Mother Mary, take my hand and lead me to Jesus.

Mother Mary, take my hand and lead me to Jesus.

Friday, November 20, 2015


"Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you
visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
Matthew 25:36

I have great sympathy for those who lack proper clothing, decent clothing, appropriate clothing that fits well, serves the appropriate function for the appropriate body part, and all that entails.

My mother was insane, and when I was a little girl, she announced that she would not buy me any clothing until I "lost weight." I was 7 years old and had no idea what this meant. The only food to which I had access was whatever she gave us when she remembered to feed us. She would leave us alone for days at a time with nothing but a sack of potatoes in the refrigerator. Once, her sister came to visit us from thousands of miles away and, even though she was expected, my mother did not bother to meet her when she arrived. My aunt found us half naked, hungry and filthy.

I remember laying on my bed when I was 7, staring into my empty closet, save for one sweet little blue plaid dress with a built-in apron and puffy short sleeves. It was 2 sizes too small for me and I could no longer wear it, but I loved that dress. It was the only one I had. Other than that, I had one pair of shorts and a few ratty tops. I prayed every night that I would wake up the next morning and "be thin."

When I was about 10 or 11, my mother was having clothes tailor made for herself, but she forced me to wear either one of two old cocktail dresses to school, along with a pair of oxfords she had painted pea green. I was blind as a bat and wore glasses. She refused to let my hair grow and, instead, took scissors to it now and then and chopped at it until it was short enough to comb without any trouble. I looked like a horror show. I was routinely picked on and beaten up. Once an entire gang surrounded me on my way home from school. Two girls beat me while the crowd hooted and hollered and contributed kicks and fists when I tried to escape that diabolical circle.

To this day, I am extremely picky about my clothes. I will not wear used clothing, and I have learned how to assemble a nice looking wardrobe on a tight budget. Except on those days when I am physically unable to get out of my pajamas, I dress, even though I will not leave my apartment, except to walk my dog and no one but the neighbors will probably see me. It isn't for them. It is for my own sense of personal dignity. It helps mitigate the damage of my brutal childhood that gave me post traumatic stress disorder.  It is a coping mechanism.

I have seen the looks on people's faces when the homeless come begging, with their long ratty hair and their dirty and ill-fitting clothing. It reminds me of the stares and hostility of the other kids, when I came walking onto the playground in an old pink polyester cocktail dress and pea green oxfords. I didn't have a friend in the world.

Except for other homeless people, I imagine the homeless have no one either. I have this feeling that I desperately want them to have some nice things to wear, at the very least a warm hat to help preserve their health and their comfort. I don't want to give them some hand-me-down or some machine made, flimsy thing from China, as if they only deserve to have the cast-offs of other people or the very cheapest of goods.  I want to give them something made with love and prayers, from good yarn, made well, and attractive, because these are things I want for myself and I am to love my neighbor as much as I love myself.  These people ARE my neighbors. I live in an apartment in an area that is saturated with the homeless and the poor, and I can't leave the apartment without encountering at least one such person.

The only way I can produce hats and scarves for the homeless is to ask for donations of yarn vis-a-vis my Amazon wish list. I currently have enough yarn to make another 2 or 3 hats, and that's it.

A typical hat made from super chunky yarn,
knit for the homeless. (The color is MUCH
prettier than what you see here, but I had
trouble with the camera. I am no photographer!)

If you have the wherewithal to donate some yarn, you can contribute by ordering from my Amazon wish list for this purpose. Please remember that it is very difficult to make anything from only one skein of yarn, so please pick one color and purchase as many skeins of that color as you feel you can afford. The web site will require you to enter that number before checkout.  Amazon has my address and will ship directly to me.

You can find the Amazon wish list HERE.

THANK YOU for your generosity.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015, all rights reserved.



"Liberal Catholicism" is an oxymoron. That term is a conflation of a political orientation with the Catholic faith. It gives the impression that there are different types of Catholicism. This is a lie.  The doctrines of the Catholic faith are specific and unambiguous. They are laid out in detail in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is one Catholic faith.

