Friday, August 15, 2014

Buffalo - Los Angeles - Manila

August 16, 2014 Peace and Good, Hope you are all well and not working too hard in the mid-August heat. I finished off the series of chapters for the US provinces at the end of last week. They all went very well. Each of the provinces now has to apply itself to its resolutions. They have begun, though, with a lot a good faith. On Saturday, a week ago, I flew to Los Angeles. It was really just to take a break in my flight, for I was going to be flying to Tokyo and on to Manila the next day. I stayed with the friars at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is Hermosa Beach which is not all that far from the airport. As always, the friars were most hospitable, and it was good to see the old batch of friars who were preparing to move on to their new assignments and the new set of friars who are just now moving in. Sunday I flew out and it was a long, long journey. It was about 11 hours to Tokyo, then a three hour lay over, and another four hours to Manila. There was a little mix up at the airport. The friars were waiting for me at the wrong terminal, but the information desk was able to help out and get everything all set. The jet lag is murder, especially in the heat and humidity of Manila. This is not my responsibility as Assistant General, but it is one of the jurisdictions that we want to help out in a special way since they are young and inexperienced. I am giving a series of talks on St. Maxilimian Kolbe, the Assumption of Mary, and a workshop for guardians in the custody. A lot of what I do here is simply be present and show that we care. The Philippines is so far off the beaten path that at times they feel as if they are orphaned. I will be here until Wednesday morning when I will fly out to Saigon to give a retreat to the students there. I have finished the following books: The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis This is the apostolic exhortation (one step below an encyclical) of Pope Francis. This is the first real exposition of his beliefs. He emphasizes being filled with joy at the mercy that the Lord has shown us. He strongly argues against a formalism and legalism that some feel has crept into the Church in these past few years. He is always respectful and tries to show that what he is saying was already said by his predecessors, but it is clear that he is also subtly criticizing some of the tendencies of the hierarchy in these years. The topics wander here and there, but there is more than enough to meditate upon for a long, long while. I personally feel very much at home with the emphasis that the Pope is placing upon serving the poor and going back to the Gospels to share the message that Christ did with the world of his time. Six Days of the Condor by James Grady This is the book that provided the script for the film with Robert Redford. It is more of a novella than a novel, but it is very well written. The premise is that an office of the CIA in Washington which is responsible for reading books to get ideas about spycraft is suddently attacked with all but one agent killed. The man who escapes must then try to find out why and reestablish his contact with the agency without getting killed by the rogue agents who set up the murders. Because it is short, it is packed with action. Midnight Rising by Ben Aaronovitch This is the story of a young police officer in London who accidentally finds a ghost who is a witness to a gruesome murder. This leads him to a special unit of the police that deals with magic and its regulation. The narrative is very, very well done. It has quite a bit of London slang, so I am not sure that someone who has not been there will understand everything that the main character is saying. Yet, it is funny and interesting and even intriguing at times. Theology of the Body in Simple Language by Pope John Paul II This book is exactly what the title says, an exposition of the theology of the body from the public audiences of Pope John Paul II. The best part of this presentation is that it is made in very simple language. Pope John Paul speaks of the dignity to which God has called us in creation and even more in our redemption. God has created us in a way in which our bodies carry a sacred call to give of ourselves to the other. This is done in marriage and also in the celibate state (in which the giver gives to all people, such as will be true in heaven). He has a beautiful theology of marriage and the body, and speaks of the difficulties of living that theology in a world which is too often obsessed with using others for one’s own pleasure. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment