Daily Update: Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Queenship of Mary (Velaquez - Coronation of the Virgin)

Today is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the octave day of her Assumption into Heaven on August 15th.

The Catholic teaching on the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary is expressed in the 1954 papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII. It states Mary is called the Queen of Heaven because her Son, Jesus Christ, is the King of Israel and heavenly King of the Universe. Catholic dogma (Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, 1950) states that the Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. The feast was initially celebrated on May 31st, the last day of the Marian month. In 1969 Pope Paul VI moved the feast day to August 22nd. The title Queen of Heaven has long been a Catholic tradition, included in prayers and devotional literature, and seen in Western art in the subject of the Coronation of the Virgin, from the High Middle Ages, long before it was given a formal dogmatic definition status by the Church. For centuries Catholics reciting the Litany of Loreto were already invoking Mary as “Queen of Heaven”. Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 noted that Mary’s acceptance of the divine will is the ultimate reason she is Queen of Heaven. Because of her humble and unconditional acceptance of God’s will “God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.” The Feast is celebrated one week after the Assumption because the eighth day after the feast (reckoning inclusively) is the Octave of that feast; it does not necessarily mean that it took the Trinity a whole week to plan the Coronation of Mary.

Last night Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in, Richard was on Pai Gow; I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and also broke the second Mississippi Stud table (once) and a Blackjack table (once). On my breaks I called the Pharmacy to see if any of my prescriptions called in by my Ob/Gyn were ready (two of them were), called my Ob/Gyn’s office to see if they had the results on my biopsy (they did not, and suggested that I call on Wednesday), called the Breast Center of Acadiana to schedule my mammograms for September 14th, and called the Breast Center of Acadiana back again to reschedule my appointment to September 15th (because I forgot that I had a dental appointment on September 14th.)

After work we went to the Pharmacy and I picked up my two prescriptions (I had to pay cash for them, as my Flex Medical Card would not work (they tried three times), and my ATM card would not work (they tried once; they were having phone / connection problems). When we got home from work I read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad, and then I got on the computer and did two Advance Daily Update Drafts. Meanwhile, Richard mowed the grass. I then tried calling my person at the lab in Texas about our bill (at Richard’s suggestion), but the call went to voicemail, and I left a message. And I am tired, so I will go on to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin (died 1617), and tomorrow is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Tomorrow is our Friday at work, and so far as I know we plan to work our eight hours at the casino. In the afternoon Richard will clear out the gutters and downspouts, and I will move books and bookcases.

Our Parting Quote this Monday afternoon comes to us from Nina Bawden, English novelist and children’s author. Born as Nina Mabey in 1925 in Ilford, Essex, her mother was a teacher and her father a member of the Royal Marines. She was evacuated during World War II to Aberdare, Wales, at age fourteen. She spent school holidays at a farm in Shropshire with her mother and her brothers. She attended Somerville College, Oxford, on a grammar school state scholarship where she gained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (and was in the same class with Margaret Roberts, later Margaret Thatcher, also a scholarship student). Upon her graduation she was offered a job as a trainee reporter for the Manchester News, but instead in 1946 she married Harry Bawden and had two sons, When she met reporter Austin Kark on a bus, she was married and so was he; they divorced their respective spouses and married in 1954. Meanwhile she had published her first book, Who Calls the Tune?, in 1953, and continued writing books for the next 52 years. She published The Birds on the Trees in 1970; however, due to a rules change no 1970 books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize (until 1970 the prize was awarded to books published in the previous year, while from 1971 onwards it was awarded to books published the same year as the award). Carrie’s War (1973) won the 1993 Phoenix Award from the Children’s Literature Association as the best English-language children’s book that did not a major contemporary award when it was originally published twenty years earlier. The award is named for the mythical phoenix, which is reborn from its ashes, to suggest the book’s rise from obscurity. The Peppermint Pig (1975) won the 1976 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children’s writers. Circles of Deceit (1987) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; in 1995 her book The Real Plato Jones was shortlisted for the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Book Award, and in 1996 Granny the Pag was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. in 2002 Bawden and her husband Austin Kark, then managing director of the BBC World Service, were riding in the last carriage of a train that had a fatal accident at the Potter’s Bar railway station; six passengers in that last carriage were killed, including Kark, and Bawden was badly injured. Bawden was later very vocal about the subsequent investigation into the crash. In 2004 she was awarded the Golden PEN Award by English PEN for “a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature”. Her last novel, Dear Austin (2005), was written as a series of letters to her late husband. In 2010 Bawden and The Birds on the Trees (1970) made the shortlist for the Lost Man Booker Prize (died 2012): “People who don’t read seem to me mysterious. I don’t know how they think or learn about other people. Novels are a very important part of our education.”

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