Sunday, February 14, 2021

Castro Valley, California - Rome

February 14, 2021 Peace and Good, I finished my visitation in California and have returned to Rome. The trip back was actually postponed a bit due to the fact that a visa I had applied for was not ready on time, so I only left Castro Valley this past Tuesday (and not the previous Thursday as was originally planned). The trip was not bad, but the paperwork is becoming more and more stringent. I would not advise anyone to travel these days unless it was essential. I am in quarantine right now. These periods in my room give me some time to catch up on projects, but I am getting tired of them. I hope to fly to the States at the beginning of April and will stay until I can get my vaccine. The weather here is cool and a bit rainy. There was snow in northern Italy yesterday, including Assisi. Yesterday, we began our General Definitory meeting. I am attending by zoom, even though the definitory is meeting just down the corridor. In Italy isolation doesn't only mean to stay at home, but also in one's room. I finished some reading: The Soviet Invasion of Hungary in 1956 by Charles River Editors This is a book that speaks of the history of Hungary from the time of the First World War until the Soviet invasion in 1956 that crushed an attempt by the people and even the government to break free of the crushing embrace of the Soviet system. Twenty-one Stories by Graham Greene This is a series of very interesting, entertaining short stories. They were mostly written between the two World Wars, although one can hear in some of them the drum beats of the coming conflict. The stories tend to be filled with irony, and often deal with sad relationships between parents and children. Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis I have always heard about this book, but I was able to listen to it in these days. Elmer is a professional preacher whose only goal is success, even if that means sinning against the very things that he preaches upon. Lewis was a bit of a socialist, and this book mocks many aspects of religion and its promulgation, but it is well, well done. It leaves one a bit sad, but it has something well worthwhile to say (and can serve as a good examine of conscience to ask myself why I am really doing certain things). My Philosophy by Woody Allen This is a short, comical approach to philosophy. Allen is able to use the right terms, and then twist it into something comical. This is only a short piece, originally a magazine article. Donna Leon by Audible Sessions Donna Leon is one of my favorite authors. She writes detective novels about an Italian Police Commissioner in Venice, and her Italian flavor in her books is perfect. Her hero is a decent man with a real family. His battle against the Italian political system rings so true. I have always recommended her books. This 15 minute interview was well, well done. Second Son by Lee Child This is the story of Jack Reacher as a young teenager who already shows his physical and mental prowess which would be seen in later periods of his life. He is the son of a Marine officer who has been transferred to Hawaii. He runs into difficulties with a local bully, but is able to put him in his place. Keep safe. fr. Jude


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