Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rome - Cherso (Croatia)

August 24, 2017 Peace and Good, My time baby sitting the Curia in Rome has come to an end. This Monday the entire General Definitory drove from Rome to Cherso, an island off the coast of Croatia, where there is a large friary. We are spending a week here together. It is very relaxing, and the weather is so much better than Rome. The weather in Rome has been incredibly hot and humid. Here we are only a couple of blocks from the sea (the Adriatic) and there is a breeze coming off the water almost the entire day, and the night gets so cool that one actually needs a blanket. It has been very restful, and I have been able to pray well here. We will be here until next Monday. Then it will be back to Rome for a week where we will have a definitory meeting. I have finished some reading: The British Empire by Stephen Sears This is a long series of essays dealing with the rise and fall of the British Empire. They are written from a British perspective. I find that even when the author tries to be impartial, he almost always slips into a pro-English viewpoint concerning various issues. Nevertheless, it was worth reading. Back to the Land by Chelsea Diondolillo This is an odd very short short story. It tells of the arrival at a body farm in Texas where the custodians are doing two experiments: seeing how long it takes for the sun to mumify a body and seeing what vultures do to a body left to their devices. As gruesome as the scene is, the author finds a bit of beauty in the image of the ground covered with migrating monarch butterflies as it is every spring. Caesar is Dead by Jack Lindsay This is the story of the assassination of Julius Caesar and his eventual succession by Octavian, his nephew. This is a historical fiction which paints the various figures in large strokes. Some of the action is melodramatical, but overall it makes the drama more realistic (instead of simply giving a bunch of dates and events). Doctors: The History of Scientific Medicine Revealed Through Biography by Professor Sherwin B. Nuland, M.D. This was a series of twelve lectures from the Teaching Company to outline the growth in scientific medicine throughout the centuries by presenting the biographies of major figures in the history of medicine. This includes people such as Hypocritus, Gallen in ancient times, and more modern figures such as the inventor of antisceptic surgery, anesthesis, and pediatric cardiac care. Overall, the presentations were informative and thorough. They included not only the developments credited to each particular figure, but also a bit of that person’s life story. It was a good way to present the overall message. Phelps, M. William Nathan Hale by M. William Phelps This is the story of the famous patriot in George Washington’s army who was captured by the British and hung as a spy. He is quoted as saying that he regreted that he had only one life to give for his country. That is probably not exactly what he said, but it is close enough. His biographer paints him as a highly religious man from Connecticut. He was a graduate of Yale and a school teacher who responded to the call to duty immediately at the beginning of the war for indipendence. He became a Captain, and volunteered for reconnaissance work behind the British lines (even though this type of work was looked down upon by colonials). Captured by a famous and vicious Tory, he was quickly put to death for his services to his country. Pirates: the Golden Age of Piracy by Hourly History Limited This is a series of books that I obtained either for free for for a small charge on my Kindle about history. This particular one is not all that well written. It tries to outline thousands of years of the history of piracy in a few pages, and does not treat any given topic with the attention that it deserves. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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