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Scala Santa ⛪️

On this Good Friday, I remember last Friday when I visited the Scala Santa in Rome.

It is said in the 4th century, Emperor Constantine’s mom, Helena traveled to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage to the sites of Jesus’ life.

Being the emperor’s mom and an empress herself, gave her a ton of access. There she founded some major churches (like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem) and brought back a number of relics—including the stairs of the praetorium that Jesus climbed to be condemned by Pilate.

Placed in Rome as stairs to the Pope’s private chapel (because of course), they became a pilgrimage location where pilgrims would climb on the knees.

Hundreds of years ago, worried about wear, the original steps were covered in wood. Until now. The wood was removed for restoration work and they decided to leave it off and open them to the public until the end of the Easter season before adding the covering again.

By just pure luck, I was in Rome when they reopened it last Thursday and able to visit on Friday morning. It wasn’t really a moment to snap pictures on the phone. In visiting Rome, almost everywhere, I saw others taking pictures, but no one had a camera or phone out, so I took a quick one as I walked in. The Catholic Traveler on Instagram took some better pictures.

Picture of the Holy Stairs in Rome
Pilgrims ascending the exposed marble Scala Santa on their knees for the first time in hundreds of years.

As we look to celebrate Good Friday today, my mind takes me to these stairs trying to imagine what Jesus must have been thinking climbing them, knowing that condemnation awaited him.

I’m reminded of Palm Sunday liturgy where we counterposition of laying palms before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem only to have the crowd condemn him a short time later. Last Friday, I joined with others to worship him and to honor the physical existence he had on Earth, but then turn around and assuredly condemn him through sin or inaction.

If you find yourself in Rome, especially before June 9th, find a few minutes to visit St. John Lateran and the Scala Santa across the plaza.

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Church Microblog

Man’s Greatness

The wise man must not boast of his wisdom, nor of the strong man of his strength, nor the rich man of his riches. What then is the right kind of boasting? What is the source of man’s greatness? Scripture says: The man who boasts must bost of this, that he knows and understand that I am the Lord. Here is man’s greatness, here is man’s glory and majesty: to know in truth what is great, to hold fast to it, and to seek glory from the Lord of glory.

— From a homily by St. Basil per OOR, Monday, Third Week of Lent

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Microblog Personal

Welcome to 2019!

The last week of 2018 and the first week of 2019 were nuts around La Casa de Kraft. In addition of having a month-old and three of us having pneumonia in December, our oldest had an asthma attack with an upper respiratory infection, which had complications resulting her having four ER visits and two admissions between Christmas (December 25) and Epiphany (January 6)—the traditional 12 days of Christmas.

Everyone is okay now—minus the random pink eye someone picked up in last couple of days—but it meant any notion of new beginnings with the start of the new year didn’t happen.

So, this year, I’m declaring January 16th the first day of the year.

Anyone else wants to join me? If today doesn’t work for you, make it tomorrow.

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Daddy's Corner Microblog Photoblog

Ringing In 2019!

We’re ringing in 2019 at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Asthma sucks. Pneumonia sucks.

I never really realized how troublesome asthma can be. As a kid, it seemed like enough people had it that it was somewhat normal and I never saw an attack. So, it wasn’t really a bit deal.

For O, she’s actively under the care of two specialists, tried a half-dozen or more controllers, take four medications daily to control it, yet we still end up in situations where she needs rescue medicine at levels unsafe to administer at home and taking the professionals here 24 hours to get under control with doses 3x what we can give and a third of the time between them.

Anyhow, here’s to meeting our insurance deductible on January 1st! 🎉

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Microblog

All The Water

Today is the first day all eight of us showered or bathed in the same day.

Unrelated, the City of Austin saw a spike in water usage and declared a water emergency. 🤣

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Microblog Personal WordPress

I’m a Code Wrangler

This is old news at this point, but I realized I never mentioned it here. A few months back, I shifted from a Happiness Lead to a developer.

I’m excited about the move and especially that I’m able to continue to work on Jetpack. I’ve always worked with the code powering Jetpack, but usually minor things that I discovered through working directly with our customers.

My goal isn’t to create some sweeping new feature, but to make steady, solid improvements to Jetpack. Small fixes that improve what real people are seeing with the project are beautiful things.

Of course, my tinkering is on hold a bit while on paternity leave and being on the sidelines while WordPress 5.0 ships isn’t easy! There is so much to learn, explore, and create in the space with the Block Editor, but I’ll be slinging code again soon!