Prayer request

Will you please say a prayer or two that I get over this annoying and rather bad head cold I have picked up? I haven’t had a cold from all last fall and through the winter, only to get one here.

Which it reminds me of a scene in Thirteen Gun Salute, wherein there is a great Aubreyism (Jack often gets his wires crossed with proverbs, sayings, aphorisms). Dr. Stephen Maturin and Capt. Jack Aubrey are chatting:

‘How often have I not said “Ha, it is six months since I had a cold”, only to wake up the next day streaming and incapable of coherent speech?’
‘What an unfailing source of cheer and encouragement you are, upon my word, Stephen. A true Job’s muffler if ever there was one.’

I am supposed to be coherent on Saturday and fear for my audience.

And if you Fishwrap readers don’t want to pray to the same God we Christians recognize, I would prefer that you click the waving flag is send me money. Pecunia non olet. (As if I could smell anything anyway.)

As Preserved Killick might say, “Misery ain’t in it.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dad of Six says:

    Memorare prayed for you.

    Have you tried Zicam (or one of its generic brethren)? I have used it for a number of years in the treatment of head colds, and it greatly reduces the depth and duration of head cold symptoms. It is basically big doses of Vitamin C and zinc.

  2. I am doing the Vitamin C and zinc even as I write.

    Thanks for the prayer!

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:


    Hey, St. Jerome (in Letter 65 to Principia) says cinnamon/cassia in Psalm 44/45 is symbolic of cooking out the mucus and rheum of “voluptatem” with its heat. So obviously he was all about some cinnamon sticks in your tea when you’re having a cold.

    Heh, heh… patristic/Biblical cooking references — that’d be a catena for you! You could make ones up for different herbs and spices, and put them on mugs with pictures of the herbs and spices.

  4. Luvadoxi says:


    Nyquil. The only thing that remotely makes me feel any better!

  5. inara says:

    Hydrogen peroxide! Lay down, put several drops in your ear (it will tickle like heck & sound like pop rocks) & leave it there about 5 minutes. Roll over & do other ear. Sounds crazy, but it really does wonders. You can also dip a swab in the H2O2 & coat the inside of your nostrils, as well as swish/gargle if you’re in really bad shape. Sending prayers as well!

  6. ContraMundum says:


    Is the hydrogen peroxide treatment to open up the ears if you have a clogged head?

  7. SKAY says:

    Prayers being said for you, Father. Hot lemon tea and chicken soup.

  8. inara says:

    ContraMundum ~ yes, the idea is that all the cavities inside your head are connected & the H2O2 gets in there & loosens up the gunk & kills the germs. We tried it a couple years ago at the the suggestion of my cousin (who is a naturopath/ND) & none of the 10 of us have been down for the count with a headcold since.

  9. inara says:

    Fr. Z, how about asking for Good News? Maybe that would help make you feel better too! :o)

  10. mamajen says:

    Ah, yes. The conditions in Britain seem to be optimal for acquiring those nasty head colds. In the 9 months that I studied abroad in Sheffield, I was sick like that at least three times. On the plus side, it seemed to boost my immune system as I remained healthy for well over a year upon my return to the states. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  11. Cathy says:

    Prayers for you, if you are utilizing the Underground, blow your nose often. In the mean time a hot toddy for the body was my dad’s favorite prescription.

  12. PostCatholic says:

    I do hope you feel better. Being sick while traveling is a lousy experience, and you have my sincere commiseration. I hope that your plans cease to gang aft agley.

  13. asperges says:

    “I studied abroad in Sheffield” – Bradford? Sorry, the concept of Sheffield being ‘abroad’ is very funny from where I am 60 miles to the south of it.

    Dear Father: I’m afraid the cold will probably have originated from the flight. It’s a most efficient way to circulate germs quickly. I once caught ‘flu on the plane between Birmingham and Madrid and felt dreadful for the whole two weeks following.

    I’m sure the LMS will be very indulgent on Saturday. Unfortunately I have to work, otherwise I would have travelled down for it. Get well soon.

