SAINT OLGA

SAINT OLGA
MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER, SAINT OLGA, PATRON SAINT OF CONVERTS

Monday, December 22, 2014

LYING IS STILL A SIN

Saints in heaven


I am becoming alarmed that increasing numbers of people are lying and spreading rumors and defending the lies when they are found out.  They don't even have the good sense to be ashamed of it!

This is ever more true on Facebook which can be, at times, a scary ride.  Today a Facebook contact posted a story that has been making the rounds on Facebook for a long time.  Supposedly, a pastor, poses as a homeless man to see how his new congregation will treat him.  This "news" item is a hoax.  The events detailed never happened.  The picture that is provided is said to be that of Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (a fictitious name.)  In fact, the photo is one taken in 1970 on the streets of London, England.  The man pictured has no relation to the story whatsoever.  By including his photograph, the "news" item is geared to mislead people into believing that the story actually happened and that the characters are real.  The whole purpose of the story is to slam Christians for, supposedly, being hypocrites when confronted with the poor, which is ironic because most of the efforts to care for the poor throughout the world are conducted by Christian, and especially Catholic organizations.


Homeless man on a London Street
whose picture was used in the hoax.
He was falsely identified as "Pastor
Jeremiah Steepek"


When I offered the snopes.com link that exposed the hoax, the person posting the item defended it, saying that it was heart warming and insinuating that I was a scrooge.  According to the poster, I was offering "bah humbug."  The Facebook poster extolled the "beautiful message" that was contained in the bogus news item.  (See that item on the snopes.com website by searching for the name "Jeremiah Steepek.")

Apparently, slamming Christians, defaming their character and claiming they are rank hypocrites by employing a false story deliberately meant to mislead people has some kind of "beautiful message" in it.  This kind of beauty I do not understand.

What is really sad is that the person posting this lie and defending it considers themselves a highly spiritual person with big credentials.  I wish I could say that I had never seen this kind of disconnect between what people claim to believe and what they actually defend.  More and more, I am seeing the deification of personal opinion at the expense of true religion and true spirituality.

Nearly every major religious tradition agrees that lying and defaming the character of another person or persons is a terrible sin, yet these tactics are constantly employed in order to shore up prejudices and ill will toward others.  Sometimes, a person is unable to feel good about themselves unless they can convince themselves they are better than most by defaming whole classes of people with lies.  I suppose there are lots of reasons that could be to blame.  Lots of reasons and one reason:  Satan.

Satan is the father of lies.  It is one of his titles.  It is what he does best.  He deceives.  People who manipulate others by use of deception are operating in concert with the father of lies.

The false news item remained on my friend's timeline, but the snopes.com link that disproved it did not.   Deliberately choosing to propagate a lie and mislead others is a sure sign of one's allegiance to the dark side.  I regularly "pray Facebook," in that I offer prayers for the many people who are expressing lies, uncharitable opinions, criticisms of the poor, and the like, so I include that person in my morning prayers.

I did send an email telling this person that lying was beneath them, but in return I received a wild diatribe of accusations and name calling.  This is the predictable response.  Think about Linda Blair in the exorcist when the demon is addressed and her head starts spinning around and she spits pea soup everywhere.  It was kind of like that.

I ask that you also pray for my Facebook friend who has lost her way, and pray for all of the people in the world who are operating in concert with Satan while putting up a spiritual front.  I really want to believe that they are not deliberately choosing evil, but that they are confused or ignorant.  In any case, they are in the devil's camp, and we need to pray them out of there.

Of course, some modern people tell me they do not believe in Satan.  They also think God is made of unicorns and rainbows and that he passes out candy to everyone when they die, no matter how evil they have been.  Whether or not you believe in Satan, Satan certainly believes in all of us, and he is quite happy to be in the shadows and work behind the scenes, manipulating people who don't believe that he exists.  Whether we believe in him or not, if we follow his ways, there is a good chance we will end up with him in eternity.

