Wednesday, December 12, 2018


December 13, 2018 Peace and Good, I have been at home in Rome for the past couple of weeks. In December we have a two week Definitory meeting, and we are reaching the end of the second week. There hasn't been as much business as usual for the term is winding down. We have our General Chapter in May when all of the offices are up for grabs, so a lot of our time now is spent in getting ready for that meeting. The weather has turned cold, at least for Rome. It is close to freezing each morning. It is overcast a good amount of time, which is normal December weather. I head out to California this coming Saturday to give a workshop to our Novices on the Gospels and the Psalms. I finished some reading: Churchill’s Empire by Richard Toye This was an excellent treatment on how Churchill viewed the British Empire. He is famously quoted as saying that he did not become Prime Minister to oversee the dissolution of the empire. While he fought for home rule in Ireland, he fought against its independence and that of India with vehemence. He was racist – not in the sense of being unsympathetic toward those who suffered under colonialism, but in the sense of seeing the white person as being the natural ruler of the universe. He was in many ways Victorian or Edwardian, a man whose services in World War II was indispensable, but who outlived his times. Uxmal: the History of the Ancient Mayan City by Jesse Harasta and Charles River Editors This is a short report on the city of Uxmal in the Yucatan Peninsula which was important during the Mayan period. It deals with the politics of the city and the surrounding area. It examines the archaeological remains of the city which were found at a later date than many of the other Mayan ruins. Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome by Anthony Everitt Anthony Everitt is a masterful author of the Roman Empire. This book deals with the emperor who reigned at the time when the empire decided that it was large enough and it went from an aggressive imperialism to trying to rule that which it already controlled. It deals with the personality of Hadrian, which was a bit of a mixed bag. It deals with the politics of Rome when it was ruled by someone whom it considered to be a newcomer who did not have the noble pedigree of many of the families of Rome. The book is very informative and worthwhile to read. Meander by Jeremy Seal The English word meander means to wander here and there. It comes from a river in Asia Minor which does exactly that. This is a travel book about a man who travelled on the Meander River from its source down to the sea by canoe. It tells of the many people he met along the way, as well as the fate of the river which is used for agricultural and industrial purposes which has greatly degraded the quality of the water contained therein. It is really quite a good travel book. The Royal Air Force in World War II by Charles Rive Editors The history of the English Air Force is famous for the way that it defended England during the Battle of Britain. This book covers the history of the air force before the war as well, speaking why it was not all that well prepared when war came. Furthermore, it deals with the question of the type of bombing it did during the war, going from precise target bombing to area bombing of cities. Mining for Michigan by Charles River Editors The northern peninsula of Michigan is quite famous for its mineral deposits. The most important for much of its history was copper which was mined and used even in prehistoric times. There is also gold and silver in small quantities and iron ore in much larger quantities. As always with Charles River Editors books, this presentation is not all that long, but it is quite informative. Have a good week, especially as we draw close to Christmas. Shalom fr. Jude


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