Today is the Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot (died 356).
Born about 251 in Heracleus, Egypt, the parents of today’s Saint died when he was about 20; Anthony insured that his sister completed her education, then he sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned, gave the proceeds to the poor, joined the anchorites who lived nearby, and moved into an empty sepulchre. At age 35 he moved to the desert to live alone; he lived twenty years in an abandoned fort. Anthony barricaded the place for solitude, but admirers and would-be students broke in. He miraculously healed people and agreed to be the spiritual counselor of others. His recommendation was to base life on the Gospels. Word spread, and many disciples joined him in the desert. Many of those who lived near him supported themselves by making baskets and brushes. Anthony briefly left his seclusion in 311, going to Alexandria, Egypt to fight Arianism, and to comfort the victims of the persecutions of Maximinus. At some point in his life, he met with his sister again. She, too, had withdrawn from the world, and directed a community of nuns. Anthony retired to the desert, living in a cave on Mount Colzium. Descriptions paint him as uniformly modest and courteous. His example led many to take up the monastic life, and to follow his way. Late in life Anthony became a close friend of Saint Paul the Hermit, and he buried the aged anchorite upon his death; he himself died at the age of 105. He is the Patron Saint of basket makers, brushmakers, and gravediggers, and his aide is invoked against skin diseases.
When I woke up to get ready for work I had an Email from Richard’s sister in law Rose asking Richard to visit his brother Butch in Baton Rouge this week, as Richard’s other brother Slug has to work. I forwarded the Email to Richard, and did my Book Devotional Reading. When I went to wake up Richard to get ready for work, he told me he was calling in, and did so. I brought in the flag I had put out yesterday in honor of both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and National Religious Freedom Day, and drove myself to work. When I got to the casino I did my Internet Devotional Reading. I signed the Early Out list, with no real expectations of getting out early, not only because I had gotten out early last Tuesday and yesterday, but because they had two other call-ins besides Richard, and I did not get out early. I was on Pai Gow all day, with guests during my first hour or so and guests during my last hour or so (mostly the same guest, a regular); I did take over the Mini Baccarat table for forty minutes, as I was bored stiff, and the dealer on Mini Baccarat wanted a break doing nothing on Pai Gow. I did order two sets of earrings from Amazon.com, using the gift card Michelle had given me for Christmas.
After work I went to the Pharmacy and picked up my prescriptions. I then got a call from the Wal-Mart Vision Center, and I confirmed our appointments tomorrow at 10:00 am. I then called Richard and told him about Rose’s email, and about our appointments at the Wal-Mart Vision Center. We agreed that we will have our appointments, eat lunch in Opelousas, and go see Butch in Baton Rouge tomorrow. When I got home from work I read the morning paper, then got on the computer and updated my Daily Update for today.
At 1:00 pm I left the house for Lafayette. I ate a late lunch at Piccadilly Cafeteria and continued reading the January 2nd, 2017 issue of my Jesuit America magazine, then, as one of my portable chargers had been acting up, I went to Best Buy and purchased two portable chargers. I then I went to Barnes and Noble, where I was quite miffed to find that, although I had sent in my Email in good time as to our book club selections and dates, we were not mentioned in the January 2017 newsletter. Our former book club moderator was there, and I felt like I had not measured up in taking over after her. At 7:00 pm we held our Third Tuesday Book Club meeting to discuss Finders Keepers by Stephen King. We had a good meeting, and I promised Melinda that I will bring Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? by Ethan Brown to next months meeting for her to borrow. I then returned Finders Keepers by Stephen King to the Lafayette Public Library – Southside Branch, and headed home.
I got home at 9:15 pm; Richard was very tired, but had spoken to Butch, that we will be seeing him in Baton Rouge at about 1:30 pm tomorrow. And I am now doing my Daily Update, and when I finish I will go to bed, as I have been up since about 12:20 am this morning.
We have no Saints to honor tomorrow, but it is the First Day of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Theme for 2017 is “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20), and tomorrow our meditation is “One Has Died For All” (2 Corinthians 5:14). In the secular year, we note that on this date in 1486 King Henry VII of England, who claimed descent from the House of Lancaster, married Elizabeth of York, the daughter of King Edward IV. I will wake up early to do my laundry and to do the Weekly Computer Maintenance. At 10:00 am Richard and I will go over to the Wal-Mart Vision Center for our annual checkups, then we will head to Opelousas to eat Chinese at the Creswell Lane Restaurant. We will then head to Baton Rouge, visit his brother Butch, and then amuse ourselves with dinner and a movie before returning home. Our New Orleans Pelicans (16-26, 1-6) will be playing a Home NBA game with the Orlando Magic (17-25, 4-5), and our LSU Tigers (9-7, 1-4) will be playing an Away College Basketball game with the Auburn Tigers (11-6, 1-4).
Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Greg Plitt, American fitness trainer. Born as George Gregory Plitt, Jr., in 1977 in Baltimore, Maryland, his father bought a home gym when he was in the sixth grade, which made Plitt into a fitness buff; he was further inspired by seeing how his older sister changed after her first year in the United States Naval Academy. At his high school he was on the football, wrestling, and golf teams. He was also a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, Class of 2000, and was both Airborne and Ranger qualified. He served as a Ranger for five years. His older sister attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Plitt was a certified personal trainer and trained clients out of Los Angeles where he lived. He was awarded the MET-Rx Athlete of the Year for 2012, and the author of the workout program MFT28 as featured by Bodybuilding.com; he appeared on covers and / or in editorials for Maxim, AXL, American Health & Fitness, Flaunt, Men’s Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, FitnessRx for Men, Instinct Magazine, and Men’s Exercise, among others. Plitt was a global spokesperson / model for Thierry Mugler’s Angel Men and ICE*Men men’s fragrances. He had done TV commercials for Old Spice Body Wash, ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, Under Armour, MTV, Zoli Sinks, Gold’s Gym Power Flex, Bowflex, and had modeled for Under Armour, Old Navy Jeans, Calvin Klein, Modell’s, and Skimpies, among others. In his later career, he had several acting roles. Images of his body were used to create Dr. Manhattan’s muscular physique in the 2009 film Watchmen. On January 17th, 2015, he wanted to prove the efficiency of a new energy drink, and set up a camera crew to film him on the train tracks in Burbank, California. When the southbound Metrolink Antelope Valley Line train 268 arrived, Plitt assumed a runner’s stance and began running ahead of the train on the tracks, apparently to prove that the energy drink could help one outrun a train. However, the train knocked him off of the tracks, and he was killed (died 2015): “That transformation that you see when someone becomes a soldier, many of them come in with real bad attitudes. They’re tough guys on the street and nobody’s going to tell them what to do. Then one day, they’ll come to you crying, saying, ‘I need someone to talk to.’ All of sudden they start changing their ways and they become the men they always wanted to be. Then other soldiers start looking up to them as role models. Then they’re proud and they hold their heads high. That’s more gratifying than anything I’ve done. That’s what’s so cool about it — to be able to train somebody and transform them and bring out all of the great qualities that everyone possesses.”