God bless,

Silver Rose Parnell

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FOLLOW THE LIGHT


"The lamp of the body is the eye.  If your eye
is sound, your whole body will be filled with 
light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body
will be in darkness.  And if the light in you is
darkness, how great will the darkness be."
Matthew 6:22-23

I had a nightmare the other night in which Satan tried to allure me to his side.  The room was shadowy, the light meager and of a sickly dark yellow color.  The figure of the devil was tall and shrouded with a black cloak with a hood.  An angel warned me that I could not look upon that evil creature or else I might become enthralled, so the angel gave me a piece of parchment to put in front of my face to block the view of the dark one.  Even so, I could still make out that tall and ominous form.  I tried to leave, but the master of all lies drew near and asked me to sit with him.  I woke up, with a sense of foreboding and illness of spirit.

Satan is still pursuing me, trying to wrest me away from Jesus.  He wants all of us, actually, but the ones he pursues most diligently are those who are straining vigorously toward Jesus, who is the light of salvation.  The devil doesn't have to worry about the casual Christians.  They may walk themselves away from the light on their own, or with a gentle push from the evil one.  Likewise, the saints, the perfected ones, are likely past his reach.  The determined traveler who is struggling toward heaven, however, presents a challenge, and Satan pesters them unmercifully. 

He specializes in confusing the spiritual aspirant by either appealing to his ego or presenting visions and other supernatural phenomena in the guise of a message from God.  So, the sincere seeker gets sidetracked with this spiritual circus, stuck on the ferris wheel in which he occasionally sees a glimpse of glory from the top of the wheel, only to lose it again when the wheel goes around, and around, and around.  In this way we can understand "mystics" like Maria Divine Mercy or that Bayside woman who spout messages supposedly from heaven but which contradict Divine Inspiration of the Bible, Christian tradition, and the like.

It is so tempting to think that we are emanating the light and leading people to heaven when, in actuality, it is Christ who is the light and we live in his light when we are close to Him.



"He commanded us to follow Him, not because
He had any need of our service, but to grant us
salvation.  To follow the Savior, in fact,
means sharing in salvation, just as to follow 
the light means being surrounded by brightness.

He who is in the light is surely not the one to
create the light and make it shine, rather;
it is the light that shines on him and illuminates
him.  He gives nothing to the light, but he receives
from it the benefit of its splendor, as well as
all its other advantages."
~ Saint Irenaeus ~

I pray that we all remember to keep our eyes on the light of Christ and to follow Him most closely.  We have to keep custody of the eyes at all times and be cautious of all matters upon which we turn our vision, or else we may lock our gaze upon one of Satan's snares and become entangled in his mess.  Everything we read, everything we watch, everything we take in through the eyes has the potential to either divinize us or destroy us.

I pray that you all remain in the orbit of Christ's saving light.

Silver "Rose" Parnell

Monday, December 15, 2014

TORTURE IS A GRAVE MORAL EVIL



I continue to react in amazement at some of my Catholic brethren who are publicly expressing their opinion that torture of human beings is OK.  I am scandalized.

Unlike many people who became Catholic because their parents raised them in it, I became Catholic because I actually believe.  I want to follow Jesus and be like Him as much as possible.  I want to lead a life that he would recognize as a holy one.  I fail.  I fail a lot.  I pick myself up and keep trying though.  One thing I am very keen to do, and which I recommend to everyone, is not to deviate from the faith in my opinions about the faith.  2,000 years of history and a whole lot of saints have come before me.  Who am I to say I know better than they?  So, while I may fail to live up to the ideal in many many ways, I do not shift the ideal for my own convenience.

The Pope came out against torture this year:

"I repeat the firm condemnation of every form of torture and invite Christians to commit themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families," he said. "To torture persons is a mortal sin. A very grave sin."  Pope Francis

His words are not surprising.  Jesus said we should love our enemies and do good to those who harm us.  The Pope is reiterating Jesus' prescription.

I would ask all my Catholic readers to pray for the conversion of Christians who are publicly advocating that we torture people.

God bless you all.


Silver Rose Parnell