Monday, June 18, 2012

Rome - Seoul - San Luis Obisbo - Ellicott City

June 18, 2012 Peace and Good, I hope you are well. As you can see by the title of this posting, this has been a very busy week for travel. It involved three night flights (Rome to Seoul, Seoul to San Francisco, and San Francisco to Baltimore). That is really a lot in a week's time. Right now I am working on 18 hours of jet lag. You would think that when it went over 12 hours, it would start becoming less, but it doesn't work that way because I was in each place long enough to start the transition to local time. I went to Seoul for the beginning of the Provincial Chapter of the Korean Province. I was there because I had done the visitation for that province. The chapter went very well, and fr. Tito was elected the new provincial. I had met him in January and had warned him that his name was being mentioned as a possible new provincial. Korea is a young province with a lot of potential. I hope that he and they are able to work on a few problems they are currently experiencing and move on. On Thursday I went from Seoul to San Luis Obisbo (actually a town called Arroyo Grande, which is just outside of Pismo Beach, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles). Given the fact that I crossed the international date line, I left on Thursday and arrived on Thursday, even though I flew all night long. I was visiting fr. Chris Deitz who has been very ill. Shortly after Christmas he suddenly became paralyzed. Something had attacked the myalin of his nervous system, especially in his spine. He had recovered quite a bit, but he still had a bit of a road to go. We spoke about what is going on in his province, and also in their mission in Vietnam. Then, on Saturday evening I took the red eye to Baltimore. I will be here on the east coast for the next few weeks so I should recover soon from the jet lag. My reading has included: Bleeding Kansas by Sara Peretsky This book is based in the farmland just outside of Lawrence, Kansas. There are constant reminders of the early years of settlement in the State of Kansas and how it was tinged with violence from raids made by the pro-slavery faction from across the border in Missouri. The action takes place with various farm families and their difficulties. One loses a son in the war in Iraq, the mother has a breakdown which leads to a suicide attempt, etc. Another, a family involved in a salvation church, has a calf that might be pure red (and therefore essential for ultra-rigorous Jewish groups that want to rebuild the temple). There are references to a fire on a farm during the 60’s in which a hippie was killed. There is a woman who moves into the neighborhood who practices Wiccah and is a Lesbian. Most of the violence occurring in the present era is emotional (although not all). It is a not bad read. The Judgment of Caesar by Steven Saylor This is the second book by Saylor that I have read. He writes about a Roman official named Gordianus the Finder who is a type of private detective. He lives in the last days of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the rule of Julius Caesar, traumatic times for the Romans. This book involves the time right after Pompey the Great was defeated by Julius at Pharsalus. Pompey fled to Egypt where he was murdered. Julius arrives and tried to judge the rights of the two Pharaohs ruling at the time, Ptolemy (a 15 year old boy) and Cleopatra (his 20 year old sister). They are brother and sister as well as husband and wife, in the tradition of Pharaoh’s of Egypt. The politics are intricate, almost Byzantine. In the meantime, Gordianus’ estranged adopted son is accused of attempted murder. The book is well researched, and for those who love Roman history, it is a joy reading. Three Powers: Three Short Works by Joshua Scribner This short work is a compilation of three short stories, each of which has to do with someone with an extraordinary gift. One can smell as good as the beasts of the fields, one can taste the residue of people and things like a snake can, and one can sense the pain of creatures that are dying. Each of the stories is short and to the point, and each presents a good lesson. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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