SAINT OLGA

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

DAILY MIRACLES

Saint Anthony of Padua
 

I frequently fall asleep in my recliner while reading, crocheting or praying. I have no recollection of dozing off. I wake a few hours later and toddle off to bed. Sometimes I sleep the whole night in the chair. Today was no different. I woke at 4 in the morning feeling very cold. The weather has turned winterish, finally, and I keep the thermostat low so as not to balloon the electric bill. Shocked awake by the chilled air, I was a bit woozy but quickly got into bed and slept until I was awakened by the infernal workmen and by my dog's barking.

When I opened the eyeglasses case by the side of my bed, it was empty! My vision is extremely bad and I cannot function without my eyeglasses. Yet, they were gone. I thought perhaps they had fallen off or I had taken them off when I was asleep in the recliner previous night. I looked there and elsewhere, scouring the apartment and every nook and cranny where I may have laid them down. I even looked in the bed, wondering if I was so woozy when I went to bed that I forgot to remove my glasses.

Finally, I speak to St. Anthony about my eyeglasses. I apologize that I only talk to him when I need something to be found for me, but I ask him to forgive me in a roundabout way and continue to talk about how crucial it is that I find those darn glasses! I began to look everywhere once more, and I open the eyeglasses case again, and my glasses are sitting there, pretty as you please.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that the eyeglasses were not there when I first looked for them, and suddenly they WERE there, thanks be to God.

Sometimes I fret that I have no family or monastic community to help me, that I am alone, battling the world, the flesh and the  Devil all by myself. Then something like this happens, and my mind is ordered aright once more.

Thanks be to God.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015 - All rights reserved

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

SAND HILL CRANES IN THE MORNING

Early Winter landscape

I heard the distinctive crackling cries of sand hill cranes toward the end of our morning constitutional and looked up to see a large flock of these giant birds sailing in a wide, lazy circle over the trees. Migration time. A bit late in the year, compared to earlier days when I would see them traveling in October, around the time of the balloon fiesta. They are going South to Bosque del Apache, the nature reserve a couple hours south from here by car. There, they will have a field of corn, grown just for them, that has been threshed and left to dry on the ground. They will mingle with the fat white snow geese and smaller varmints that cannot resist the sweet fresh smell of high quality food that is spread across the earth just for them, an incredible banquet.

Across the wide viewing path and boggy wetlands, the raptors will perch in giant trees. I saw a bald eagle there once, and many goldens. The memory of a brilliant male pheasant, arrayed in the height of his glory with gorgeous glistening plumes of bright feather, has stayed with me for more than 14 years. Glimpses of the timid are treasured.

Though I usually try to keep moving on my slow, shuffling walks around the property, I stood for several minutes, leaning on my cane, watching as the cranes slowly formed themselves into three parties of about 25 each. In beautiful "v" formations, following one another, they flew out of their orbit around the patch of cottonwoods and headed south.

These infusions of natural life sustain me and speak to a spot in my soul that is unnamable but gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. On the other hand, a wild sorrow grips me each time a bit of access to nature is eaten away by the dictates of government types for whom the bottom line is the ONLY priority, and the beauty of nature is irrelevant, inconvenient, or allowed only for the wealthy.

No sooner did I get inside my apartment, than the "landscapers" showed up with their infernal, roaring instruments of torture, otherwise known as leaf blowers. They blasted my front door with the vengeance, with me sitting just two feet away. The powered air forced dirt into my apartment through every crack between the door and the sill. After they covered every surface in my apartment with all the fine bits from the parking lot, they blew leaves and detritus into my garden and left me sneezing in fits, another tortured city asthmatic.

As soon as they were finished, a large machine on the golf course began chewing up the air with its artificial noise, mowing or sowing or who-knows-what. It continued for quite a long time, causing me to begin the now too familiar battle to calm nerves that have been jangled by the chaos of modern life.

Soon, the workmen that have been spackling the ceilings of the outdoor spaces will return with their ladders, their loud laughter, and their yelling to one another from one building to another. Hovering outside the windows of the many retired tenants, and slopping white spackling material all over the sidewalks, in the dirt and on the glass of the windows, they have been a constant presence for weeks now.

The building has gotten to the age where numerous repairs are required and, because the building was constructed so poorly to begin with, and the repairs are done in a slap-dash manner by non-professional, untrained laborers who do not speak English and are probably not even legally in this country, the repairs have continued for a couple of years now.

Every year, the activity in this complex becomes more and more intrusive, noisy, inconvenient and not conducive to the life of silence and contemplation of a hermit type person. Imagine, if you will, sorting oneself out so that the soul is in silence and ready to receive the Lord, and, suddenly, the place is overrun with jabbering, clueless workmen who are clanging pails and scrapers and paint brushes and thermoses in a cacophony of disorganization.

