Sunday, May 17, 2015


May 17, 2015 Peace and Good, It is so good to be able to write just one city in the title of this blog. I have been here in Montreal for the past week for the custodial chapter of the friars up here. So far it has gone quite well. A custody is a type of baby province, and the provincial, fr. Jan from Gdansk in Poland, is the one who is actually running the chapter. I get to sit back and listen to the translations (for most of the business is in Polish) and make a comment every once in a while. This time here has helped me to catch up on daily reflections. My next chore will be to write a few articles for the Messenger magazine from Padua. Then I will be pretty much caught up. I have finished some books: Halloween Party by Agatha Christie A young girl is murdered at a Halloween party, drowned in the apple dunk basin. The story follows the investigation by Hercule Poirot as he tries to discover who could possibly have sneaked into the house where the party was being held and killed the girl. He also has to try to discover the why of the murder, although there is a major clue right from the start: that the girl bragged in front of a mystery author at the party that she, too, had seen a murder. A Temple of the Holy Spirit by Flannery O’Connor This is the story of a young girl whose two slightly older cousins visit their home from religious boarding school. The young girl thinks of herself as a genious and of the cousins as nitwits, and she cannot stand the fact that they get to go on a date with two boys to the carnival. Typical of Flannery O’Connor’s stories, there is a moment when she has to decide to be a better person or not, and she seems to fail in her commitment. Young J. Edgar Hoover and the Red Scare by Kenneth Ackerman Following World War I and the Communist revolution, there was an outbreak of violence in the States instigated by anarchists and communist radicals. This book outlines how J. Edgar Hoover worked to stop these dangers, but in a way that trashed the value of the constitution (illegal arrests and detainments, cruel imprisonment conditions, deportation without due process). His boss, the Attorney General was blamed for most of went on and J. Edgar Hoover got away with it, being named the head of the newly founded FBI shortly afterward. When one studies his career, though, and how he kept secret files and conducted illegal searches and wiretapings, one can see how the pattern began early. The Last Cato by Matilda Asensi Even since the DeVinci Code, there have been a series of conspiratorial books involving the Vatican. This one is about a society that dates to the Middle Ages which has sworn to defend the true cross from all dangers. They have made their task into a religion in itself. Supposedly, they set up a secret perfect society in the middle of a mountain in Ethiopia. The action concerns a nun who works in the secret archives of the Vatican, a ruthless Vatican Swiss Guard and an Egyptian Coptic scholar who go through a series of rigorous tests so that they might infiltrate the secret society and find out why they are stealing relics of the cross from all over the world. The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert O’Connell This is the story of how Hannibal invaded Italy during the Second Punic War. He won almost all of the battles, and nevertheless lost the war. One of his victories became synonymous with tremendous crushing victory: Cannae. Yet, the Romans dogedly held on. Those soldiers who survived Cannae were treated as if they were ghosts, sent to Sicily and not even allowed to live in town. Yet, they were the core of the force that eventually defeated the Catheginians definitively. This book is well reasoned and well written. Hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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