Blog down for a while… why?

UPDATE 24 March:

There was another attack today.


There was a DNS attack on the blog today.

There were 383 pages of log entries from one IP address making multiple queries per second.

Just so you know… the devil and his agents hate this blog.

Fr. Z’s Litany for the Conversion of Internet Thugs (2.0)

A wry work in progress.

Litany for the conversion of internet thugs (2.0).
(For private use only, when truly irritated, and when the alternative is foul language.)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Lest internet thugs be eternally tormented by all the fiends of hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they pass eternity in utter despair, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they come to be damned for the harm they cause, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they roast forever in the deepest cinders of hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they suffer the unceasing pain of loss, convert them, O Lord.

Lest devils endlessly increase their physical agony, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils twist their bowels and boil their blood in hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils use them as toys and tools, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils forever gnaw upon their skulls, convert them, O Lord.

Lest the innocent be harmed by the sins of thugs, convert them, O Lord.
Lest the innocent yield to thugs in weakness, convert them, O Lord.
Lest the innocent be drawn into thuggish traps, convert them, O Lord.

From faceless Facebook admin drones, spare us O Lord.
From tweeting Twitter idiots, spare us O Lord.
From loony Wikipedia liars, spare us O Lord.
From from heart-hardened spammers, spare us O Lord.
From liberal nut-case smear-blogging hacks, spare us O Lord.
From thread-dominating combox trolls, spare us, O Lord.
From sophomoric drive-by commentators, spare us, O Lord.

From server memory resource difficulties, spare us O Lord.
From rss feed problems, spare us O Lord.
From DOS attacks, spare us O Lord.
From power outages and surges, spare us O Lord.
From viruses, trojan horses, and all manner of snares, Lord save us.
From wasting our time, Lord save us.
From our own stupidity, Lord save us.

St. Michael, defend us.
St. Gabriel, defend us.
Holy Guardian Angels, defend us.
St. Isidore of Seville, defend us.
St. Francis de Sales, defend us.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, defend us.
All ye angels and saints….. GRRRRR.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Christ, Jesus who died for our sins.
R. Please return, and return swiftly.

Let us pray.
Almighty and merciful God,
who according to Thy ineffable plan
hast called us into existence to do Thy will
amid the vicissitudes and contagion of this world
grant, we beseech Thee,
both protection for Thy servants who use the tools of this digital age
and confusion for evil-doers who abuse their neighbors and Thy gifts.
Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.


I need some serious consolation!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Attacks against many of us these days–as if evil has been unleashed for sure in a new way.

    God bless you, Father and keep persevering.

  2. Mark says:

    At work we have been blocked from accessing all word press websites because apparently there are a lot of hacking attacks going on right now.

  3. For what it’s worth, a good number of our clients were having DNS problems today on account of a DNS problem at the ISP. No idea if they were related.

  4. benedetta says:

    Huh. Right after I commented on your nudist baptism thread earlier, I was menaced on the byways by a woman with license plate: Mrs P Wee. Coincidence? I think not. And right at that very time, a DNS attack Father Z! Who knew the proponents of full naked immersion baptism were so well organized?

    In other news, President Obama said that targeting people for their religious beliefs was simply UnAmerican. FYI.

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    From the number of times on various occasions I have tried to access this blog and gotten nothing at all, or some kind of weird redirect, or some other problem, it is very clear the devil hates this blog and sends his minions to harass you/us.

  6. JonBack says:

    Everytime this happens I pray for You, for your Priestly ministry, and for the advancement of your influence in the Blogosphere.
    Perhaps the wave of Prayer that results from these attacks will become a deterrent.

  7. Hi Father,
    Sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

    You may want to look into CloudFlare. They have a free version (and a paid) that does a good job of weeding out crud. Pretty much all you have to do is point to them as your name servers and they take care of the rest.

    Have a Blessed Holy Week!

  8. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    My guess, the recent attack was probably related to your posts on baptism. Your advice probably headed off some invalid baptisms.

  9. Ben Yanke says:

    Have you considered something like Cloudflare? They have some reasonable lower level plans that might help you.

  10. JARay says:

    I too wondered what the trouble was. I am so glad to see that you are back. A happy and blessed Easter, Father!

  11. q7swallows says:

    Peculiar form of a compliment this, but when I kept finding your blog an utter blank yesterday, I suffered something akin to a panic attack followed by mourning. For me, seeing nothing on your blog was like a financier reaching for the Wall Street Journal and finding a ream of blank pages instead. The bright side: I got to see just how much I take your (online) presence for granted. I am beyond glad you have been raised from virtual death.

    At tonight’s Mass (perhaps my favorite of the whole year), I will be offering my inevitable tears and my (silent but oh-so-active) participation in it for you and for all priests and in ineffable gratitude to God for the gift of the priesthood. And in the meantime, begging the Great High Priest to console you as only He can . . . .

  12. Christ_opher says:

    Even electronic internet servers are attacked when they are utilised for good and truth.

  13. Kathleen10 says:

    “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.”
    Ephesians 6:12

  14. kat says:

    On this beautiful feast during which we celebrate the institution of the priesthood, may God bless you and your work abundantly, and protect you in every way. Thank you for your work. It is appreciated.

    Let us all also continue to pray for the missing priest kidnapped in Yemen when the nuns were killed at the nursing home. Whether true or false internet rumors about his possible crucifixion by ISIS today, if he is still alive, he is probably suffering greatly. May he stay strong spiritually. He saved Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament before he was taken.

    God bless you, Father.

  15. pelerin says:

    On the 12th March I was unable to access Fr Z’s blog and curiously on the same day I received a cryptic message via email supposedly from Fr Z. All it said was ‘I like the monopoly’. Very spooky. I presumed that his email address list had been hijacked though I saw no mention of this.

  16. LarryW2LJ says:

    “From our own stupidity, Lord save us.”

    AMEN! That one seems to hit close to home on numerous occasions.

    For Holy Week, a parish near here by work has been having continuous Adoration. I have been skipping lunch (and my lunch time Amateur Radio sessions) to spend time with the Lord, and to pray for all family (including all of you in the Fr. Z blog family), friends and especially for the Pope, Bishops, Priests and religious, and seminarians.

    To all those consecrated into the religious life that read this blog, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for all you do for us, the laity. May God bless you all, keep you safely in the palm of His hand. Have a wonderful and Blessed Easter season!

  17. KAS says:

    I love that prayer. I am sorry there was internet drama yesterday but very glad the site is up and that you are all right and still blogging.

    I may adapt it for use against terrorists. Perhaps we need a good prayer for the conversion of Muslims who love God. It would be nice if the ones who don’t want to act like terrorist thugs and end up in Hell might be converted to Christianity–they’d be Eastern Rite– so they have a more sure way to attain Heaven. The zeal that gives us young men happy to die for their understanding of Islam would make an amazing zeal for the commands of Christ that could re-evangelize Europe and change the Middle East forever. We need a private devotion prayer for their conversion. That and the fasted way to destroy the enemy is to convert them completely. Talk about ticking off Satan– as Catholics we really ought to be very very good at that!

  18. Really, we gotta have this litany in Latin. Those delicious deprecatories deserve delineation in the language of the Church.

  19. Toan says:

    I recommend trying WordFence, if you haven’t already. Even with the free version you can set it up so that it blocks ip addresses that do certain suspicious activities, such as trying to log in with incorrect user names (you can set the parameters, including how many times per minute results in the block/throttle), excessive 404 errors, excessive page requests, and more.

    First you download and activate the plugin, and then you click Options under WordFence and scroll down to Firewall Rules.

  20. THREEHEARTS says:

    You might try Moses Prayer in Numbers Chapter 16 around verse 28 or so.

  21. majuscule says:

    Another Catholic site I regularly visit is down right now. Instead of a blank page there’s “Server not found” message.

    I think I’ll go check out some others…but first–the litany!

  22. Mike says:

    Really, we gotta have this litany in Latin.
    Indeed, but have additional prayers to St. Michael handy in the event, for Satan and his minions despise the Church’s universal language.

    At TLM tonight I will raise prayers for the preservation and growth of all faithful Internet apostolates. On behalf of my own, I humbly entreat my fellow readers to do likewise.

  23. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Very sorry to hear the blog is having problems Padre . . . and that there was a second attack. Someone who does something like that cannot really, in their heart, believe in freedom of speech, nor in equality nor freedom and liberty. Looks like the best case scenario we could pray for might be that the person eventually become another St. Paul.

    I’ve just convinced myself to take another break from posting at a large Catholic website. It was during a self-imposed two-and-a-half-year hiatus from that same site that I started coming to your blog regularly – right around the time the pre-synod funny business started to surface. This blog (with honourable mention for Fr H’s blog, and the bonus dose of Dr. Peters that we get here) is my go-to place for faith related stuff, and it is frequently the first place I visit when I’m on the net. With this blog we get to really live our faith instead of just talk about it. I love all the contributions in the combox too – they’re a ****-load better than the constant one-upmanship one can encounter at that large Catholic site.

    Confession is a big one – keeping us all constantly aware that we are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and healing makes it real. . . probably ranks right up there with the valid baptisms Dr. Peters alluded to concerning the enemy being riled. But in the karger sheme, who cares what the enemy thinks ? What about what God thinks ? How can He not like a blog which encourages us to walk with Him ?

    Every time I try to pray that Litany For the Conversion of Internet Thugs even with its (lol) amendments , it’s only a matter of time before I start smiling. I did quite well this time though. . . managed to hold it in right up until I got to “All ye angels and saints….. GRRRRR..”

    “From wasting our time, Lord save us”, is one I take to heart myself – even spending too much time on the internet at Catholic sites, tends to rob me of quality prayer time which I really owe to the holy souls in Purgatory . . . so I have to be careful. However, I never consider time spent visiting your blog to be wasted. I can do without the others.

    On this feast of the Lord’s institution of His priesthood , it can surely be said that every person who participates in your blog’s combox is thankful God called you to the priesthood and that you responded to His call.

    Of course, being a priest with a charitable outlook – who is concerned about the salvation of each one of us – even thugs, doesn’t really afford you the luxury of going around calling people who do dumb things to you and the blog names that, for example, rhyme with “glass bowl” , and the like (at least not publicly anyway) .

    However, there doesn’t appear to be any restriction against trying a teaspoon full of Gary Larson’s “Far Side” humour as a pick-me-up – to see whether it helps.

    St. Gabriel is often invoked as the patron of communications. I have a beautiful small blessed icon of the annunciation someone gave me . . . will see if I can find a nice visible location to hang it where I will see it often and so be reminded to invoke St Gabriel to watch over your blog.

    God bless you Fr Z. Go kick some butt – it’s your feast day today ! Our victory in Christ is guaranteed.

    . . . wishing a very blessed grace-filled Triduum to all who grequent/visit Fr Z’s blog.

  24. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Sorry for the typos above guys, don’t freak out when you read “karger sheme” – I’m not typing in tongues. I meant to type “larger scheme” but I think someone washed this little laptop in hot water and the keyboard shrunk (how’s that for a lame excuse for being clumsy ?).

  25. The Cobbler says:

    Firewalled hosting wouldn’t do much against DNS attacks, for the virtual equivalent of the same reason that a home security system doesn’t stop people from ransacking your local post office, cutting your phone line or blocking the road to your neighborhood. That’s not to say it’s a bad idea (it will protect against other things), just that you’d want to talk to your DNS provider about ways to mitigate these types of attacks.

    On the 12th March I was unable to access Fr Z’s blog and curiously on the same day I received a cryptic message via email supposedly from Fr Z. All it said was ‘I like the monopoly’. Very spooky. I presumed that his email address list had been hijacked though I saw no mention of this.

    Email will say it’s from whoever its sender says it’s from, unfortunately; his email could be fine (I certainly hope it is) and anybody could still impersonate him just by changing the account settings on their mail program. There’s a fix for this, but nobody has ever invented a user-friendly version and even if they did it would basically involve a “I know Joe’s ID, Joe says this is Sue’s ID, Sue says this is Fr. Z’s ID, so that’s how I can tell if this is really from Fr. Z” kind of chain in order to work (it’s actually a little more complicated because it has to use math to prove you hold the ID without letting other people copy and use it, but that math is the only part that’s a solved problem).

    On the litany, the “grr” line has really helped me personally, out of the whole thing (privately, of course, although if I ever have to explain it to people… who am I kidding, it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing I inevitably have to explain to people). There are times when I really can’t find a way to say anything charitable, but you don’t want to not say anything at all to God, His angels and His saints. But grr isn’t uncharitable in and of itself, it’s just expressing the weight of my troubles without even getting into the details that would tempt me against charity, and I know for a fact God and the saints understand it just fine (the saints are human too — more truly human, in fact — and of course He made us all), and… Well, here’s the really weird thing: somehow I feel like the angels understand it just fine too. Which is odd, because I know they don’t have feelings in the sense that we do (presumably they have something bigger and truer, but I have a hard time figuring how it relates), and I know their intellects aren’t so much an order of magnitude above ours as an order of kind above ours, so my usual mental policy when it comes to them is to try not to think of what they must think of what we think of them. But boil all the frustration in the world down to its rawest, purest form and something — I have no clue what — tells me they’d know somehow. So that helps. Thanks.

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