Daily Update: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Francis de Sales and Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017

Today is the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor (died 1622). Also, today is the Seventh 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 we will meditate on “The Ministry Of Reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Born in 1567 at Château de Thorens, Savoy (part of modern France) to a well-placed Savoyard family, the parents of today’s Saint intended that Francis become a lawyer, enter politics, and carry on the family line and power. He studied at La Roche and Annecy in France, was taught by Jesuits, and attended the Collège de Clermont in Paris, France at age twelve. In his early teens, Francis began to believe in predestination, and was so afraid that he was peremptorily condemned to Hell that he became ill and eventually was confined to bed. However, in January 1587 at the Church of Saint Stephen, he overcame the crisis, decided that whatever God had in store for him was for the best, and dedicated his life to God. He then studied law and theology at the University of Padua, Italy, and earned a doctorate in both fields. He returned home and found a political position as Senate advocate. It was at this point that he received a message telling him to “Leave all and follow Me.” He took this as a call to the priesthood, a move his family fiercely opposed, especially when he refused a marriage that had been arranged for him. However, he pursued a devoted prayer life, and his gentle ways won over the family. Becoming a priest, in 1593 he was appointed provost of the diocese of Geneva, Switzerland, a stronghold of Calvinists. His simple, clear explanations of Catholic doctrine, and his gentle way with everyone, brought many back to the Roman Church. He even used sign language in order to bring the message to the deaf. Becoming Bishop of Geneva in 1602, he traveled and evangelized throughout the Duchy of Savoy, working with children whenever he could, and was the friend of Saint Vincent de Paul. He turned down a wealthy French bishopric to continue working where God had placed him, and with Saint Jeanne de Chantal he helped found the Order of the Visitation. A prolific correspondent, many of his letters have survived; he is also the author of Introduction to the Devout Life (still in print), addressed to Christians in all walks of life, not just to those in a professional religious vocation. Besides being the Patron Saint of the deaf, he is also the Patron Saint of confessors, educators, writers, the Catholic Press, and journalists, and of the cities of Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio, and Wilmington, Delaware. Today is the Seventh Day of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity; we meditate on “The Ministry Of Reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), and we pray, “God of all goodness, we give you thanks for reconciling us and the whole world to yourself in Christ. Empower us, our congregations and our churches in ministries of reconciliation. Heal our hearts and help us to spread your peace. “Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.” We pray in the name of Christ Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans won their NBA game with the Cleveland Cavaliers by the score of 124 to 122.

I woke up half an hour early to get ready for work and did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino we signed the Early Out list as the first and second dealers (not counting any call-ins, Golden Ticket holders, or dealers with priority on the list due to it being their birthdays), and Richard used the $10.00 meal comp he had won in ADR. When we clocked in Richard was homeless (his Let It Ride table had already been closed), and I was waiting for my dealers to show up on Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, as I was the Relief Dealer, when we got the word that we were out with no time. We got home at about 4:00 am, and both of us went back to bed.

I woke up (again) at 10:00 am, and read the morning paper and ate my lunch salad. Richard did his laundry, and I worked on my April 2017 photos for my weblog. We ate a Wal-Mart bakery pizza for a late lunch, and I continued working on my photos. I took a break at 4:30 pm to watch Jeopardy!; Richard went to the bedroom, and I thought he had gotten on the computer. I found after Jeopardy! that he had gone to bed. I worked on my photos until about 7:30 pm (missing a call from my oncologist’s office that went to voicemail, confirming my appointment on Thursday);  he woke up about 8:00 pm. And I am now doing my Daily Update; when I finish this, I will take a hot bath and do some reading.

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, Apostle. Also, tomorrow is the Eighth and Last 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 we will meditate on “Reconciled To God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). I will wake up early and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance and my laundry, and get caught up on my Weblog Advance Daily Update Drafts. Our New Orleans Pelicans (18-27, 1-6) will play a home NBA game with the Oklahoma City Thunder (26-19, 5-3) tomorrow evening, and our LSU Tigers (9-9, 1-6) will play a home College Basketball game with #19 Florida Gators (14-5, 5-2); if I go to bed before the end of the games I will post the scores in Thursday’s Daily Update.

Our Tuesday Evening Parting Quote comes from Henry Worsley, English explorer. Born as Alastair Edward Henry Worsley in 1960 in the Belsize Park area of London, he was the only son of General Sir Richard Worsley GCB OBE and his first wife, Sarah Anne “Sally” Mitchell, eldest daughter of Brigadier J. A. H. Mitchell, of the British Embassy, Paris. Worsley was educated at Selwyn House, an independent prep school, and at Stowe School, then an all-boys independent senior school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. A keen sportsman, he captained the school cricket and rugby teams while at Stowe. He did not attend university, and entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst after completing school to train as an army officer. In 1980 Worsley was commissioned in the Royal Green Jackets, as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1982, to captain in 1986, to major on in 1992 (having attended Staff College), and to lieutenant colonel in 2000, having married in 1993. Meanwhile, in 1988 he passed the Special Air Service (SAS) selection course and served in 22 SAS Regiment. In 1993 Worsley was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) “in recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland”. He was Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets from 2000 to 2002, and commanded the 2001 British military operation in Afghanistan, known as “Operation Veritas”. In 2002 he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service “in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the former Yugoslavia during the period 1st April 2001 to 30th September 2001”. His final tour before retirement was as a Special Operations Officer based in the Pentagon, liaising on behalf of the British Army with United States special operations forces. In 2008 he led an expedition to pioneer a route through the Transantarctic Mountains, reaching a point 98 miles from the South Pole. The expedition commemorated the centenary of Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition. Worsley wrote In Shackleton’s Footsteps: A Return to the Heart of the Antarctic in 2011. He returned to the Antarctic in 2011, leading a team of six in retracing Roald Amundsen’s successful 870 mile journey in 1912 to the South Pole, marking its centenary. In completing the route, he became the first person to have successfully undertaken all three of the routes taken by Shackleton, Amundsen, and Robert Falcon Scott. He retired from the army in 2015. His final expedition was to follow in the spirit of his hero, Shackleton, and before starting the trip raised over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund, set up to assist injured servicemen and women. The patron of the expedition was Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. In contrast to the 1997 solo crossing by Børge Ousland, Worsley travelled without a kite to help pull his 331 pound sledge. Worsley arrived at his starting point, Berkner Island, on November 13th, 2015 with the aim of completing his journey in 80 days. He covered 913 miles in 69 days, and had only 30 miles to go. However, he had to spend days 70 and 71 in his tent suffering from exhaustion and severe dehydration. Eventually he radioed for help and was airlifted to Punta Arenas, Chile. He was diagnosed with bacterial peritonitis, where he died of organ failure following surgery at the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas (died 2016): “In this centenary year [2015], to commemorate Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 intent to complete the first crossing of the Antarctic Continent, I will attempt the first ever solo crossing of the Antarctic landmass, unsupported and unassisted.”

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