Friday, November 4, 2022


November 4, 2022 Peace and Good, I really like it when the title of the blog has only one city to mention. I have been home in Rome this past week (when I caught up on some taping and writing projects) and this week (when we are holding a definitory) and next week (at the end of which I travel to Australia). These past few days have brought a chance to my calendar. Originally, I was to finish my job in Rome at the end of this year, but I will not be in Rome until the end of June. The man who will be taking my place will not finish his current assignment til then. The weather has cooled off and is a bit cloudy, but we have not yet begun the winter rains. That should be coming soon. I have fished some reading and listening: Too Much Time by Lee Child Reacher, a former army policeman, witnesses a robbery and helps the police stop the thief. When he is called in to give a statement, he is then accused of being part of the plot. He is able to escape and find the true culprit in the plot. The Tartars by Charles River Editors This is a short history of the Tartars, the descendants of the Mongols, who settled in the south of what today is Russia (including the Crimean Peninsula). They were highly successful in their early days, but then after the time of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, they slowly became less and less important. Their saddest days occurred when Stalin deported all of the Tartars he could find in revenge for their supposed support of the Nazi invasion. Animals in Ancient Rome by Charles River Editors This is an overview of the treatment of animals in the Roman Empire. This includes a fascination with certain animals (like wolves), a manipulation of other animals (such as the animals that were killed in the gladiator contests), and as service animals (such as horses used in the calvary). The Spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi by William Short This course from Learn25 is an excellent treatment of the spirituality of St. Francis himself and the Franciscan movement (including figures such as St. Clare and St. Bonaventure). William Short gives a profound overview of Francis’ view of his God, his world, and especially his Lord Jesus. I would recommend this audio course to everyone. The Grim Reaper by Katherine Ramsland This is a short story about an Italian woman who killed and then rendered down three of her friends to make soap and candles and cookies out of them. She thought that she would save the life of her son who was away at war by killing someone else. She proved to be a murderous psychopath who felt no true remorse for what she had done. Rampage by Harold Sthechrer This is the story of one of the first mass murderers in America. He was a World War II veteran who returned home and one day picked up his guns and began to kill his neighbors whom he thought were plotting against him. The Whirlwind: the X Files by Charles Grant This is one of a series of X file stories that have been offered by Audible Books. This particular volume is about how a group of native American shamans are able to develop a powerful force that seems to be killing people. Mulder and Scully have to determine why the particular victims had been attacked, and which of the shamans was actually directing the murderous force. Blitzkrieg by Lloyd Clark This is an overview of the military technique used by the Germans against Poland and especially against France. Clark is able to evaluate the German techniques honestly, showing the positive elements of the coordination of land and aerial forces, but also the negative dimensions of the attack (that the blitzkrieg attacks have been overestimated by a simplistic view of the techniques). There is a tremendous amount of information about troop movements that might be too much for most readers. Thomas Merton on Chinese and Greek Philosophy by Thomas Merton This is a course that Thomas Merton offered to young men in formation in his home monastery of Gethsemane. It does provide a good overview into some of the philosophical ideas of those two civilizations. I have to admit I don’t especially like Merton’s teaching style, which often is an attempt to show how much he knows as opposed to providing true information to his students. The Edge of the World by Michael Pye This is a historic overview of the civilizations that existed along the Baltic Sea from the earliest days of the Frisian traders to the events that followed the Protestant Reformation. He includes a study of the Hansa League, an association of trading cities along this sea. The author speaks of how the weather and the geography of the land influenced the peoples who lived there. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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