Monday, April 5, 2021

Rome - Ellicott City, MD

April 5, 2021 Peace and Good, I hope you have all enjoyed a good Easter Sunday. I arrived in Ellicott City from Rome on Thursday. I hated travelling on Holy Thursday, but I am here to receive my vaccine and have a few doctor's appointments, and one has to quarantine before that is possible. I do have an appointment for the first shot of the vaccine now on April 7th, and I will be able to arrange the rest of the appointments shortly. In the meantime, I am in quarantine in Clare House, which is a guest room in the basement of the main house in Ellicott City. I will be editing a book this week as well as having a few zoom sessions with groups on Sacred Scripture. Then, when I am out of quarantine and before my second shot, I will be doing some filming for the Shrine internet site. The weather when I arrived was cold, but yesterday was wonderful. I usually take a 40 minute walk each day, but these days I am trying to do two of these walks because most of the rest of the day is spent in one room. I finished some reading: The Wheel of Darkness by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston I have already read a slew of books by these two authors. They center on an independent FBI agent from New Orleans who works from his new home in New York City. This one involves his trip with his ward, Constance Green, to Tibet for study and meditation. There they discover that a precious relic has been stolen from the monastery. This leads to a trip across the ocean on a new liner which is cursed by the demon behind the relic, and Pendergast’s, the agent, battle against its power. Watchers by Dean Koontz I like Koontz’s writing style, and this is an excellent example of his style. There is a government experiment to make smart dogs and wild, ferocious beasts, both of whom could be used by the army during war. Two of the animals escape. The smart dog finds its way to a lonely, cursed man and an incredible paranoid woman who are healed by their encounter. The action is well done, as is the character development. Soldiers of Science: An Interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci by Alan Alda This is an interview with the now well-known Dr. Anthony Fauci. He speaks of his early training in medical research and why he chose this particular field. He interned at the NIH, and there he worked with cancer patients undergoing chemo-therapy. Later, he was on the forefront of research concerning AIDS. How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England by Ruth Goodman This is an interesting and entertaining overview of habits and manners in Elizabethan England. Some of the messages are similar to what we would present today, but other passages and practices are totally different. Goodman is not afraid to tell the whole story, even when it is a bit gross. Moscow Sting by Alex Dryden This is a complicated story of a KGB colonel who has information about a very high level spy who is leaking material to the west. We see the venality of some of the spy networks even those of the west). The action is very well done. The KGB colonel is trying to pave her own way through a very confusing situation, all the while protecting her son from danger. The Life and Times of Prince Albert by Patrick Allitt This is a teaching company course about the life and career of Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria. Always considered to be a foreigner, and therefore not always liked or trusted, he nevertheless helped to teach Victoria how to act like a queen. He also had great influence on the modernization of the army and the political system. He died rather early, and Victoria mourned him (excessively) for the rest of her life. Malcolm and Me by Ishmael Reed This is a short memoir of the author Ishmael Reed and how he came to understand his particular calling through Malcolm X. He met him while he was working at a radio station in Buffalo, NY. I liked this short story because it was a point of view that was totally foreign to me, and I felt as if I saw a new perspective. Have a good Easter week. Shalom fr. Jude


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