Wednesday, December 28, 2022


December 29, 2022 Peace and Good, I have been in Rome these past couple of weeks. It is mostly clear but cool (not cold). The city is packed with tourists. We finished our definitory meeting on Decmeber 23rd. I have not been doing a awful lot these past few days, just enjoying a bit of time without travel. Yesterday and today I have dedicated myself to a series of short jobs, mostly reports. Tomorrow I have to begin a research project for a presentation to the meeting of new provincials here in Rome. We are keeping Pope Emiritus Benedict in our prayers. When the Vatican announces that someone is very sick, it means at the point of death. I have finished some reading and listening: Meeting Manson by Erik Hedegaard This is an audible book presentation by a journalist who did a series of phone interviews with Charles Manson. The story is as strange as was Manson, and the author never quite gets beyond his fascination with his subject (almost strangely hypnotic in his appeal). I would not recommend this particular book. How to be a Tudor: A Dusk to Dawn Guide to Tudor Life by Ruth Goodman This is a “how to” book on life in Tudor England. The author speaks of food, dress, marriage, morality, hierarchy, etc. She is quite thorough. It is obvious that she is a bit obsessed by the topic, but that actually makes the presentation better. She is entertaining and informative. A Mystic’s Work: Julian of Norwich by Christina Carlson This is a very good presentation on the life and teachings of Julian of Norwich, an English anchorite from the 14th century. Anchorites lived in small cells attached to churches, dependent on the charity of people in that region. Julian had mystical revelations, the most famous of which is, “All will be well, and all will be well.” She had an incredibly optimistic view of God’s rapport with humans, especially in an age where guilt and punishment were often emphasized. The author is a bit of a feminist and sometimes the teachings and phrased in that key of understanding, but overall she is quite objective and helpful. Three More Jack Reacher Novellas by Lee Child This is a series of short stories of novellas about Jack Reacher, a former military policeman who is now dedicated to a life of wandering and adventures in which he tries to help those who most need his assistance. He has a remarkable sense of observation and deduction. The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch Most of Aaronovich’s books occur in London, dealing with Peter Grant, an apprentice practice of magic (for the purpose of maintaining peace in magical circles). Occasionally the books mention that this is also occurring in Germany. This book deals with the parallel team in Germany and their attempt to solve a series of murders in Trier tied to vinelands and wine production in the area. It is very good. The Branch Davidians by Charles River Editors This is the story of the Branch Davidian movement led by David Koresh and especially of their tragic downfall in the raid by the FBI which resulted in the conflagration which destroyed their compound and killed so many of their members. The account shows how some of this was all but inevitable as Koresh became more and more messianic and apocalyptic. World War II: Dunkirk by Hourly History As Churchill said, an evacuation is not a won battle, but it certainly was an event which permitted Great Britain to fight on during the Second World War. While the heads of the army expected to be able to evacuate only a small number of troops, with the cooperation of almost any ship afloat in Great Britain, but by the end of the operation, over 200,000 British and allied troops had been brought to England. Famous Dirigibles by Charles River Editors This is an account of some of the major hot air (hydrogen or helium) balloons from the 18th century to the present. It speaks of experimentation with the balloons, of their use in war and in transport, and of their eventual replacement with fixed aircraft and drones. The Siege of Vicksburg by Hourly History Like all of hourly history’s presentations, this short account of the battle of Vicksburg is informative and useful. It deals with various aspects of the army of the union and the confederacy, of the strategic importance of the city of Vicksburg, of the various troop movements and counter- movements during the long and confusing battle. A Grown-Up Guide to Dinosaurs by Ben Garrod This is a short series of lectures on various aspects of dinosaurs. It is not an ordered presentation, but rather topics here and there which nevertheless give one some good information. Have a Happy New Year fr. Jude


Post a Comment