My View For Awhile: Roman Week

Off I go to Rome for a short trip, especially for the sake of the annual Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage.

At the airport, I am already getting Latin inscriptions, or at least photos of the Latin inscriptions.

And a few steps later, more Latin.

I will not be getting either of those books today.

Anyway, I am getting ready to board and, in some exchange of email with my editor at the Catholic Herald, I realize to my horror and panic that I wrote a column for the wrong Sunday of the year.   “GAH!”, quoth I.   Furiously did I hack and slash something together and send it off and my heart rate is now settling back to normal.

More later.


Having slept for most of the preflight and flight, I took up my book and read – though perhaps not like Augustine under a tree.

New airport new flight.


Ah the joys of travel.  I am in a Delta club at JFK, which, today, is sort of a larger version of the bar in Star Wars.

I’ve had a great time finding a place to light.  The first place I tried was fine, until a guy with a lisp and sensitively styled hair perched nearby.  Using his outdoor voice and unnecessary hand gestures conveyed to his woman friend how important it was to get her tubes tied.   I opted out of the joy of the rest of that one-sided lisping logorrheic audio assault for a table in the “big room”.   The clientele come and go in waves, not talking of Michaelangelo, but certainly overusing the word “like”.   It’s as if reality is contingent across the board.  No, rather, it’s limited vocabulary.  No, instead, it’s … it has to do with the content of the book I’m reading.

The book, hasn’t been released yet, and I haven’ had a chance to write about it in another post, but here it is.  Do not hesitate.  Just order it.  It is available for PRE-ORDER at a 24% discount at the time of this writing.  There is a KINDLE version, too.  Frankly, I’d like to do the audio book recording!

Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World by Anthony Esolen


Tracking back to the unsavory lisping tube-tier, above, as Esolen writes in a characteristically pithy phrase:

“Men are seldom as bad as the worst of their ideas.”

Meanwhile, men out there, women out there who love your men: please, for the love of all that is good, true and beautiful, curtail male lisping.

More later, if I survive the club.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Personally, I was looking at the bottom shelf in the photo, Father. There’s untapped potential for interesting reading & wry commentary in those two titles.

    The Secrets We Carried. Any number of bishops dealing with State’s A-G sex abuse inquiries could be the author or object of such a title. …or it could be 256 bound pages of blank paper inside, save for a dedication to those lawmakers who try to abolish the Seal of Confession.

    This Could Hurt. Follow that with a colon and the second line of a title, and the possibilities are limitless.
    This Could Hurt: A Guide to Do-It-Yourself Exorcism
    This Could Hurt: Mark 10: 35-45
    This Could Hurt: The 2018 NY Football Giants Season in Review
    This Could Hurt: Flying on Ryanair

    Hey, don’t knock JFK Airport!
    – You’ve got the classic TWA terminal… Really. It’s right there, just to the east of the IAB (yes, I’m old enough that I don’t call IAB “Terminal 4”), kind-of, ummm… frozen in amber…. Okay, but let me tell you – it was beautiful when I flew from there as a kid in 1973!
    – You’ve got the three iconic airport chapel buildings in the center of the airport – between the fountain and the control tower. Ummm, well… I’ve seen pictures of the fountain. I vaguely remember the Catholic chapel, I think. That control tower is gone now, too. They do have a couple of chapel/meditation rooms somewhere in the terminals.
    – Okay, I admit – I can’t recall having traveled to/from/thru there any time more recently than 1996. But – they have the AirTrain now!
    Besides – how many airports are in two dioceses? This is where one bishop welcomed a Pope and a second Bishop saw him off.

  2. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    Urbs in horto, the motto (epithet?) of Chicago.

    Mike Royko, of storied memory, used to say it should have been, “Ubi est mea?”

    [Urbs in horto. However, when you order a hot dog and say quite properly “Drag it through the garden!”, they know you don’t mean all of Chicago.]

  3. Joe in Canada says:

    Father, you say “I will not be getting either of these books today.” I recommend you not get either of them ever. Check them out in the local public library before you spend any money on them, if you are so inclined. I read Homo Deus and thoroughly regretted it.

    [You may have misread my intent. On the other hand I do use the library quite a bit. Save huge bucks!]

  4. monstrance says:

    The airport control tower is cross-like

  5. jaykay says:

    Thanks for the heads-up of the A. Esolen book, Father. It seems just like what I’m looking for at the present. I’ve pre-ordered it on Kindle, via Z-link.

    Charivari Rob: “This could hurt: flying on RyanAir”

    Yeah, that chimes. I’ve got an early flight from Madrid to Stansted (London – hah!) with them on Thursday. Sooo looking forward to it, with their re-introduction of what feels like the wooden seats in 19th century 3rd class railway carriages. Except without the charm of the latter.

  6. Charivari Rob says:

    19th Century, jaykay? Likening them to Ryanair seats is an insult to Victorian-era 3rd class railway carriages.
    If Holmes and Watson had had to travel via Ryanair, Moriarity would have won.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks for the tip about a new Esolen book.

    Tracer Bullet has been waiting patiently here at the end of the workday as I look at these interesting Rome posts. Though, I owe him a beer this evening after I finally conceded that, two games into the World Series, the possibility of the Cubs humiliating the Red Sox is unlikely.

    Tracer tapped my computer screen and grunted in approval at the photos of Campo de Fiore and cobblestone streets. He approved of bobbird’s “Roman Holiday” clip: “Classy dame.”

    When he read the part about the Delta Lounge being the bar from Star Wars Tracer leaned back in his chair, lit a Lucky Strike, and began to reminisce:

    “Semper, did I ever tell you about the time I took the night train from Budapest? There I was, deep in the Carpathian mountains in October. The locomotive engineer was a lunatic, a fang-toothed cretin pulling eight passenger cars that, at that speed, might as well have been coffins. The passengers were deranged, climbing atop the train to howl at the full moon and hurling pumpkins through the windows of deserted train stations. In the dining car as I read a three-day old newspaper- the Mohammedans were in an uproar and bats were infesting the Black Sea ports- I considered a brandy. Then I spotted the conductor gliding silently through the train, clutching a candle in his gnarled fingers as he whispered to all: “Have a pleasant night’s sleep.””

    Tracer is now waxing philosophical about garlic, wooden stakes, and the skills of the mountainfolk against Nightfiends, so I guess it’s time to shut him up with that beer. There’s always next year for the Cubs.

    [It’s always good to see Tracer. Make it a boilermaker, on me.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    *a tip of the fedora from Tracer Bullet*

    Next time you’re in New York Fr. Z there’s a bar called Sweet Louie’s filled with dockworkers, fishmongers, and a smoky piano and saxophone combo led by some guy named Duke Ellington. Tracer will buy a round of Depth Charges.

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