SAINT OLGA

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF FATIMA - MINISTRY PROJECT FOR 2017

70,000 spectators witnessed "The Miracle of the Sun" which 
occurred on the very day promised by our lady in 1917

Non-Catholics often scoff at the miracles celebrated in our church, but the miracles surrounding Fatima and the three little children who saw our Blessed Mother and received many "secrets" from her, played only a very small part in the miraculous events of 1917.

It is one thing to experience a celestial anomaly that can be explained away by some natural phenomena. It is quite another to have this anomaly promised for a certain day and time and have it actually occur, with more than 70,000 witnesses, many photographs of the miracle as well as the witnesses, and wide ranging newspaper coverage. This cannot be discounted or dismissed and, once you know the details, the wonderful mystery stays within the heart of even the most skeptical individual.

MANY articles and books have been written about these events, and another article isn't needed. I recommended researching the internet and reading as many of the books as you are able so that you can fully understand what happened.

Most of the legitimate apparitions that have been confirmed and approved by the Catholic Church include a request from our Lady that we pray the rosary. I adore the rosary and am convinced of its incredible, heavenly properties. Its benefits and significance are not entirely explained, as it is with most mysterious practices and points of theology or cosmology. Our Lady has personally requested it and I, for one, will not argue with her.

I've become incredibly inspired to spread this devotion to the rosary this coming year, during the 100th year anniversary of the miracles at Fatima, and I would like to encourage everyone to enjoy its practice and benefits.

First of all, I recommend contacting the Fatima Gift Shop at the WORLD APOSTOLATE OF FATIMA, official organization for Fatima, affectionately called "the Blue Army." Their website is located HERE. I am a member of the Blue Army and receive their wonderful magazine entitled SOUL, but I am not involved in any official capacity and receive no benefit from them as a result of recommending them. I just want to support them in their efforts to spread the instruction of our Lady and the historical events that occurred in 1917.

Consider purchasing for yourself a commemorative rosary. Currently, they come in black or clear, with a special 100 year anniversary medal attached. It's a nice little crystal and/or glass bead rosary.  I have one in pink, but I think they have run out of the pink and the blue currently. They are selling for $19.00 at the moment, which is not a bad price for a pretty little rosary with such significance. Attached to the rosary is a sweet little commemorative medal. You can buy the medal separately, if you wish. You'll need to have them blessed by a priest after you receive them, however.

The black rosary is pictured HERE.

The clear bead rosary is pictured HERE.

Of course, there are many other items available at the gift shop, and I do recommend you consider joining the Blue Army!

Everyone seems to enjoy the Blue Army's rosaries, medals and other items from their gift shop, including the homeless, who are comforted by them.

If you do not have time to distribute these rosaries, or if you do not have anyone in your sphere who you feel will appreciate them, I would be very happy to give many of them locally, in my parish and elsewhere. Contact me for my address, and you can have the Blue Army send them to me, or you can donate via the button on the right hand side of this page, keeping in mind that Paypal takes a percentage of all monies donated.

I am just enthusiastic to have this devotion spread as far as possible.

If you can manage to send me some rosaries from the World Apostolate of Fatima, I would be most grateful. I have a friend who will take them to a priest to have them blessed. One of the very best ways to encourage the practice of the praying of the rosary is to give them away. Obviously, there are less expensive rosaries that are very pretty. For instance, I have included quite a few in my Amazon list GIFTS TO GIVE TO OTHERS that you may find HERE. Amazon has my address and will mail to me directly.

I ask for assistance in giving these out because my income falls far below my basic needs, so I just don't have the money to invest in the rosaries. What I lack in finances, I make up for in enthusiasm.

On the other hand, if you also feel inspired to distribute rosaries, and you can do this yourself, I would be very happy to hear that you are doing that. Our Blessed Mother will be very pleased. Post a comment, below, or send me an email and let me know what you are dong to promote this wonderful prayer and its 100 year anniversary!

