Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rome - London

January 22, 2017 Peace and Good, This past week I have been taking part at a meeting for the new provincials and custodes and their secretaries at the Seraphicum, our theological school just outside of Rome. This included friars from India, Korea, Japan, Zambia, Venezuela, California, Abruzzo, Malta and Brazil. We went from Monday to Friday with a number of side trips on the evenings from Monday to Thursday (to our general houses in Rome). I was asked to preach at all of the Masses all throughout the week. It was a good week for my preaching, and the response of the friars was very gratifying. Saturday I flew to London to finish off my visitation for the custody of Great Britain and Ireland. I head back to Rome on the 2nd. In the meantime I will be travelling to Manchester, Barton, Liverpool and Aberdeen. Most of that will be by train. I finished the following: The Scent of Your Thoughts by Deborah Blum This is an essay on the study of how phernomes affect animals and even humans. The premise is that a researcher believes that women in a common environment eventually coordinate (unconsciously) their time of the month. That could only be done if they were receiving subliminal messages in terms of chemical emissions of which they were not even familiar. The author makes a good point for the need to study these and other phernomes (e.g. that are released in times of fear or depression). A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts by Robert Buckholz This is an extensive (48 lessons) course from the teaching company that deals with the history of culture of England and eventually the United Kingdom from before the era of the Tudors (around 1450) to the beginning of the era of the Hanoverians (c. 1725). This is not the first course by Buckholz to which I have listened, and he is both a fair historian and entertaining. I would recommend this particular course to anyone. Stalin’s Secret Agents by Stanton Evans and Herbert Romersteing This book provides a ton of information about communist agents who were at the heart of the government during the presidency of FDR. A lot of what the author says is very credible, but some of it is obviously intended to discredit a more leftish approach to unemployment and social needs. Yet, the authors have attempted to document what they are arguing and they give one a lot of things about which we should think. The problem is that Stalin and his type were incredibly subtle and devious while we in the West tend to be rather naive when it comes to espionage (at least we were in past eras). The Fool by Laurie King This short story is about a homeless man who dresses up in a monastic robe and helps out other homeless people. He is English and has lost his wife and child. This has driven him to the streets. He speaks mostly in quotes from literature or the Bible. He also helps a police detective solve a mystery of the murder of a young woman and the disappearance of the boy whom she was babysitting. The detective goes from hostility and incredulity to respect and even reverence. Camino Real by Monte Reel This is a travel story of a bus trip from the eastern part of Brazil to the other coast in Peru on the Pacific. The author makes this trip which turns out to be quite a difficult journey with break downs and other problems. The bus on which he travels is primitive at best, and the announcement that a modern road now connected the two coasts of South America was more wishful thinking than an actual accomplishment. I hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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