A few quiet moments of watching the sand hill cranes was a blessed (and rare) break from the mayhem of the majority of the rest of the day. I will be grateful for it and cling to it, thinking back to when life was much more like the former than the latter and how the balance has shifted so dramatically that I hardly feel as if I live on the same planet as I did in 1970 or 1980.

How will I meditate on God and say my prayers in the midst of this grotesquerie? How can one established sacred space when noise and the constant presence of strangers invades my privacy and seeps in with the dirt from the parking lot? All the icons in the world can't keep out this sort of invasion.

Please pray for me, as I pray for you.

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

Saturday, November 28, 2015

THREE GOOD THINGS

My pink Christmas tree

As an introvert often saddled with a certain ennui and melancholy, in addition to a righteously earned case of well-managed, but still ever present, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) I was thrilled to hear from a Catholic psychologist on Immaculate Heart Radio that everyone is born with a certain set-point for happiness, where the psyche naturally rests. The happiness quotient is on a continuum. He kept saying, "It's not your fault." After a lifetime of people blaming me and finding fault, here is this man who really knows something, and he kept saying, "It's not your fault."

He also said there are some things that we can do to naturally improve our moods, no matter what we are dealing with, whether born with a melancholy temperament or having earned one through a brutal childhood or other traumas. I am all for that, being a naturally pro-active person, so I was all ears.

The recipe he proposed was very simple. Every day, think of three good things that happened for you that day.  That's all - just three. He said that one would find (and it is true) that, once the brain starts to look for three good things, scores of good things come to mind and it becomes hard to pick just three! 

What this does is to train the brain to seek out positive things, things that make us happy, give us joy, a sense of accomplishment, etc. The brain will develop new habits, new neural pathways, and the happiness level will be raised.

I have been doing this now for a few weeks, I think. I post my 3 good things every day on Facebook and I ask my friends to chime in with theirs, if they want to do it, and I have found that some of my most sincere religious friends who have time to play on Facebook, are also keeping up this practice.

I highly recommend giving this a try, even if you are the most ebullient person, because it brings epiphanies in its wake and, best of all, a continuous stream of feelings of gratitude, which leads into praises to God throughout the day.

Give it a try. Keep up the practice for a few weeks and see how you like it. The effects may be subtle at first, but, after a while, you may find that your way of doing things has shifted slightly, your mental orientation is slightly different, and your mood may be, generally, much better.

This practice hasn't stopped bad things from happening in my life. It hasn't prevented me from becoming upset when the logistics of life work against me at every turn. I still get mad or frustrated, but I am easily distracted from it by something good. My mind is gradually changing its operation. It is always on the lookout for THE GOOD, and we know where ALL GOOD COMES FROM, don't we?  Yep.

My three good things for the day:

(1) I found some DEEPLY DISCOUNTED yarn on Amazon that is perfect for some warm and snuggly hats and neck warmers for the poor and homeless this Christmas, as well as a discounted yarn to complete a small project for myself.
(2) I had a lovely romp in a big pile of leaves with my little service dog. (He actually did the romping, since I am on a cane, but I enjoyed seeing his joy.)
(3) I got to eat pizza today. I hardly ever get to eat pizza because it is expensive to have it delivered, and I really don't go to restaurants, but every once in a while I relax the rules and have a treat. Chicken, pineapple and jalapenos. Delicious!

What were YOUR "three good things" today? Let me know. I will love to hear about your happiness.

God bless us all,

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

LIBERAL CATHOLICISM




"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 11, 2015

WHERE IS THE CATHOLIC FAITH?

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 absolutely wrong 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 give her this permission. 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 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.


 
On the internet, 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 the internet 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?

EWTN's LIBRARY

THE HOLY SEE (READ ENCYCLICALS HERE.)

CATHOLIC ANSWERS

THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - ONLINE

God bless us all on our journey.  Keep studying!

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






Monday, November 9, 2015

MILKING THE SYSTEM


Chart showing distribution of entitlement benefits from data obtained
from:
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
and
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

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT

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 it...is 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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SAINT THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH AND THE BIBLE

Saint Theophilus of Antioch
d. circa 181
Feast day - October 13



Saint Theophilus of Antioch was an early apologist for the Christian faith, who died in about the year 181.  Born in what is now Turkey, he originally began to address the faith with an eye to destroying it, and, with this in mind, began a study of the Holy Scriptures, particularly the prophetic works. Instead of arming him with the tools he needed to dismantle the Christian religion, he became convinced of its truth and was converted from paganism. Some of his writing remains, with other texts alluded to by Eusebius and others.  He is the first philosopher on record to use the word "triad" (trinity) to describe Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which he named "God, His Word (Logos), and His wisdom (Sophia.)  He was the Patriarch of Antioch after Eros and was succeeded by Maximus in about 181-183.



