

_Conor

“Happy”