Daily Update: Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Peter and Paul by El Greco

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles (both died 64).

Saint Peter was born in Bethsaida, Galilee, as Simon, and was a professional fisherman. He was the brother of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the man who led him to Christ. Becoming an Apostle himself, he was renamed “Peter” (rock) by Jesus to indicate that Peter would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built. After seven years as the first Bishop of Antioch (near present-day Antakya, Turkey), he went to Rome, and became the Bishop of Rome (and thus the first Pope), a position he held for some twenty-five years. He was martyred by crucifixion, but with his head downward, as he averred that he was not worthy to die in the same way as his Lord, Jesus. He is the Patron Saint of fishermen, locksmiths, and shipwrights, of the Papacy, and his aid is invoked for foot problems and fever. Saint Paul was born about the third year of the common age in Tarsus, Cilicia (modern Turkey) as Saul, and was raised as as a Jewish Talmudic student of the Pharisees. He hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus, Syria, to arrest another group of the faithful, he was knocked to the ground, struck blind by a heavenly light, and given the message that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. The experience had a profound spiritual effect on him, causing his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began traveling, preaching and teaching. His letters to the churches he help found form a large percentage of the New Testament. He was martyred by beheading, as he was a Roman citizen by birth, and he is the Patron Saint of theologians, converts, and missions. This is a very old Feast, and is one of six Feasts that has its own Vigil readings on the eve of the feast. It is also the day of the liturgical year on which newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the Pope. In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.

Last night I continued reading Beethoven’s Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond by Tim Rayborn via Kindle on my tablet.

I missed hearing my alarm clock and did not wake up until 10:00 am (on the other hand, it was nice not having to wake up early). I started my laundry and did my Book Devotional Reading. I read the Thursday papers, did my Internet Devotional Reading, and sent out my Third Tuesday Book Club Reminder email.

We left in two vehicles (Richard in the truck, me in the car) at 12:30 pm and ate Chinese for lunch at Peking. Richard then went to Wal-Mart to get my salad supplies and other groceries; I went to the computer repair shop to check on our computer (they were still doing scans on it), then I went to Oil X-Press to get the oil changed in my car. While waiting I continued reading Beethoven’s Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond by Tim Rayborn via Kindle on my tablet.

I arrived home at 1:45 pm, just ahead of Richard. I finished my laundry, ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, did an Advance Daily Update Draft for Saturday, and made my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday. We watched Jeopardy! and got dinner from Po-boy Express, which delivers (an anomaly in our town); I got the barbecued pulled pork. And once I finish this Daily Update and my dinner, I will get ready for bed and do some reading.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of Rome (died c. 64 – 67 AD). Richard and I will be returning to the casino for the start of our work week, and I will start re-reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham on Overdrive on my tablet (I read the book before in April of 2000.) And the First Quarter Moon will arrive at 7:52 pm.

Our Thursday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Dermot Healy, Irish novelist, playwright, poet and short story writer. Born in 1947 in Finea, County Westmeath, his father was a Guard (part of the police force of Ireland). As a child the family moved to Cavan, where Healy attended the local secondary school. In his late teens he moved to London and worked in a succession of jobs, including barman, security man and as a labourer. Going back to Ireland to attend college, he had nearly completed his degree when he dropped out and went back to London for the second time at the age of eighteen. He then worked as a security guard. He later returned to Ireland, settling in Ballyconnell, County Sligo, a small settlement on the Atlantic coast. Healy’s work was influenced by an eclectic range of writers from around the world, including Anna Akhmatova, John Arden, Isaac Babel, Bashō, Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Angela Carter, J. M. Coetzee, Emily Dickinson, Maria Edgeworth, T. S. Eliot, Hermann Hesse, Nâzım Hikmet, Aidan Higgins, Miroslav Holub, Eugène Ionesco, Franz Kafka, Mary Lavin, Federico García Lorca, Guy de Maupassant, Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, William Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson. Healy wrote in a shed and was fascinated by etymology. He starred in the film I Could Read the Sky (Artificial Eye, 2002, adapted by Nichola Bruce from the photographic novel by Timothy O’Grady and Steve Pyke). His play, Women to the Left, Men to the Right, was distilled from the oral tradition of older generations living in several border counties; it appeared at the Abbey Theatre in 2001 and was broadcast on RTÉ radio in 2002. He also wrote the screenplay for Our Boys, a film by Cathal Black. His poetry collections include The Ballyconnel Colours (1993), What the Hammer (1998) The Reed Bed (2001) and A Fool’s Errand (2011). Other work included his autobiography The Bend for Home ( 1996) and After the Off, a photographic book (1999). He lived in County Sligo, where he founded and edited the literary journals The Drumlin and Force 10. Elected to Aosdána (an Irish association of artists) in 1986, Healy was also part of its governing body, the Toscaireacht, from 1999 to 2002 and from 2011 to 2012.  Healy won the Hennessy Award (1974 and 1976), the Tom Gallon Award (1983), and the Encore Award (1995). In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award for his 2010 poetry collection, A Fool’s Errand. His novel Long Time, No See (2011) was nominated for the International IMPAC Literary Award, the world’s most valuable literary award for a single work in the English language, by libraries in Russia and Norway. The Collected Short Stories (2015) and The Collected Plays ( 2016) were published posthumously (died 2014): “Without the reader there would be no writer.”

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