Wednesday, September 14, 2022

London - Wales - London - Montreal

September 14, 2022 Peace and Good, I was in Wales last week for the chapter of the custody of Great Britain/Ireland. It went extremely well. I was still there when news came that the Queen had died. It was interesting to see how people reacted. Some were deeply moved, while others took things in stride. These days I am in Montreal, visiting the friars there. This past Sunday I celebrated the English Mass at one of our parishes and had a question and answer session with the parishioners. I love doing that sort of thing. This evening I will have another Mass and session. Then early tomorrow morning I head out to our novitiate in California. The weather in England was not bad, while that in Montreal was very warm until last night. I finished some reading: Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson This is a tour of various European cities with a constant outlook for the humorous and unusual. Bryson tends to stereotype people and their cultures. At times he is very funny, at other times he is cruel and offensive. The more I read of him the more I see that negative dimension of his personality. I have to admit I am also concerned with his frequent references to how much he drank and how drunk he got, almost as if he had never grown up from being an adolescent. The Ninja by Charles River Editors The Ninja was bands of secretive agents who would spy and assassinate for their masters. They were not Samurai who were often mortally opposed to them. This short book outlines some of their training and their techniques. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible: First Enoch by Daniel Olson I have often been interested in this apocryphal book of the Old Testament, but this is the first time that I actually studied it. It is named after Enoch, the man who walked with God and then was no more. It purports to be a series of revelations made to Enoch about good and evil angelic spirits, their role in the history of the world, the consequences of their actions, etc. It is very, very apocalyptic and symbolic in tone. It is the type of book that will require further study, but this was a good start. Hudson Taylor by Hourly History This is the story of an English missionary to China. He made several voyages there, and he was ceaseless in his preaching in England to obtain finances for the mission and more missionaries. He tried to enculturate his message by dressing in Chinese clothes and respecting the local culture. Ada Lovelace by Hourly History This is a short biography of Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron. She was a genius in mathematics and dedicated her life to helping to perfect a machine which was actually a type of computer. She invented algorithms which are still in use today in computer science. The Supreme Court by Alison Gash This is a One Day University Course on the Supreme Court, but it is much more a screed on the question of the role of the Supreme Court and the danger to democracy from recent developments. The professor did give some good insights, but I did not find the entire work balanced or greatly helpful. Carnacki the Ghost Finder: Gateway of the Monster by William Hope Hodgson This is a short novella about a room which is haunted and a man who attempts to find the ghost and counter it. The solution depends upon a ring which belonged to the first man murdered by a ghost and what it represents. Ethical Dilemmas and Modern Medicine by Jacob Appel This is a short course from the One Day University on medical ethics. The professor gives a few examples of ethical dilemmas, but it is not a profound treatment in any way. I could not say that I would recommend it. The Templars: The Secret History Revealed by Barbara Frale This is a history of the history of the monastic/warrior order that started to protect and aid pilgrims to the Holy Land and eventually became too important in the financial world. They originally guaranteed transfer of funds from a pilgrim’s homeland to the Holy Land so that he would not have to carry the money with him that might be robbed, but it became a banking empire that was tempting to the king of France who desperately needed funds. He outlawed it and persecuted the Templars and stole their funds. The author is a bit too ready to accept certain of the stories that were extracted from the Templars under torture. A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon This is a book that speaks of the Roman attitude toward murder, which was not considered to be a state affair as much as a private matter to be settled between or within families. The father of the family could even kill his wife, children or slaves without any legal recourse. The author is good in terms of research, but this being the second book I have written by her, I am surprised that someone that educated would have such a potty mouth. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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