The Holy Trinity


Theophilus became a vigorous defender of the faith and speaks of his zealous condemnation of the heretic Marcion, who believed that Jesus was the savior sent by God, but he rejected the Hebrew God and the Old Testament. Marcion's beliefs were similar to the Gnostics in their dualistic nature. Marcion's writings are not extant but his philosophy can be deduced from Tertulian's Adversus Marcionum, written in about 202 A.D.

During the time of Theophilus, there were a great number of books about Christianity that were in circulation, both spurious and those that would later be recognized in the official canon, and he would have had access to these. The final canon of the Bible was not established during his lifetime, although an interim Bible, the Muratorian Canon, was compiled in 170 A.D., about 10 years before Theophilus died. This canon wasn't complete, however, lacking Hebrews, James and 3 John, around which there was much discussion. The Hebrew scriptures (the "Old Testament") were already established, with very little controversy, if any, on their legitimacy and place in the Canon.

It wasn't until 363 at the Council of Laodicea, that the Canon of scripture was firmly established as the Old Testament (with Apocrypha), and the 27 New Testament books. This collection was affirmed at the Council of Hippo in 393 A.D., and again in the Council of Carthage in 397.



Ecumenical Council



Meditating on the life of Theophilus brings home the fact that Christ's church was not dependent upon the written scriptures alone, as it lived and thrived and grew for 330 years before "the Bible" was established. Yes, there were many books in circulation and certain of these books were permitted to be read in the churches, but "the Holy Bible," as such, did not exist. Our tradition grew out of the instructions and teaching that Jesus had left with the apostles,who, at Jesus' command, then went out and spread the good news, and the traditions that we keep today. This combination of tradition and sacred scripture is known as the "deposit of the faith,"

The Bible is only one part of what was passed down to us, therefore to rely upon the Bible alone is to sit on a stool with one leg, and I marvel at those who broke away from Christ's church to start something else.  Christ said that His church would stand forever and that even the gates of hell could not withstand it.



"I will be with you until the end of time."
Matthew 28: 18-20


With regard to the writings and the selections that were accepted into the Bible, it may appear to some that these were the workings of human beings, but Jesus promised that his disciples would be prompted, informed, and led by the Holy Spirit. Jesus breathed upon them, and the Holy Spirit also descended on them at Pentacost. When I remember that Jesus is Lord, I have no problem accepting the divine inspiration of our scriptures, our tradition, and our faith and that the Truth of our faith never grows cold, as Jesus promised He would be with us until the end of time.

Theophilus "got in on the ground floor" of the Christian movement and, like many others, was initially a skeptic that sought to discredit our Lord and his Church, but the weight of the evidence of Truth was too great. Once one becomes convinced that Jesus is God, one must naturally accept his commandments, His promises and His church. To do otherwise is to deny that He is God.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015
All rights reserved.


LINKS:

BIOGRAPHY ON CATHOLIC ONLINE

LINKS TO TEXTS OF THE WRITINGS OF THEOPHILUS

INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCT OF THE HOLY BIBLE

BIOGRAPHY OF THEOPHILUS ON WIKIPEDIA

MARCIONISM

TERTULIAN

THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH

WHICH CAME FIRST - THE CHURCH OR THE NEW TESTAMENT

SYNOD OF LAODICEA


Saturday, September 26, 2015

WALKING WITH THE POOR AND THE DISABLED

Pope Francis and the poor, victims of a typhoon,
in the Phillipines


Americans tend to live in their own bubble and not venture too far out of it. Our concept of "family" is typically very narrow, consisting mostly of what is termed "the nuclear family" of mom, pop, kids, and maybe grandparents or grandchildren.  Everyone else is a distant relative, living in their own bubble and, while we may be interested in receiving a card from them at Christmas, their lives are irrelevant to us, especially if they are in a different socio-economic bubble.





Pope Francis challenges us to pop that bubble and embrace the human race of which we are a part but the majority of which we keep at a distance, based largely on the artificial pretext that they are not "one of us," not related to us, "foreigners" and, in the extreme cases, an "enemy."  When fellow Americans are thought of in this way, it is no wonder there is such animosity against the refugees who come to this country trying to escape death and torture in their own country, or the simple migrant seeking food and housing for a hungry family.






If we stay in our bubbles, ignorant of the actual condition of the needy, we can invent whatever fanciful opinion we would like to have about them without letting the facts get in the way. There is a strong tendency to blame the poor for their own condition and to demonize millions of people, based upon the unethical actions of a few, when, in fact, most of the poor are grandma, grandpa, the disabled, and "the working poor." Less than 1% of the poor population are criminals 'working the system,' yet the rest of us are tarred with that same old, tired, brush. The worst lie of all is that "the government" supplies all our needs.






