When I’m reading, I often come across something that is inspiring, surprising, strange, or just plain fun. Today I thought I’d share a few of the things I came across recently—in no particular order.
1) In April, we will mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. At the time of his death, he was planning to make a retreat at the Trappist monastery in Kentucky under the direction of Thomas Merton, the famous
monk, writer, and fellow social activist. This fact made me appreciate even more these two things: King’s deep prayer life, and 2) that these two men—so different in many ways—held in common the same ideals about faith and social justice.
2) Scientists in Australia have created golden orange bananas that are rich in provitamin A. These bananas could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who die of vitamin A deficiency each year. Scientists developed these bananas by taking genes from a species of bananas in Papua New Guinea and combining them with a Cavendish banana. Next researchers will begin to grow these bananas in Uganda. My reaction to this: We must give thanks and pray for researchers all over the globe who are working to solve the serious problems of the world.
3) Did you know that dragonflies have been around for more than 200 million years?! This means they once flew among the dinosaurs! Back in those days, some dragonflies were almost 3 feet long! (Notice: I couldn’t help using 3 exclamation points in sharing this news with you! Now 4…)
4) Here are a few obscure holidays coming up within the next few weeks:
March 22 – National Goof Off Day
March 25 – National Waffle Day
March 26 – Purple Day
March 30 – National Doctors’ Day
March 31 – National Crayon Day
April 7 – National Beer Day
April 11 – National Pet Day
April 12 – Grilled Cheese Day
April 16 – Wear Pajamas to Work Day
I guess there’s always something to celebrate.
5) A psychiatrist wrote two prescriptions for a patient. One was for a mild anti-depressant and the other said, “Get a dog!” The man filled both prescriptions. Says writer Anna Quindlen: “Probably the dog helped to elevate his mood as much as the pills!”
6) Here’s a good question posed by that famous baseball pitcher, Satchel Paige, who played his last professional baseball game at age 60: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”
7) Speaking of aging well, Sister Jean Schmidt, a Sister of Charity from Iowa, is the 98-year-old chaplain of the Loyola University of Chicago’s men’s basketball team. The 5 foot nun can be found at every home basketball game decked out in Loyola gear and sporting her maroon tennis shoes with gold laces. The word “Sister” is stitched onto the heel of her left shoe and “Jean” on the right one. Before every game she greets each player and prays with the team in a circle with their arms linked together. Between games she keeps in touch with the players via email. “People ask me how I’m living so long,” she says. “I say, ‘Well, I eat well, I sleep well, and, hopefully, I pray well.” She adds, “Good genes help too.” A few years back the University created the Sister Jean bobblehead, thus turning the diminutive nun into a sports icon!
8) And finally, can you read this paragraph?
Aoccdrnig to a rseearchr at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are. The olny iprmoetnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer is in the righit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wtih ltitle dififcluty. This is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe. (My spellcheck went crazy when I typed this!)
Did anything stand out at you from this list of “this and that”?
We are nearing the end of our Lenten Journey. I thought this song, “Abide with Me,” by Matt Maher would be appropriate as we reflect on Jesus’ great love for us:
Please pray for a Lenten presentation I will be giving this Saturday, March 24, for the ladies of St. Rita Parish in Solon, Ohio. Our theme will be “Hanging onto Hope in Today’s World.” The day also includes a nice lunch! Thank you!
Do you have anything to add or comment on today? Please do so below. We’d love to hear from you!