If you disagree with the doctrines of the Catholic faith, you are not a "liberal Catholic," you are a protestant.

If you knowingly and deliberately mislead people into believing that the Catholic faith approves of things that are intrinsically evil, you are a heretic and an enemy of the faith. You are not a "liberal Catholic."

I dearly wish that none of us would use these terms "liberal" or "conservative" in relation to the Catholic faith, since it conveys the lie that the Catholic faith is a democracy. It isn't.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015, All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


When I was baptized in 1993, in my late 30's, I believed that Jesus was God, but I was clueless, really, as to what that meant because I was stunted in my appreciation of the nature of God. One would think that arriving at a definition of God would be a rather straightforward thing, but it is not. A great part of God is unknowable by the limited human mind, of course, but many people have spent their whole lives studying the works of those whose lives were also devoted to the study of the nature of the creator of the universe.

It wasn't until after I became Catholic, almost 10 years ago, that I began to get an inkling of what it means that Jesus is God.  First, I realized that the apostles and all those that were martyred in gruesome ways, would certainly not have subjected themselves to grisly, excruciatingly painful deaths if Jesus was just some crazy guy who thought  he was God. If the miracles attributed to Him had NOT happened, and it was all a sham, the apostles that were martyred (all but one, John) would have stopped short of being killed in some horrific fashion and would have said something like, "hey, I'm sorry, you're right. It was all a scam. Please don't nail me to that cross after all."

It wasn't just ONE follower who met their death because they acknowledged that Christ is Lord. There are thousands of martyrs.

When one becomes convinced that Christ is God, only then will His words have the ultimate gravitas.

What Christ says about Himself, and the instructions that He gives, are the words of God. The church that Christ established upon Peter, the first Pope, is specifically imbued with Divine authority and with a portion of God's power to accomplish certain things. He could not have been more clear. He said that his church would be established upon this rock (Peter) and that even the gates of hell could not stand against it.  Jesus, through our church, conquers hell and, naturally, Satan, whose dominion it is.

Notice that Jesus did not say churches, plural.  His church, i.e., the Catholic (universal) Church, was the only Christian Church for more than 1,000 years, until someone decided he knew better and broke off from the One True Faith, creating a situation where we now have thousands of Christian denominations.  In the protestant world, nearly anyone can slap a cross on top of a building and call it a church and begin their own brand of Christianity. This is not what Jesus had in mind.  This is not his church, singular. The Catholic Church IS his church, with an unbroken line of apostolic succession back to the day that Jesus renamed Simon and called him Peter.

Some people have the mistaken notion that the Catholic Church was "created by man," and that doctrine can "easily be changed" because what man created, man can change. What they fail to realize, is that Jesus created the church. It is specifically and clearly highlighted in the Bible itself. No other church received the power and authority that he gave to Peter.

Our church teaches with the authority and power of Christ. This does not mean that every priest and every bishop and every Pope are perfect people. Jesus never promised that the people who administered his church would be perfect.  His faith, the teachings, are perfect. We, who are sinful and weak, must try to "be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect," but there are no guarantees that we will not fail and fall and struggle to our feet, to try again to approach the perfection of the faith that Jesus gave us.  This does not mean, however, that our failures must be characterized as good things, in the mistaken notion that we have to approve of sin in order to avoid being seen as "judgmental."

It has gotten to the point where people became enraged if certain teachings of the faith are discussed. In particular, matters of divorce and remarriage and the sexual sins tend to set people off in a tirade, claiming that to speak about these matters is to "judge" others. This is not what Christ said. He told the Apostles to teach what they had learned from Him. Our modern culture is so enamored of our sexual immorality and licentiousness that to try and convey God's message about these things raises the hackles of those in the Westernized cultures...just as they probably raised the hackles of the citizens of the Roman Empire who were immersed in the pursuit of every imaginable abomination, from pederasty to orgies. Contraception, abortion and the killing of infants was known in those times also. We've just gotten more efficient about it, 2,000 years later.

