Monday, October 15, 2018

London - San Antonio, Texas - Chicago

October 15, 2018 Peace and Good, I finished off my trip to London and flew out to San Antonio to visit the house of formation there. I was only there for abour 48 hours, but it was a very good visit. I had some nice discussions with a couple of friars there. Then I flew into Chicago on Friday. I will be giving a week workshop to the postulants (8 of them) on the Letters of St. Paul. I enjoy doing this every year. It gives me the opportunity to get to know the men in formation a bit. Saturday, I was able to be at a 25th anniversary of the ordination of fr. Brad Milunski. He was one of my students at Granby many years ago. He is now the director of the formation program here. I have finally finished with my bronchitis. I am usually very healthy, but when I get a bad cold it almost always becomes bronchitis. I will have to mention that to the doctor on my next visit there in November. I have finished some reading: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 by Charles River Editors This is a short account of the convention that led to the production of the constitution. It started as an attempt to revise the Articles of Confederation that had been the unifying principle for the US right after the War of Independence. Madison and Hamilton worked to make the revision more substantial, giving rise to what we today know as our constitution. The short book records the series of compromises between big states and small, slave and free states, those who wanted a central authority and those who wanted more states’ rights, etc. Hadrian’s Wall: the History and Construction of Ancient Rome’s Most Famous Defensive Fortification by Charles River Editors This is a Charles River account of the construction and history of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England/Scotland. Hadrian had decided that the Roman Empire was large enough, and instead of setting out on new conquests, he decided to build barriers in those places where barbarians might threaten settlements. The wall seems also to have been built to regulate trade (and taxes) between the Picts of Scotland and settlements farther south. A Canticle for Lebowitz by Walter Miller This is a book that I had read in high school many years ago, and I enjoyed it as much this time around. It is about a post-nuclear war period in which a monastery of monks dedicated to Lebowitz, an engineer become monk who protected books during an anti-intellectual rebellion and who died a martyr to the cause tries to revive civilization. It tells the story at a number of historic periods after the initial event. The author has a sense of humor, and asks important philosophic questions about progress and responsibility, etc. Nineteen Weeks: America, Britain and the Fateful Summer of 1940 by Norman Moss This book covers the period at the beginning of the Second World War, especially dealing with what was happening in Great Britain and the reaction to events in the US. It is well written, if at times a bit hard on the US for not getting involved early enough. I could easily recommend it to others. Jason and the Argonauts: the Origins and History of the Ancient Greek’s Most Famous Mythological Hero by Andrew Scott and Charles River Editors This book is an overview of the story of Jason and tells of its importance in Greek culture and also of its historic resonances. Like all of the Charles River books, it is short and really only gives an overview, but it does that very well. The Life and Legacy of the Prophet Jeremiah by Charles River Editors This is a short overview of the life and ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. I found the scholarship below the level of many of the other books in this series. The actual ministry of Jeremiah is handled well, but the author accepts as unconditional truth what is really just a theory, at times a theory that does not have widespread belief. I was disappointed. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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