Sunday, December 20, 2020


December 21, 2020 Peace and Good, I got through the ten days of meetings for our General Definitory. It is a good group of men. We talk through things until we reach a consensus. No one is afraid to give his opinion, and no one tries to shut the other down. But ten days is a long, long time to meet from morning to night. The weather is cool, with rain every few days. Rome is not in a total shut down, but it does have its limitations. The 24th to the 26th and again the days around New Year's Day will be shut downs. I just heard about the quarantine for flight to and from Great Britain. Fortunately, on the 11th of January, my trip is via Germany. We will have to see what happens with that. I have finished my series of six articles for our magazine in Kenya. I was going to do them on the Blessed Virgin Mary, but then the Holy Father declared this to be the year of St. Joseph, so it was back to the drawing board. I can use the BVM idea next year. These days I will be doing a bit of work on a couple of articles I have been asked to write. I should finish them by tomorrow evening. This evening I am going to do a zoom meeting with some ladies in the States on Bible Study (three Mondays in a row). I am glad to be able to share some of my insights in this manner. I have finished some reading: Museum Masterpieces: Metropolitan Museum of Art by Richard Brettell This is a video series that speaks about the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most of the Teaching Company courses that I have participated in up to this point were audio, but this course needed to be video as well (for one had to see the paintings, statutes, and other art objects). The presenter is filled with vitality without being too much. I enjoyed this course, and will continue to view more of their video courses. Paradise Regained by John Milton Recently I read Paradise Lost, the first time that I had read it. This was a companion poem. I was surprised that it went up only to the temptations of Jesus in the desert. I am now listening to a Teaching Company Course on Milton so that I might understand more of what the two poems are all about. Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden Bowden is an excellent war author. This book deals with the critical battle between the troops of the US and the Republic of Vietnam and those of the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese. This battle took place during the Tet offensive in 1968, and although the communist forces were defeated and expelled from the city, their attack and their early victories caused discouragement among the Americans. It was at this time that Walter Cronkite visited Vietnam and made the editorial statement that he thought that the US should get involved in negotiations because we were not winning the war (no matter what propaganda the military was issuing). Medical Pediatrics by Roy Benaroch This is a teach company account of how a doctor treats his pediatric patients. Benaroch is an excellent presenter of this topic. He deals with the patients with great knowledge and experience, but also with great compassion, always treating his patients with tremendous respect. The La Brea Tar Pits by Charles River Editors This is a short account of the history of the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. The earliest use for the tar that came out of the pit was to provide construction material (especially for waterproofing various structures). It was only later that fossils were found in the pits of animals that had fallen in the pits and had become trapped there. Some of the animals were prehistoric and now extinct in America. In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathanael Philbrick Philbrick is a very good author of American history. This book is on the battle of Yorktown. It deals especially with Washington and his struggle to hold his army and that of his ally together. He was frustrated by the fact that the French had promised to help him, but they had their own plans. Their greatest interest was how they might defeat the British in the Caribbean where the real profit lie. Philbrick gives a very good picture of the various parties and their motivations. The Battle of Gaugamela by Charles River Editors The is the account of the battle in which Alexander the Great definitively defeated the emperor of Persia. He was outnumbered, and the emperor of Persia had planned his battle well, but it was no good. The short book also speaks of the aftermath of the battle. Merry Christmas fr. Jude


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