Daily Update: Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang

Today is the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest and Martyr (died 1846), Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, Catechist and Martyr (died 1839), and their Companions, Martyrs (died 1839, 1846, and 1869).

Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn was born in 1821, the son of Korean nobles who were converts to Christianity; his father was subsequently martyred for practicing Christianity, a prohibited activity in heavily Confucian Korea. After being baptized at age 15, he studied at a seminary in the Portuguese colony of Macau, now part of China. He was ordained a priest in Shanghai after nine years (1845) by the French bishop Jean Joseph Ferréol. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. During the Joseon Dynasty, Christianity was heavily suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Catholics had to covertly practice their faith. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn was one of several thousands of Christians who were executed during this time; in 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang was born in 1794 or 1795, and was the son of the martyr Augustine Chŏng Yakjong, one of the first converts of Korea, who wrote the first catechism for the Roman Catholic Church in Korea (entitled Jugyo Yoji). When Yakjong was martyred with Ha-sang’s older brother, Yakjong’s wife and the remaining children were spared and went into a rural place; Ha-sang was seven years old. When he grew up, Ha-sang chose to become a servant of a government interpreter; this enabled him to travel to Beijing multiple times, where he entreated the bishop of Beijing to send priests to Korea, and wrote to Pope Gregory XVI in 1825 via the bishop of Beijing, requesting the establishment of a diocese in Korea. Some years later, Bishop Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert and two priests were sent. The bishop found Ha-sang to be talented, zealous, and virtuous; he taught him Latin and theology, and was about to ordain him when a persecution broke out. Ha-sang was captured and gave the judge a written statement defending Catholicism. The judge, after reading it, said, “You are right in what you have written; but the king forbids this religion, it is your duty to renounce it.” Ha-sang replied, “I have told you that I am a Christian, and will be one until my death.” After this Ha-sang went through a series of tortures in which his countenance remained tranquil. Finally, he was bound to a cross on a cart and cheerfully met his death, at the age of 45. Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and Saint Paul Chŏng Ha-sang are the standard bearers for the Martyrs of Korea, some 8,000 martyrs to the Faith who died in 1839, 1846, and 1869. The vast majority of the martyrs were simple lay people, including men and women, married and single, old and young. 79 martyrs of Korea were beatified in 1925 and 24 more were beatified in 1968; the combined 103 martyrs were canonized in 1984, with their feast day set on September 20. Currently, Korea has the 4th largest number of saints in the Catholic world; their Martyrs are the Patron Saints of Korean Clergy and Korean Catechists.

I removed the nail polish from my toenails, did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and wore my New Orleans Saints Jersey to work. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in, I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and Richard was on Pai Gow. I worked the first hour and twenty minutes before getting my first break, since I had four tables, but after that I was only breaking two tables. On my breaks I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, September 19th, 2015 via WordPress for Android.

After work we stopped at Wal-Mart, and Richard got my interim salad supplies. I also read the October 2015 issue of Consumer Reports. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers while I put fresh nail polish on my toenails and watched the start of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints football game. I then went to bed for the rest of the day. Our New Orleans Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the score of 19 to 26; our Saints are 0 and 2 thus far (0 and 2 in conference play), and will next play an away game with the Carolina Panthers (2 and 0, and 0 and 0) at noon on September 27th. In the College Football Polls, the AP ranked LSU #8 (from #13), and Coaches ranked LSU #9 (from #14). I did not go to Mass, and did not do my Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (died first century). Tomorrow is the first day of the new two week pay period at the casino. On my breaks I will do my Daily Update for yesterday, Sunday, September 20th, 2015 via WordPress for Android. The First Quarter Moon will arrive at 4:00 am. After work I have an appointment at the Clinic with the Health Coach. And before I go to bed I will do my Daily Update.

Our Sunday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us tonight from D. J. R. Bruckner, nationally syndicated political columnist and book and theater critic. Born as Donald Jerome Raphael Bruckner in 1933 in Omaha, Nebraska, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English from Creighton University and, as a Rhodes scholar, a master’s in classics and English from Merton College, Oxford. He was a polymath and polyglot, fluent in classic Latin, classic Greek, biblical Hebrew, and several modern languages. He was a reporter on The Chicago Sun-Times in the early 1960s, covering labor. He joined The Los Angeles Times in the mid 1960s, serving as its Chicago bureau chief before becoming a syndicated columnist for the paper. For his liberal positions, Bruckner was accorded a spot on President Richard M. Nixon’s enemies list. He became a vice president for public affairs at the University of Chicago. He then moved to the East Coast and joined The New York Times in 1981 as an editor at the Book Review. His byline appeared hundreds of times during his tenure, not only on book reviews but also on reviews of Off and Off Off Broadway theater and the occasional film. Bruckner was known for his stylistic prowess in his reviews. This became evident in his first article for The Times, an essay about grand-scale publishing projects, which appeared in the Book Review in 1981. In it, he described a series of ecclesiastical volumes issued over the course of a century by a Benedictine abbey in France, “in ivory vellum covers, like a long procession of robed abbots.” He could consign a subject to eternal damnation with a single image. Reviewing an Arnold Schwarzenegger film in 1985, he wrote, “Mr. Schwarzenegger first appears in Commando in parts — one huge bicep and then another.” And he could praise with the lavish economy of a single word. Reviewing a 1995 production of Edward Albee’s play “Seascape,” which required actors to impersonate lizards, Bruckner lauded their “lizardry.” He retired from The New York Times in 2005 (died 2013): “Two years ago [in 1982], needing to get rid of 600 volumes, I decided to sell duplicates. Who needs two sets of Goethe in six volumes? But I’d made different notes in each set: no sale. I did cull out duplicates from thousands of pieces of poetry I had bought since the 1950s — broadsides, pamphlets, little books bought for 50 cents or $1 years back. When a dealer named his price, I was stunned: If some had appreciated 300 percent in 15 years, what might they be worth when I am old? But I steeled myself and sold them — and then fell ill for a day.”

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