Monday, February 28, 2022

Louisville, KY - Prior Lake, MN - Ellicott City, MD

February 28, 2022 Peace and Good, I have finished the first stage of my visitation to the province of Our Lady of Consolation. We had originally hoped that this would be it, but weather and other situations meant that we could not finish the entire visitation in one setting. I will return to Rome this Wednesday, and then come back to the Midwest on the 13th of March. Our (fr. Wayne and myself) visit to Minnesota was quite cold and snowy, what you would expect in February. Everyone the friars have been very welcoming to us. This has been a good experience, but tiring because each friar with whom you speak must be listened to with the greatest attention. My home province has elected a new provincial who will take office in May, fr. Michael Heine. He is one of my former students, and a very good man. Please keep him in your prayers. I am just passing through Ellicott City for a few appointments at doctors' offices (the usual) and a few meetings with various friars. I have finished some reading: The History of the Sunni and Shia Split by Charles River Editors This is an overview of the division between the two major sects of Islam. The Sunni are the majority, while the Shia are the majority in Iran and some of the Gulf States. It speaks of the early division, eventual battles, and the modern state of the issue. The Shia tends toward a more demonstrative faith including shrines and “saints”, while the Sunni tend toward a more Puritanical version of the faith. Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns by James Mahaffey This is a long account of various nuclear accidents (whether involving a small number of people, or being tremendous disasters such as Chernobyl). The author gives a good picture of the science behind the whole process (a warning for those who are not interested in a technical presentation which this book certainly has). It also deals with the development of different types of nuclear reactors for power production, submarine propulsion and even to power airplanes. The Face of Battle by John Keegan This is a classic account of some major English battles. The author deals with the literary treatment of war, and of what those in the battle would have experienced. Keegan is an author who has written some excellent books on battle and war. I don’t think that this was his best effort. Shocking Psychological Studies and the Lessons They Teach by Thad Polk This is a teaching company course offered for free by Audible. It deals with psychological and medical studies which broke the rules of good conduct (e.g. not informing the subjects about the study, risking the harm of those involved, not having a good purpose for the study). It includes such studies as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in which a group of African Americans were allowed to slowly die of the disease even though there were treatments available. There were also studies on children, on soldiers who were given hallucinogenic drugs without their knowledge, etc. Gaius Marius by Charles River Editors This is the story of a general in the Roman army who helped change the way that the army was organized. Previously, most of the soldiers had been drawn from the middle class citizens of the republic. He hired armies from the poorer citizens, and he arranged for their pay and their retirement, thus obtaining their loyalty. These soldiers were no longer attached to the state as much to their general which would mean that they became a major source of power. This was the first step toward the fall of the republic and the civil wars that plagued Rome during the 1st century BC.. Medieval Myths and Mysteries by Dorsey Armstrong This is one of the free courses for Audible Plus. I had listened to another course offered by this professor, one that dealt with the life and legend of King Arthur. This one deal with a series of lectures on topics of medieval things such as dragons or the search for the holy grail. The lecturer has a pleasant way of presenting the topic. The Glorious Revolution by Charles River Editors This is the story of the fall of James II (a Stuart king) who was Catholic and favored an end to anti-Catholic persecution in England. In a non-bloody revolution, William and Mary (Mary being James II’s Daughter) brought an army from the low countries and conquered England, exiling James to the continent. Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 by Tony Judt This is an outline of the various movements and events from the time of the end of World War II to the present. It deals with individual countries, communism vs. anti-communism movements, the European Community, what it means to be European, what the future of Europe in a globalized society, etc. The book is long and at times technical, but it is a great treatment of the topic. Have a good week. May your Lent be a true time of conversion and compassion. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment