Daily Update: Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Teresa of Lisieux and Banned Books Week 2015

Today is the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor (died 1897). And Banned Book Week continues.

Today’s Saint, born in 1873 in Alcon, Normandy, as Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was the youngest of five daughters in a very devout family (her father, Saint Louis Martin (died 1894), had wished to become a priest, and her mother, Saint Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin (died 1877), a nun; when they married each other, they had lived as brother and sister until their confessor convinced them that their duty as married Catholics was to produce and raise Catholic children). Her mother died when she was only four, and the family moved to Lisieux, Normandy, to be closer to family. She was cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin smiled at her. Educated by the Benedictine nuns of Notre-Dame-du-Pre, she was confirmed there at age eleven. Just before her 14th birthday she received a vision of the Child Jesus; she immediately understood the great sacrifice that had been made for her, and developed an unshakable faith. She then tried to join the Carmelites, but was turned down due to her age. As a pilgrim to Rome in 1897 with her father and sister for the Jubilee of Pope Leo XIII, when her turn came to speak to the Pope she asked him to be allowed to enter the Carmel. The Pope said: “Well, my child, do what the superiors decide…. You will enter if it is God’s Will,” and he blessed Thérèse. She refused to leave his feet, and the Swiss Guard had to carry her out of the room. Soon after that, the Bishop of Bayeux authorized the prioress to receive Thérèse, and on April 9, 1888 she became a Carmelite postulant, joining one of her sisters. She took her final vows in 1890 at age 17, and took the name of Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She was known by all for her complete devotion to spiritual development and to the austerities of the Carmelite rule. Due to health problems resulting from her ongoing fight with tuberculosis, her superiors ordered her not to fast. She was made novice mistress at age 20. At the age of 22 she was ordered by her prioress (her own sister) to begin writing her memories and ideas, which material was published as Histoire d’une Ame (The Story of a Soul) in 1898. Thérèse defined her path to God and holiness as The Little Way, which consisted of child-like love and trust in God. The Little Flower had an on-going correspondence with Carmelite missionaries in China, often stating how much she wanted to come work with them. Many miracles were attributed to her after her early death from tuberculosis. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II, and she is the Patron Saint of Missionaries, HIV/AIDS sufferers, florists and gardeners, those who have lost parents, and tuberculosis sufferers, and of the state of Alaska and of the countries of France and Russia. And Banned Books Week continues, so go read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov today!

As promised, last night before I went to bed I ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts.

Richard was dreaming about fishing, and fell out of bed very noisily at about 6:30 am (he did not hurt himself, which is what I was worried about); he then took several minutes to figure out how to plug the box fan back in, so I just dozed for the next hour or so. When Richard got up he bagged up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb. I woke up at 8:00 am. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and adjusted the date on my watches (they know what day it is, but not which month). While doing my Bathroom Devotional Reading I missed a call from the Rectory, which went to Voice Mail; I called back, and spoke to the Deacon, who needed to know the correct spelling of my granddaughter’s name for the birth certificate. I then cleared out my phone call list and my voice mails. Next, I drank 16 ounces of water. (I do need to drink more water, and, knowing myself, I have set up a schedule on my Google Calendar to remind me, basically every four hours (at 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00, AM and PM) to drink my water.) I then ate my breakfast toast and read the Thursday papers. Next, I finished flipping to the new month on our wall calendars, cleared out the browsing data and searches on my Chrome Browser, Wikipedia, Google Play Store, and Facebook, deleted my Google Search History, and did screenshots of my current home screens on my Galaxy Note 4. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading.

While Richard made a run to a couple of grocery stores, I settled down at the computer to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog. I did some good progress, getting Advance Daily Update Drafts done through Wednesday, October 14th. (My goal is to get three weeks ahead, and to keep three weeks ahead, to make it easier for me to do my Daily Updates via WordPress for Android when we are on our vacation.) At 2:30 pm Matthew, Callie, and my granddaughter showed up. We had a good visit, 20151001_144458 20151001_160708 and they left at 5:00 pm when Callie’s mom came by to pick them up. While they were there Richard got a call from his sister Bonnie (they are still in the process of moving Richard’s oldest brother Butch in Baton Rouge to an assisted living community), and arranged that all of us will go over to Richard’s cousin Lele’s house on Tuesday or Wednesday to have dinner. Once they left I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday, and then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update while eating a plate of chicken and sausage gumbo over rice. Once I finish with the computer, I will do a bit of reading before going to bed. And, on reflection, to make sure I am drinking enough water, I will schedule my drinking of water for every three hours (12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00, AM and PM). This should get me drinking enough water; I will also note that I have no intention of waking myself up to drink water, if one of the times is a time when I am sleeping.