I used to know a wealthy woman who had inherited her money and never had to work to survive. She was under the impression that "the government" had to pay my moving costs when I was stranded in an apartment at the top of stairs I could no longer climb. The smaller the bubble, the more outlandish the ideas.

As a senior, disabled person in America, I receive Social Security and a small discount on my rent from the City of Albuquerque, and that is IT.  I am expected to pay for medical and prescription insurance, dental appointments, eyeglasses, orthopedic shoes, service dog training, adaptations to my apartment to address physical needs, a scooter to address mobility issues, the mechanism that fits on the back of the car for the scooter, a car that can handle the weight of that extra equipment, and special modifications to the steering column so that I can drive with my hands, rather than my feet.  Being disabled is extremely expensive. Out of all those needs, I can only manage to pay the medical insurance and prescriptions. This leaves me stranded, except for very short drives to local stores for a quick pick-up of essential needs.

As it happens, I have grown into the monastic vocation of a hermit, and I have become used to the poverty to which one would voluntarily commit. In my case, it is a concomitant condition with my disabilities. As such, however, I become the perfect witness to the typical lot of the American senior struggling to live on Social Security alone, and I can speak with authority born of experience in addition to the research that I do on the topic of American economics and the poor. My poverty is a blessing from God and an aid to my vocation, and I am grateful for it.




Many people around the world have it much worse than I do.  At least I have food and shelter and clothing.  I am not among "the poorest of the poor," but I was getting close to having to go barefoot. Let me explain:

I was born with oddly shaped feet, which have only grown more odd with time. There isn't a single manufacturer of women's shoes that make any shoe in my width. There are a few men's shoes that are made in my width but do not fit my narrow heels and are, therefore, dangerous to wear, since the heels flop around like crazy and trip me up, what to speak of being downright ugly, especially on a woman who wears only dresses and skirts.  I might as well wear clown shoes.





I am told by every specialty shoe store that shoes must be custom made for me and that these will cost between $500 and $1,000 for each pair.  Even the plastic shoes made by Crocs will no longer fit me, since that manufacturer has narrowed their footbed and hardened the material they use to produce their shoes. My old Crocs have worn through so that there is but a fraction of an inch of rubber between me and the road. I can feel the gravel poking into my skin when I walk the dog. Already I have slipped and fallen on the wet cement in the garage because of the slick, worn soles.







Like many senior American women, I have are no immediate relatives in my life, or at least in the same town.  My only son died a couple years ago.  I have an aunt and numerous cousins, but they are all in another bubble. A wealthy relative tells me how much she loves me and that she hopes I get my needs met. This relative speaks disparagingly about other poor relations.  I know where I stand.







I have a wonderful, faith-filled and faithful Catholic friend who has taken me under her wing and has been helping me get some of my needs me.  Lately, she has been tirelessly pursuing a solution for the shoes, hoping that my research, to date, had missed something.


"Seeking the face of God in everything,
everyone, all the time, and His hand in
every happening; This is what it means
to be contemplative in the heart of the
world.  Seeing and adoring the presence
of Jesus, especially in the lowly appear-
ance of bread, and in the distressing
disguise of the poor."
~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta ~


Getting up to speed on the resources (or, rather, the lack thereof) has been frustrating for her, I imagine, and I thank God for every day she hangs in there with me, enduring the disappointments with me. She lives her faith, no matter how inconvenient and frustrating it is. Walking into the bubble of the poor and the disabled can be a depressing venture for anyone. It has taken me 12 years to slowly accustom myself to it, since I had been a lower middle class working woman most of my adult life and had not had to struggle to pay rent and food costs since my late teens.

Birkenstock "Boston" clogs
European size 41, wide (called "regular")


Recently, I received one of those catalogs that come with their own pay-as-you-go plan, like a credit card, but it had a Birkenstock clog featured.  It was $149.00 - including shipping and handling fees, and I ordered it.  The shoe almost fits me and, after getting them professionally stretched by a local shoe salesman, I am able to walk without as much pain. The shoes flop about on my feet a bit, but if I wear some thick socks, will be better.

I can't get any shoes that actually fit me because of the expense, but I am grateful to have shoes that don't HURT me, at the very least.

Medicare does not pay for orthopedic shoes, except for diabetics. I do not have diabetes.







Mother Teresa did not bother to get her needs met when it came to her feet. I've written about this before. She simply picked the most pathetic and run-down pair of sandals from the donation box and wore those. If her feet were not deformed before this process, they were certainly deformed after wearing this footwear for so many years. I don't understand how she endured the pain!  In any case, I can't afford to follow her example, since I am barely able to walk as it is.


Mother Teresa's feet.  They look a bit like
mine, only hers were not as wide.



