Monday, August 5, 2013

San Jose, Costa Rica - Rome

August 5, 2012 Peace and Good, As you can see from the title above, I am back in Rome for a couple of weeks. All last week I was in San Jose, Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country, with more than a third of it being a National Park. It is a major site for eco-tourism. Unfortunately, I only saw one friary all week. We were taking part in an assembly of friars from Costa Rica and from Honduras with the hope to unite the jurisdictions. There has been some bad blood in the past between these two jurisdictions, so this has to be done gradually. It will not take place until 2017. But this past week’s meeting went very well with a very honest sharing of ideas and feelings. I preached at one of the Masses in English which was then translated into Spanish. I don’t know what I said, but the friars were most complementary. It is hard to preach to people in another culture because you never know if what you are saying matches their own perception of things. This one seems to have come off well. The trip home was long but uneventful. Because this particular trip was planned after other parts of the trip had already been booked and ticketed, I ended up flying from San Jose to Miami, Miami to Baltimore, Baltimore to London and London to Rome. In what must be an absolute miracle, my bags did not get lost along the way. I’ll be in Rome these next couple of weeks taking care of business for the order, which in August is negligible. The secretary of the order is taking a couple of weeks of well-earned vacation, and someone has to be around just in case the Vatican would call the order about something. I’ll let you know at the end of next week whether the Pope called or not. I finished a few books: Bonhoeffer by Eric Mataxas This is an excellent biography of the Lutheran pastor Deitrich Bonhoeffer. He rejected Hitler’s call to subject the Lutheran Church to Nazi authority. He publicized some of the atrocities that he and his friends had witnessed. He was eventually arrested for opposing the government and implicated in the Valkierie plot to assassinate Hitler. I have been fascinated by his teaching and his life. He truly wanted to live his call from Christ without compromise. He understood the consequences, but he felt he could not be authentic to his faith without being willing to pay the price. One could describe him as being saintly in his forbearance, and yet he was also a product of his times (an upper class German intellectual who could be a bit of a snob). After reading this book, I want to include him as part of my prayer life, especially as a type of patron saint when I need the courage to give witness to my convictions. Heat by Ed McBain This is another of the Ed McBain detective novels. He usually deals with two cases, and in this book there is an apparent suicide that might or not be a homicide, and the investigation by one of the detectives of his own wife whom he believes is cheating on him. The dialog is quite good, and the novels are action packed. It is not exactly brain surgery, but it is a good read. Chili Con Corpses (The Supper Club Mysteries) by J.B. Stanley The premise of this book are that there are a group of friends in small town Virginia who decide to participate in a supper club (they prepare the meals on a theme while they are eating similar snacks). One of their group is murdered, and they gang up to find the killer. The presentation of the characters is not all that sharp, but the story is basically good and enjoyable. Furthermore, there are a number of good looking recipes interspersed within the action sections. Hope you have a good week. It is sweltering here in Rome, and they predict it will get hotter. Shalom Fr. Jude


Post a Comment