Thursday, September 24, 2015

It has been a magnificent day from beginning to end. Pope Francis never ceases to amaze. He has boundless energy, although he seemed slightly fatigued at vespers and rightly so at the end of the day.

Pope Francis has included every possible tension or problem he could to the days events. He made the reference to Moses and Israel in Congress all the way to thanking women of faith in the USA and mentioning the Muslim's holy day.

I appreciated Cardinal Dolan mentioning the emphasis of the message of Pope Francis' speech to Congress. I think Pope Francis was gratified to have been heard and embraced. He should know we are all listening. I am confident many are measuring themselves in the wake of his words. I find his a breath of fresh air. 

The Vespers was an excellent idea. He was moved by the service from the moment he entered the cathedral. 

I hope he rests well. I am grateful for his visit. It seems to me the heart of America is opening up to his words and requests.

Pope Francis at the core of his speech was the benevolence of the American people and it's values.

He asked us to search our history to find the best of those values. 

First some notables about the crowds waiting outside in the seated area and on the lawn. There were predominately Caucasians attending the speech today. There was about an equal distribution of men and women. There were children of all ages including infants only weeks old. The minorities that attended were primarily men with an occasional woman. I didn't see any young minority children. Those observations were true of the seated area and the lawn. There were priests on the lawn and they were primarily young men.

It is noteworthy to state the majority of African American population in the USA attend protestant churches. That is not a discriminatory statement so much as one that seeks to understand the low attendance of minorities today.

Among government attendees was the color green. Not red, not white, not blue, but, green. Speaker Boehner wore his green tie today. I believe it was Rep. Gwen Moore that wore a green suit. So, members of Congress should be wearing green in addition to the more traditional colors and more often than St. Patrick's Day.

The differences between the Democrats and Republicans were never more evident than the social media entries by Senator Cornyan and Senator Leahy. Senator Cornyn's posting to his social media was self-serving with him and a priest in the picture. Senator Leahy's social media posting was that of the crowds gathering at the Capital Building. I think that more than expresses the political focus of them and their constituencies.

There were also some nuns seated in the grassy area and there flags being waved from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska. There were country flags as well among those attending. I would say there were primarily from the Western Hemisphere.

There was a bipartisan committee that escorted the Pope into the House Chamber. It would be nice if there was more bipartisan meetings out of the chambers of their offices. It might create friendships that will sustain through every session of Congress. It is a failing of the members of Congress to bridge that divide and yes there is a divide. I could not believe Scalise was among those escorting the Pope. He could have excused himself for the racist he is rather than attempt to garner distraction from that fact, but, whoever said a racist had dignity, morals or conscience.

Newt Gingrich was seated in the chamber with his wife for the same purpose Scalise was there. But, then, you see Pope Francis gives him real reason to be in attendance. Pope Francis wants to welcome back those that were separated or divorced with annulments that preserve their religious faith and dedication.

Only four of the Justices were in attendance, Roberts, Breyer, Sotomayor and Ginsberg. There is no doubt the conservatives are not as welcoming to diversity. I would say the conservative court is more moral in their decision making, but, this speaks loudly to the fact the majority of their decisions are economic skewed to poverty of the masses.

There were a few of the President's Cabinet there including State, Labor, EPA, Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development. As Pope Francis walked to the front of the chamber there were plenty of applause and to note, he recognized Secretary Kerry and shook his hand. 

He simply amazes me with his incredible patience. He greeted everyone with a pause in their applause and then shook the hand of Speaker Boehner and Vice President Biden. He then asked permission to take the speakers podium. He is by far the most humble man I've ever seen at that podium.

The emotional range of his speech was incredible, from joy to shame and concluding in dignity. He called us to do better. I'll address the speech later. It requires a little bit of composition. He called on icons that have to be respected in their persons as much as the Pope is in his.

Until later.

An Ocean Sunfish was found in Boston Harbor sunbathing.

This is from National Geographic. The size comparison is of the sunfish and the man in the boat. That will teach the sunfish to seek privacy and quiet in Boston Harbor.

"The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" (click here)

Mola mola

As gigantic (click here) as the ocean sunfish can be, it still seems like only half a fish.
Sunfish, or mola, develop their truncated, bullet-like shape because the back fin which they are born with simply never grows. Instead, it folds into itself as the enormous creature matures, creating a rounded rudder called a clavus. Mola in Latin means "millstone" and describes the ocean sunfish’s somewhat circular shape. They are a silvery color and have a rough skin texture.
The mola are the heaviest of all the bony fish, with large specimens reaching 14 feet (4.2 meters) vertically and 10 feet (3.1 meters) horizontally and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms). Sharks and rays can be heavier, but they're cartilaginous fish....

Graves' Light is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The website containing the interview with Lawrence O'Donnell is at the bottom of the picture.

But, it is easy to understand why the sunfish came in from the ocean to do some sun bathing. The red letters is where the recreation area is. It is easy to see Logan Airport in the upper left corner. 

But as to the sunfish, the waters there were quiet, calm and protected. It is widely known by marine biologists any protected waters will draw sealife to rest there. Fish may seem like dumb animals, but, they discern quiet water. Swimming 24/7 takes a lot of energy, so they rest from time to time. Boston Recreational Area is a perfect place. Unfortunately, the sunfish decided it was a nice day and it would bask in the sun for awhile and low and behold the fish got more than it bargained for.

I am glad everyone including the fish was safe. The men were good sports. They really cared about doing something interesting and maybe save the life of an endangered species should it have been a turtle. Well done.
Sophie Cruz delivers a T-shirt and a letter to Pope Francis in Washington, DC

September 23, 2015
By Denis Slattery

A tiny messenger (click here) had a big message for Pope Francis.
Sophie Cruz, a 5-year-old girl from Los Angeles whose parents are undocumented immigrants, broke through the barriers during the papal parade in Washington, D.C. Wednesday and handed the pontiff a letter and a T-shirt.
Francis signaled for the little girl to approach the popemobile after security initially tried to stop the cute courier. Sophie handed him a bright yellow T-shirt, a colorful drawing, and a letter detailing her fears that her parents will be deported....

Sophie Cruz's (Age 5) Letter to #PopeFrancis: “My friends and I love each other no matter our skin color.” 

If Sophie is an example of the moral values of the Undocumented, the USA has many good people that want to be citizens.