Sometimes I feel like a bottomless pit. Once one issue is addressed, another pops up to take its place. If I did not have the assurances of my faith and the hope of heaven before me, I can't imagine how I would keep up my spirits.  Particularly helpful are the examples of the saints who lived among the poor, such as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. For those needs that I cannot get met, I can do as she did and turn to embrace them as a means to salvation. I have no doubt she did a lot less complaining than I do, if she complained at all. That's why she is a saint and I am not.






These experiences of mine have given me a deeper compassion for the problems of the poor in the world. The thing that tugs on my heartstrings the most is the degrading attitudes about the poor that I see all around me. It isn't enough that the poor have to struggle to get their needs met, but they also have to endure the disdain of the rest of the world.






This is why I write this blog. In addition to educating others about the saints and The mystical heart of the Church, I primarily want to bring the Truth to the forefront and combat these urban myths about the poor that have multiplied exponentially, thanks to the media. My struggles to get my needs met are common to at least three quarters of the poor population, yet I practice none of the unacceptable social vices that it is assumed I practice, based upon those myths. I am the ordinary standard that represents the poor, not the drug addled, alcoholic, thieving, dishonest characters that are pushed into the media as prime examples. This is why I bring my pedestrian life problems into public view. Showing how the grinding logistical nightmares can wear down a person, and how many blockades there are to survival, has to shatter these preconceived notions about how the poor are too lazy to work and that they just want everything handed to them. Work was never this difficult.

When I left the Hindu convent, I wanted to become a Catholic nun, but numerous blockades came before me, and then chronic health issues multiplied and worsened over the years, so much that I am now unable to be of any use to a community. I knit a few hats for the homeless in winter, crochet some baby blankets for poor mothers, pray for the world, and write this blog. The Lord has placed me in this condition, and I must practice some obedience and say "yes" to his wishes. Keeping the example of our Blessed Mother before me is crucial to my ability to do that. She said "yes" to God in all things, and especially to the most fantastical of requests of His, so I keep my eye on her and ask her to remain with me as a constant reminder of receptivity to the will of the Lord.

In my own fashion, I live as a hermitess here in my city apartment.  I have my own little "convent," of sorts, and I work toward a state in which I am praying always. I beg for your prayers, that my monastic life becomes more true, regardless of where I find myself. Mostly, however, I ask that you please pray for the poor and be kind to them. Don't support the urban myths about them. Love them instead. Pop whatever bubble in which you live and go out among the poor so beloved by Christ.

God bless you all.

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

THE NATURE OF FORGIVENESS



I have heard from many people that they have had trouble forgiving certain people in their life.  Their emotional feelings of resentment, and sometimes righteous indignation, get in the way. A marginally Christian woman who had been the recipient of many years of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic husband told me just last night that she doesn't feel she can ever forgive him.

My bottom-line impression of forgiveness is that it does not rely upon any emotional feeling on my part. To my mind, forgiveness is a decision, a deliberate orientation toward the will of Christ, in response to his commandment that we are to forgive 70 times 7. Christ said that if we love Him we will follow his commandments, and this is one of them.

I have heard and read some Christians say that they do not believe in forgiving others and that they adhere to the "eye for an eye" principle found in the Old Testament. Jesus specifically abolished this standard, so it is hard for me to understand how someone who claims to be Christian can follow the old prescription.  I chalk it up to poor education in the faith, and perhaps some unwillingness to follow a faith, as opposed to requiring that the faith follow them.

In the "Our Father" we pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us." My willingness to forgive is directly tied to the measure of forgiveness that I receive from the Lord. This prayer is a reminder to me that I have many faults, and yet the Lord has forgiven me. He loves me, though I wouldn't say that I "deserve" it.  Can we ever say that we "deserve" the love of our Lord who is spotless, pure and without defects? Thinking along these lines prompts me toward a feeling of humility. It occurs to me that I must be humble if I am going to forgive those that hurt me.  Recalling my own sins and shortcomings chastens me.

I am not a theologian and I do not pretend to know and understand everything about this crucial aspect of the faith. I just thought I would write about my thoughts behind it and how I handle it. It is a topic with which I have had to wrestle quite a bit, having been the recipient of a great deal of brutality, unfairness and suffering throughout my life.

I have been physically, sexually, and mentally tortured.  I have been the object of public ridicule for nothing other than my weight.  I have experienced a great deal of rejection on superficial grounds.  I have been "kicked when I was down."  My reputation was destroyed among family members so that theft and murder could be disguised.  Friends abandoned me when I became ill.  Some abandoned me because I converted to Catholicism.  People to whom I have been generous and kind have stolen from me and lied about it. Family have turned their backs on me, living in luxury while studiously ignoring my need.

There has been a LOT to forgive!

My habit is to pray that the light of Christ becomes perceptible to those people who have hurt me, that they respond to it, become converted in their hearts, go to Him, and accept His love. As far as I can see, there can be no greater good for which I could pray.  If my prayers were to be answered, the persons for whom I pray would obviously become changed in a crucial way and would no longer be of an inclination to torment me or anyone else.  They would experience great joy and would naturally radiate that joy into the world.  We become transformed when we respond to God and begin to approach Him.  I know that I have changed. Bad habits still cling to me, no doubt, and I carry the cross of my inadequacies daily, but I also carry gratitude, peace and Divine Love. If I am to love others as much as I love myself, I assume that I must wish this great joy upon everyone.

In addition to specific prayers of forgiveness, which I repeat often, these people whom I have occasion to forgive are tacitly included in the grace I pray every time I am about to eat or drink something.  It is a standard format that I have altered to include prayers for mankind, as follows:

"Bless me, oh Lord, and these thy gifts which I am
about to receive from thy bounty.  May I always
be grateful.  In Jesus' precious name I pray that no
one go hungry today and that all souls become 
converted and go to You."
(My altered version of a standard grace before meals)

There is another thing that I do when I struggle against thoughts of retaliation.  In my book, forgiving someone means that I wish only the good for that person and that I do not entertain fanciful scenarios of that person being punished.  Deriving enjoyment from the idea of another person's suffering, even if it is deserved, is not a Christian sentiment. It can take a while before my heart is purified by the prayers of forgiveness.  

For example, I struggle with my feelings of ill will toward a person who masquerades as a religious personality in order to camouflage serious crimes and mortal sins.  This person engineered family estrangements using carefully crafted lies and manipulations, thereby isolating a vulnerable person, who died under suspicious circumstances.  Forgiving this criminal has been very difficult, but, every time I feel the twinge of resentment, I say a quick mental prayer, asking the Lord to forgive me for my lack of charity and also asking the Lord to bless this person.  "Vengeance is mine" saith the Lord. Clearly, it is not within my authority to judge a person and mete out the punishment, especially if I am supposed to love my enemies. Like everyone else, I am a work in progress.

The bottom line is that we CAN forgive even those people who have committed the most egregious sins against us because forgiveness is a decision guided by faith, not an emotion. Praying for our enemies is a matter of obedience to Christ's commandments

I pray for you all.  Please pray for me.

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

SAINT JOSEPH OF CUPERTINO

Saint Joseph of Cupertino, levitating during prayer
(1603-1663)
Feast day: September 18
Patron saint of aviators, flying, students and 
those with mental disabilities


Here we have another saint with a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He was a simple man, treated harshly by his parents, and suffered some mental problems as a result of it.  I can relate to this saint, as I had a brutal childhood. It occurs to me that most saints had difficult lives, so I find myself in good company, thanks be to God.

Evidently, Joseph was socially impaired to the extent that he just wandered around town with his mouth hanging open like a poor demented thing.  He was saddled with a bad temper, on top of everything else.  I wouldn't be surprised if Saint Joseph of Cupertino had post traumatic stress disorder!

Joseph tried to learn how to make shoes as a trade, but was unable to do it.  I don't know why.  It just didn't work out for him.  He attempted to join the Franciscans, but they would not have him.  The Capuchins took a chance on him, but booted him out less than a year later because he couldn't seem to do anything right.  He had broken things through gracelessness, such as the kitchen crockery, which the monastery could ill afford, and he wasn't good at following direction.

He was only 18 years old at this time, but his mother did not want him in her home, so she somehow convinced the Franciscans to take him in, and he was put in charge of the horses.  As anyone who has had horses can tell you, they are capable of being great healers through simple solid presence and ordinary companionship.  Joseph's intellect would never rise to great heights, but he began to be more careful and patient.  His anger lessened.  I think the horses had gentled him.  That is my guess, anyway.

Eventually, the Franciscans noted the change in St. Joseph and tutored him toward the priesthood. Study was not one of his strengths, and he struggled through his lessons as best he could.  From everything I have read about him, it sounds as if the monks were kind to him in a way he'd never experienced before, and it helped him greatly.  First, he became a deacon and, eventually, a priest.

Jesus loves the meek, the downtrodden, the least among us, and for this reason, I suppose, He gave Saint Joseph many spiritual consolations, granting him an ease in his prayer life that he did not possess in any other area.  Astonishing miracles began to occur through this simple soul.  More than 70 times, it was reported that he was seen to levitate or fly while saying mass or praying.

So close was he to the Lord, so fixed in his love, that the mere mention of God would be enough to send Joseph into a rapture that sometimes caused one of these episodes of levitation.  During one Christmas mass, he soared into the air and knelt in rapturous prayer before the high altar.

I am not a terribly gullible person, and not of the type to go running after so-called "seers" like the Medjugorje people or "Maria Divine Mercy."  I try to stay grounded and authentic and not become distracted by the fantastical, but there is something about St. Joseph of Cupertino that rings True for me.  I am very fond of him and have decided to install him in my "committee," the rather large group of saints and sainted ancestors to whom I turn when life gets ugly and I really need some intercession.

