Monday, March 7, 2011

Back in the States

March 7, 2011

Peace and Good,

I'm a day late in posting this because I was traveling from Rome to Ellicott City yesterday. I will be in the States now for about a month.

Last week was all meetings in Rome. We meet every six weeks, and our meetings go from Monday morning until Saturday noon. We speak about the friars over the whole globe, from China and India to Canada and Argentina. Much of what we hear is simply information, but at times we are asked to make decisions that will have life changing consequences. I feel a sacred responsibility as we try to discern where the Spirit is calling our order to go over these next few years. What is good is that the council (there are ten of us) work as a team and there is a great amount of respect for the other members.

During the week we spent an afternoon at a new community of friars (OFM's, the friars who wear the brown habit) outside of Rome at a place called Palestrina. They are attempting to live a simpler life style. They are very down to earth, not doing anything which I would call strange. But they are simply taking more time for prayer and dialogue within the community and with people who visit them. I was very impressed with their joyful spirit.

I finished a couple of books this week. The first is the first volume (of many) of the Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius. This volume was on Julius Caesar. It is interesting to read sources that were written not that long after the lives of these historic figures. Even then, though, much of the portrait is based upon who is ruling when the author wrote (lest he get in trouble with the powers that be). Each volume is relatively short, and it is concluded with a section on the writers and artists of that particular era (I think these were added by the editor).

The second book was the Call of the Wild by Jack London. It was fascinating how he wrote the whole story from the viewpoint of the dog. It is about a dog that is dognapped in California during the Yukon gold rush and the series of owners who either care for or do not care for it. Some of the owners are wise in the ways of the wild, while others are foolish and pay the price for their lack of preparation and forethought.

I will be flying to Louisville tomorrow for the beginning of a trip to the various friaries of one of our provinces.

God bless and
fr. Jude


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