Jesus said that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father who had sent Him. He said that no one came to the Father except through Him. He started a church, one church, not thousands. He established Peter as its head, St. Peter the first Pope. He gave divine power and authority to the Apostles, and he promised that He would be with us until the end of time. He promised that our Church would conquer even Hell and, by association, Satan. That was 2,000 years ago. Amazing. Jesus has kept his promises to us. He is with us in our Holy Mother Church.

Obedience and faithfulness to the Catholic Faith fills me with incredible joy. Each time I look at a painting of Jesus, or his Mother or the saints, I am filled with gratitude. Everything I learn, through constant study of the faith, is experienced as a profound blessing. God is Truth and cannot be separated from His Truth, therefore, every time I touch upon His Truth, I Touch the Lord in a mysterious way.

My God is the God that established the Catholic Church. His faith is the faith of the Catholic Church. He is in and through the Church because He promised He would be. I do not argue with the faith. I would not presume to overlay its teachings with my own desires and attachments to sin. Who am I to tell the Lord that what He has done is wrong? Can any of us say that we know more than God or that God made a mistake 2,000 years ago when he conveyed the faith to us? Do we have such a stupid God that He would only give us a temporary Truth so that, 2,000 years later, we have to "fix it" because it no longer suits us, because we know better?

Those who argue with the Faith, are arguing with our God. I have to wonder, then, which God do they serve?

Silver "Rose" Parnell
(c) 2015, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Almost every day, I listen to Catholic radio for about an hour, and I frequently hear men and women profess deep love for and faithful adherence to the Catholic faith, and then proceed to tell the host of the program that they are living in a romantic relationship with some man or some woman that is not their spouse.

NEWS FLASH: The official Catholic teaching is that fornication is a grave mortal sin.  It was a grave mortal sin 2,000 years ago, and it is no less so today. If you are having sex outside the bounds of a sacramental marriage that is recognized by the church, you are committing grave mortal sin.

SECONDARY NEWS FLASH: Grave mortal sin for which there is no repentance and no confession, is an express ticket to hell.

THIRD NEWS FLASH: If you are having sex outside of a sacramental marriage that is recognized by the church, you are not a faithful Catholic.

Silver "Rose" Parnell
(c) 2015, All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Christ gives the keys of the Kingdom to
Saint Peter, the first pope

My journey into the Catholic faith has been a rocky one, largely because of the "official" representatives being wrongly educated about it or having opinions that differ from it. It is a sad fact that some priests and nuns are ignorant of some of the finer points and cannot be relied upon to convey correct information.

When I first became converted, I was 38 years old. I had never had any religious education and I had never been baptized.  I went to a huge church in Beverly Hills that was near my work and I joined the RCIA class (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.) Half way through the class, the nun in charge hauled me into her office and announced that it would be "years" before they would agree to baptize me because I had been divorced.

This nun was wrong. Divorce was not a sin that would keep me from baptism. It is civil remarriage after a divorce that would have been the problem because it would have been adultery. The first marriage is the only marriage recognized, absent a decree of nullity (annulment) from the church.  I was not married, nor was I dating. I was leading a perfectly chaste and holy life.  I tried to convince the nun that she was wrong but she refused to listen to me. I ended up being baptized at the Episcopal Church next door.  I had wanted to get baptized and later become a Catholic nun, but I was turned away from the Catholic Church because of the poor education of that nun. The trajectory of my life was dramatically altered.

I repeated this story to a new young priest a year or two ago and he adamantly insisted that no one who had been divorced could be baptized, even if they were not living in sin with another person, dating or having sex. The education of these priests is lacking some crucial information. This particular misunderstanding serves to prevent converts from becoming baptized, a fairly serious matter.

