Wherein Fr. Z provides a health update and feverish ranting on a range of unrelated topics


Forward Unto Dawn

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.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    You certainly have my prayers, Father! My brother had bronchitis many, many years ago, and I still remember him miserable from the illness and the medicine (hopefully improved in power and flavor since then) alike. Get your rest and feel better!

  2. UncleBlobb says:

    Get well soon, Fr. Z.! Let us pray for each others’ respective health problems (I still have poison ivy pretty badly for week two). [Ooooo…. you win!]
    I’ll ‘pass’ on taking the “everlasting antimony pill”, if you get my drift. I also think Ogden Nash would approve of your precautions, and not label you a Bronchial Boor. Oremus pro invicem!

  3. Jeannie_C says:

    Will keep praying for you, Fr. Z. In turn would you please pray for my daughter, complications from surgery? Thank you.

  4. Andy Lucy says:

    Fr, should you require further physik, please know that as a regimental surgeon, for the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, I am provided with many different varieties of pharmacological preparations consonant with your described symptoms. And, honestly, good Father, I would recommend a good daily course of bleeding (no less than a half pint per session), followed by a strong purgative. And should your attempted expectorations cause you undue discomfort, I would prescribe 10-15 drops of the tincture of opium. A blistering plaster of Armoracia rusticana for your chest might also be in order. Bringing the humours into balance is the essence of modern physik. Should you have need of my services, please make enquiry of the Regiment, as they will always have knowledge of my whereabouts.

    I do, good Father, have the Honour to Remain

    Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant

    Mr. Andy Lucy, Surgeon
    42nd Royal Highland Regiment, The Black Watch
    Encamped in Brooklyn, NY, 1776

  5. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I truly hope that anyone who sends you ammo doesn’t do so by firing it at you. Just prayers from me today. [That occurred to me after I posted.]

  6. Margaret says:

    Praying, Father Z. Mucinex is good stuff. My away-at-college daughter is another one who deals with recurring bouts of bronchitis. Sucks the life out of you. I’m hoping to drag her to a good diagnostician this summer, to be absolutely certain it isn’t really one of those odder, but perhaps more treatable, types of asthma.

  7. acardnal says:

    I think a nice Guinness would do you some good!

    As for “Les Miz”, it hasn’t done anything for me although my sister and her husband seem to think it is something divine. They rave about it.

  8. gracie says:

    May I suggest old movies and detective stories? They help you escape from your misery.

  9. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Ubi blogging, ibi vita.
    So, you’re alive, at least.

  10. philothea.distracted says:

    Feel better. Hail Mary just went up for you. I’m a chronic bronchitis victim myself since turning 40 and falling to pieces. Warm chamomile tea with honey and a little boost of something is always soothing (unless you’re on the antibiotics, then leave off the little boost).

  11. WaywardSailor says:

    While one can never go wrong with a pint of Guinness (it is scientifically proven to be good for you, after all), it falls more into the category of preventive maintenance. [It has been know to be goodness!]
    For more stubborn conditions, I recommend hot whiskey, to wit: add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the bottom of an Irish Coffee mug, then add 1.5 oz of Irish Whiskey (Jim Beam works equally well, in a pinch). Cut one slice of lemon in half and stud each half with 3 -4 cloves and place in mug. Fill remainder of mug with boiling hot water and stir lightly. Drink. Repeat as necessary until respiratory ailment is beaten into submission.

    Which I will be happy to buy one (or more) for you this Thursday, should you regain sufficient strength to travel!

  12. WMBriggs says:

    The more Patrick O’Brian references, the better!

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Yup, Mucinex is good stuff. Since you’re probably taking stuff that prevents use of whisky as a specific, remember that you can still have the lemon juice, lime juice, spices, vinegar, sugar, honey, etc. in all the home remedies mentioned. Praying for you too!

    Also, respiratory stuff takes the vitamins out of you, so make sure you get plenty of vitamins even after you get well.

  14. OrthodoxChick says:

    You have my prayers, Fr. But a good nip of brandy couldn’t hurt.

