Sunday, September 19, 2021

Rome - Baltimore - Ocean City

September 19, 2021 Peace and Good, I flew in from Rome this past Sunday. Things are getting a bit easier, or maybe I am just getting used to the craziness of travel these days. On Monday evening our province began its extraordinary chapter at the Maratine Center in Baltimore. It was good to see all the friars who were present. We were talking about our pastoral plan for the next few years. Wednesday morning I had a bit of a shock. I got an email from Rome that our Minister General and three other friars tested positive for covid. I immediately left the chapter and had myself tested. By 11 that morning, I was shown to be negative. I had been tested before I left Rome, and I had not been in the presence of three of the four positive friars for at least five days before Wednesday, but it was still a shock. I am now in Ocean City at an appartment owned by the friars. I love listening to the waves. Just a couple of minutes of that and I feel all the tension melt off. The only downside is that these days there is a motorcycle rally in Ocean City until today. Their cycles are loud, loud, loud. I think they adjust them to be louder. They leave today, which will make the town much quieter. I finished some books: Mother Teresa: Come be my Light by Brian Kolodiejchuk This is a beautiful collection of letters and remanences of Mother Theresa of Calcutta. The major topic is the spiritual darkness from which she suffered for most of her life in the Missionaries of Charity. She came to understand that this was a sharing in the emptiness that Jesus suffered on the cross, as well as the emptiness that so many people experience in their own sufferings. He goal in life was to help respond to the thirst from which so many people suffer. Mary Todd Lincoln by Hourly History This is a short account of the story of the wife of Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln. A very ambitious woman who, unusually for her days, dabbled in politics, Mary Todd is presented as a grasper and someone who tried to live above her status. She eventually lost her senses, even being committed to a mental hospital by her son. She was not the nicest person, but she also lived a life that was filled with tragedy. Colombia and Panama by Joseph Stromberg This is part of a series on various countries of the world offered by Audible. This volume offers an overview of the states of Colombia and Panama from colonial days to the present. The presentation is not terribly academic, but it does give a good amount of useful information. After the Quake by Haruki Marakami This is a series of stories concerning people in Japan after the terrible earthquake in Kobe. It deals with situation in their own lives, but which have an impact on the people around them. The stories include good, heartwarming accounts, Buddhist philosophy stories, and even a bit of science fiction. The Fall of Troy by Peter Ackroyd This is a novel about a boisterous German archaeologist and his Greek wife who excavate the ruins of Troy. Herr Oberman has a tendency to look only for the treasures, and he effectively does great damage to anything else in his way. He is so obsessed with his theories that he is willing to harm anyone else who gets in the way. The Sicilian Vespers Wars by Charles River Editors This is the story of the rebellion of the people of Sicily against the occupying French authorities, and then of the series of wars that were fought with France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy in regard to the crown of Naples and Sicily (at times united and at times treated individually). Saint Odd by Dean Koontz This is the last in the series of the Odd Thomas books. Odd is a fry cook in a desert town in California who can see and help ghosts. In this volume, he must sabotage a plot to destroy his home town by a band of Satanists who know of his power and want to create mayhem. Odd come across as an honest, kind and generous young man who only desires to be with his beloved Stormy who died in the first volume of the series. Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar This is a fascinating story about a young Indian American woman who is looking for the perfect man. She is in constant contact with an over-protective mother in India. She suspects that the young man her daughter finds is dangerous, somehow associated with another man who was violent with her when she was a young woman. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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