  14. wanda says:

    Aye-aye, Fr. Z. Prayed and will pray.

  15. mamajen says:

    @asperges I’m from NY state, so it was quite another world for me!

  16. UncleBlobb says:


  17. gracem says:

    i’ll say a prayer for you, father.
    please get some chicken soup, pronto!

  18. lucy says:

    Get thee some Zicam immediately!! Take it as directed and it will go away if you’re in time.

  19. pkenny says:

    I highly recommend a nasal spray called Otrivine. It is available here in Ireland so I assume it’s also available in London. You could get it in a pharmacy. It never fails to clear my nose in just a few minutes. Take it when going to bed and you’ll sleep more easily.

  20. rcg says:

    1 heavy lime, table spoon honey, green tea, one cup hot water. Crush the lime into the hot water with honey and tea. For extra punch, zest the lime onto a cracker with slice of roast beef and horseradish. Repeat the tea twice a day. You’ll be good by Saturday. Meanwhile, you’ll forget the affliction and give thanks to the good God to the gift of limes, honey, and tea.

  21. pm125 says:

    Sleep longer/stay quiet near fresh air window (no rushing around in crowded places handling doors or rails), liquids, plain food, and by Saturday you may feel stronger and less stuffed up.
    Thursday and Friday are only 48 hrs. and you may have reading to bide the time avoiding germs.

  22. ContraMundum says:

    1 heavy lime, table spoon honey, green tea, one cup hot water. Crush the lime into the hot water with honey and tea, then toss it all out an open window that gets fresh air and drink a pint of gin. Repeat twice a day. In 10 days to 2 weeks you’ll be over your cold.

  23. Rachel K says:

    Fr Z I will pray because the “common cold” is a miserable experience. The only thing i have found which will lessen its severity and length is echinacea (cone flower) drops which you can buy in Boots- I am rubbish at throwing off colds and this stuff really works.
    Hope it’s not too wet in London as we are drowning here in the North West!

  24. AnnAsher says:

    Prayers. The hydrogen peroxide really does work. So does chicken soup! And sleep.

  25. Supertradmum says:

    Pray, drink a very large glass of good whiskey, wrap up in lots of blankets, and sweat it out. Old English recipe for getting rid of colds….

    Prayers coming your way.

  26. rcg says:

    1 heavy lime, table spoon honey, green tea, one cup hot water. Crush the lime into the hot water with honey and tea, then toss it all out an open window that gets fresh air and drink a pint of gin. Repeat twice a day. In 10 days to 2 weeks you’ll be over your cold.


    If you go to a doctor and get meds it will be over in ten days. If you drink the tea, about a week and a half. Gin simply makes you feel more entertaining.

    Did I tell you about the time I was stranded on an island in the Indian Ocean with a British surveyor and three cases of gin?…

  27. pookiesmom says:

    A wonderful, young pastor who says a beautiful NO locally has the same crud and asked for our prayers also. You are in our prayers even more fervently then as we pray for you daily anyway.

  28. Centristian says:

    In peace let us pray to the Lord.

    Lord have mercy.

    For the servant of God, John, a priest of Jesus Christ, who is sick, that God may listen to our heartfelt prayer and out of His compassionate love show mercy to his servant, let us pray to the Lord.

    Lord have mercy.

    That he will grant his servant John the gift of His Holy Spirit, to heal him of every infirmity of soul and body, let us pray to the Lord.

    Lord have mercy.

    Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by your grace.

    Lord have mercy.

    For you, O God, are merciful and full of compassion and to you we ascribe glory:

    +To the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Now and ever and to the ages of ages.


    O Divine Physician, make haste to heal us.

    Saint Luke, pray for us.

    Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

    Saints Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.

    Saint Camillus de Lellis, pray for us.

    Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us.

    In the holy hospital of the Church, by the prayers of your holy healing unmercenary saints, O Saviour, save us.

    Pray for us holy Mother of God, that your Divine Son may be pleased to touch John, your devoted supplicant, with his holy and healing hand.


  29. Kathleen10 says:

    Love the great comments and AMEN to the prayers!

