Daily Update: Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 and 01-18 - Elizabeth of York and Henry VII

With no Saints to honor today, we note instead that today begins 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 today our meditation is “One Has Died For All” (2 Corinthians 5:14). In the secular world, 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, thereby uniting the formerly warring Houses of Lancaster and York..

The celebration of the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908 as the Octave of Christian Unity, and focused on prayer for church unity. The dates of the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, cofounder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars in England. He conceived of the week beginning on the Feast of the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant of the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, on January 18th, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25th. Pope Pius X officially blessed the concept, and Pope Benedict XV “encouraged its observance throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church.” Theme for 2017 is “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20); this biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. For today our meditation is “One Has Died For All” (2 Corinthians 5:14), and we pray, “God our Father, in Jesus you gave us the one who died for all. He lived our life and died our death. You accepted his sacrifice and raised him to new life with you. Grant that we, who have died with him, may be made one by the Holy Spirit and live in the abundance of your divine presence now and for ever. Amen.” In the secular world, 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. Henry was the son of Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond (who died three months before his son’s birth), and Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. Henry’s main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry’s mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, and his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt’s mistress for about twenty-five years; when they married in 1396, they already had four children, including Henry’s great-grandfather John Beaufort, who were legitimatized after the marriage. Thus Henry’s claim to the throne was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, and by illegitimate descent. Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining. Though outnumbered, Henry’s Lancastrian forces decisively defeated Richard’s Yorkist army at the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22nd, 1485. His coronation as King was in October 1485, and the next year he married Elizabeth of York. They were third cousins, as both were great-great-grandchildren of John of Gaunt. The marriage took place on January 18th, 1486 at Westminster. The marriage unified the warring houses and gave his children a strong claim to the throne. The unification of the houses of York and Lancaster by this marriage was symbolised by the heraldic emblem of the Tudor rose, a combination of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century. Henry VIII was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of maturity. Issues around the royal succession (including marriage and the succession rights of women) became major political themes during the Tudor era. The House of Stuart came to power in 1603 when the Tudor line failed, as Elizabeth I died without a legitimate heir.

Probably due to my very long day yesterday, I did not wake up until 8:45 am today. I started my laundry, started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then ate my breakfast toast while reading the morning paper.

Richard and I left the house at 9:45 am, and went to Wal-Mart. While waiting in the Wal-Mart Vision Center I did my Internet Devotional Reading. We then had our annual Vision Exams, and I had my eyes dilated; there is no change in either Richard’s or my vision prescriptions. We returned home, and I shifted my laundry to the dryer, finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and started the Weekly Virus Scan.

We left the house again at 11:45 am, and headed west; in Opelousas we ate Chinese for lunch at the Creswell Lane Restaurant. We then headed to Baton Rouge, with Richard calling Butch to let him know our arrival time. At 2:00 pm we arrived at Butch’s apartment in Baton Rouge, and visited with him for an hour or so, and left at 3:30 pm. I suggested going to the Barnes and Noble on College, but Richard wanted to get out of Baton Rouge before the rush-hour traffic, so we headed home. We were across the river when Richard realized that he had left his phone at Butch’s apartment. We could not call Butch (apparently I do not have his current phone number, which is not my fault; I did not know he had changed his phone number), so we called Richard’s sister Susan in Iowas on my phone. Susan’s husband Tom answered, and Richard asked him to call Butch to tell him (Butch) that Richard would be by tomorrow morning at about 10:00 am to get his phone (and to visit). I then started reading (or more properly, re-reading) Silence by Shūsaku Endō, translated by William Johnston. (I had read it in 2003, but wanted to re-read it, since the movie based on the book is now in select theaters.)

When we got home at 5:15 pm, the Weekly Virus Scan had finished. I finished my laundry and ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts. At 7:30 pm we went over to Rocky’s Cajun Kitchen, where we had a good supper. (Since I discovered their crab cakes, that has been my go-to meal over there.) We got back home at 8:15 pm, and I got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update. Our New Orleans Pelicans (16-26, 1-6) are now playing a Home NBA game with the Orlando Magic (17-25, 4-5), and our LSU Tigers (9-7, 1-4) are playing an Away College Basketball game with the  Auburn Tigers (11-6, 1-4); since I am about to go to bed, I will post the scores of those games in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor; instead, it will be the Second Day in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with our Meditation being “Live No Longer For Themselves” (2 Corinthians 5:15). And tomorrow is the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe (1809), and the date on which the Poe Toaster used to / no longer / once again on this approximate date comes to Poe’s grave in the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. Richard will go to Baton Rouge to visit Butch and to get his phone, and I will at some point go to Wal-Mart to get my salad supplies and to make my salads for Friday and Sunday. I will also prepare Liz Ellen’s monthly package to mail to her, and mail it at the post office. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 4:14 pm. Our LSU Lady Tigers (14-4, 3-2) will be playing a Home College Basketball game with the Kentucky Lady Wildcats (12-6, 3-2); I will record the score of the game in Friday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote this Wednesday evening comes from Tony Verna, television director. Born in 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his parents were Italian immigrants, and he was the youngest of five in a family of photographers. He showed an early interest in large-format cameras, which led to a fascination with early television and engineering. At West Point he quickly became disenchanted with military routine and received an early discharge after a training mission injury. Verna then entered the University of Pennsylvania to study engineering and eventually landed a job with WFIL, the Philadelphia station that carried American Bandstand. From there, he worked at other Philadelphia stations in the hurly-burly days of live television. By 1955 he was directing national baseball telecasts for CBS Sports, and his long career as one of the preeminent behind-the-scenes talents in network television had begun. He then came up with the idea of instant replay, and a method to make it work with the technology of the time. On December 7th, 1963, it was the fourth quarter of a game televised by CBS in which Navy was beating Army 21 to 7 in Philadelphia. Verna had wrangled with the news division to get an Ampex VTR-1000 from New York to Philadelphia. Full of fragile vacuum tubes and the size of a small car, the tape machine survived the 90-mile trip to Municipal Stadium in South Philadelphia, but engineers then had problems with the videotape itself. At $300 a roll, Verna was unable to get his hands on a new roll of 3M videotape, so he was forced to use a leftover tape with an old I Love Lucy episode still on it. In fact, during tests earlier in the game, the rollbacks were showing flashes of Lucille Ball. Up to the pivotal replay, Verna wasn’t sure if he would get linebackers or a fluttering shot of Lucy herself. Verna replayed a key touchdown by Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh, prompting announcer Lindsey Nelson to tell a nationwide audience, “This is not live!  Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again.” It was both “a technical breakthrough and a conceptual one,” Sports Illustrated would note later. Within a year, instant replay would be well on its way to becoming a staple of televised sports, virtually making the living-room recliner better than the best seat in the stadium. The billion-dollar television network contracts that followed the introduction of instant replay changed the world of sports, from viewing experiences to stadiums to salary structures. Verna’s later career at CBS included the famed 1967 NFL championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys dubbed the “Ice Bowl,” five Super Bowls, and various NBA championships and Stanley Cup finals. Verna also co-produced and co-directed “Live Aid,” Bob Geldof’s 16-hour fundraiser for Africa, seen by 1.5 billion people worldwide in 1985. In 1995 he received the Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award (died 2015): “If you change the way something’s been done in life, and you change how it’s done forever, I think that’s the most important thing. I changed the way things were normally done. That’s very hard to do in life. What bothered me is that [the network] never gave me the recognition. Money’s one thing, but they never said, ‘You did it.’ This wasn’t a mushroom that came out of the ground. There wasn’t a button you could hit. Someone had to come up with it.”

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