I used to know a woman who, though raised Lutheran was heavily involved in several Eastern religions for many years.  She was a Quaker for a while, at the same time continuing some Hindu practices. She took from the smorgasbord of an astonishing number of religions, picking whatever appealed to her.  Somewhere along the way, she got connected with a Catholic priest who had gotten interested in the Zen religion and had become a Zen teacher in addition to his priestly duties.  She reported to me that he had given her his "permission" to take communion in any Catholic Church she chose! She spent years taking communion in all sorts of Catholic churches and even tried to get in line for communion at my very conservative and orthodox Byzantine Catholic Church, but I stopped her from doing it. She knew I would notify the priest if she tried it, so she sat back down, but I realized that she must have taken communion in that church several times before, because she had told me that she had attended several services there.

This woman had no way of knowing that the priest who gave her permission to receive communion in the Catholic Church was himself committing a grave mortal sin and was encouraging her to do something extremely harmful to her soul.  She did not realize that the priest did not have the authority to change the doctrines of the Catholic church. I distanced myself from this woman when she began to print lies about the Catholic Church on her Facebook page and she lobbied for change of doctrine in the church, as if the church was a democratic institution and one could simply vote for a change in the faith! It simply does not work that way. The Catholic faith is not changeable according to the whim of some Zen-dabbling priest or some non-Catholic critic.

It is natural that a person will go to the priest at their local church for advice and guidance, but many times these days, that guidance is error-filled.

I know of a woman whose priest told her that it was perfectly alright for her husband to have a vasectomy after a doctor had told the woman that she probably should not have any more children. The official position of the Catholic church is that a vasectomy, as with all contraception, is intrinsically evil and may not be used to avoid pregnancy, even for a "good" reason.

If the sterility is an unintended result of a medical procedure used to cure an illness, that is a different matter, such as in the case of a man with testicular cancer who undergoes treatment or surgery that is designed to remove the cancer but will also, coincidentally, render him sterile.  He would not be getting the surgery for the PURPOSE of becoming sterile, and therefore, naturally, this sort of thing is allowed.

Likewise, if a woman has uterine cancer and must have a hysterectomy, this would concurrently sterilize her, but the sterilization would not be the REASON for the surgery and sin would not attach.

According to official church teaching, the only acceptable advice the priest should have given this woman was to either use NFP (natural family planning) or to abstain altogether.  Instead, he guided her into grave sin.

A young man has been encouraged by a member of the Catholic laity to obtain a vasectomy because more children may cause financial and psychological hardship.  This is against the wishes of his wife, who knows the official Catholic position on this. Again, contraception which is intrinsically evil, may not be used  even for a good purpose.

I keep hearing stories like this. None of these people are aware that they have been led into sin by clerics who are either ignorant or disobedient.  When the official teachings of the church are in conflict with the words of a priest or a nun, we must follow the official teachings. No one has the right to change them.

"Therefore We base our words on the first principles of a human
and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once
more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process
already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic
reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the
number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium
of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization,
whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary."
Humanae Vitae
Pope Paul VI

On Facebook, I am continually encountering people who consider themselves Catholic but who hold very strong beliefs that are in direct opposition to the Catholic faith. The "separation of church and state," for instance, which has been condemned by more than one Pope, is routinely held up as something to be maintained and given precedence over Catholic precepts. Likewise, slandering the poor and advocating for withdrawal of food and shelter, has become a political hot-button, with many Catholics spreading untrue rumors about mythical "wide spread fraud" as an excuse. These acts are in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus and the Popes. Then we have the politicians who claim to be Catholic but argue heatedly for abortion to be legal in our country, two ideas that are directly contradictory.

Who can we trust?

Since it has become clear that the local official representatives of the church can not be relied upon to deliver the official teachings of the church, and many priests on Facebook are likewise renegade priests who campaign against the official teachings, the only way I can be sure to know what the faith actually teaches, is to do a lot of studying, read the Catechism, the Encyclicals and church history. Catholic Answers is a good web site for knowledge about official church teachings, as are people such as Jimmy Aiken.

