Worthy of Recognition
Re “Historian’s Progress” (Current Comment, 3/29): I am a long-time reader and admirer of Tony Judt’s work. How wonderful of America to recognize his most recent work in The New York Review of Books. I do not know which is more worthwhile, his essay “Night” or his book Postwar; but both reflect a moving, authentic human voice, and we are the richer for having them made more available to us.
I started reading Postwar under the prodding of my son. I finished it because its remarkable range and compelling vision really gave me no other choice but to do so. Judt’s support for his younger colleagues is equally or even more admirable. Thank you for recognizing him in this way.
San Antonio, Tex.
Thank you for the Scripture reflections in The Word, by Barbara Reid, O.P. The reflection on the prodigal son parable (3/8) was especially meaningful. It will find a place where I can come back to it in the future.
On Not Swatting Flies
Re the poem “Ahimsa,” by Edwin L. Millet (3/15): Over 50 years ago, on a weekend retreat at the Trappist monastery near Bardstown, Ky., our retreat master grabbed our attention while practicing ahimsa. He let a large fly wander all over his face for several minutes while seeming to ignore it.
In the break between this session and the one that followed, we retreatants talked only about the fly and the retreat master’s response to it. In “Ahimsa,” Edwin Millet extended his 35-year teaching career: he added to my vocabulary and reminded me of a partially forgotten incident from my past. God bless you and him.
Justin G. Huber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Re “Kosher Catholics?” (3/29): The seamless garment surely demands respect for all creatures and, indeed, the universe. The reverence for all creation alluded to in kosher dietary laws and in Teilhard’s thought are of one cloth, one sacrament. One sees the unitary implications and potential here. Let’s move with all haste toward this horizon. The God of all is there.
Go vegetarian! Your life will be better for it. You’ll enjoy an appreciation for all living things.
Fourscore and Seven Years
I am 87 years of age and this is the first letter to the editor I have written. Regarding health care (“The Urgency of Now,” Current Comment, 3/15): Please, in your great wisdom, tell me how we are going to pay for it! You can quote all the reasons why we need it but you never mention how we should pay for anything. This country is trillions and trillions in debt, and you want us to pass a bill that has no end of liability. Please help me understand the miracle.
George J. Moutes
Van Nuys, Calif.
Good for a Laugh
In the middle of the night, catching up on the March 15 issue of America, I laughed out loud at “That would be putting Descartes before the horse” (Current Comment, “Descartes in Pennsylvania”). How pleasant to see moral philosophy with wit.
Wilfred L. Guerin
Radioactive Main Street
“The Cost of Uranium” (Current Comment, 3/15) encouraged my work trying to make known the health risks in processing uranium. Thank you for raising this justice issue. Our city is in the process of renovating Main Street and discovered that the yellowcake buried 50 years ago in the roadbed is highly radioactive. The city cannot afford to remove all of it, so this legacy remains to challenge future generations. Therefore Grand Valley Peace and Justice, our Catholic social justice organization, is protesting a proposed new uranium mill in Paradox, Colo., that will bring more uranium mining and trucking into our area.
Grand Junction, Colo.
“Erasing One of the Rs” (Current Comment, 3/22) talked of keyboarding replacing penmanship but only looked so far. In my recent conversation with an orthopedist concerning Dragon software for voice communication with a computer, the doctor suggested that just as today’s kids react, “You used a telephone with a dial?” tomorrow’s kids will say, “You used a keyboard?”