Monday, February 3, 2020

Rome - Chicago - Baltimore - Chicago - Peoria

February 3, 2020 Peace and Good, From Rome, I travelled to Chicago to give a series of lectures to the postulants. The topic was the Letters of St. Paul. There is a lot of spiritual information in those letters which are valuable for those considering religious life. There are four postulants this year: two from Our Lady of Angels Province, one from St. Bonaventure and one from St. Joseph of Cupertino Province. They are a bit older, from 30 to 40 years old, and quite mature. I had a very good time sharing with them. In mid week, they had their apostolates, so I scooted over to Baltimore on Southwest Airlines in order to have my ordinary cardiology visit, and a couple of other appointments. I flew back to Chicago on Thursday and finished my classes. Then yesterday I travelled to East Peoria. I am giving a one week retreat to a group of sisters here who run a group of hospitals throughout the MidWest. I will begin the retreat tomorrow evening. The weather in Chicago was incredibly dreary until Sunday. It felt like being in London during winter. I finished some reading: Hannibal by Theodore Ayrault Dodge This is a rather long, quite detailed story of the life and adventures of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who invaded Italy and remained a threat to the forces of Rome all throughout his long occupation of the southern part of the peninsula. He continuously defeated the forces of Rome. His greatest enemy, however, was not even the Romans. It was the Carthaginian senators who refused to back him up with troops and supplies and funds. The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child This is one of the volumes in which Aloysius Pendergast, the FBI agent, must fight the evil plans of his deranged brother, Diogenes. The action takes place in New York at one of the famous museums. It involves the opening of a long lost tomb of an Egyptian dignitary and the curse laid upon said tomb. The greatest difficulty is that Aloysius has been imprisoned because he has been framed for murder by his brother. Like all of the volumes by these authors, the action is very well developed, even if details at times are a bit farfetched. Nevertheless, the authors have a talent for making even those details believable. Mr. Lincoln: the Life of Abraham Lincoln by Professor Allen Guelzo This is a teaching company course (12 lectures) on the life and career of Abraham Lincoln. The professor who presents this material is more than a fan of Lincoln. He is often laudatory to the point of obsequisness. Yet, the material is good and insightful. Ancient Pergamun by Charles River Editors This is a short outline of the history of Pergamum. This city is famous for two things. First of all, its library rivalled that of Alexandria, but unlike the latter, the scrolls prepared and conserved there were done on Pergamum (which is named after the city). The legend is that there was an embargo on the exportation of papyrus to Pergamum because the Pharaoh was jealous of the library that was being prepared there. The second claim to fame was the altar to Apollos and the temple to Asclepius, the pagan god of healing. History’s Greatest Mysteries: The Lost Colony of Roanoke by Charles River Editors This is the story of one of the earlier attempts at colonialization of the New World, in this case that of England in North Carolina. The major purpose of this colony was to provide a site for the refurnishing of privateers sent from England to harass the ships that Spain sent with treasure from the New World back to Spain. The colonists were not experts in agriculture, and certainly not in intercultural relations with the native Americans. A group of them left in Roanoke disappeared and have never been located in times since then. The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures by Philip Mould This is an enjoyable account of an art dealer (British, dealing in portraits) and his adventures in finding authentic but unknown works of art, as well as disproving frauds. He goes through the process used before one would buy one of these works, the history of the painting as much as is known, and then the process of restoring the work to its original state as much as is possible (especially after many of the works have suffered damage due to amateur attempts at restoration). The author works on the BBC program roadshow (which was the original patterns for the PBS version). Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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