Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ellicott City - Halifax - Ellicott City

August 7, 2011

This past week I was visiting a new Franciscan foundation in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They were founded by a former friar, and for the past few years they have had a loose connection with the Conventual Franciscans. Yet, in Rome, we didn't know much about them. I went and offered to give a retreat on the Gospel of John.

There are three groups: brothers (some of whom are priests or studying for the priesthood), active sisters and contemplative sisters. I didn't know what to expect, because some of the new Franciscan movements can be a bit extreme. They were balanced and filled with joy and charity. They are doing everything right as they start off their communities, and I really think God will bless them abundantly.
They are growing nicely, but they are cautious not to grow too quickly lest they loose track of what they are all about.

The weather in Halifax was a bit challenging (it has been a bad summer and quite cool), but the countryside was spectacular (

I finished a number of books with all of the travel I have been doing. The Jensen Directive and the Prometheus Deception, both by Robert Ludlum. Both of these a typical Ludlum novels in which you don't really know who is on which side until near the end. The are turns and twists all the way through. The Jensen Directive is about an agent who has become a private contractor. He attempts to save a world figure who seems to be promoting peace. The man is killed and Jensen is blamed. The Prometheus Deception involves a plot created by a secret organization which claims to be working for the government but which is actually opposing it.

I also read Travels in Alaska by John Muir. You might remember that I read another Muir book. He helped found our national parks. His descriptions of the glaciers and rivers and wild life show what a mystical experience nature was to him.

Finally, I listened to Our of Egypt: Christ the Lord by Anne Rice. I was very hesitant to listen to it, because in the past I had read a number of her vampire novels and I didn't know how she would handle the story of Christ. I was pleasantly surprised. She did very good research, and while I might not agree with everything she wrote, I have to admit that she wrote it in a very appealing way. It is a good meditation on the time from when Jesus came back from exile in Egypt until he was lost in the temple. It is well worth a read.

I hope you have a good week.


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