Friday, June 1, 2018

Ellicott City, MD - London - Ellicott City, MD

June 1, 2018 Peace and Good, I hope you are all well. I have spent the past few weeks in Ellicott City and Ocean City, MD to recover from my small medical procedure at the beginning of the month and to rest up a bit. I have been travelling so much that I found my sleep patterns were not returning to normal. This month, living for the most part in one time zone, helped a lot. I feel much better than I did for quite some time. I did have to travel to London for a few days this past week for a meeting. We have been working with our Custody to help them get develop the procedures that they need. They are a young jurisdiction, and up to now they have done the best they could, but it is time to pass to the next level of organization. The meeting and some other informal meetings went very well. I was able to get a good walk in London while I was there. I visited Foyle's which is one of the best book stores I have ever seen. I often have topics in history that are a bit unusual. I might just find a book at a book store on that topic. At Foyle's there are usually five or six books on it. I also went to Chinatown and was able to get one of my favorite dishes - Tripe soup. I grew up eating tripe that my father had prepared. I am back in Ellicott City just for a day, and tomorrow I will be heading out to New Mexico for the provincial chapter of Our Lady of Consolation Province (not far from El Paso, Texas). I finished some books: The Master Sniper by Stephen Hunter This is a story set in Germany at the end of the Second World War. The Germans have invented a special weapon that can shoot in the dark with amazing accuracy. They plan to use it to assassinate a young child who is the heir of a great fortune from a Jewish family so that the funds would not be used to finance the Zionist movement. The plot is a bit far fetches, but there are moments of description that make reading the book worthwhile. The Quakers: The History and Legacy of the Religious Society of Friends by Charles River Editors This is an interesting overview of this non-conformist religion which began in Great Britain and has spread all throughout the world. They are not an especially numerous religious group, but their pacificism and abolitionism have greatly affected the Western World. An interesting tidbit is that two of the most important cholactiers in Great Britian, Roundtree and Cadbury, were both founded by Quakers. The Quaker name was actually a nickname imposed on them by others for the way that they felt they should quake in the presence of God (much as the Shakers said the same thing, using the word shake instead of quake). Obviously, for many, the most famous Quaker was William Penn, the propriater and founder of the colony of Pennsylvania. Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury This is the story of the abdication of King Edward VIII and the assumption of the throne of King George VI just before World War II. George comes across as a shy and ill prepared monarch who stepped up to the challenge of leading his country through an indredibly difficult time. Edward, on the other hand, and his wife, seem to be self-seeking cads. They are only concerned with titles and money and honors, even when the country was at a crisis point. There even seems to be some evidence that Edward was negotiating with the Nazis to take over as king if the Germans were to conquer Great Britain The book is well written, but has a bit of snobbery about it. About Face by Patricka Marx This is an article that examines the fade in Korea for plastic surgery. Many, many people, men and women, seek it to perfect their image. The author deals with the fact that the external is often considered to be more important in Korea that what is in one’s heart. It is a good overview. The Footprints of God by Greg Isles A scientific team manages to perfect a minute scan of people’s brains and then to communicate that information to a super computer which not only has the past information but can continue to think and develop in artificial intelligence. The problem is that the person whose brain is eventually imprinted in the computer has a thurst for power, and through computer connections, threatens to become a dictator of the world. The book is a bit improbable, but asks questions such as what does it mean to be God like, how is it that the male and female mind complement each other, can one individual be a perfect mind, etc. Unfortunately, the author reduces the concept of God to pure thought, and does not recognize God as person. Carthage must be Destroyed: the Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization by Richard Miles Carthage was the traditional enemy of the Roman Republic during the days of its expansion in the Mediterranean. Rome fought three wars against it, including the second war in which Hannibal attacked Italy through the Alps. One hears how Cato the Elder, a bit of a miserable person, concluded each speech to the Roman Senate with the phrase that Rome had to be destroyed. It eventually was, only to be rebuilt later in the history of the Roman Empire. The book gives a good overview of the history, culture, and religion of Carthage, a colony of the Phoenician Empire. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment