Daily Update: Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Hedwig and Margaret Mary Alacoque and Sukkot

Today is the Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Optional Memorial of Saint Hedwig, Religious (died 1243) and the Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (died 1690). At sunset today begins the Jewish feast of Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles.

Born in 1174 in Castle Andechs, Bavaria, Saint Hedwig was the daughter of Berthold IV, Duke of Merania, and the aunt of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. She was married to Prince Henry I the Bearded of Silesia and Poland in 1186 at age twelve, and was the mother of seven children. She cared for the sick both personally and by founding hospitals. Upon her husband’s death in 1238 she gave away her fortune and entered the monastery at Trebnitz where her daughter was abbess. She is the Patron Saint of orphans, of Silesia, of Andechs Abbey in Germany, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Wrocław, Poland and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Görlitz, Germany, of the cities of Kraków, Poland and of Berlin, Germany, and Brandenburg, Germany, and of the countries of Germany and Poland. We also honor Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (died 1690). Born in 1647 at Le Hautecourt, Burgundy, she was healed from a crippling disorder by a vision of the Blessed Virgin, which prompted her to give her life to God. After receiving a vision of Christ fresh from the Scourging, she was moved to join the Order of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. In 1675 she received a revelation from Our Lord, which included twelve promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whose crown of thorns represent his sacrifices. The devotion encountered violent opposition, especially in Jansenist areas, but has become widespread and popular, especially in the First Friday devotion, in which the faithful attend Mass and receive Communion on the first Friday of each month for nine months. She was canonized in 1920, and is the Patron Saint of devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and of those suffering with polio or with the loss of parents. The feast of Sukkot is one of the three biblically-mandated Pilgrimage Festivals on which Jews made pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem. The sukkah, or temporary hut erected for the duration of the holiday, is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the ancient Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. Throughout the holiday the sukkah becomes the living area of the house, and all meals are eaten in it. In Judaism Sukkot is considered a joyous occasion and is referred to in Hebrew as Yom Simchateinu (the day of our rejoicing) or Z’man Simchateinu (the time of our rejoicing), but the sukkah itself symbolizes the frailty and transience of life and its dependence on God.

Last night our LSU Tigers won their home College Football game with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles by the score of 45 to 10; our Tigers are now 4 and 2 (2 and 1 in SEC play), and next Saturday night at 8:00 pm will play an away SEC matchup with the Ole Miss Rebels, who are 3 and 3 (1 and 2 in SEC play). And the Full Moon arrived at 11:25 pm.

I had a hard time waking up this morning; I did my Book Devotional Reading and brought in the LSU flag. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in, on the last day of the two-week pay period, Richard was on Mini Baccarat. I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; I also broke Macau Mini Baccarat (once), the second Mississippi Stud game (once), Three Card Poker (once), a Blackjack table, and Flop Poker (once). I also got my work order (more anon), and continued reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.

When we got home we did not have a Sunday Acadiana Advocate in the driveway; I took the truck, and went to the other end of town and back, finding no Sunday Acadiana Advocates at all, which led me to believe that they had not been delivered to our town at all. When I got home I made my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday, and ate a salad while continuing my reading of A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay until I got to a good starting point; also, the New Orleans Saints were on TV, playing a divisional NFL home game with the Carolina Panthers. I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update; when I finish this Update, I will read another chapter or two in First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde, then go to bed for the duration; I will post the score of the New Orleans Saints game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow will be the first full day of Sukkot. Tomorrow is also the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr (died 107). Richard and I will head to the casino for the first day of the new two-week pay period, and I will bring my red dealer shirt (the one that does not fit right) with us to the casino. Before work I will call the Pharmacy and renew all of my prescriptions, or as many of them as I can. On my breaks I will continue reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, with the goal of finishing the book. After work I will go over to Uniforms with my red dealer shirt and the Work Order and exchanging the shirt; if I can’t get a red shirt in the style I want, I’ll get another color instead. On our way home from work we will stop by our bank and meet with the Loan Officer about our annual vacation loan. In the afternoon I will do my Book Review of A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay for this Weblog and for my Goodread and Facebook accounts.

Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes to us from Vera B. Williams, American children’s books author and illustrator. Born as Vera Baker in 1927 in Los Angeles, California, her parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. At one point her father disappeared for a considerable period of time; she later surmised that he had been in prison, though she never learned the details. Her mother lost their home during the Depression, and she and her sister were sent to a home for Jewish children. After their father rejoined the family, they all moved to the Bronx, New York City, New York. She graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts from Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where her teachers included the painter Josef Albers. She married a fellow student from college, Paul Williams, and they had three children. Williams was a co-founder of the Gate Hill Cooperative Community and served as a teacher for the community from 1953-70. She taught at alternative schools in New York and Ontario throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. In the 1970s, after her marriage ended in divorce, Ms. Williams moved to a houseboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. There she began to illustrate children’s books: Her first, Hooray for Me!, with text by Remy Charlip and Lilian Moore, appeared in 1975. Long active in antiwar, antinuclear and environmental causes, Williams was a past member of the executive committee of the War Resisters League. In 1981, after being arrested during a women’s blockade of the Pentagon, she served a month in the federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia. Her picture books brought working-class subjects to the genre. Her best-known picture book, A Chair for My Mother (1982), starred Rosa, a Hispanic girl living in the United States. After the family loses its possessions in a house fire, Rosa saves money to buy her mother a comfortable chair in which she can relax after her shift waiting tables. For its illustrations, A Chair for My Mother was named a Caldecott Honor Book, as the runners-up for the Caldecott Medal, presented annually by the American Library Association, are designated. Rosa returned in two sequels: Something Special for Me (1983), in which she must reconcile the desire to buy herself a present with the wish to help her community, and Music, Music for Everyone (1984), in which the present she wound up buying pays unexpected dividends. She served on the executive committee of the War Resisters League from 1984 to 1987. The other picture books for which she did both text and illustrations include ‘More More More’ Said the Baby (1990), also a Caldecott Honor Book; Cherries and Cherry Pits (1986); Lucky Song (1997); and Scooter (1993), a novel for older children. Williams also illustrated Long Walks and Intimate Talks, a volume of poetry and stories by Grace Paley, published in 1991. Her picture book Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart (2001), was about two resourceful sisters who mark time until their incarcerated father comes home. For her lifetime contribution as a children’s illustrator she was the United States nominee in 2004 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition available to creators of children’s books. Additionally, she was awarded the 2009 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. Her last book was 2009’s A Chair for Always (died 2015): “I don’t make a point of ending up in jail. But if you try to put your hopes and beliefs for a better life into effect, arrest is sometimes a hazard.”

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