Today is the Feast of All Souls, and National Vocation Awareness Week continues. In the secular world, today is Coronation Day, one of the holiest days in the Rastafarian calendar.
On All Souls Day the Roman Catholic Church remembers all who have died (who are not Saints, who were honored yesterday). The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory. Historically, the Western tradition identifies the general custom of praying for the dead dating as far back as 2 Maccabees 12:42-46. The custom of setting apart a special day for intercession for certain of the faithful on November 2nd was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) at his abbey of Cluny in 998. From Cluny the custom spread to the other houses of the Cluniac order, which became the largest and most extensive network of monasteries in Europe. The celebration was soon adopted in several dioceses in France, and spread throughout the Western Church. It was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century. National Vocation Awareness Week continues, and we pray, “God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, religious, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help us respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” In another religious tradition, today is Coronation Day, or the day when Haile Selassie I was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930. The Rastafari Movement, which began in the 1930s in Jamaica, sees Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, the second coming of Jesus Christ onto the Earth. During his 1966 visit to Jamaica, the Emperor refused to contradict the Rastafari belief that he was Jesus. Today is thus the holiest day in the Rastafarian calendar.
On Sunday evening I finished reading the October 26th, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America Magazine.
Richard and I were up at 5:30 am at Matthew and Callie’s place in Groton, Connecticut, I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and we said our goodbyes yes to Callie and the baby. (We will be home in SouthWestCentral Louisiana the week before Thanksgiving, and Callie and the baby will be down on Thanksgiving week for two weeks.) We left at 6:30 am, and took the 7:00 am Long Island Ferry. We ate breakfast on the ferry, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading. We arrived at Orient Point, Long Island, New York at 8:30 am.
At 10:00 am we reached Fire Island National Seashore headquarters in Patchogue, New York, and I got a stamp for my National Park Explorer Edition Passport Book, On our way out to the Island I read the New York Daily News. At the Lighthouse we saw the exhibits, got more stamps for my National Park Explorer Edition Passport Book, and purchased a lapel pin for Liz Ellen. We left my 161st National Park at 12:30 pm.
We continued on our way, using Google Maps on my Galaxy Note 4, and went over the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey at 2:15 pm. At 3:00 pm we arrived at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, New Jersey. At the Visitor Center I got a stamp for my National Park Explorer Edition Passport Book, but no hiking staff medallion or lapel pin (they acted as if they had never hear of the concept). We took photos of the Falls,
and we left my 162nd National Park at 3:45 pm. We checked in at the Americas Best Value Inn in Whippany, New Jersey at 5:00 pm; I was not feeling well, so went on to bed without doing my Daily Update.
Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, Religious (died 1639), and National Vocation Awareness Week continues. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 6:26 am. We will go to Pennsylvania to see Valley Forge, then head for Philadelphia. And at some point I will do my Daily Update.
Our Parting Quote on this All Souls Day comes to us from Clifford Nass, American communications professor and author. Born in 1958 in Teaneck, New Jersey, his parents formed New Jersey’s first Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter after Nass’s older brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1981. That same year Nass earned a B.A. cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University. He then conducted research in the areas of computer graphics, data structures and database design for IBM and Intel before returning to Princeton for graduate school. He got his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton in 1986, and joined the faculty at Stanford University. Nass was the Thomas M. Storke Professor at Stanford and held courtesy appointments in Computer Science, Education, Law, and Sociology. He was also affiliated with the programs in Symbolic Systems and Science, Technology, and Society. He was also the director of Stanford’s Revs automotive program, as well as director of the university’s Communications between Humans and Interactive Media lab, and co-director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. In 1986 he wrote, with Byron Reeves, The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places. He wrote Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship in 2005. Nass’s last book, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships, was written in 2010 (died 2013): “Most academics, including myself, kept seeing [multi-tasking] as an aberration. You’d see someone multitasking and go, ‘Ha ha ha, those wacky college kids — OK, they’ll grow out of it.’ And then you start looking around and go, ‘Wait a minute, they’re growing into it, not out of it.’ Little kids are growing up with it. Older people are being stuck with it. We could essentially be undermining the thinking ability of our society. We could essentially be dumbing down the world.”
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