  15. Skeinster says:

    Feel better, Fr. I second the Mucinex. And rest, b/c broncho anything is a beating.

    I’m sorry to report that the 2007 Creekview High School production of Les Mis had more energy and heart than the movie. I could send you that, if you like…

  16. mamajen says:

    Oh, Father, I’m sorry to hear you’re dealing with bronchitis. That’s what landed me in the emergency room recently (out of an abundance of caution because I’m pregnant and my lungs are squished as it is). [The thing I think that is sitting on my chest is either a hippo or, perhaps, an LCWR rep.]
    I managed to emerge unscathed after being around my mom when she had the flu (unbeknownst to us at the time), but my little nephews coughing and drooling all over the place on Easter proved to be my undoing. I was given Zithromax, which knocked out the infection pretty quickly, but the cough lingered for a while.

    I know it’s so frustrating when there’s a lot you want to get done, and you just can’t. I hate being incapacitated. I hope you start to see some significant improvement soon, and that you’ll have some nice warm and sunny weather to brighten your spirits.

  17. HobokenZephyr says:

    I’d be glad to send you ammo if I could get my hands on any here in North Carolina! I guess some prayers will have to do for the moment.

  18. RafkasRoad says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlzdorf,

    There’s nothing more rotten than respiratory infection; you’ve my increased prayers for a swift recovery. I know how draining the persistant, wracking cough can be; not merely on the chest, ribs and larynx, but otherwise also. Very unpleasant. Appetite takes a nosedive also.

    Here’s a fabulous easy recipe that a friend in close proximity would do well to make for you, if such is to Fr.’s liking;


    four skinless chicken drumsticks or half a dozen assorted skinless chicken pieces on the bone,
    a whole head of garlic, it must be fresh, not pre-minced or dried,
    a good thumb’s length of fresh ginger, skinned if older, skin on if its a good piece,
    a handful or two of white rice
    miso paste, tamari or good old fashioned salt
    enough water or high quality chicken stock to cover well, water is actually better if home made stock is not at hand.

    Pound garlic and ginger in mortar and pestle, or finely mince
    In your soup-pot on the stove, after adding a little oil spray or vegetable oil to prevent sticking, add chicken pieces and seal but do not remove from pot.
    Add garlic and ginger; do not be timid, use the above amounts.
    Add water or stock and rice. Add miso, salt or tamari when soup is on the boil. Simmer till the rice has broken down and chicken is falling off the bone.

    Serve with extra raw garlic and ginger sprinkled over the soup, finely chopped green onion and extra soy if wished. If your appetite has completely fled, take the broth only; hot, soothing; restorative and healing, it is bliss. Oh, and more generally, the poached chicken, when cold, minced and mixed with proper mayonnaise (not the sweet, sickly sludge sold in jars in most supermarkets) with chives or green onion mixed through and good amounts of freshly ground black pepper makes an excellent filling for tea sandwitches; use lemon mustard butter (a squeeze of lemon, a teaspoonful of Dijon mustard mixed in with proper butter; good for all sorts of things, good on fish or steak, make up and keep in the refrigerator) on the bread; it must be wholemeal, with a little cress; crusts on or off, served with proper leaf tea.

    But while down with this wretched ailment, do try the Ariscaldo.


    Aussie Marounite.

  19. RafkasRoad says:

    Re miso or tamari, usual amounts (not handful); that is for the rice only.


    aussie Marounite

  20. KosmoKarlos says:

    I’ll be praying for you as well!
    And yes, the Novus Ordo can be a bit contagious….;)
    I think you might like Les Mis, I was hesitant as well.
    I’m confident you’ve been told already, but melted honey with lemon might help.
    may the Lord grant you health!

  21. Hank Igitur says:

    I trust you will improve. Use of alcohol gel hand sanitizer (kept near the credence) at the altar is not uncommon for EMHCs here but I have not seen a priest use it except before Mass starts in the sacristy. I think it was a good idea to do it. It will probably become more widespread and I would not be surprised if some bishops mandate its use during influenza outbreaks. The other thought is transmission of oral flora (germs) from person to person when kissing the feet of the Corpus on Good Friday. Rubbing it with a cloth between persons simply spreads the germs around. I have seen people cleanse their mouth with gel on return to their pew.

