Daily Update: Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Easter Sunday and Bernadette Soubirous and 04-16 - National Healthcare Decisions Day

Alleluia! Today is Easter Sunday, the most important Feast of the Church Year, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Today is the First Day in the Octave of Easter; the liturgical season of Easter will last until the Sunday of Pentecost in fifty days (including today). Today is also the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Religious (died 1879). And today is National Healthcare Decisions Day.

Today begins the Easter Season of the Church, which lasts until the fiftieth day (inclusive) after Easter, which is Pentecost. The first week of the Easter Season is known as Easter Week or the Octave of Easter. The modern English term Easter is speculated to have developed from Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre or Eoaster, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to Ēostur-monath, a month of the Germanic calendar attested by the Venerable Bede as named after the goddess Ēostre of Anglo-Saxon paganism. Bede notes that Ēostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held in her honor during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced with the Christian custom of Easter. (Ēostre saved a bird whose wings had frozen off by turning it into a rabbit. Since the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that’s where the Easter Bunny comes from.) In all Romance languages the name of the Easter festival is derived from the Latin Pascha, or Passover. There was dispute in the early Church as to whether Easter ought to be celebrated on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month of Nisan, or on the Sunday after Passover, or some other date; presently, most Christians date Easter as being on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (There is a question in some circles as to how you can say Jesus was in the tomb for three days, when he died on Friday at 3:00 pm and arose from the dead very early on Sunday morning. The answer is that our concept of counting from zero (so that Friday is zero, Saturday is one, and Sunday is two) is a modern concept; throughout history, most peoples counted from one. So the count in New Testament times becomes that Jesus went into the tomb on Friday (part of one day), was there through Saturday (that’s two days), and arose from the dead on Sunday (on the third day.) The Octave of Easter lasts from today through next Sunday. The Octave of a feast refers to an eight-day festal period commencing with that feast. Presently in the Roman Catholic Church, Easter is one of only two solemnities that carries an octave, the second being Christmas, although until 1969 many feasts had octaves. Today’s Saint was born in 1844 at Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France. She was the oldest of six children in a very poor family and was hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14. On February 11th, 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she was out gathering firewood and bones with her sister and a friend at the grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes when she had an experience that completely changed her life and the town of Lourdes where she had lived. It was on this day that Bernadette claimed she had the first of eighteen visions of what she termed “a small young lady” (ua petita damisela (Classical) or uo petito damizelo (Mistralian)) standing in a niche in the rock. Her sister and her friend stated that they had seen nothing. On her next visit, she said that the “beautiful lady” asked her to return to the grotto every day for fifteen days. At first her mother was embarrassed by the attention, and tried to forbid her daughter from going to the grotto. The supposed apparition did not identify herself until the seventeenth vision, although the townspeople who believed she was telling the truth assumed she saw the Virgin Mary. Bernadette never claimed it to be Mary, calling what she saw simply “Aquerò” (“that one”). Bernadette described the lady as wearing a white veil, a blue girdle, and with a golden rose on each foot; she also held a rosary of pearls. After the apparitions ceased, she moved into a house with the Sisters of Nevers at Lourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write. The sisters cared for the sick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both. Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors (who assumed she must be vainglorious about the apparitions), she died with a prayer for Mary’s aid on her lips. She is the Patron Saint of Lourdes, France, of shepherds and shepherdesses, and of people ridiculed for their faith, and her aid is invoked against poverty and bodily illness. And today is National Healthcare Decisions Day. National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. The theme for 2017 is “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late.”

Our #8 LSU Tigers won their third Home College Baseball game with the Ole Miss Rebels by the score of 3 to 2; our #8 LSU Tigers (25-12, 9-6) will next play a Home College Baseball game with the Lamar Cardinals on Tuesday, April 18th. And our #11 LSU Lady Tigers lost their third Away College Softball game with the #25 Ole Miss Lady Rebels by the score of 2 to 3; our #11 LSU Lady Tigers (32-12, 8-7) will next play a Home College Softball game with the Northwestern State Lady Demons on Tuesday, April 18th.

On waking up to get ready for work I posted to Facebook that today was National Healthcare Decisions Day. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading and said the Third Day of my Divine Mercy Novena. At the casino ADR gave employees a free Easter meal; Richard had a very large slice of ham, baked beans, and rice dressing, and I had a very large slice of ham, whole potatoes with green beans, and sweet potatoes (all very good). Once we clocked in on this last day of the two-week pay period Richard was on the Macau Mini Baccarat game until it closed; he then became the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow. I was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table, another Blackjack table, and the $5.00 Minimum Bet Blackjack table. On my breaks I continued reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my tablet, and continued reading on our way home from work.

Once we arrived home from work, I made my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday and ate a lunch salad while reading the Sunday papers. I then continued reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my tablet until I got to the 75% mark. And I am now at the computer doing today’s Daily Update; when I finish with this Daily Update I will go to bed for the duration.

Tomorrow is Easter Monday (Alleluia!), the Second Day in the Octave of Easter. Tomorrow is the annual Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events, and Early Voting will continue in Louisiana for the Municipal General Election on April 29th. Tomorrow is the first day of the new two-week pay period at the casino, and on my breaks, on our way home from work, and for however long it takes after lunch, I will finish reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See via Kindle on my tablet. I will then do my Book Review for the book for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. And after Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm I will do my Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote on this Easter Sunday (Alleluia!) afternoon comes to us from Edward N. Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist. Born in 1917 in West Hartford, Connecticut, he studied mathematics at both Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1942 until 1946 he served as a weather forecaster for the United States Army Air Corps. After his return from the war he decided to study meteorology and earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943 and a doctoral degree from the same institution in 1948. He then joined the staff of the Meteorological Department at MIT in 1948. During the 1950s Lorenz became skeptical of the appropriateness of the linear statistical models in meteorology, as most atmospheric phenomena involved in weather forecasting were non-linear. While researching this issue he became a an assistant professor at MIT in 1955 and was promoted to full professor in 1962. His work culminated in the publication of his 1963 paper Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and with it, the foundation of Chaos Theory. The publication of Lorenz’s paper in 1963 did not immediately attract attention beyond his own field. In 1972 he gave a paper (for which he had not decided on a title) at the 139th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and, according to Lorenz, his talk was billed as “Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”. By the mid-1970s, with the rise of similar work by Bernard Mandelbrot and others, the term, “butterfly effect” had become a subject of debate which seemed to affect a wide range of academic disciplines, and Lorenz’s paper began to be cited regularly. Late in his career, he found himself an unexpectedly fashionable figure within the academy. Lorenz was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, became head of the Meteorological Department at MIT in 1977 (a post he held until 1981), and in 1983 he shared the $50,000 Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, established to recognize fields not eligible for Nobel Prizes. In 1987 he became Emeritus Professor of Meteorology at MIT. In 1991 he received the Kyoto Prize for earth and planetary sciences. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hiking, climbing, and cross-country skiing. Lorenz kept up with these pursuits until very late in his life, and managed to continue most of his regular activities until only a few weeks before his death (died 2008): “We should not be too quick to conclude that we have all the information needed for one purpose or another when we have records, even if lengthy ones, of only a few variables.”

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