Today is Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday.
Holy Saturday is the day between the crucifixion of Christ and of his glorious Resurrection. No Mass is said on this day, while Christ lies in the tomb, and the Holy Eucharist is not given except in cases of grave necessity (i.e., Viaticum to the dying). The Apostle’s Creed says that after His death, “He descended into hell”; the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “By the expression ‘He descended into Hell’, the Apostles’ Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil ‘who has the power of death’ (Hebrews 2:14). In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened Heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.” As the Catechism says, the word “Hell” is used in Scripture and the Apostles’ Creed to refer to the abode of all the dead, whether righteous or evil, unless or until they are admitted to Heaven. This abode of the dead is the “Hell” into which the Creed says Christ descended. His death freed from exclusion from Heaven the just who had gone before him: “It is precisely these holy souls who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into Hell”, the Catechism states, echoing the words of the Creed. Liturgically speaking, Holy Saturday lasts until dusk, after which the Easter Vigil is celebrated, marking the official start of the Easter season.
Last night our #10 ranked LSU Tigers won the second baseball game of their three-game away series with #2 ranked Texas A&M by the score of 3 to 2.
When I woke up for work, I had a killer migraine, so I called in, and Richard went to work without me. (He was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow.) I woke up with my headache mostly gone, but with that weird empty feeling, at 10:00 am. I did my Book Devotional Reading and my Internet Devotional Reading, and also said the Second Day of my Divine Mercy Novena and the First Day of my Annunciation novena. When I was making the bed I threw out my back at 11:15 am. I set up my medications for next week (I have one OTC medication to get at the Pharmacy on Monday), then did my store list for Richard. When Richard got home, I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper with the heating pad that Richard got for me behind my back. Richard paid bills, then left to deposit the in-town bills in the collection boxes and to go to Wal-Mart with my store list. While he was gone I plugged the bills he had paid into my Checkbook Pro app. I did not go to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, because Holy Saturday is the one day of the year when during my Hour the Adoration Chapel is closed (it closed an hour after the Holy Thursday mass, and will reopen on Easter Sunday evening). Richard came back home at 2:00 pm, with the stuff on my list and some Icy Hot® patches for my back. I tried taking a nap; at 4:00 pm I realized that I was not going to make the 8:00 pm Easter Vigil Mass. So I will finish today’s Daily Update, and hope that my back will let me go to work tomorrow. Our #10 ranked LSU Tigers are playing the Third baseball game of their three-game away series with #2 ranked Texas A&M, and our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home Pro Basketball game with the Toronto Raptors tonight; I will record the score of the games in tomorrow’s Daily Update.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday (Alleluia!), and the First Day in the Octave of Easter. We will work our eight hours at the casino (I will attend the Pre-Shift Meeting, as I did not attend the one on Saturday). I will happily eat chocolate tomorrow, as my Lenten Penance is now, according to my lights, over (Alleluia!). On my breaks and after work I will continue to read magazines. Once home from work I will eat my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers, then I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday. I will then do my Daily Update, and go to bed for the duration with a clean conscience.
Our Parting Quote on this Holy Saturday Afternoon comes to us from Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet, psychologist and translator. Born in 1931 in Stockholm, Sweden, he was raised by his mother, a schoolteacher, following her divorce from his father. He received his secondary education at the Södra Latin Gymnasium in Stockholm, where he began writing poetry. In addition to selected journal publications, his first collection of poems, 17 Poems, was published in 1954. He continued his education at Stockholm University, graduating as a psychologist in 1956 with additional studies in history, religion and literature. Between 1960 and 1966, Tranströmer split his time between working as a psychologist at the Roxtuna center for juvenile offenders and writing poetry. By the mid-1960s, Tranströmer became close friends with poet Robert Bly. The two corresponded frequently, and Bly would translate Tranströmer’s poems into English. Bly also helped arrange readings for his fellow poet in America. The Syrian poet Adunis helped spread Tranströmer’s fame in the Arab world, accompanying him on reading tours. In the 1970s other poets accused Tranströmer of being detached from his own age, since he did not deal overtly with social and political issues in his poems and novels. His work, though, lay within and further developed the Modernist and Expressionist / Surrealist language of 20th-century poetry; his clear, seemingly simple pictures from everyday life and nature in particular revealed a mystic insight to the universal aspects of the human mind. Tranströmer went to Bhopal immediately after the gas tragedy in 1984, and alongside Indian poets such as K. Satchidanandan, took part in a poetry reading session outside the plant. Tranströmer published fifteen collected works over his extensive career, which have been translated into over 60 languages. An English translation by Robin Fulton of his entire body of work, New Collected Poems, was published in the United Kingdom in 1987 and expanded in 1997. He was the recipient of the 1990 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Tranströmer suffered a stroke in 1990 that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak; however, he continued to write and publish poetry through the early 2000s. Tranströmer played the piano throughout his life; after his stroke, which paralyzed the right side of his body, he taught himself to play only with his left hand. He published a short autobiography, Minnena ser mig (The Memories See Me), in 1993. In 2001 Bonniers, Tranströmer’s publisher, released Air Mail, a work consisting of Tranströmer’s and Bly’s day-to-day correspondence on personal, contemporary and literary matters c. 1965–1991 – in a style that vividly conveyed how close friends the two had soon become. A poem of his was read at Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh’s memorial service in 2003. Following the publication of Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma) in 2004, Fulton’s edition was further expanded into The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, published in the United States in 2006 and as an updated edition of New Collected Poems in the United Kingdom in 2011. In 2011 he was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”. He was the 108th winner of the award and the first Swede to win since 1974. Tranströmer had been considered a perennial frontrunner for the award in years past, with reporters waiting near his residence on the day of the announcement in prior years. The Swedish Academy revealed that he had been nominated every single year since 1993. The prize announcement led to the immediate reissuing of at least two volumes of Tranströmer’s poetry (died 2015): “We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.“