Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rome - Assisi - Rome - London - Canterbury - London

May 24, 2017 Peace and Good, The beginning of this week I was up in Assisi for a meeting of the definitory with the Presidents of the various federations of friars throughout the world (they are divided up into seven sections). I was there until noon on Wednesday when I took the train down to Rome so that I could catch a plane to London the next morning. I then went to Canterbury on Friday for the closing of the Theological Institute there. I had taught there a number of terms over the years. I got to see one of my classmates from the Biblicum where I graduated in 1984. The celebration was quite nice, and I have been able to talk with a number of the friars from the custody to get a read of what they are thinking as they prepare for their custodial chapter this September. I head back to Rome tomorrow afternoon where we start a week of Definitory. We had a couple of important decisions to make concerning our provincial in Naples. Things are not going very well there, so the General Definitory appointed a provincial to work on getting things in line with what they should be. We very, very rarely do this, but this was one case where an intervention was needed. Normally, we try to make our interventions in a less obtrusive manner (and I have been a member of the team to intervene over the past couple of years). I have finished some reading: The Hittites by Charles River Editors The Hittites were a great Middle Eastern civilization just before the Biblical era. They resided in Anatolia, what is today Turkey. Relatively little was known of them until relatively recently. What we do know is mostly from archeological remains that have been excavated. They were destroyed by various factors, but especially by the invasion of a Barbarian group known as the Sea Peoples. The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver This is one of the Lincoln Rhymes novels. This one involves a murderer who gets his information on his random victims from data entry and data farming companies. He is able to frame various innocent victims in his deluded quest. The thing that trips him up is that he frames Lincoln’s cousin for one of the murders, and Lincoln and his team are slowly able to sort it all out (but not without considerable danger for the murderer declares war on the members of the team. The Mohawk by Charles River Editors This is a short presentation of the Mohawk tribe which, at the time of the colonies, resided in what is today upper New York State and southern Quebec and Ontario. They were part of the five (later six) nations of the Iroquois Federation (whose agreement of confederacy was used by the Founding Fathers as they developed our way of government. The presentation is an honest short overview of their history and culture. Blood Game by Iris Johansen This is a detective novel mixed with some paranormal phenomena such as communicating with ghosts and evil masterminds who think that they are vampires. The style is not all that bad, but I really can’t say that I would read a lot of her books in the future. The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter This is a new translation of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) along with a literary, linguistic commentary on the material. The author has now translated most of the Hebrew Bible. His original job was literary critic, and he has used those skills along with a masterful knowledge of Hebrew and of the Jewish interpretation of Scripture throughout the centuries to give this new and insightful version of these books. I would recommend any of his books for those interested in Bible study at a higher level. If you want to start, the first book you could read by this author is the Art of Biblical Narrative. I hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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