Life has been a bit ugly the last week or so, and I feel happy to be able to ask for the prayers and intercession of a Saint with whom I feel such empathy and simpatico! I would like to be like Saint Joseph of Cupertino, with my mind so occupied with the Lord that i cannot even HEAR the mocking of Satan's minions.  I pray for God to accomplish this in me today, because I am as damaged and broken as Saint Joseph of Cupertino was before the Lord began to work in him.

Today I pray for the intercession of Saint Joseph of Cupertino.  I ask him to pray for me to the Lord, as a fellow sufferer.  I pray that the Lord gift me with the consolation of being able to let my whole being reside Him, just as he did with Saint Joseph of Cupertino.

God bless us all.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015 All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

SAINT HILDEGARD OF BINGEN IS MY HERO


"The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening,
all creativity.  This Word manifests itself in every creature."
~ Saint Hildegard of Bingen ~


I idolize Saint Hildegard of Bingen and wish I could be more like her.  Thanks be to God, we have preserved her history and some of her work down through time.  Pope Francis recently named her as a doctor of the church.

Hildegard was gifted with multiple talents.  Musician, theologian, poet, preacher, scientist, nun.  Her contributions to the mystical heart of the Catholic Church are incalculable.  I first read about her in the Vedanta styled Hindu convent in which I was a nun for a few years before discovering Christianity.  She was largely responsible for changing my perception of the Catholic Church and its hidden heart.  I say "hidden" because our modern world is obsessed with politics and nationalism and has lost sight of the beauty and joy at the heart of the faith.  Hildegard did not have such problems. She was at the center.

Today is her feast day and, in commemoration of her, i will do something earthy and creative.  I don't know what it will be, there are so many areas in which she had her fingers.  There is even a cookbook dedicated to her, which I assume contains some of her recipes.  I will have to get it one day.  Perhaps I will cook something simple and organic and nourishing in her honor this evening.

As a side note, I ask for Saint Hildegard's prayers and intercession for a suffering soul today, an alcoholic woman who is lashing out at people who have only tried to help her.  So gripped is she by the disease that she has blackouts and doesn't remember what she does or says while under the influence of alcohol.

In olden days, they used to call it "demon rum," and the prohibitionists inveighed against it, promising that its removal from the public square would solve the problems of the afflicted, but it didn't work, because alcoholism is just a symptom of a far deeper problem of the soul.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, you who were a healer in life, be now a healer in heaven and pray for all the suffering souls who are in thrall to alcohol.  Pray for all people who suffer from addictions, Saint Hildegard, that Christ's light will shine through the darkness of their addictions so that they may become healed.

Lord, save us all.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015, All rights reserved


Monday, September 14, 2015

CONSIDER "THE LITTLE WAY" OF ST. THERESE






"The splendor of the rose and the whiteness
of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent
nor the daisy of its simple charm.  If every tiny
flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose
its loveliness." ~ Therese de Lisieux


I have known many people in my life who dream about big accomplishments in their Christian mission.  We love God so much that we want to do big things for Him, doing many good works for the poor people "out there" somewhere, and ignoring the little old lady sitting in the pew next to us who perhaps has neither husband nor family to care for her and who is lonely and in need.


Saint Therese, during her final illness.



Therese of Lisieux was ill and enclosed in a convent and, while she certainly prayed for the masses of people outside her convent who needed prayer, she found a way to holiness through the "little way" for which she had the means and ability.  She turned to her most immediate neighbors, her fellow sisters. and served them with love.  She practiced a multitude of little kindnesses to the sisters, especially those who had been cruel to her.






I used to know an elderly disabled woman who many times would plaintively complain, "I just wish I knew what Ministry Jesus wants me to do!  I keep asking him and He doesn't tell me."  She looked beyond her neighbors, many of whom were needy and/or lonely.  She had big dreams.  She wanted to be a big deal and do big things for the faith by bringing lots of people to Jesus, yet she barely understood the faith herself and did not have the health to do much of anything except take care of herself.

I used to have a dream of starting a religious order for retired and disabled women - women who were not wanted by convents because they are not able to withstand the rigors of convent life.  Nuns do not float around, six inches from the ground, hands clasped, and singing to the Lord all day. Being a nun in a typical contemplative convent is extremely taxing, both physically and mentally. All of the physical work of the maintenance of the premises is done by the nuns, as well as care of elderly sisters, cooking for the community, suffering lack of sleep and comforts, etc. The schedule can be relentless. It is not like a job, it is a 24/7 proposition

I still think that to create a contemplative order for disabled nuns is a good idea, and I think there is need for it, but I do not have the wherewithal to do it. Obviously, if the Lord intended me to be the person to bring this dream to fruition, He would have ensured that I had the requisite health and resources to accomplish a goal of this magnitude. Obviously, He had other ideas in mind.



