Thanks to those of you who wrote with expressions of prayers for my health. An update is in order.
I have been battling bronchitis. This has been a problem ever after all those years in Rome, I’m afraid. I suspect I contracted this bout last Sunday when a sick altar boy coughed all over me me a couple times during the Novus Ordo Mass I took as the second Mass of the day.
The moral of the story: Don’t celebrate the Novus Ordo? Don’t binate? Well… maybe not.
This morning I managed to “prevent the dawn” (see photo, above) and drag myself out of bed to drive across town for a Missa cantata. The incense made me anxious, but I managed not to die. I gasped out a sermon and managed to sing the orations and readings, etc., by using as little power as possible and by keeping them pitched well high, lest vibration in my chest set off the coughing. I had given it a try the day before and found that it worked.
I did something quite un-rubrical at Mass and I don’t care. I purified my hands with hand-sanitizer before distributing Holy Communion. So there! No other cleric was around to help with Communion.
The rest of the day has been dedicated to wrapping up in a blanket, watching baseball (GO TWINS – who bested the hated White Sox) and dozing, when not coughing my body into contortions. No cigar tonight, I think.
Netflix provided me with a disk of the new musical version of Les Misèrables. I detested the musical when I saw it on Broadway, fresh and new. To this day I can’t summon to mind a tune from the show, which is the problem with most of the musicals these days. BAH! Trash! All trash! Andrew Lloyd Webber? You can have him. BAH! Several people have persuaded, perhaps it’ll turn out to have been inveigled, me to watch this movie/musical version of “Les Miz”. We shall see. Color me skeptical.
Relevant to nothing that I have heretofore mentioned, I was sent the new book by Russell Shaw American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America. I am just into it, but he is arguing that we Catholics have given up something essential: our subculture. We are in serious trouble as a Church and as Catholics right now in the USA. We don’t need a book to tell us that, perhaps, but Shaw is digging at the roots of this pernicious bed of weeds in which we have gotten ourselves tangled.
“You’ll be what we are now, a rather amorphous group, a label for convenience’s sake: ‘the Catholic Church in the U.S.’, but a splintered group in which a very large number of the putative members are not really Catholic in any meaningful sense at all.”
This dovetails with some of the dystopian stuff I have been reading lately, even though the collapse of our Catholic identity hasn’t taken place with the eye-blink speed of a possible CME/EMP event (read: our Catholic collapse started before Vatican II). Our Catholic TEOTWAWKI has actually been underway for a long time.
I wonder: is it too late? Has it gone to far? Our Lord didn’t promise that the Church would prevail against Hell in these USA, did he! In fine, you should give this book some of your time.
For my present case of the marthambles, I have been adequately physiked. There hasn’t been any need for either blue pill or black draught. Why would there be? So far, I have endured expectorating virtues of the modern equivalent of the “everlasting antimony pill” (read: Musinex – which sounds like a slime-draught, but isn’t). My antibiotic course starts tomorrow. Or is it Tuesday? I’d rather have Shanghai soup dumplings as a remedy, but you can’t have everything in life. When good, xiao long bao are restorative and roborative, as Dr. Maturin would put it.
Another thing I can’t have tomorrow is participation in my reading group. Having tackled Dante, Milton, Eliot, Hopkins, Metaphysical Poets, and most recently Yeats, it is time for some of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, which I know well. I wouldn’t inflict myself – doubtfully but possibly still contagious – on the group for all the world.
So, please… continue the prayers.
If you don’t want to pray for me, send ammo or money instead! I am happy to take all three.