Saturday, October 30, 2021


October 30, 2021 Peace and Good, I have been in Rome all of this week for our General Definitory meeting. This is a long one, beginning on Tuesday and running all the way until next Friday (with All Saints and All Souls Day off as holidays). We have been discussing many different situations in many different countries. I almost feel as if I have jet lag just from all of the discussions. The weather is quite nice, with a bit of rain now and then. Today, Rome is pretty much in shutdown due to the meeting of the G20 and the presence of so many important leaders. You can hear helicopters flying overhead almost all the time. I will be in Rome (except for a one day trip to Assisi on Wednesday) until this coming Sunday. Then I will be flying in to Louisville. I have finished some reading: Hinduism by Gregory Kozlowski This is an outline of the development of Hindu beliefs and how this religion is related to other major faiths in the sub-continent (Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists). It is interesting that Hinduism really developed as a reaction to the influence of Islam and Christianity, for before it was simply a series of disconnected local beliefs. It was only when these beliefs entered India that people felt that they had to define who they were and what they believed. Tear Down This Wall by Romesh Ratnesar This is an account of Reagan’s famous speech in Berlin in which he called upon Chairman Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. The author deals with the politics of the nations as well as the politics of Reagan’s own staff as the speech was prepared. The end of the book deals with how the wall actually fell. The author is a bit too groveling when it comes to Reagan’s character, but the story is well outlines. Wicked Prey by John Sanford This is the story of a gang who plan to rob political lobbyists during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Due to the fact that much of the money that these lobbies possess is unreported and illegal, there is no way they can report what happened to them. But the plan begins to fall apart as member after member of the gang end up dead. There is a good amount of action. The characters are well outlined. The ending is in doubt until the very end. It is well done, and makes me want to read more of Sanford’s books. Plato’s Republic by Simon Blackburn This is a study of Plato’s Republic with its positive and also its negative elements. The author gives a good background to Plato and his times, and yet he is able to see how Plato falls short. Plato, for example, wanted to ban poets from his ideal republic, and he did not really believe in democracy, for he felt that the properly prepared autocrat, his philosopher king, would guide the people beast. The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri This is the second book by Camilleri that I have read. It is part of a series about a Sicilian police detective who must solve confusing crimes. Being Italian, Camilleri is able to get the background (food, Mafia, government political games) right. This volume is the story of a series of women who are kidnapped overnight, but nothing is done to them while they are under the chloroform that was used in their kidnapping. These crimes turn out to be only the surface of a deeper mystery that the detective must slowly solve. I find these novels very entertaining. Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz I have now read all of the Odd books by Koontz. This is probably the strangest of the several volumes on this fry book who is able to see ghosts books. It deals with Odd being invited to a mansion along with Anna Maria, a pregnant young woman who is much more than she seems to be. Strange, strange things begin to happen, and Odd must figure out what is going on so that he might rescue a young child who is being held captive in the mansion. Even though the action was different, I thoroughly enjoyed the person of Odd, who is just the right mix of kind, generous, dutiful person along with a good dose of wiseass. The Mark of the Assassin by Daniel Silva This is the story of an assassin who was trained by the KGB and secreted into the West as a sleeper agent. Now that the cold war is over, he is an assassin for hire. His services are acquired by a group of super rich and super powerful men who would like to control the government of the US, especially in terms of defense procurements. He is opposed by a CIA agent who must do things that were strictly forbidden in order to stop the assassin and his purposes. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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