EWTN's website also has many educational documents, and the Vatican has an official site where you can read all the encyclicals.  I will put some links on the bottom of this blog post.

I want to strongly encourage each one of you to please get to know your faith, really know it, by availing yourself of all the legitimate sources. Do not read the work of priests or nuns who lobby for change of the doctrine of the church. It was given to us by Jesus Christ himself, and even the Pope doesn't have the authority to change it!

How can we be faithful Catholics, after all, if we do not even know the faith?





God bless us all on our journey.  Keep studying!

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015 - copyright
All rights reserved

Monday, November 9, 2015


Chart showing distribution of entitlement benefits from data obtained
the Office of Management and Budget,
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
The U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Census Bureau

It seems like every time we approach a new election period, unscrupulous politicians start belittling the poor and claiming that there is "massive fraud in the Welfare system" and that the poor are "milking the system." They actually have the nerve to blame the poor for the awful economy and perpetuate the myth that we are all living the life of luxury. Social Security payments, for those who worked enough to qualify, average $1,000 a month. Supplemental Security is a maximum of $560 a month.

The first thing I point out to anyone who will listen is that less than 3% of all entitlement monies that are paid out are given to able-bodied people who choose not to work, yet the entire demographic of poor people is painted with the idea that there are massive numbers of criminals who have managed to scam their way into "the system" and are getting rich. There is absolutely no proof of this, of course, but who needs proof when people are so ready to buy this rotten lie? Selfish people want to believe this because it justifies their reluctance to help the poor that they deem undeserving.

This readiness to believe these wild claims against the poor and to use them as justification for reducing or eliminating assistance is the antithesis of the Christian message.

Jesus says: "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, give him your coat as well."
Matthew 5:40

Notice that he DOESN'T say to fight like the Devil to keep him from getting your coat, nor does he say that you should make sure that the person is deserving of your shirt or your coat. This particular quote is about one's enemy.  How much more giving does Jesus expect us to be when it comes to His beloved poor?  The Bible is full of references to our expected generosity toward the poor:

In Deuteronomy 15, it says, "Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."

In Mark 10, when the rich man asks Jesus what he must do to follow Him, Jesus says, "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

In Luke 6, He says, "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."

Again, in Mark 10, He says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."

Notice that, in our sinful world, it is the rich person who is given great credit and adulation, who is served and fawned upon. The rich feel superior because of this and look down upon the poor, making them squirm and cry for every pittance. The rich are loathe to give any of their riches to the poor, but instead take the money from the labors of the poor.

In Proverbs 19, we read, "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."  The Lord is watching how we treat the poor and will treat us with the same generosity we exhibit toward them.

In Matthew 25, we are told, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."  When we defame the poor, we defame Jesus.  When we help to supply the needs of the poor, we are supplying Jesus with what He needs.

In Luke 3, He says, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."

In Luke 12, He admonishes his followers to "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions," telling them once more that the Christian life is not about how much riches one can retain.

In Proverbs 21, we learn that, "He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered."  Enlightened self-interest would be enough to encourage us to respond to the poor with compassionate kindness and to supply their need, what to speak of Christian charity and love!

Instead of listening to politicians who have their own agendas, we need to look to the Bible and to the Catholic faith for guidance in this matter of how we treat the poor.

As far as the rumors of "massive fraud" by the poor, that has not been proved.  There are, however, criminals in every walk of life. The only difference between the rich criminals and the poor ones is that the rich steal MORE from us than the poor ever could. .It is ludicrous to punish 97% of the poor people because some of the remaining 3% might be dishonest!