  22. dbwheeler says:

    I didn’t read your previous posts so I don’t know what you’re doing for your bronchitis,but speaking as one ‘who knows’ ALL about bronchitis (I’m an Alpha1 patient) take air-borne or air-shield from cvs 3x a day, besides cups and cups of celestial seasonings sleepytime teas ( all varieties)
    besides the anti-biotic that you must already be on. Also, a benedryl to dry up phlegm helps (and helps to sleep too). ;0) Also, you should be taking 2000 iu of vit.d3. You probably know all this but I thought I’d share just in case…our lungs become scarred from bronchitis and each time we get it makes it worse…easier to get pnemonia when we’re older. Actually, I AM older, so listen well, junior. haha

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    Priest, heal thyself!
    Oh that’s doctors, isn’t it. Well, do the best you can, Fr. Z. Mucinex is gooood stuff, stick with it. Drink gallons of water. Drink it until you hate water. And rest. I know there are good home remedies, I remember hearing some with whiskey, lemon, ginger, things like that. They sounded good, good as in they would cure you or take the varnish off that old dresser you want to restore. As I’ve gotten older, a cough isn’t just a cough. I’m thrown to my knees in a scene that would make one consider The Exorcist. I shan’t be more graphic, but, it ain’t pretty.

    Personally I like Vaporub. It reminds me of Mom. We all know about the soup.
    Would you let us know about Les Mis? I hate to waste time and money on a bad flick, but have heard good things about it from Catholics. That doesn’t mean as much as it used to. I just watched “The Way” with Martin Sheen, and, I felt kind of passive watching it, just going along, but the end hooked me, the visit of the group to the cathedral, the swinging incense, it was a good ending. It was a film that I thought about and am still thinking about now, so, that makes it better than the usual fare. I’d be interesting in knowing what you thought of Les Mis.
    Your speaking of Shakespeare makes me remember “talk like Shakespeare day” which I hope I do not miss this year. Give some notice when the muse strikes will you? [Ah yes!]

    I pray for any saints of colicky lungs to pray for you!

  24. As a fellow sufferer of pulmonary issues (bronchitis, pneumothoraces, and the like), be assured of my prayers. Nothing worse.

    And Mr. Lucy would do well to stay across the river in the infernal swamps of Brooklyn else the Continental Line takes note of his impertinence.

    I suggest the tincture of opium, [I laud your suggestion! There is a plentiful lack here at the moment.]
    and, should that not prove efficacious, as a last resort…the Blue Mass.

  25. Bosco says:

    “…and I don’t care.” Ahhh there, Father Z. That sounds so reminiscent of Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes”.
    Prayers and best wishes from Bantry, County Cork, Eire

  26. AlexandraNW says:

    Father, I pray for your speedy recovery.

    For what it’s worth: my sister suffered terribly from bronchitis – 2-3 bouts/ year – and, after doing some research, eliminated all dairy from her diet. It has worked. She has had one bout in the last several years. She avoids even casein.

  27. Matt R says:

    Prayers for you, Fr Z! Also, I hated Phantom of the Opera, but I loved the film version of Les Miserables. It made even more sense when I realized the use of melodies as motifs.
    And (hopefully, as Youtube has been spotty all day), for comic relief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh7UgAprdpM

  28. Chuck3030 says:

    So apparently Bronchitis is more common than I first imagined when I was told I had it the first time. I will keep you in my prayers. I am still too young to try most of the above remedies, but I will remember them…
    Something that has always helped me (I think anyway) has been having either toast or bagels for breakfast with large quantities of peanut butter and honey. Lots of water also helps, but that has already been mentioned.

  29. Facta Non Verba says:

    The Twins not only beat the dastardly White Sox, but they also swept them! Maybe there is room for optimism for the Twins this season. [Especially after last year.]

  30. poohbear says:

    Will continue praying to OL of Lourdes.

    I used to suffer from bronchitis every year when I was a child. No. fun. at. all.

    Be sure to drink lots of fluids to thin all the bad stuff clogging up the works so its easier to get out.

  31. Peggy R says:

    Prayers for you Fr Z.

    Another heretic despising Les Mis! I thought it was just me. I had enough of French tragic melodrama in college. It was hard to sit through on stage. I have no interest in the recent film. [I am into the film a ways now. The realism makes up for the lack of perfection of vocal performances. I like it better than the stage version so far.]

  32. Maltese says:

    I had a-rythmia in my heart, and thought I was dying, was taken to a hospital, etc.; [I did that once! Alarming.] I also chased a friend down a mountain in Santa Fe, and crashed a road bike big-time, and got 30 feet worth of road-rash, and road-rage (I thew my road bike, but was pretty bloodied-up)! [I did that on a racing bike once… downhill sprint, front tire blowout. I think I still have gravel in my shoulder.]

    I thought I was though and cool; but I’m now. I now know the bell is going to ring for me! [Yep. That’s about right.]

  33. Maltese says:

    But I didn’t die; every day above ground is a blessing–wear a blessed Scapular!

    And, accept God’s Grace; he doesn’t force Himself on you! This is mysterious to some, but beautiful to me!

  34. TNCath says:

    Speedy recovery, Fr. Z! I am anxious to read the book by Russell Shaw. My experience attending a baptism during Mass at another parish today convinced me that the crisis in the Church in the U.S. (particularly my diocese) is a lot worse than we think. [I’m afraid so.]

  35. Tradster says:

    Praying for your speedy recovery, Father. And lose Les Miz and watch Fiddler on the Roof, instead. Plenty of memorable songs in that one! [True, and I love that scene when when the guys dance with bottles on their heads.]

  36. Catholictothecore says:

    Rest up, Father. Will continue praying for you.

  37. With a little help from Mr. Cardhu, I am watching the movie/musical. I think they learned a lot from the movie version with Liam Niesson and Geoffrey Rush.

    This new film, however, captures the ghastly atmosphere of the ’30’s (40 years before the civil unrest that lead to Babette’s Feast!). It does capture the spirit of young angry idealists and revolution.

    Unlike the movie with Rush and Neeson, the musical has the subplot of the vile Thénardiers and pathetic Éponine.

    I like the fact that some of these actors took the risk to sing when singing is not their strong suit.

    And it is really more an operetta than a musical, isn’t it? Some of the musical motifs are getting a little tedious.

    And this actor, Valjean, looks familiar, but I can’t place him.

  38. friarpark says:

    Get well soon, Fr. Z! If you haven’t read it yet, I am somewhat endorsing the book Pontiff by Gordon Thomas. It takes you through the end of Pope Paul VI’s reign through the conclaves that brought us Popes John Paul I and II. It also includes some on Pope John Paul II’s would be assassin. I’m finding it an interesting read for the most part and the best part is that it is only $4.99 for the Kindle. Perhaps some reading material while you recover.

  39. APX says:

    Oh, I luv Musinex! That stuff works awesome! Unfortunately my colds always turn into bronchitis and the only thing that works for me is Musinex, which is a problem. Musinex isn’t available in Canada. I have to stock pile it whenever I’m in the US or have someone stock pile it for me.

    The other thing that helps with Musinex (provided you don’t use the cough suppression formula is taking several really hot showers and hocking that crapulous phlegm out.

  40. Liz says:

    Prayers, Father, for your sickness and for your readers. I ask for a prayer as well for a loved one. Thanks.

  41. Maltese says:

    You don’t really feel the road-rash; it’s the nurses putting in that alcohol solution at the ER, and scraping out asphalt that really hurts!

    It’s weird, but it seems like there are medical issues–all at once–in my family! My mother had serious intestinal surgery, my Grandmother is dying with Little Sisters in Gallup, and I also fractured a couple of ribs mountain biking (no biggie: I like to get banged-up, I deserve it!).

