Monday, December 27, 2021


December 27, 2021 Peace and Good, It has been quiet here in Rome the past several days. The covid omega variant is spreading quickly, so many people are staying at home. Masks are now required even outdoors. Our definitory meeting ended on the 23rd. It went very long, but we got a lot done, and we don't meet again here in Rome until the beginning of March. These next two months I will be in the States (the Midwest) doing two canonical visitations (if the pandemic allows). I will fly to Chicago on the 29th of December. Tomorrow I have to go and try to get a PCR test (Great Britain, through which I am passing, requires the PCR within 48 hours of taking off, the US requires at least a rapid test within 24 hours). Then tomorrow I will have to fill out some of the forms for flying. The weather here has been rainy these past few days, but not all that cold. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so I will walk to the clinic (c. 45 minutes) instead of getting a ride. On Wednesday I have to head to the airport at 4 AM (with two other friars who have an earlier flight, I leave at 8:05 AM). I am glad that the winter solstice is passed. I always have problems with light deprevation in December and early January. I should check out one of those light therapies for people with seasonly affect light disorder. I finished some reading: Pyrrhus of Epirus by Charles River Editors There is a phrase concerning victory which has left the victor badly damaged. It is called Pyrrhic victory. It is named after the general Epirus, from what today is Albania named Pyrrhus. This book is a biography of that general. He fought in Greece, the Romans and enemies in Sicily. After one of his victories over the Romans, he was congratulated by one of his generals. His response was that if he had very many more victories like that one, that he would be in real trouble. 10 Big Questions of the American Civil War by Caroline Janney This is a Teaching Company course marketed by Audible (for free) on some vexing questions concerning the Civil War (e.g. was it total war, was it fought over slavery, etc.). The professor is clear and gives a reasonable response to these questions. Her presentation was well done. Micro by Michael Crichton This is the story of a company in Hawaii which can shrink people to a very small level. The problem is that the head of the company has lost his perspective and possibly his mind. He kills a number of people who oppose him in any way, including sending a group of shrunken students out into the wild where they face a dangerous attempt to return to their normal size. Fratelli Tutti by Pope Francis I read this encyclical slowly to be a daily mediation. It is imbued with what we would call Franciscan values. I found the message a bit repetitive at times, but I believe that its message is essential in our times in which people so divided over so many issues. V2 by Robert Harris Harris is one of my favorite authors. He wrote a three volume series of historic fiction on the Roman Cicero. This book is about the V2 rocket attack on London, told both from a German and an English point of view. As with all his books, it is well done and pleasurable reading. He manages to tell a historic story with real people whose lives were changed by the events that occurred in their times. Nicholas II: The Fall of the Romanovs by B. R. Egginton This is a relatively short biography of Nicholas, the last czar of Russia, giving details of the history of his times and his family. The story is well told, without trying to find heroes or villains. Sue Perkins Earpedia Animals/Plants These are two of the podcasts that I have received from Audible. She tells the story of some unusual animals (such as the platypus, of the weasel, etc.)in the first series, and then unusual plants in the second. She has a tremendous light approach with a good sense of humor. It is just an enjoyable listen. Atlas of a Lost World by Craig Childs This is the account of the author’s trips to various desolate, out of the way sites in which he uncovers evidence of early human habitation (or at least experiences things which those inhabitants would have experienced. These trips include the regions of northern Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to the swamps of the southern US. Happy New Year fr. Jude


Post a Comment