Catholics, take note:  Here is the official position of the Catholic Church with regard to the government's care for the poor:

"The function of the rulers of the state,
moreover, is to watch over the community 
and its parts; but in protecting private
individuals in their rights, chief considera-
tion ought to be given to the weak and 
the poor.  "For the nation, as it were, of
the rich is guarded by its own defenses
and is in less need of governmental protection,
whereas the suffering multitude, without the
means to protect itself, relies especially on the
protection of the State.  Wherefore, since
wageworkers are numbered among the great mass
of the needy, the State must include them under
its special care and foresight."
Quadragesimo anno Encyclical on
Reconstruction of the Social Order
His Holiness Pope Pius XI
May 15, 1931

Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about the poor:

2446 "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal
from them and deprive them of life.  The goods we possess are
not ours, but theirs.  The demands of justice must be satisfied
first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered
as a gift of charity." ... "When we attend to the needs of those in
want, we give them what is theirs, not ours.  More than performing
works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice."

Note: "The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." We do not have the right to make these poor people jump through hoops and perform some dog-and-pony show to prove that they are worthy of receiving what is already theirs to begin with!

If you decide to spread the gospel of the greedy politician and help him to spread scandal and lies about the poor, then you are free to do so.  This is America.  But know, when you do that, you are stepping away from the Christian faith and into another world.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015
All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Saint Luke
Feast day: October 18

Typically, I write a blog about an obscure saint of the day, but Luke overshadows the calendar.  I couldn't find much about the other saints that share this feast day with him. Much is already written about Luke by great theologians and writers far more gifted than me, and I decided not to bring coals to Newcastle, as they say, but to make a comment about something that is happening in our "modern" Catholic Church.

It has come to my attention that certain priests and lay persons are publishing dissent against the faith and criticism of Pope Francis. Rather than humbly consenting to be led by the pontiff, these persons have, instead, decided to broadcast their disapproval of his approach in blogs, on television, in newspapers, and wherever else their opinion can find a foothold.

No one ever became a saint by publishing complaints about the Pope and The Holy Catholic Church. They became protestant. Remember Martin Luther. He published his condemnation by hammering it onto the door of the church. His role in separating thousands of people from the church that Jesus founded was not rewarded in heaven, I can assure you. I am not presuming to know whether or not Luther is in heaven. He may be in heaven despite his break with the faith, but certainly not because of it.

Like most of you, I absolutely love Holy Mother Church. There are some things that bug me about the modern church in America, but it isn't helpful for me to air my grievances. I will not become a saint by doing that.

Our whole mission in life is to become saints so that we can spend eternity in heaven, gazing upon the Lord, being with Him, experiencing Him. It isn't a question of "earning" it, because no one can deserve union with God. We have to prepare ourselves to be with God by becoming more like God, so that we can be in harmony with Him.

As I study the saints throughout the years, I have yet to find one that became a saint because they publicly dissented with the Pope and the church and tried to get others involved in their dissatisfaction.

Prayer, fasting, alms giving, performing spiritual and corporeal works of mercy, forgiving our enemies and doing good toward those who harm us, loving our neighbor as much as ourselves. We know these things. They involve an emptying of ourselves and our petty egos and opinions so that we can be filled with and led by God.

If the Pope was having a mistress or stealing from the coffers or committing mortal sins, we would have to admonish the sinner, at least someone would have to be doing that, but this is not the case in the current instance. Some people, apparently, do not like his style of leadership and they are fomenting fear among the laity that Pope Francis will destroy the church by his mode of leadership.

Jesus promised us that His Church would last until the end of time and that He would be with us until the end of time. Even the "gates of hell" can not withstand the Holy Catholic Church. We have assurances from Christ Himself that no one can destroy His Church.

All of this controversy about the Pope, the current Synod, and the various factions that are trying to change the unchangeable...all of a distraction and a detour away from what we have been told to do by Christ Himself.

Please join me in praying for The Church and everyone in it. Pray for Pope Francis, as he has many times asked us to do, and refrain from engaging in or encouraging this useless chatter that is exploding all around us. Continue your devotions and increase your prayers if you can. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said to remove the beam from our own eye before we try to remove the speck from our neighbor's!

Have confidence in the promises of Jesus. He will not fail.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) copyright 2015
All rights reserved.