    And then my daughter went through surgery. Is God mad at me?

    Well, the poor souls lost or maimed in Boston show that there a Mystery of Iniquity; my heart especially goes out to that young boy, since I have young children.

  42. Sam says:

    Valjean … It’s Wolverine, Father! [Okay! That’s it. I am more a DC guy than Marvel, but I have seen a couple of those.]

  43. UPDATE: As I watch the movie.

    There are some good images in the movie. For example, the caskets and sight of the word “MORT” at the barricade. When Valjean is singing about keeping Marius safe, there is in the background a painting of an eye on a building as an advert. Nice.

    The movie shows well the interplay and contrasts of generations, the young, the very young, the older who have learned about life.

    It remains musically tedious.

    And the sewer scene… not risk of infection there. No. Not at all. As Preserved Killick would say, “Shawshank ain’t in it.”

    And young Marius has got game. He can act and he can sing. Outstanding.

    And Cosette winds up being a redemptive figure in this version. Well done.

    And it was a beautiful death scene, wherein the Bishop and Fantine also return as redemptive figures. But, the martial, revolution thing returns at the end to spoil the moment.

    Again, it was musically tedious. I am confirmed in my assertion that it was forgettable, in that I had heard it all before and, with the brutal repetition, I couldn’t remember anything from it.

    But… the movie was good, far better than the stage version, in my opinion.

  44. Once again, the Novus Ordo gets a bad rap. The rubrics for it definitely do not include the server coughing on the priest. It isn’t the fault of the book if the people don’t follow it, and every possible abuse can’t be explicitly excluded in the rubrics (“at this point, the server does not cough on the priest, making him ill…”) Common sense must always prevail.

    As for hand sanitizer, I object only when it becomers ostentatious. When ten extraordinary ministers all stop at the hand sanitizer in plain sight, that is ostentatious, annoying, and intrusive into the liturgy. It raises a profane object to an unworthy level, almost as if it is being worshipped as much as the Eucharist. But a priest who is ill and unobtrusively uses some sanitizer, perhaps behind/underneath the altar, is doing no wrong and is simply using common sense. I guess this could be another argument for ad orientem celebration; unobtrusiveness is easier if the priest can use his own body to obstruct the view of the sanitizing. Other than that, I actually prefer that the priest leave the sanctuary to sanitize if it is necessary and the architecture of the church does not afford him any other alternative. Hand sanitizer falls in the same category as barbeque lighters, appeal videos, and Cheerios in a church.

  45. Choirgirl says:

    Incense and cigar smoke do not go well with bronchitis, but watching movies does! Rest, fluids, and irrigating the sinuses will help.

    I’ll say some prayers. :-)

  46. AnnAsher says:

    I hope the altar boy doesn’t read the blog. I think with all your travels it would be difficult to pin point your infector.

  47. mburduck says:

    I pray for your speedy recovery, Father.

    By the way, this literature professor is most impressed by your recent readings. A little Donne, perhaps? “Batter my heart, three-personed God….” Shakespeare’s sonnets will do you a world of good, too.

    Feel better soon!


    [We did read Donne as part of the project. I really loved the Herbert. And my MA minor was English literature. Love it. One of the best summers of my life was spent working two jobs and reading 19th c. English novels. I am still a sucker for Jane Austen. No. Really. the non-zombie version.]

  48. NBW says:

    I will pray for you Father Z. Chicken soup with a little cayenne pepper might help with congestion; and lots of water. Hope you will get better soon.

    [I order up Chinese tonight with a big … thing of 酸辣湯]

  49. Gratias says:

    Prayed for you. Please get well.

    If you have weak bronchi next time start the antibiotics with first symptoms (ask your Dr. to give you a stash, I always stockpile on antibiotics purchased while vacationing in Mexico). A chest X-ray is always a good idea; pneumonia can sneak up on anyone.

  50. StJude says:

    Oh Father, you have my prayers. I use to get bronchitis all the time.. its miserable.