Tomorrow is the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. And Banned Books Week continues. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of our work week. In the afternoon I will continue to work on Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog.

Our Parting Quote on this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Tom Clancy, American author. Born as Thomas Clancy, Jr. in 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland, his father worked for the United States Postal Service and his mother worked in a store’s credit department. After graduating from a private high school in 1965, he attended Loyola College (now Loyola University) in Baltimore, graduating in 1969 with a degree in English literature. While at Loyola, he was president of the chess club and joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps; however he was ineligible to serve due to his nearsightedness, which required him to wear thick eyeglasses. After graduating he worked for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1973, he joined the O. F. Bowen Agency, a small insurance agency based in Owings, Maryland, founded by his wife’s grandfather. In 1978 he became a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. In 1980 he purchased the insurance agency from his wife’s grandmother, and wrote novels in his spare time. Clancy’s literary career began in 1982 when he started writing The Hunt for Red October which in 1984 he sold for publishing to the Naval Institute Press for $5,000. The publisher was impressed with the work, and requested Clancy to cut numerous technical details, amounting to about 100 pages. Clancy, who had wanted to sell 5,000 copies, ended up selling over 45,000. After publication, the book received praise from President Ronald Reagan, calling the work “the best yarn”, subsequently boosting sales to 300,000 hardcover and 2 million paperback copies of the book, making it a national bestseller. The book was critically praised for its technical accuracy, which led to Clancy’s meeting several high-ranking officers in the U.S. military. Clancy’s fiction works, The Hunt for Red October (1984), Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989; it sold 1,625,544 hardcover copies, making it the #1 bestselling novel of the 1980s), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character, CIA Analyst Jack Ryan, while his second most famous character, John Clark, a CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer and Navy SEAL, has been played by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. All but two of Clancy’s solely written novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark. A longtime holder of conservative and Republican views, Clancy’s books bear dedications to American conservative political figures, most notably Ronald Reagan. The Cold War epic Red Storm Rising, co-written with fellow military-oriented author Larry Bond, was published in 1986. By 1988 Clancy had earned $1.3 million for The Hunt for Red October and had signed a $3 million contract for his next three books. By 1997 it was reported that Penguin Putnam Inc. (part of Pearson Education) would pay Clancy $50 million for world rights to two new books, and another $25 million to Red Storm Entertainment for a four-year book/multimedia deal. Clancy wrote several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Clancy also branded several lines of books and video games with his name that were written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy’s works. These are sometimes referred to by fans as “apostrophe” books; Clancy did not initially acknowledge that these series were being authored by others; he only thanked the actual authors in the headnotes for their “invaluable contribution to the manuscript”. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Vice Chairman of their Community Activities and Public Affairs committees. The first Op-Center novel was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television mini-series of the same name starring Harry Hamlin and a cast of stars. Though the mini-series did not continue, the book series did, but it had little in common with the first mini-series other than the title and the names of the main characters. The first NetForce novel (titled Net Force and published in 1999) was adapted as a 1999 TV movie starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going. Clancy was one of only three authors to have sold two million copies on a first printing in the 1990s (the other two being John Grisham and J. K. Rowling). A week after the September 11, 2001 attacks, on The O’Reilly Factor, Clancy suggested that left-wing politicians in the United States were partly responsible for September 11 due to their “gutting” of the Central Intelligence Agency. Based on his interest in private spaceflight and his $1 million investment in the launch vehicle company Rotary Rocket, Clancy was interviewed in 2007 for the documentary film Orphans of Apollo (2008). With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger (2003), Clancy introduced Jack Ryan’s son and two nephews as main characters; these characters continued in his last four novels, Dead or Alive (2010), Locked On (2011), Threat Vector (2012), and Command Authority (2013).  Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. Clancy’s estate, which was once a summer camp, is located in Calvert County, Maryland. It is 80 acres and has a panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay. The stone mansion, which cost $2 million, has twenty-four rooms and features a shooting range in the basement. The property also features a World War II-era M4 Sherman tank, a Christmas gift from his first wife (died 2013): “Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Your life may change, but your dream doesn’t have to. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Your spouse and children need not get in its way, because the dream is within you. No one can take your dream away.”

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