In the meantime, I pray for you, as I hope you pray for me.

God bless us all!

Silver Rose Parnell




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SAINT AELIA FLACILLA - My 48th Great Grandmother



Many people are skeptical when they hear that I am descended from various saints and royals. It sounds like wishful thinking, or perhaps some sort of bragging, but it's not. Thousands of people are descended from the same families but have not substantiated their genealogy. The thing is, history books and other mentions in contemporaneous writings are available to us, either on the internet or in numerous reference books at the libraries. The royals are especially easy to follow through the centuries. Some of them happen to be saints, and carry that special significance through time.

Most inspiring to me are the early saints who were subjected to incredible persecution and whose efforts at evangelization were the building blocks of the early church. A lot of responsibility was on the shoulders of the royals, for instance, when introducing the faith as the standard of moral and theological thought upon which their respective countries would operate.

In the case of my 48th great grandmother, Saint Aelia Flaccilla, first wife of Emperor Theodosius, she was instrumental in advancing the case for the Nicene Creed being adopted by the faith itself.  In fact, she is said to have prevented a meeting between her husband and a promoter of the Arian heresy that would deny the Nicene Creed. Christian concepts were embodied in the Nicene Creed, not created by it, but heretics fought it.

Saint Aelia also helped and served the disabled, which appeals to me immensely, of course, not just because I am disabled but because I love the disabled who are usually ALSO poor and also have fewer of their needs met than an able bodied poor person. The disabled, who are one of the most vulnerable populations, are especially loved by God. He went so far to say that anyone who served the least of these (the most vulnerable) are serving Jesus Himself. The more I come to love Jesus, the more I feel love for "the least of these," because I recognize, bit by bit, that he is specially present with them.

The fact that an Empress, who could delegate any task to someone else, would herself put her hands to the service of the disabled, makes her a wonderful example for all of us. Since I am descended from her, I feel an especially strong desire to live up to her example, and I also feel a deep feeling of connection with her.

As far as we can tell, the saints have gone directly to heaven and are advocating for us, praying for us, and watching us. On the other side, I feel heard by them and am encouraged by it. I am not suggesting that a familial relationship to the saints is somehow superior to a relationship between a Catholic and his or her chosen patron saints. Not at all. It is just that, for me personally, having a familial relationship fills a giant void in my heart that other people may not have. My earthly family experience with my immediate family was just horrible, and I am completely detached from the few that remain. Jesus, Mary, the angels, the saints, and my Catholic family have become my real family.

"For my father and mother have abandoned me,
and the Lord has taken me up."
Psalm 27:10

In general, I recommend getting to know ALL the saints you possibly can. You may be surprised at the number of them for whom you feel some special connection. They're attentive to us and are waiting for us to appeal to them. I imagine they are already praying for us.

When I speak to the saints, I don't send my words out as if traveling over a far distance. For me, the saint to whom I speaking, whether it is Aelia or Olga or Margaret of Scotland, is sitting right next to me, holding my hand, their face drawn very close to mine. The breath of my words wafts across their ears. They're listening intently, and I am understood without explanation. It bouys me up.

With regard to Saint Aelia, she is a saint in the Orthodox Church and not the Catholic, even though her lifetime was long before the split between the two. I have often wondered if my strong desire for the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox church can be traced to some genetic memory of my sainted Orthodox and Catholic ancestors. It could be that both Catholic and Orthodox ancestors are praying for all their descendants, and I feel love for both paths of the faith. It is interesting to speculate about the origins of my peculiar prayer ministry for the reunion, but I don't suppose I will know for sure until the Lord takes me home.

In the meantime, I call upon Saint Aelia (and others) for intercession of the Lord for the purpose of the reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, so that the body of Christ may breath with both lungs once more. I invite you to join me!


God bless us all,
Silver Rose Parnell

Thursday, November 10, 2016

THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES



In Tuesday's general election, Hillary Clinton received the most votes from the people, but Donald Trump won the Electoral College votes and is therefore our new President Elect. As a result, there were thousands of people in a number of cities throughout the United States who protested Trump's election as our soon-to-be president. About ten thousand people protested in front of Trump Plaza, well into the late evening. Chicago and Los Angeles experienced large protests. Even here in Albuquerque, we had people in the streets.

This is by no means the first time that a president has lost the popular vote but won the election. It is a unique American quirk that we accept as the legitimate method of determining the winner in any campaign. Peaceful protest is also a feature of the American democratic system and, as long as it doesn't deteriorate into violence, is allowed to occur.

As soon as it became apparent that Trump was going to win the Electoral College votes, I began to pray for him, dedicating a rosary to his well-being and praying that Trump experience a radical conversion of heart. I continue to hope that the enormity of his responsibilities brings him to his knees before God, chastens him and humbles him, so that he can be successful as a president of all the people. As he begins to realize that most of the American people did not want him in the office, but he has to be president of all the people, I imagine it will likely hit him very hard.

My 33rd great grandmother was a Ukrainian ruler who earned a reputation as a bloody and retaliatory queen. In vengeance for the murder of her husband, she nearly wiped out an entire ethnic minority, doing so in a most gruesome and cruel manner. Later, she somehow experienced a great conversion, became baptized, and is now known as Saint Olga of Kiev, patron of widows and converts. If that woman can become a saint, there is hope for all of us.

A wonderful feature of our faith is the Lord's great love for us that manifests in forgiveness, over and over again, immediately upon our expression of regret and plea for forgiveness. Jesus is the ruler of our hearts and meets us there in love.

Donald Trump has expressed harsh criticisms against several minorities, the disabled, women, veterans captured in battle, the American press, and refugees escaping war torn countries. His rhetoric has been vulgar, insulting, retaliatory, and, frankly, dangerous to the welfare of our country (such as when he invited the Russians to covertly interfere with our elections, which, apparently, they did, to some degree or another.) His worldview, as consistently expressed by him, is the antithesis of the Christian worldview.

Despite all the negatives, Christians voted him into office because of his supposedly pro-life sentiments and his stated intention to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court. In one sense, it was a wild gamble. Trump presents as anything but a good Christian man, but our hope springs eternal. We have seen great conversions before, and this is what it will take in order for this man to meet the expectations of the Christians who voted for him. This is what I pray for.

I ask all my readers to join me in praying for Donald Trump, his family and his support staff. Let us pray for his deep conversion of heart that strengthens his promises with regard to the pro-life cause. Let us pray that he seeks a soft spot on which to land when things get tough for him in the many many battles that face him, and that he realizes that the soft spot he seeks is the loving heart of Christ.

God bless us all...

Silver Rose




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

THE SUN RISES EVERY DAY



One of the primary reasons the Jews didn't accept Jesus as the Messiah is that Jesus came as a poor person with no power, whereas they were expecting him to be an earthly king. They would say , "what good can come from Nazareth?"

Jesus emphasized, over and over again, that the meek will inherit the earth (meaning "everything"), not the powerful. The meek and tender of heart will inherit the true riches of human life, which is eternal relationship with him.

Political power and position were never held as the goal of Christians, which is why i am so surprised to see so many Christians become hysterical, getting angry, and generally expressing a doom and gloom vision of the future. While it is important to participate in the political story, it is not our story, and we need to remember that. We do the best we can, leaving the result to God.

If your candidate does not win, it isn't the end of the world. I promise. Jesus promised. Whatever the result, accept it and move on.

Yesterday, I awoke to hot air balloons in the sky with the sound of migrating sand hill cranes in the background. God is good. Life is good. Take heart.

Silver Rose

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

THE POOR DON'T OWE YOU ANYTHING




If an American makes $50,000 a year, he or she will pay about seven (7) dollars per year into the welfare system that supports the indigent on the bottom third of the poverty spectrum.

