Monday, December 24, 2018

Rome - Arroyo Grande, CA - Rome

December 24, 2018 Peace and Good, This week I have been out in Arroyo Grande, our joint novitiate in California (mid way between Los Angeles and San Francisco). Monday I gave a Day of Recollection upon the Gospel of Luke which is the Gospel we are using in the liturgy this year. Our own novices participated, as did the novices of the Friars Minor (whose novitiate is in Santa Barbara) and the Friars Minor Capuchin (whose novitiate is in St. Ynez). Tuesday through Friday I continued with our own novices talking about the other Gospels and the Psalms. It is a good group of novices. There are six of them, two from Great Britain/Ireland, one from St. Bonaventure Province and three from Our Lady of Angels Province. fr. Joe Wood and Maurice Richard are doing a great job. Fr. Alexander Cymerman is the senior friar there. We feel it is always good to have one or two older friars with the men in formation to give them some background concerning our life from a practical point of view. I flew back on Saturday evening, arriving yesterday evening in Rome. It is a long, long trip. I will be in Rome for a bit now. This week I will baby sit the Curia. The others are off on vacation, and I will stay home in case there are any emergencies or official calls from the Vatican. (We always have to have someone available for that.) I finished some reading: Hiemdallr: the Origins and History of the Norse God who keeps watch for Ragnarok by Charles River Editors This is a strange paper on Hiemdallr, a Germanic god. It is not quite clear what this god was supposed to have done and why one would seek his assistance. He was associated with Ragnarok, sort of a Germanic end of the world, but other than this not much is known about him. The author presents a number of fragmentary prayers and inscriptions on him which are confusing and not well explained. This was not one of the better Charles River presentations. The Roman Province of Judea by Charles River Editors This is a quick overview of Judea, the southern part of Israel, from the time of its origins until its destruction under the Romans in the series of rebellions that led to the Roman decree banning Jews from Jerusalem and all but destroying the practice of their faith (under Hadrian). It gives a good amount of information in a quick format, like all of the Charles River presentations. The Astro-Prussian War by Charles River Editors This was the war which crushed the suppositions of the Astro-Hungarian Empire in its desire to lead the Germanic people. Prussia was wildly successful (because of weaponry, organization, etc.). It thus became the natural head of the movement to unify Germany as one nation, something that would happen within a decade of this war. What was interesting to me was that the Prime Minister of Prussia, Bismarck, went out of his way to defeat the Austrians without crushing them for he wanted to put them in their place without making them into an eternal enemy. The Decisive Battles of World History by Gregory Aldrete This is a Teaching Company course on many of the decisive battles over the centuries and across various cultures on the earth. Each lesson is well prepared, introducing both the parties and the main protagonists. It deals with the importance of the battle in terms of how it changed history. The presenter is a bit too enthused over the topic for my taste, but the information he presented was valuable. The Anger of Achilles by Robert Grant This is a new translation of the Iliad. I had often heard about the Iliad and read about it, but I had never actually read the saga itself. This offered a great opportunity for that. Grant is known as a popularizer of ancient topics, and I really did not know what to expect when I started the book. I was pleasantly surprised. It raises all sorts of questions in my mind and heart about the mentality of the people who received this saga and preserved it, but that is good. Merry Christmas. fr. Jude


Post a Comment