  51. snoozie says:

    “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.”

    Is this in English???
    I’m pretty sure it’s not Latin.

    [*cough*… ehem… try to keep up, okay? We move pretty quickly around here. And please start reading the Patrick O’Brian books. Click HERE. You will be overjoyed that you did.]

  52. Jack Hughes says:

    This is what happens Father when you send old hamsters to Castel Gandolfo, you loose the natural anti – bacterial dust that they produce and therefore become more susceptible to illnesses of the lungs :)

  53. Maltese says:

    Except, despite my scars, I have to keep biking, because of my tendonitis!

  54. Ellen says:

    I have a tendency to get a bout of bronchitis every year and I hate it. You have my prayers for a quick recovery. Mucinex is great stuff and be sure to take all the antibiotic. Hot tea is a panacea. It loosens all the mucus and gets it out of the system fast.

  55. TLM says:

    Prayer continuing for you Fr. Z!

  56. JonPatrick says:

    I’ll be curious as to your opinion on the Russel Shaw book as I just ordered it, along with the recent George Weigel book.

    [I think Weigel’s book is well-intentioned but flawed. It is worth reading, however.]

  57. Scott W. says:

    A fellow Andrew Lloyd Weber disdainer. I knew we were kindred spirits!

  58. robtbrown says:

    Z Pak!

  59. Scott W. says:

    Okay! That’s it. I am more a DC guy than Marvel, but I have seen a couple of those.

    Marvel is probably no better, but see DC’s treatment of Orson Scott Card: http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/03/orson-scott-card-blacklisted-for-christian-faith/

  60. Mariana says:

    My father used to get bad bronchitis every year, stopped smoking, since then – no bronchitis.


  61. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr. Z,

    Continued prayers for you from me. I have had a history of sinus infections/bronchitis since I was a young squirt. A particularly bad bout of bronchitis a few years ago had me convinced that, that’s about as bad as you can feel without actually giving up the ghost.

    This probably has no medicinal value whatsoever, but my Dziadzia always recommended a wee bit of the jezinowka (Polish blackberry brandy) before going to bed – you’ll sleep like a a baby! Definitely better than anything Vicks will sell you.

  62. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Drink it until you hate water.”

    Do not do so. Easy way to become hyponatremic (low sodium). Moderate water consumption supplemented with soups.

    Hope you recover, soon. I hate antibiotics, but they have their uses.

    What movie had the, “holy hand grenade?” Maybe we should petition Rome for the, “holy surgical mask…”

    The Chicken

  63. dbwheeler says:

    LarryW2LJ (that’s a bit difficult to type) I have to say, Vicks is the very thing to use when you’ve got a bad cough! You rub vaporub on the soles of your feet, then put on a pair of socks and the coughing stops practically at once. I don’t know why it works, but it does. Everything in it’s proper place, eh? Also, vapo rub is good for clearing swollen and running noses. I always keep a jar handy.

  64. tealady24 says:

    Bronchitis is the worst! Feel better soon, Fr.! I love the “send ammo” bit; we will be looking into that very thing in the next few weeks. I’ve never felt so un-safe in my life! [These are strange times, aren’t they? The Springfield XD-S, .45 ACP is a good option for women who have a CCW permit.] I had a bad sinus infection last September which led to bronchitis which led to asthma by January! Never wheezed in my life until then; and it’s not a nice feeling to wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you can’t breathe.

    Bought a MyPurMist and it works very well. It won’t cure anything but it can’t hurt. I like Vicks too. The older the remedy, the better. Maybe if it would feel like Spring around here, that would make all the difference! Thank the Lord for a new day!

  65. Cafea Fruor says:

    I actually wish more priests would use antibacterial gel as you did. I spent a few years in a convent, and while I was there, our chaplain once got the ENTIRE community sick as a dog because he passed on his horrible stomach bug along with Communion. I think maybe only 2 or 3 Sisters out of about 50 were unscathed — including the elderly, infirm Sisters. I got it, and I was never sicker in my life. Also, I was at the time a helper in the infirmary, and it was hellacious. If you’ve ever worked in a nursing home or in a hospital, you’ll have some idea of just how nightmarish it is when the elderly get a stomach bug. Aside from the obvious unpleasantness, the elderly are at much greater risk for dehyrdation, and dehydration adds to their confusion, and not being able to keep their usual take-with-dinner medicine down messes everything else up, etc., etc. In short, while it’s a pain for someone otherwise healthy, even a “mild” stomach bug can kill the elderly. If only Father had used a little antibacterial gel…or just not had Mass (it was only a weekday)!

    And that was just a convent. Imagine how many people a sick priest could get sick at a parish…

  66. LarryW2LJ says:


    Sorry, I should have clarified – the jezynowka is a better substitute for NyQuil. I agree about VapoRub – good stuff.

  67. The Masked Chicken says:

    An interesting note from Slashdot:

    “JimboFBX writes

    ‘Interesting piece of baseball history happened on Friday. Jean Segura of the Milwaukee Brewers stole second, tried to steal third too early, but made it back to second before being tagged. The problem was that teammate Ryan Braun already made it to second on the steal attempt. After tags were applied to both baserunners, Segura started trotting to the dugout before realizing that he wasn’t out, Braun was, and his only option was to make it back to first. He then of course proceeded to try to steal second base again. The software for keeping the box score? Doesn’t (yet) support someone running backwards on the bases. Looks like that will have to change.’

    The Chicken

    [Holy Cow. How to score that? I suppose you would have to use little curvy arrows to indicate directions.]

  68. Jacob says:

    This proves it! The Novus Ordo has an adverse affect on the health of both priests and laity!

  69. Gail F says:

    Reading the Shaw book now. LOVED “Les Mis” — here is my review — but like you found the very end puzzling. I can only think they thought it would be a lovely shot:
    Bronchitis can last and last. When I am sick I tend toward movies I’ve seen many times and that are just fun: “Independence Day,” “What’s Up Doc?” “Bringing Up Baby,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Top Hat,” things like that. “Les Mis” would be way too much for me.

  70. frjim4321 says:

    I am sorry to hear that you were ill. I had a premonition when it seemed that the postings were interrupted.

    I scanned the above and did not pick up if you had been to the doctor. It’s important to arrest the cough with suitable drugs as I am sure you know.

    I don’t think hand sanitizer is going to help with this kind of thing, since it is about inhaling particles that are in the air.

    I despise coughs and hope you kick this one quickly.

    [Yahhhh… I had a couple nose-blows during Mass, alas. Hand sanitizer isn’t perfect, but it is better than nothing… especially in the quantity I used.]

  71. Indulgentiam says:

    Continuing prayers for you Father. If I where a Priest and could make up a batch of Holy Water anytime, I’d drunk nothing but. If water is said to be good for you than drink the best water available, Holy Water. We haven’t gotten a single bug, that’s lasted more than 24 hours, since we started drinking Holy Water daily. That’s quite something if you have a boy that picks up bugs and animals, dead or alive, b/c “there interesting!” Yuck!
    God bless you Father

  72. codefro says:

    “No cigar tonight, I think.”

    Now that’s class Father. :D

  73. APX says:

    Even the FSSP were willing to go the hand sanitizer route during the H1N1 overreaction in order to continue with COTT, but alas, it was of no good for the bishop.

    I remember once when our priest rubbed his nostrils with his communion distributing fingers and didn’t do any type if cleaning sanitizing, etc. I was kinda grossed out about it.

    [It is hard to endure having priests who are human beings, isn’t it?]