An in-depth analysis of the facts and statistics was done very nicely HERE on the blog Soapboxie. There are numerous other sources on the internet that echo this information, but I like the charts that this author provides, as well as the way he explains them. Very nice work, on his part.

In return for that seven dollars, a great number of tax payers are exceedingly interested in the activities of that person who receives that seven (7) dollars. They have a lot of opinions about what the poor, disabled and vulnerable should do in exchange for that tiny bit of assistance, and most of those opinions are damn mean.

In addition, the ratio of amount of assistance given, compared to the amount of control some people want over the recipients, would be hysterical if it weren't so sad. To be so focused on the money that drizzles into the pockets of the poor, while the corporate robber barons are emptying our bank accounts just doesn't make any sense.

Jesus would be appalled.

I do not receive any welfare, since I live on the Social Security that accumulated after working more than 33 years, but I very occasionally receive a donation on this blog. The cost of bringing internet into the home far exceeds the pittance I receive in donations, on a year by year basis. (I had hoped that the blog would at least pay for itself but unfortunately, it does not. I refuse to junk up my page with ads from marketers, however. I figure that, at the very least, I can give my readers a respite from the constant flow of sales pitches by corporations that they have to endure on every other page they access.)

Of the very few who donate, most are extremely kind. Others, in the guise of kindness, will assail me with a barrage of unsolicited "advice" that is not only unnecessary, but would also be insulting, if I was inclined toward that sort of response.

Although I have no choice as to whether or not I will be poor, the vast majority of monastics throughout time have been poor by choice and by chance. Ideally, it is a chosen thing, a sacrifice made for God. Even if poverty is thrust upon a monastic by circumstance, we are encouraged to embrace it. When poverty impinges upon the ability of the monastic to perform his or her functions, measures have to be taken to alleviate it. Poverty, in its essence, is not a "good" thing, but a tool in the hands of the spiritual aspirant.

Consequently, most monasteries rely upon a combination of donations and some type of work of the hands that they may sell. Whether it is coffee, candies, rosaries or liquor, most monastics have to produce something for sale in order to survive. In days gone by, most monasteries and convents survived by gifts alone, but modern times find us with far fewer devoted Christians who understand the value of what the monastic "produces" by his or her presence and prayers. Sadly, Westerners are capitalists first and Christians second, in most cases.

Being disabled and gradually becoming more so, I do not have the capacity to produce anything to any meaningful extent, which is why I have a donation request on my front page. Still, there are people who will insist upon gifting me with their opinion of what I must do to produce something worthy of payment. It is exhausting, especially since they fail to observe that I am already doing something worthy.

After trying, and failing, to get me to live under her rule, a recent small donor has gone off in a huff and unfollowed my blog. A relative who gave me a television similarly subjected me to an overbearingd brow-beating. Another who sent me a book a year or two ago erupted into a tirade of name-calling and public excoriation because I will not vote for her political candidate. Unfortunately, these people felt entitled to control my actions after contributing an extremely small amount to the household. People complain that the poor feel entitled, but my experience of life is the opposite. It is those who give with big strings attached who have a sense of entitlement.

The Bible tells us to invite those persons to our banquets who cannot afford to return a similar invitation. I definitely cannot afford to turn my life over to those who give me a few dollars. I have already given that life to God, and it is not for sale.

I have vacillated back and forth about whether or not to continue the blog or if I should dedicate the time spent writing it to some other endeavor. For the time being, I will keep it, because there are more than a few readers who tell me that their condition mirrors mine and that they receive encouragement and grace from my words.

Just as Jesus used parables to instruct, I offer the small circumstances of my life as an example that can be extrapolated to an understanding of the conditions of the poor, disabled and discarded in America, in order to rouse love in the hearts of those who denigrate the poor, and to support the faithful Christian in whom love already flows but who suffers from living in a hostile angry world.

God bless us all.

Silver Rose Parnell