    Neosynephrine nasal spray Fr. Z. The 12-hour spray works fine. It will open up your nasal passages and….ahhhh….you can breathe again, without the sneezes, etc. Drink lots of water.
    Sore throat? Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day.
    Cough and chest congestion? Drink lots of water and Mucinex to break up congestion.
    Tylenol or aspirin, of course, if achy or for fever, but achiness (is that a word?) doesn’t usually accompany a cold. If you get fevery or achy, you might have a sinus infection. Get thee some antibiotics then.
    I take allergy meds for a bad cold, but they can make you a bit “dreamy”, not the best cognitive state if you need your cognitive faculties. Plus, they are not all equal, some not so strong, some very strong. Careful with these.
    How unfortunate to develop a cold while traveling! That’s just lousy. :(

  30. irishgirl says:

    I offer an extra Hail Mary at the end of my daily Rosary for you, and ‘all the priests and seminarians who are dear to my heart’. May Our Lady, ‘Health of the Sick’ and ‘Queen of the Clergy’, help you!
    Getting a cold while traveling really ‘stinks’ (I wanna say a different word, but I’m afraid I’ll get placed in the ‘moderation queue’ ; ) ).
    On my last trip to Europe [France] in 2000, I had a nasty sore throat and hacking cough; too much talking, and too much exposure to second hand smoke! I got over it before leaving for home-I don’t think I took anything for it.
    I don’t have any remedies to suggest to you, Father Z, but many of the other commenters here have some great ones!
    Hope you feel better soon, so you can do your LMS talk!
    @ Centristian: Very nice litany! Did you make that up?

  31. irishgirl says:

    @ Kathleen10: Yes, there is such a word as ‘achiness’!

  32. AnAmericanMother says:

    Praying also for a quick end to your cold.
    Zicam combined with Cold-Eez (both zinc topicals, one for your nose, one for your throat) work extremely well to shorten the cold’s severity and duration if you catch it as soon as you get that scratchy feeling. They don’t help much once the cold has taken hold.
    I agree with the idea of Neo-Synephrine, although I prefer Afrin.
    The decongestants/antihistamines are completely individual, everybody has something that works best for them and doesn’t make them drowsy. I use Advil Sinus with the actual pseudoephedrine in it, but my husband uses Benadryl. All depends on what works for you. (Benadryl makes some folks sleepy, but not me. Of course, it doesn’t work for me either.)
    Mucinex DM is the best thing to keep it out of your chest. A RN friend of mine (who was a Captain/Nursing Supervisor in the USAF) recommends it highly, and says you usually can increase the dose within reason (as much as double) without ill effects.

  33. wmeyer says:

    Mucinex is also available as a prescription, without any additives, and is both cheaper, and less inclined to provoke any of the various unpleasant antihistamine effects. It then functions as simply an expectorant. I suspect, however, that unlike the OTC variants, it still requires a prescription. Last time I bought any, it was at Costco, and about 8 cents a pill. Also, in that form, the dosage can be pretty large, according to what works.

  34. acardnal says:

    I’m sure it works fine but just saying the word “Mucinex” grosses me out! Couldn’t the marketing folks have come up with some other name?

  35. robtbrown says:

    Vitamin C for colds, usually more effective as the cold is coming on, must be taken in megadoses (cf Linus Pauling). I take 15 grams for the first two days, then gradually diminish the dosage.

    If you were in Germany, I would recommend Klosterfrau Melissengeist, an elixir full of herbs, etc. and alcohol.

  36. AnAmericanMother says:

    you think the name is bad, you should see their ads! Yuck!
    (I don’t care so long as it works).

  37. wmeyer says:

    I forgot in my earlier post that the generic name of Mucinex is guaifenesin. It has also found use in treating gout and fibromyalgia. The name comes from its source: the guaic tree. Some of its medicinal properties were discovered as early as the 16th century.

  38. Sissy says:

    Try Buckley’s, Father. Since it is a British product, we get it here in the Bahamas. It taste so awful, the cold virus will flee in panic! It works quickly.

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