Daily Update: Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday and Richard of Chichester

Alleluia! Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, the Eighth Day in the Octave of Easter, and Divine Mercy Sunday. Today is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Richard of Chichester, Bishop (died 1253), and today is the birthday of my cousin Chris in California (1957).

Divine Mercy Sunday is dedicated to the devotion to the Divine Mercy Devotion promoted by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (died 1938) She was a Polish nun who reported a number of apparitions, visions and conversations with Jesus which she wrote in her diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul. The three main themes of the devotion are to ask for and obtain the mercy of God, to trust in Christ’s abundant mercy, and finally to show mercy to others and act as a conduit for God’s mercy towards them. Her diary further stated that anyone who participates in the Divine Mercy Mass and receives the sacraments of confession and Eucharist on this day is assured by Jesus of full remission of sins. The devotion was actively promoted by Saint Pope John Paul II, who was Polish, and who had a great devotion to Sister Kowalska. On April 30th, 2000, the canonization of Faustina Kowalska took place and the Sunday after Easter was officially designated as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy (Dominica II Paschae seu de divina misericordia) in the General Roman Calendar. The Divine Mercy image (also commissioned by Jesus through Saint Faustina Kowalska’s diary) is often carried in processions on Divine Mercy Sunday, and is placed in a location in the church so that it can be venerated by those who attended the Mass. Saint John Paul II, Pope, decreed in 2002 a plenary indulgence associated with this devotion; to gain a plenary indulgence, a person must exclude all attachment to sin of any kind, even venial sin, must perform the work or say the prayer for which the indulgence is granted, and must also fulfill the three conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and praying for the intentions of the Pope. Turning to today’s Saint, Richard de Wychin was born about 1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, England; the father of today’s Saint died when Richard was young. The family fell upon hard times, but as soon as he became old enough he took over the management of his family’s estates and brought them back to prosperity. Educated at Oxford, Paris and Bologna, he became the Chancellor of Oxford University. He was the legal advisor to Saint Edmund Rich and Saint Boniface of Savoy, the Archbishops of Canterbury. After being ordained priest, he was named Bishop of Chichester in 1244. The new bishop showed much eagerness to reform the manners and morals of his clergy, and also to introduce greater order and reverence into the services of the Church. His episcopate was also marked by the favor which he showed to the Dominicans and by his earnestness in preaching a crusade. Miracles and cures occurred at his shrine in Chichester. He is the Patron Saint of Chichester, of Sussex, and of coachmen; he is most known today for his Prayer, “Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ For all the benefits Thou hast given me, For all the pains and insults Which Thou has borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen.” Today is also the birthday of my cousin Chris in California (1957).

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and then put my Icy Hot® Pain System on my hip. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Ninth and Last Day of my Annunciation Novena. Today was the last day of the current two-week pay period at the casino; Richard was first on the second Pai Gow table, then was on Macau Mini Baccarat; when he closed that table, he was on a Blackjack table for the rest of the day. I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and at the end of the day I also broke the Four Card Poker table once. On my breaks I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, via WordPress for Android. I also went to the Associate Advocacy Survey (I commented that I wished they would bring back our Employee Appreciation Day, with boiled crawfish; our former Employee Appreciation Day has morphed in the past few years to a carnival, which is marketed to the surrounding area, and is in no way an Appreciation for Associates). On another note, my back / hip pain is now almost gone, which is a blessing; when I threw out my back Saturday last week, I could barely move.

On our way home I ordered a new set of contacts for each eye from 1-800 Contacts. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers; I then took a nap. Richard joined me in bed at some point, but I managed to get out of bed at about 6:00 pm to do this Daily Update. While I was sleeping our New Orleans Pelicans won their away Pro Basketball game with the Brooklyn Nets by the score of 106 to 87; on Tuesday evening our Pelicans will play an away Pro Basketball game with the Philadelphia 76ers. And our LSU Tigers won the third away game of their three-game Baseball series with Auburn by the score of 10 to 5; our Tigers will return to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to play a single Baseball game with Southern University.

Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord (transferred this year from March 25th, which was Good Friday) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor (died 636). Tomorrow is Square Root Day, when both the day of the month and the month are the square root of the last two digits of the year, and we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And tomorrow is my daughter Michelle’s birthday (1988). Tomorrow is the first day of the new two-week pay period; Richard and I will drive separately to the casino. After our eight hours of work, I will head home, and Richard will go over to the Clinic for his 12:00 pm appointment to see the dietician (we clock out at 11:00 am, and I do not want to hang around for an extra hour waiting on Richard’s appointment). On my way home I will stop at the store to get salad supplies, and once home I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday and eat my Monday salad. And if I do not nap tomorrow afternoon I will get caught up on stuff at the house.

Our Parting Quote on this Second Sunday of Easter (Alleluia!) and Divine Mercy Sunday comes to us from Sarah Brady, American gun support activist. Born as Sarah Jane Kemp in 1942 in Kirksville, Missouri, she was raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated from high school in 1959. She graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1964. From 1964 to 1968 she was a public school teacher in Virginia. From 1968 to 1970 she worked as assistant to the campaign director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. She then worked as an administrative aide, first for Mike McKevitt (R-CO) and then for Joseph J. Maraziti (R-NJ). She married James Brady in Alexandria in 1972. From 1974 to 1978 she worked as director of administration and coordinator of field services for the Republican National Committee. Meanwhile, her husband served various positions in the private sector and in government, including service as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, James Thomas Lynn; Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Assistant to the Secretary of Defense; and member of the staff of Senator William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE). He also served as Press Secretary to then-presidential candidate John Connally in 1979. After Connally withdrew his candidacy from the race, James Brady became Director of Public Affairs and Research for the Reagan-Bush Committee, and then Spokesperson for the Office of the President-Elect. After Reagan took office, James Brady became White House Press Secretary. Brady’s husband sustained a permanently disabling head wound during the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, which occurred on March 30th, 1981; he remained as Press Secretary for the remainder of Reagan’s administration, primarily in a titular role. In 1995, while visiting her husband’s relatives in Centralia, Illinois with their six-year-old son, the boy found what he thought was a toy gun and pointed it at his mother. She told him never to point a gun at anyone and, when he handed it to her, she found to her horror that it wasn’t a toy but a fully loaded .22 similar to the one used to shoot her husband. Alongside her husband, Brady became one of the nation’s leading crusaders for gun control. They later became active in the lobbying organization Handgun Control, Inc. that would eventually be renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and she was the chairwoman of the Brady Campaign from 2000 until her death. To gain support for the Brady Bill, first proposed in 1987 and which required a waiting period and background check on all handgun purchases through federally licensed dealers, Brady lobbied politicians, appeared on TV talk shows, wrote op-ed pieces and made speeches often to audiences packed with hostile NRA supporters. In 1994 she and her husband received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards. James Brady’s recovery after the shooting was dramatized in the 1991 HBO film Without Warning: The James Brady Story, with James Brady portrayed by Beau Bridges and Brady portrayed by Joan Allen. To gain support for the Brady Bill, which required a waiting period and background check on all handgun purchases through federally licensed dealers, Brady lobbied politicians, appeared on TV talk shows, wrote op-ed pieces and made speeches often to audiences packed with hostile NRA supporters. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Pub.L. 103–159, 107 Stat. 1536, enacted November 30, 1993) was an Act of the United States Congress that mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the NICS system was implemented in 1998. In 2002 Brady published her autobiography, A Good Fight, written with Merrill McLoughlin. According to Library Journal, it was more about her personal battles (such as with her diagnosis of lung cancer) and her determination and courage than about gun control. In 2014 her husband James Brady died in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 73. His family announced his death on August 4, 2014; four days later, in a controversial decision due to the length of time involved, his death was ruled a homicide caused by the gunshot wound he received approximately thirty-three years ago in 1981. Hinckley did not face charges as a result of James Brady’s death due to having been found not guilty of the original crime by reason of insanity (died 2015): “The gun lobby never gives up. You get a good law, and they do everything they can to undo it.”

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