Saturday, December 7, 2019

Rome - Ellicott City - Rome

December 7, 2019 Peace and Good, This past week I have been in Ellicott City for a series of mendical appointments - just the usual annual check up. All went well. I also visited a phyical therapist for a problem with a muscle in my neck which has given me a lot of trouble in these past months. He recommended a series of isometric exercises, and they seem to be having a good effect. I will be in Rome now for the next months or so. The weather is cooling off, but is not as cool at it was in Ellicott City. This week I have some work to do with preparing a couple of projects, and then the week of the 16th we have a definitory meeting. I have finished some reading: The Epistle of Paul the apostle to the Philippians by Fr. Tadros Malaty This is a running commentary by a Greek Orthodox source. I enjoyed this, for it was well worth examining the study of scripture from another point of view. It is not necessarily that I have learned anything new, but it does give a nuance that makes one think outside of the box. Eye of the God by Ariel Allison This is a novel about a group of professional thieves who steal great works of art on contract from a broker who then auctions them off to the highest bidder. A young woman who works for the Smithsonian is drawn into the action. This is actually a Christian novel, but unlike some of the ones that I have read in the past, it is not Christianity in your face. It is well done, if a bit fantastic. The greatest question it offers is what is it that one lives for, a good question. Earthly Remains by Donna Leon This is part of the Commissario Brunetti series by Donna Leon. She is a very good author who captures the spirit of the Italians and especially of the city of Venice in which her novels are set. In this episode, Commissario Brunetti takes a vacation because of stress and ends up on an island where he meets a local caretaker who takes him under his wing. The caretaker is found dead, and the Commissario must investigate his death, which could be an accident or a suicide. As always, the plot is well developed, the characters well drawn out. The Crito by Plato This is one of Plato’s works which revolve around the death of Socrates. In this one, Crito, Socrates’ friend, tries to convince him to run away into exile so that he might avoid the death sentence which has been imposed upon him. Socrates argues that this would be a violation of his duty to the state and to his friends. Even if the state is treating him unfairly, he must not resort to its intrigues and dishonesty. He had to be a man of integrity, even if that would carry him to death. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 by Gerald Horne This is a book which speaks about the whole slavery issue in the 18th century before the American Revolution. This is a topic which the author repeats over and over again, saying more or less that the American Revolution was something that was called to defend the institution of slavery when the British Empire was about to outlaw it. There is a good amount of speculation based upon events that had not yet happened (the outlawing of commerce in slaves and then the outlawing of slavery). The good element in the book is that it deals with a topic that is often overlooked in this particular era. The Church Fathers as Spiritual Mentors by Michael Haykin This book is written by an evangelical author. It is interesting, for they often deal only with Sacred Scripture and overlook the development of doctrine throughout the history of the Church. The author deals with some of the topics very well, while others he tends to cherry pick his quotations to argue the conclusion which he has already reached. Overall, it is quite good. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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