Today is the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the birthday of my first cousin Paul in California (1957).
The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the “Lady of the Place.” Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary’s special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular on July 16th, 1251 to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock (died 1265). (I have never gotten the Scapular, and really have no desire to have it; and so far as I know, my devout sister Liz Ellen does not have one, either.) The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its rocky early existence. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary” at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was July 17th; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, necessitating a shift to July 16th, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church. Today is also the birthday of my first cousin Paul in California (1957).
I woke up late and out of sorts, so I did not do my Devotional Reading today. After the Pre-Shift Meeting, Richard was on Three Card Poker until he became the Relief Dealer for Pai Gow and Mini Baccarat. I was on the Second Pai Gow table; when that table closed, I was the Check Racker on Roulette, then helped change Blackjack cards, then spent the rest of the day on the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table. On my breaks I continued reading The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, then I made out my storelist for Richard.
On our way home I continued reading The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story by Dean King. Once home I set up my medications for next week (I have four prescriptions to renew on Monday), then, while Richard paid bills, I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. Richard then got a call from his sister Susan in Iowa, asking about the current status of Lele’s air conditioning. I headed to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; during my Hour I finished reading the July 4th – July 11th, 2016 issue of my Jesuit America magazine, and started reading the July / August 2016 issue of The Bible Today. Meanwhile, Richard went to the ATM for cash and to Wal-Mart to do the grocery shopping. After my Hour I went to the Valero to get my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing. Once home, I plugged the bills Richard had paid into my Checkbook Pro program, then started working on today’s Daily Update. Richard came home with the groceries and household items, and when I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed.
Tomorrow is the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We have no Saints to honor, but tomorrow is the anniversary of the date in 1717 when George Frideric Handel’s Water Music, three suites of orchestral music, was first performed as King George I of Great Britain sailed down the River Thames accompanied by a barge of fifty musicians. Richard and I will work our eight hours at the casino, and in the afternoon before I go to bed I will make my Lunch Salads for Monday and Tuesday and do my Daily Update.
Our Parting Quote this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Stephen Covey, American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. Born in 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah, he was the grandson of Stephen L Richards, an apostle and counselor in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under David O. McKay. Covey was athletic as a youth but contracted slipped capital femoral epiphysis in junior high school, requiring him to change his focus to academics. He was a member of the debate team and graduated from high school early. He then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University (he would occasionally preach on Boston Common), and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He served a two-year mission in England for the LDS Church. Covey served as the first president of the Irish Mission of the church starting in July 1962. His first two books, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (1970) and The Divine Center (1982) were Mormon devotional works. In 1985 Covey established Stephen R. Covey and Associates which in 1987 became The Covey Leadership Center. He changed his focus in his books in 1989 with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, his best-known book, which has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. In the book Covey adamantly refused to conflate principles and values; he saw principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaimed that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences, and presented his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence. In 1997 The Covey Leadership Center merged with Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey, a global professional-services firm and specialty retailer selling both training and productivity tools to individuals and to organizations. In late 1997 he giving the keynote address at a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser in Honolulu for Save Traditional Marriage 98 (“STM98″), a political action committee that was sponsoring a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in the state. In 1998, following Covey’s apology over his comments at STM98, Franklin Covey rewrote its nondiscrimination policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. A father of nine and a grandfather of fifty-two, he received the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003. His 2004 book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. The Covey Leadership Center. In March 2008 Covey launched the Stephen Covey’s Online Community. The site was a collection of online courses, goal management and social networking. Covey used it to teach his thoughts and ideas on current topics and self leadership. Covey released The Leader in Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time in November 2008. In 2009 he launched a career development webinar series to help people struggling in the economic downturn. Its purpose was to offer timely and current topics on a regular basis. In February 2010 Covey announced his hire as a professor and first incumbent of the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University (USU). Huntsman and Covey were longtime friends. At USU he taught courses, performed research, and helped to establish the Stephen R. Covey Center for Leadership, in order to better train students in innovation and ethics. On April 20th, 2010 he made his first post to an education blog entitled Our Children and the Crisis in Education which appears on the Huffington Post news and blog-aggregation website. FranklinCovey also established a Web site dedicated exclusively to The Leader in Me concept, and it holds periodic conferences and workshops to train elementary school administrators who want to integrate The Leader in Me process into their school’s academic culture. In April of 2012 he took a fall from his bicycle on a steep road; complications from this accident led to his death (died 2012): “Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”