Daily Update: Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Teresa of Avila, by Peter Paul Rubens

Today is the Memorial of St. Teresa of Ávila, Virgin and Doctor (died 1582). And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

Today’s Saint was born in 1515 to Spanish nobility in Ávila, Castile, as Teresa Sánchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada; she grew up reading the lives of the saints, and would play “hermit” in the garden. At age seven she ran away with her brother Rodrigo to find martyrdom among the Moors; her uncle stopped them as he was returning to the city, having spotted the two outside the city walls. Her mother died when Teresa was 12, and she prayed to Our Lady to be her replacement. Her father opposed her entry to religious life, so she left home without telling anyone, and entered a Carmelite house at 17. Seeing her conviction to her call, her father and family consented. Soon after taking her vows and taking the name in religion of Teresa of Jesus, she became gravely ill, and her condition was aggravated by the inadequate medical help she received; she never fully recovered her health. She began receiving visions, and was examined by Dominicans and Jesuits, including Saint Francis Borgia, who pronounced the visions to be holy and true. She considered her original house too lax in its rule, so she founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila in 1562. Sometime before 1567 she wrote her Autobiography at the direction of her confessor. In 1567, also at the direction of her confessor, she wrote El Camino de Perfección (The Road to Perfection); that same year, she received a patent from the Carmelite general, Rubeo de Ravenna, to establish new houses of her order, and in this effort and later visitations she made long journeys through nearly all the provinces of Spain, often against fierce opposition from local authorities. As part of her original patent, Teresa was given permission to set up two houses for men who wished to adopt the reforms; she convinced Saint John of the Cross and Anthony of Jesus to help with this. They founded the first convent of Discalced Carmelite Brethren in November 1568 at Duruello. In total seventeen convents, all but one founded by her, and as many men’s cloisters were due to her reform activity of twenty years. In 1577 she wrote El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), comparing the contemplative soul to a castle with seven successive interior courts, or chambers, analogous to the seven heavens. Her life combined deep mysticism with hard-headed reform, and she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1970 by Pope Paul VI. She is the Patron Saint of lacemakers, of those in need of grace, of people in religious orders, of people who have lost their parents, of people who have lost their parents, of people ridiculed for their piety, and of the country of Spain; her aid is invoked against bodily ills and migraine headaches. And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th.

Michelle came by last evening (it turns out she does not want a Crown Royal Mardi Gras costume for Cody, as he has said he will never run in Mardi Gras), and I finished reading Desolation Island by Patrick O’Brian.

Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb, and I woke up at 8:00 am. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, then ate my breakfast toast while reading the Thursday papers. Richard left for his 9:30 am dental appointment in Mamou, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading. I then did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Desolation Island by Patrick O’Brian. Richard got home at 10:30 am (his next dental appointment will be on April 20th), and I cleaned out my Barnes and Noble Bag. I then prepared the boxes of stuff to send to Liz Ellen; Richard said that there might be room in the trunk to carry them up to her, and he then checked to see how roomy the trunk is with my two bags and his bag (the answer was, not very roomy). Finally, just as I was about to head out into town, the mail came, with our bank statement, so I sat down and reconciled the bank statement to our checkbook and my Balance My Checkbook Pro app.

I left the house in the car at 1:45 pm; my first stop was the post office, where I mailed off three boxes of stuff to Liz Ellen. I then ate Chinese for lunch at Peking, and started reading The Fortune of War by Patrick O’Brian. I then went to Wal-Mart and got one of my Over the Counter vitamins, some stuff for my National Park bag, a couple of twelve-packs of my Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, and bread. There was an announcement on the door at Wal-Mart (which I had noticed the other day) advising that their pharmacy is offering the Flu shot, the Pneumonia shot, and the Shingles shot (more anon).

Arriving home at 3:15 pm, I did two Advance Daily Update Drafts for my weblog (I’m up to Monday, November 16th). Michell came by to pick up her mail, and she carried off the box of large Crown Royal bags for a friend of hers. I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Sunday (I am going to arrange my salad supplies so that when we leave for our vacation we do not have anything perishable in the refrigerator), then watched Jeopardy! I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update (after my late big lunch I was not hungry for any dinner), and when I finish with the computer I will get ready to go to bed. Tonight our hapless New Orleans Saints  (1-4, 0-2) will host the Atlanta Falcons (5-0, 0-0); I will give the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Hedwig, Religious (died 1243), and the Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (died 1690). And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary Election on October 24th. Richard and I will return to work for the start of our work week, and on my breaks I will start reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting next Tuesday evening. After work I will go to the Pharmacy and pick up prescriptions; I will also ask over on the Clinic side if they are offering the Shingles vaccine. In the afternoon I will finish setting up my medications for vacation, and do a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog.

Our Thursday Afternoon Parting Quote is brought to us by Mildred Fay Jefferson, American physician and pro-life activist. Born in 1926 in Pittsburg, Texas, she was the only child of a Methodist minister and a school teacher, and was raised in Carthage, Texas. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Texas College and her master’s degree from Tufts University, she graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1951, becoming the first Negro woman (a term she herself always insisted on) to do so. Her other groundbreaking achievements include becoming the first female member of the Boston Surgical Society and the first woman to be a surgical intern at Boston City Hospital. She was also the first woman to receive the prestigious Lantern Award for Patriotism from the Massachusetts Council of the Knights of Columbus. Jefferson was an prominent leader in the pro-life movement. She helped found the National Right to Life Committee in the 1970s, after the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973, and served as the Committee’s President for three terms from 1975 through 1978. She served on the Boards of Directors of more than 30 pro-life organizations. She unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination as a United States Senator from Massachusetts in 1990, in an attempt to take U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat (died 2010): “I am at once a physician, a citizen and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”

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