Monday, October 11, 2010

Packing up

October 11, 2010

Peace and Good,

This past week I have been home sorting through things and deciding what I will be taking to Rome. It is for three to nine years, so it is a pretty definitive move.

The greatest difficulty was sorting out books. I a scholar, a lover of books, and a person who has an uncanny ability to find inexpensive book stores. This means that I have many, many books. I am giving away most of them. Some will go to our novitiate library, some to the library of the house of studies for our men in Washington, some to a student from Africa who is doing Bible studies, and some will be send to Africa for a seminary library.

I will take most of my clothes, but leave some here in the States for when I make visits. In my job, I will be back at least a few times a year to meet with the provincials and for other events.

It is a good feeling to get rid of much of what I have. I really don't need most of it. Even with books, I will be next door to the school where I did my Bible studies (the Biblicum), and as an alumnus, I have library privileges.

This past weekend I preached a retreat for a group of Secular Franciscans in Priestfield, WV. The seculars and candidates were great. It was a privilege to spend time with them. Priestfield is also a wonderful retreat house. It is the best food I have ever had at a retreat house, and the staff goes out of their way to be helpful and friendly.

I finished a few books.

The first was Pyrrhus by Jack Abbott. This was a Greek king who lived shortly after Alexander the Great. He is famous for having won a Pyrrhic victory (which means that he won, but he lost so many of his own troops in the victory that it all but destroyed his army). He was an incredibly restless soul, running from one war to another and never settling down to enjoy the fruits of his efforts.

The second was a book called Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War by Chris Bellamy. This was an incredibly complete overview of the invasion of the Soviet Union and its eventual victory over Nazi Germany.

The third was a book called Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk received the Noble Prize for Literature many years ago. This is the story of his youth in the city of his birth, and how he eventually came to write. One gets a very good sense of the spirit of the times and the turmoil of his own soul.

This week I am heading to Buffalo for a couple of days to visit family. This weekend I will be giving my last retreat for quite a while to a group of men at the Dominican Retreat House in McLean, Virginia.

Take care and
fr. Jude

1 comment:

  1. Hey Father,
    I was one of the SFO's last weekend at Priestfield, the Spaniard. Great job you did. I am still flying. Wrote a piece about your talks for the newsletter of our fraternity, "Troubadour." The privilege was all ours.