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A More Loving Time October 14, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.
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“‘FRATELLI TUTTI’.[1] With these words, Saint Francis of Assisi addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. Of the counsels Francis offered, I would like to select the one in which he calls for a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, and declares blessed all those who love their brother ‘as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him’.[2] In his simple and direct way, Saint Francis expressed the essence of a fraternal openness that allows us to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives.”

– quoted from Encyclical Letter “Fratelli Tutti” of the Holy Father Francis on Fraternity and Social Friendship (signed October 3, 2020)

Nothing happened today in 1582 – at least not in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and places like the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. These Papal-governed nations were the first to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (named for Pope Gregory XIII) and, therefore, skipped 10 days (October 5 – 14). The switch was primarily motivated by the Church’s desire to consistently observe Easter during the same season in which it had originally been celebrated. Of course, that date was (and is) a movable feast, but by the early third century people were no longer able to rely on an annual announcement from the Pope to tell them when to celebrate.

The First Council of Nicaea (in 325 AD) proposed a standard date, such as March 21st, which would correspond with the ecclesiastical full moon. Ultimately, however, the Church developed the computes (“computation”) which allowed clergy to independently calculate what was essentially the Passover moon – but without depending on the Hebrew calendar. The only problem was that as early as the 8th century people noted that the Julian calendar contained a calculation error that was already throwing things off. Pope Sixtus IV tried to introduce a reform in 1475, but his efforts were thwarted by the untimely (and unfortunately timed) death of the mathematician Johannes Müller von Königsberg (a.k.a. Regiomontanus).

In 1545, the Council of Trent authorized another attempt at calendar reform – this time to return Easter celebrations to the same time they had been observed in 325 AD and also to ensure no future drift. Progress was slow. Several decades passed before proposals were solicited from outside of the Church. The adopted proposal was a modification of one submitted by Aloysius Lilius (a.k.a. Luigi Lilio and Luigi Giglio). It corrected the length of the year, changed the duration between and occurrences of leap years, and required the deletion of ten days in order to reset.

Granted, the days didn’t actually disappear. In reality, they were still there; just renamed / renumbered. This “deletion of days” would occur at different times throughout the year and over the years – even as recently as 2016 – and, as the drift continued for countries still using the Julian calendar, sometimes were as many as 14. When these dates pop up on our current calendar, I like to think of them as “extra days,” like a little bit of lagniappe that we’ve been given. And, of course, I ask the question, “How could I spend this extra bit of time?”

“i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes”

– quoted from “i thank You God for most this amazing” by e e cummings

So, nothing happened in certain countries in 1582. But, in 1894, the author of some of my favorite poems was born. Edward Estlin Cummings (a.k.a. “E. E. Cummings” or “e e cummings”) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts – which had been a British colony when Great Britain and its colonies switched calendars in 1752. In addition to at least 2900 poems, he wrote essays, four plays, and two autobiographical novels. He also painted. Cummings grew up in a Unitarian household (his father was a well known professor and minister) and he was exposed to a variety of philosophers.

Not surprisingly, his affinity to nature combined with his creativity and exposure to different philosophical and theological thinking led him to believe in the inherent goodness of people and nature: distinctly transcendental beliefs. He also developed an Ich und Du relationship with God that resulted in many poems and journal entries which are nothing less than prayers. He wrote about his service in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, about being arrested and detained by the French military (for suspicion of espionage), and his service in the United States Army. It was his father’s death, however, that marked a pivot in how his poetry addressed life and the time we spend living it.

“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)“

– quoted from “[i carry your heart with me(I carry it in)]” by e e cummings

 Please join me today (Wednesday, October 14th) at 4:30 PM or 7:15 PM for a yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You will need to register for the 7:15 PM class if you have not already done so. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Wednesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible, class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.”

– Saint Clare of Assisi

### “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (dat dada dada)” ###

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