Monday, January 31, 2022

Peoria - Chicago - Ellicott City

January 31, 2022 Peace and Good, I have been in Ellicott City (Baltimore) for the past few days for some doctors' appointments. So far, so good. I have one more appointment later today, and then tomorrow I head out to Louisville to begin my visitation of Our Lady of Consolation Province. I finished the St. Bonaventure visitation this past week. I will be travelling in Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Texas in these next weeks. I have been lucky with the weather. I got out of Chicago just before they got 8 inches of snow, and here in Baltimore we largely escaped the worst of the weather coming up the coast. We had a couple of zoom meetings this past Friday. In the morning and early afternoon, I had a General Definitory. We do this every once in a while to take care of a backlog of cases that develops after a while. Then, in the afternoon, the federation had a zoom meeting to work on our slate of formators for our houses of formation after the coming chapters (April through July). I finished some reading: Medical Mysteries Across History by Dr. Roy Benaroch This is part of the audible original productions, and also of the Great Courses series. I have listened to a couple of courses offered by Dr. Benaroch in the past, and he gives a clear, thorough explanation of the various topics with which he is dealing. In this case, he gives the case history of certain historic figures (without fully identifying them) and tries to determine a modern diagnosis for their problems. It is well done. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling Every once in a while I like to read or listen to a book that is pure entertainment. That is the case when I devour one of the Harry Potter books. I fully enjoy J.K. Rowling’s series of books, especially when I listen to them. Franklin and Washington by William Larson This is a study and comparison of the personalities and careers of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. It deals with how their lives intersected during the Revolutionary War. Toward the end, it deals with the painful subject of slavery, with Franklin opposing it and even presenting a petition to Congress to outlaw it, and Washington preferring not to deal with the matter (and at times defending it). The book is well written and it gives a fair overview of both men. The Psalms: Language of All Seasons of the Soul, ed. Andrew Schmutzer and David Howardi This is a series of studies produced by an evangelical/Calvinist group of scholars on the psalms. The early studies are quite well done and produce a lot of food for thought. They helped me ask questions about the psalms that had never before come into my head. Unfortunately, to fill out the book, the editors ended it with a series of homilies on the psalms which are neither all that good as homilies nor insightful in terms of academics. Overall, though, the book is worth the read. A Grown Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ellie Sans and Clare Chadburn This is a series of six podcasts presented by Audible on dinosaurs. It is a quite scholarly presentation, but developed in a way that is quite pleasant. I learned a lot about the rise and fall of dinosaurs, mass extinctions, the development of flight, the competition between reptiles and mammals, etc. I have found that many of the podcasts being produced are well worth listening to. Crete 1941 by Antony Beevor I have read a number of Beevor’s books. He is an author dealing with war topics, such as the siege of Stalingrad. This book deals with the period before the invasion of Crete, of the invasion, and of the aftermath until the time of the liberation of the island. The book is well written, filled with individual details. It is a bit Anglophilic, telling the story from a British point of view. Yet, it is well worth reading. The Storm before the Storm by Michael Duncan This is the story of the Roman Republic and the various machinations that eventually led up to the final crisis and civil war which destroyed it. It thus deals with the period of the Gracchi, Marius and Sula. The choices made by these men (and their opponents) led up to the disaster in the times of Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. The book is very well researched and written. Hitler’s Spy Chief by Richard Bassett This is the story of Admiral Canaris, the head of army intelligence service for Germany during World War II. It cannot be definitively proved, but it would appear that he was a bit of a double agent. He was an absolute patriot of Germany, and he hated what Hitler was doing to the country. He therefore allowed various German lots to fail, and leaked other information to the allies. He was eventually arrested after the plot to kill Hitler failed, and he was executed in the last days of World War II. The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton This is one of two volumes (the other being the Greek Way) which speaks of the culture and literature and way of life of the Romans. Hamilton contrasts the Roman view of the world with that of the Greeks. It is well done, very informative. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment