My View For Awhile: Staunton Edition

There are certain things that one chooses for his “daily carry”. You can guess at a couple of the things I always carry.

Did your guess include…

Why carry this all the time?

CNA reported that a car crossed a center-line and ran straight into the bus carrying students from Covington.  The driver died.

What is it about Covington and the March for Life?

The CNA report says:

Witnesses told WLWT that a priest on the bus gave the driver of the car a final blessing.

Fortunate driver, to have a priest there.

I had to give last rites several times on Roman streets, once on a train track.  In other words, in emergencies out and around, not in ER’s or hospices.

From a sudden and unprovided death, save us O Lord.

Since today I had some time to kill between my check out time at the club and my check in for the flight back to Mad City, I was pleased to have been able to sit down and play a little chess with their chess club.   It was really fun.

I like those classic vinyl beige and green boards with the clean Staunton pieces.

I haven’t played much chess… well, virtually any chess for the last, say, four decades.  This group is pretty new, and they meet every other week.  Nice people, there were both men and women.   I was offered a game right away, with a generous hour clock.   All in all over a couple hours I split my games and watched one wrap up.


On my way into the airport lounge I was handed a little bag-let for the Lunar New Year.

There are some candies and what I fear is really a “platitude cookie” disguised as a fortune cookie.

Let’s find out.


It wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be.

What is the force, I wonder, of that “You do not…”.   Is that futurity?   Is this, in fact, a fortune cookie and not a mere platitude cookie?

I think it would be a hoot to start up a fortune cookie company and write the messages… ominous things, in cookies died black with squid ink.  “Watch your back today!”   “Don’t forget.  It could make all the difference.”   “Are you sure you’re healthy?”  “You didn’t check your math, but others did.”  “Tell her she has to stop doing it.”  And my favorite… “RUN!!!” Enigmatic and yet unsettling.

Perhaps you have ideas.


My ride this afternoon.   Good ol’ N361NW.  An A320-212.   I’ve been upgraded.

You can see the Capitol dome on the horizon.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lurker 59 says:

    It is a statement that the goods of this life are often paid by another; that we often reap what we do not sow.

    Let us read the fortune cookie Christologically

    “You do not pay the price of success, you enjoy the price of success.”

    So that it becomes a statement of justification — you do not pay the price of your justification (you do not justify yourself), rather you enjoy justification paid for by Christ (you are justified by Christ’s actions).

    The fortune cookie is very appropriate for a priest to receive for, being a priest, all the goods of being a priest come from Christ for it is not a man-made Office. All the toil of a priest’s life is further not something that the priest is paying out (such as the work of Adam bound to toil for his food) but is rather reward stemming from Christ’s own labors and would not exist otherwise to be enjoyed and undertaken by the priest.

    (Glad you could make this trip Fr. Z, and glad to hear that it was fruitful.)

  2. tomthumb says:

    My uncle got one once at dinner that said “You have just been poisoned”.

  3. L. says:

    I think the best fortune-cookie fortune is: “That wasn’t chicken.”

  4. LeeGilbert says:

    In connection with our republishing a life of de Rance, the founder of the Trappists, I ran across this account of the death of a friend of his youth, Harlay de Champvallon, who became eventually the Archbishop of Paris. Wikipedia has, “Harlay de Champvallon died suddenly, without having received the sacraments, on 6 August 1695. His funeral discourse was delivered by Père Gaillard, and Mme de Sévigné made on the occasion the severe comment that there were only two trifles to make this a difficult matter — his life and his death.”

    This has been giving me the chills for days. No I really don’t know the facts of his spiritual life or how he discharged his office, but certainly this account as it stands is a grave warning against presumption and mediocrity.

    De Rance’ conducted himself as if he were about to appear before the Almighty at any instant. Any other policy seems complete madness.

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Fortune cookie:. GO TO CONFESSION!!!

  6. hwriggles4 says:

    Fr. Z:

    First, I hope you returned to Madison okay without long delays at either MSP or DTW. If I am going into Washington DC itself, I prefer to go to DCA like you – easier to access via the Metro too.

    Second, thanks for mentioning that a priest has a kit packed. Priests do make sick calls, attend retreats, some do home Masses and house blessings (although I have heard some dioceses have implemented guidelines for home visits, such as bring someone with you), and there will be unexpected circumstances, like being asked to hear a confession in a fast food parking lot or pulling up on a car accident. Many priests also have their breviary with them and some have an online version downloaded on a smart phone.

    Third, I hope you returned to do Sunday Mass, and you were able to get some sleep beforehand. I am sure many priests left Saturday in order to return to their parish for Sunday Mass. Many Catholics don’t understand how busy priests are today. I have been on retreats where we had Saturday evening Mass because that’s the only time we could get a priest. At the first ordination I attended (2004 – a college friend’s ordination) one priest left quickly after the ordination because he had a 3.5 hour drive that afternoon to make a Saturday evening Vigil Mass. Fellow Catholics, priests are busy people. My mother says her pastor is regularly in his office until 10 PM.

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    L. wrote:

    “I think the best fortune-cookie fortune is: ‘That wasn’t chicken.'”

    On behalf of chickens, everywhere, just let me say,

    “Whew (wipes forehead with wing). Amen.”

    The Chicken

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    fortune cookies: “sometimes, but not always . . . ” “past performance is no guarantee of future results” “for the next four days, exercise the most extreme caution” “your connections to Jeffy Epstein (who did NOT kill himself) will be revealed”

  9. Shonkin says:

    Back during the mid-Seventies my wife and I ate a few times at a Chinese restaurant that gave out fortune cookies quoting the famous philosopher Fu Ling Yu. Every one of them was very funny (which was the intent, of course).

  10. GHP says:

    The wallet looks familiar (and well-used) …. is it holding up under daily use?

    — Guy

    [Yes, indeed. It is a overly wide, so I fold over the flap a little farther and, hence, can’t snap it. But it is working.]

  11. Mugwump says:

    My favorite:

    If at first you don’t succeed, you must try, try again.
    But you will lose anyway…

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