Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rome - Assisi

June 2, 2013 Peace and Good, I have been in Rome all week for one of our General Definitory meetings. We are still trying to find friars for some of the responsibilities that need to be designated for the next six years. We also had a ton of reports because we had not met for the past ten weeks. We have established a new way of meeting. We had a morning of recollection to being our meeting, and then we had a spiritual discussion on exercising authority as a Franciscan. We have always invited the other friars to pray more, but sometimes we were so busy that we couldn't find to do it ourselves. The intuition to do this has come from our new Holy Father. His simple gestures of love and kindness have amazed and encouraged people all over the world. In a way, Pope Francis seems to be more Franciscan that we are. We want to follow his example of returning back to our true values. This week we will be in Assisi at a meeting of the presidents of the seven conferences of friars throughout the world. We will be following the same patterns of spending more time in prayer and reflection. These friars are so busy with their responsibilities as provincials that we figured that this was one of the greatest gifts we could give them: time to pray. Sometime very good seems to be happening. Please keep us in your prayers that we can continue to respond to God's call in our lives. I finished a few books: Catherine the Great by John T. Alexander This is a very thoroughly documented and investigated biography of the great Russian empress of the 18th century. She is a complicated character. Actually German by birth, she became more Russian than the Russians. She overthrew her husband and allowed his murder by a group of conspirators. She led to the expansion of Russia’s borders. She was fascinated with the new learning from the French academic world, but then was disgusted when the French overthrew and killed their monarchs. She engineered the dismemberment of Poland in the three partitions which ended its independent existence until after the First World War. It is difficult to say whether she did more good or bad, but it is clear that her title, Catherine the Great, is richly deserved. The Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deever This is a really fine book of espionage and mob murderers taking place during the Berlin Olympics just before World War II. Paul Schumann, a mob hit man, is recruited to murder the man responsible for the rearming of Germany as a war of putting off the coming war. There are double crosses all the way through the book. The title of the book comes from the large park in the middle of Berlin called the Tiergarten, literally, the Garden of Beasts. It is the Nazis who turn out to be the real beasts in the story. It is well written and suspenseful all the way through. The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber This is a nice, feel good book. It begins with a woman opening up a knitting store. She has been the victim of two cancerous brain tumors, and she is trying to find meaning in her life. She opens a class for those who wish to learn to knit. The first three participants are an unlikely collection. One is the rich wife of a construction contractor. One is a goth who is a revel without a cause. One is a highly successful businesswoman who quits her job to try to get pregnant, but she cannot carry a child to term. They grow to like and trust one another, and their lives change through the course of the book. Nothing earth shattering, but a nice read all the same. Have a good week. I will be keeping you in my prayers before of tomb of St. Francis. Shalom fr. Jude

1 comment:

  1. I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; cellulite treatment