Saint Therese, in the courtyard, getting some
fresh air during her final illness



Clearly, I need to avail myself of a good dose of humility and be content with the tiny little contributions that I can make for Jesus.

It is my impression that, if we wish to follow Jesus and we wonder what ministry He would have us do, we should look at the person sitting next to us in church, the lady in front of us in line at the supermarket, the widow living in the house down the street. The poor, the needy, the marginalized, the lonely, the abandoned are all sitting next to us. They are right in front of our faces, but we don't see them.

You could invite a lonely person out to lunch; smile at all the customer service people who take your money at the dry cleaners or the drug store or the supermarket; have a few single ladies over for tea; or have a conversation with someone who is odd, a little strange or repellent.  Make friends with the friendless. Take care of His sheep.


"I applied myself above all to practice quite hidden, 
little acts of virtue; thus I liked to fold the mantles
forgotten by the Sisters, and sought a thousand
opportunities of rendering them service."
~ Saint Therese of Lisieus ~



I have learned that Jesus wants us to follow Him, but we don't have to do it with a marching band, an army of converts, or a convent full of disabled sisters.  I am learning that a handful of kind gestures and a bucket full of smiles may be his most treasured gift.

God bless us all.

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

MEET MY COUSIN, SAINT CLOUD



Saint Cloud, cutting off his hair

Saint Cloud (originally Clodoald), is my 1st cousin, 42 times removed!  We share an ancestor.  His grandfather, Clovis I, King of the Franks and the originator of the Merovingian Dynasty, was the first to unite all the tribes of the Frankish empire under one king.  Clovis I was my 42nd great grandfather.


Clovis I, King of the Francs
Saint Cloud's Grandfather
My 42nd Great Grandfather


Many people alive today are descended from Clovis and related to Saint Cloud, but most are unaware of it.  Their genealogical links are lost in history.  I love knowing a little history and where I fit into the mix, mostly because it expands my notion of family and my feeling of relationship to mankind, which is physical as well as spiritual.



Statue of young Saint Cloud
Who took up religious life at
age 15


Knowing that the saints reside in heaven amongst the angels gives me great joy, since I know that I may speak to them and ask them for their prayers.  I look to them also for guidance by example in how to live the Christian life in this world, something which is becoming increasingly difficult to do.



Modern day painting of Saint Cloud



Saint Cloud narrowly escaped death by the murderous machinations of his uncle.  It is your typical story of assassination of one's rivals for control of territory or kingship.  Cloud's two younger brothers did not escape and were murdered.



Statue of Saint Cloud


Since his father had died when Cloud was only three years old, he had been raised in Paris with his two younger brothers by his grandmother, Saint Clotilde, my 42nd great grandmother, who I suspect is at least partially responsible for his tendency toward the religious life.




Statue of Saint Clotilde at Notre Dame
France
Wife of Clovis I and one of 
my ancestors
(grandmother of St. Cloud)


Like a great number of our saints, Cloud eschewed kingdoms, power and money for the sake of his soul and to live as a monastic.  In his case, he distributed what little inheritance was available to him at the time and put himself under the tutelage of the holy recluse Severinus, who clothed him in a monk's habit.




Saint Cloud, submitting himself to Saint Severinus



When Saint Cloud's fame grew to an intolerable point, after a miracle connected with some act of charity, he withdrew to Provence.  Even in Provence, however, he could not hide from petitioners seeking him out and from the many men who wished to follow in his footsteps.  Eventually, he returned to Paris, to the joy of many.




In this photo taken from Le Parc in St. Cloud, you can see
the Eiffel Tower clearly in the distance


In 551, the Bishop Eusebius ordained him as a priest, and he served in that capacity for some time, until the honor heaped upon him became too much and he retired, once again, this time to Nogent, where he built a monastery and where he died in the year 560.   Nogent has since been renamed "St. Cloud."





Bridge of St. Cloud
Old Watercolor



Saint-Cloud, France, is actually a suburb of Paris at this time and has a gorgeous park and a fair amount of quaint old streets and ruins of old buildings.



Beautiful cascade fountain in Le Parc de Saint-Cloud


I have tried to find out if there are any extant buildings associated with the monastery established by Saint Cloud but have been unable to locate them.  After 1500 years, it is no surprise.






Being disabled and mostly home-bound, I can only travel to these places of my ancestors in the pages of books or on the internet, but I am glad to have access to these, at least, and to be able to celebrate the feast day of my holy relatives in heaven.  Today, September 7th, is the feast day of cousin Saint Cloud.

Anyone interested in learning more about Saint Cloud, will find more at these links:

U CATHOLIC

CATHOLIC ONLINE

WIKIPEDIA

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY

MAGNIFICAT - LIVES OF THE SAINTS


God bless us all.

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015
All rights reserved.