On account of the heat; I fell asleep quickly enough, as I do very nearly always-- it takes more than the weather or a blaring television to keep me up-- but was quite damp having had my head on the pillow for a minute or two. Five more days, so the weather app on my little tablet reported, five more days of 90 degree F. weather: I don't suppose that improved my mood as I drifted off. Anyway, having risen to take my thyroid pill, I changed into dry underclothing and proceeded to yet again sleep like the dead-- although not before re-setting the alarm from 0110 to the usual 0220: was intending to say the Office of the Dead, the agenda, as the Carthusians call it, so needed that extra hour. But at 0015, I wanted two additional hours of sleep more than I needed being done with the Office by 0400 (Mass from Warrington begins at 0410): so while Matins and Lauds of both the day and of the Dead were completed, I didn't join the livestream of Mass until Fr 'Crusher' (his voice is what is called in courtesy 'gravelly') had almost finished.
Almost omitted the fact which occasioned my beginning here this afternoon: when I rose at 0220, I sensed some change in the air. The Moon wasn't visible when I was done with the Office, nor when I went to shower. When I stepped out of the house for the morning walk and the shopping, at 0600, lo! huge dark masses of cloud to the west; returning to the house, they had more or less covered the sky, and it was noticeably, significantly cooler. It may break 80 today but may well not. Relief from the heat is quite welcome.
The day before yesterday, I think, was the old feast of the Divisio Apostolorum; reading this by Dr DiPippo at New Liturgical Movement, I had to wonder how I knew of it-- it doesn't appear in any of the calendars I ordinarily look it-- since I have it marked in Google Calendar. Still haven't puzzled that out. Instead of 'division' one should read 'dispersal' i.e. the Apostles had at some point to decide to go their separate ways and pious tradition has it that... well, Dr DiPippo's essay is there.
Today is the feast of St Alexius whose story in the lessons at Matins is... incredibly improbable. A man, on the night of his wedding, takes it into his head to slip away to the eastern parts of the Empire, the marriage being unconsummated. After 17 pious years doing good works, he returned to Rome and lived as a beggar in the tenements around his father's house unrecognized by parents or wife. After his death, a document sealed up inside his clothing revealed all. My first thought this morning (well, my first thought is usually to wonder if I have misread the Latin, but after that...) I thought, his wife! think of his wife! The woman was presumably received into Alexius's father's care and household at marriage and, being a faithful Christian, didn't seek to repudiate the marriage bond (which in the modern age she could certainly have done), living, I suppose, in expectation that her husband would one day return.
Why did he leave in such a way? What did he do in the East? Why did he return? Why didn't he reveal his identity to his parents? To his wife? Who, by the way, was visited by an angel on the night after her abandonment... television can always use a deus ex machina or two. That is a Netflix series right there, folks, if only they had the sense to cater also to the faithful.
Reading that entry in the Catholic Encyclopaedia, I suppose I must admit that the exclusion of certain feasts from the Roman Calendar after 1960 was probably not a bad idea.