Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

I had a peaceful Christmas at the friary and the day after I drove up to Pittsburgh to baptize my niece Abigail. She is a cute baby with hair that stick straight up. He brother Nolan has grown so much since I saw him last. Right after the baptism last Sunday I drove home to Ellicott City.

This week I have been editing a series of talks I gave in Kenya last summer (13 of them). I think some of them are good enough to be a series we offer, but I still have to think it through.

I also had some dental work done, a tooth extracted. While I was in the chair, I offered up my suffering for a woman in California who has offered up all of her sufferings from bone cancer for the sanctification of priests. Every time I do that, I suffer very little. It is as if her offering and mine become one, and God somehow takes it upon himself. I do not fully understand, but I have been thinking about it as I read a biography of Flannery O'Connor who was a Catholic author in the south who suffered from Lupus.

I finished a few works this week. One was Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. It was brutal in parts, and disturbing in others, but generally well written. There is a character who says to himself at the end of the book that he realizes that he is evil, but that is OK because he loves his family and community. Believe me, that kind of line sticks with you.

I finished the Memoirs of General Grant. It was six volumes, and the first ones were the best. The last part was written when he was ill with cancer, and it shows signs of having been put together in a hurry. A lot of names and battles, but not a lot of himself put into the explanation.

I also finished the Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G.Wells. I had always heard of this book and even seen the film, but never read it. It asks some good questions about experimentation with animals and people, pain, and how humanlike animals can become and how beastlike humans can become. The descriptions of the processes by which Dr. Moreau changes the animals into humanlike creatures are antiquated, but when one thinks about genetic engineering, it come to life again.

I am giving a seminarians' retreat at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California this week. Please keep me in your prayers. My future schedule is:

01/03/10 - 01/07/10: St. Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park, CA - Seminarian Retreat

01/08/10 - 01/14/10: Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Little Falls, MN - Sisters' Retreat

01/16/10 - 01/20/10: St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, Spring, Hill, FL - Parish Mission

01/23/10 - 01/28/10: St. Gregory Catholic Church, Plantation, FL - Parish Mission

01/30/10 - 02/04/10: St. Gregory, the Great Catholic Church, San Diego, CA - Parish Mission

02/06/10 - 02/11/10: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Lakeside, CA - Parish Mission

02/13/10 - 02/18/10: Holy Trinity Catholic Church, El Cajon, CA - Parish Mission

God bless and

fr. Jude


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