  74. Indulgentiam says:

    Hand sanitizer is not as advantageous as some would have you believe. The alcohol based ones are a problem b/c alcohol is a neurotoxin. And the Common non-alcohol, rinse-free hand sanitizers use small concentrations of the nitrogenous cationic surface-acting agent benzalkonium chloride. Benzalkonium chloride, also known as alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride and ADBAC ADBAC is highly toxic to fish (LC50 = 280 ?g ai/L), very highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 5.9 ?g ai/L), moderately toxic to birds (LD50 = 136 mg/kg-bw), and slightly toxic to mammals (LD50 = 430 mg/kg-bw). Benzalkonium chloride solutions of 10% or more are toxic to humans, causing irritation to the skin and mucosa, and death if taken internally. Contact lens solutions typically contain 0.002% to 0.01% benzalkonium chloride. K. C. Swan found that repeated use of benzalkonium chloride at concentrations of 1:5000 (0.02%) or stronger can denature corneal protein and cause irreversible damage to the eye. Swan also found that 0.04% to 0.05% solutions of benzalkonium chloride can cause punctures of the corneal epithelium. The disadvantages of using benzalkonium chloride solutions with contact lenses are also discussed in the literature.
    A disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride and the related compound didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) has been identified as the most probable cause of birth defects and fertility problems in caged mice.
    A 2009 study has found that benzalkonium chloride, when used in less than lethal concentrations, resulted in an increased resistance to the disinfectant solution, and a 256-fold increase in resistance of the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the ciprofloxacin antibiotic, even though the bacterial colonies had not been previously exposed to the antibiotic.
    A 2012 study reported that simultaneous ocular exposure to an inert antigen and benzalkonium chloride leads to a significant change in the systemic immune response to the administered antigen in mice, thus suggesting that the preservative’s effects could be more profound than the local disruption of the epithelial barrier integrity. [all these studies are easily accessed on web]
    No consider how much hand sanitizer you use and how often you run your eyes.
    I’ll stick with soap and water thanks. And IMHO I don’t care if a Priest, while sick, uses hand sanitizer before offering me communion. I frankly don’t care if a Priest sneezes or coughs all over me. So long as those hands can bring me Our Lord I don’t care what else is on’em :)

    [Thanks for that little ray of sunshine! o{]:¬) ]

  75. Indulgentiam says:

    Sorry that should be*Now consider how much hand sanitizer you use and without noticing rub your eyes.

  76. gjp says:

    Father Z saying the Ordinary Form must be a rare treat. So hearing about it causes me to think up a few spontaneous questions. Ad orientem or no? Does this parish usually have the mass said ad orientem? Biretta or no biretta? Bells? Incense? How many altar boys did they have at this Mass and could the one with the illness have been relegated to torch bearing?

  77. Prayers Father. I hope your recovery can signal the finale to this neverending winter weather as well. After all, the Twins should be able to start playing home games in May, right?

  78. APX says:

    [It is hard to endure having priests who are human beings, isn’t it?]
    No, not really. It’s kind of comforting. I was traumatized by my older brother with snot as a kid.

  79. Maltese says:

    For CCW you can’t beat a .380 Ruger LCP; it’s tiny, but accurate. And you get a good Uncle George’s wallet holster:
    When I used to carry, however, it was a .40 cal. Glock 27. But if I decide to get a CCP, it will be the Ruger that I carry, but the Glock that I qualify with! (You can carry any caliber smaller than what you qualify with.)

    But hurry: Obama is gunning for your guns!

  80. Supertradmum says:

    I have just come out of two weeks of bronchitis and lung problems owing to smoke inhalation in a cottage in Devon. Sympathies for your condition. When one has breathing problems, one cannot do much else.

    I suggest Dickens, the long ones; I have read Little Dorrit so many times, I have lost count; Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend, Martin Chuzzlewit, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities etc, can get one through bronchitis and if one is in pain from coughing and coughing up blood, as I was recently, one can feel part of the Victorian winters….or springs, as we have been having horrid weather until today. Get well soon.

  81. mburduck says:

    I hope you feel better today, Father!

    Donne, Herbert, Austen (not my favorite, but it couldn’t hurt), and .45 ACP! Way to go, Father.

    Next I prescribe some Hawthorne (a little “The Artist of the Beautiful,” perhaps?) and Faulkner (take your pick, but LIGHT IN AUGUST would be a good choice –I wish I remembered how to do italics here. LOL).


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