Saturday, September 11, 2021


September 11, 2021 Peace and Good, I have been in Rome this past week, but at our theological faculty where we were holding a seminar for the new officials of our provinces and custodies. It was good to meet the newest ones, and to see some old friends. I have also been involved in translating from Italian into English the document we call Franciscan Discipleship. This is the manual on formation (initial and continuing). It is about 75 pages in English. I have finished the first draft and now must go through it a couple of times to edit it. Whenever one is translating, he leaves vestiges of the original language and I have to work that our. I will be flying to the States tomorrow and will be travelling there and in Canada for almost a month. I have finished some reading: Darwin and the Origin of the Species by Josephine Bailey This is a short, well-done biography of the naturalist who wrote the book which proposed the survival of the fittest and evolution, Charles Darwin. The book gives a good personal biography as well as an overview of the production of his book and the eventual debate about its accuracy in later years, including how this theory has influenced scientific (and religious) reaction to the present. The Pied Piper by Harold Schecht This is the story of a young man in Tucson, Arizona who gathers other young people around himself and who murders three young women. He was a strange man who dressed in an outlandish manner, but who nevertheless had a magnetic appeal over a small group of young people, much as the pied piper of the famous fairy tale. The Persian Gulf States by Wendy McElroy and Sheldon Richman This is a short presentation by Audible Original Books on the history of the nations which surround the Persian Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. The book covers the ancient era of these areas, their status under colonial rule, and their present difficulties, especially since the religious revolution in Iran. The Original Watergate Stories by the Washington Post This is an amalgam of the articles that appeared in the Washington Post concerning Watergate from the days right after the break-in until the resignation of President Nixon. It is fascinating to hear the discoveries unroll as the press obtained a clearer and clearer idea of what was actually going on, especially by following the advice of their informant Deep Throat that they “follow the money.” The Robertson Panel by Charles River Editors This is a short presentation on a commission that was established to study the UFO phenomenon. The material that the panel was given was limited, and their findings were superficial. The CIA went out of its way to hamper any serious investigation of the phenomenon, discrediting anyone who made a serious report of something in this regard. St. Brigid of Kildare by Charles River Editors At the beginning of this short biography, I was a bit nervous because the author went into the etymology of St. Bridgid’s name, which was that of a Celtic goddess. But the majority of the book is an honest study of what is accurately known about the saint, as well as some the legends that surround her and the cult of devotion that has developed over the ages. It is quite good. The Magyars by Charles River Editors This is a study of the Central Asian nomadic tribe which came to settle in the plains of central Europe and who slowly became the Hungarians. They started out in their present location as raiders of their surrounding nations, but they eventually settled down and became more and more Europeanized and a bulwark against the invasion of the Turks during the late Middle Ages. The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy This is the story of the gradual death of a man who serves in the Russian bureaucracy. He has a small accident which is the beginning of his decline. As he grows more ill, it is impossible for him to communicate his fears to his own family who slowly become outsiders to him, intruders who are just waiting for him to die and get it over with. The pace of the book is typical of Tolstoy, but the matter dealt with is profound and creates true pathos in the reader. Shalom fr. Jude


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