ROME 22/06 – Day 24: “talkin’ ’bout my g-g-generation”

Sunrise… sunset… sunrise… sunset…. not many more!   5:34 and 20:52 & AV@2115.

It is the feast of, inter alios, St. Proper of Aquitaine (+455 in Rome).

In other news, in Madrid nudius tertius, for Round 8 Nepo threw a Reti at Duda.

Of course I could have written out, “Ian Nepomniachtchi started with an unexpected Réti Opening against Jan-Krzysztof Duda”, but, dude, that could have been yawn inducing. Besides, I just don’t get to write things like that very often and I couldn’t resist.  It reminds me a little of the terse, “Nebula go to Zandar.  Get me the orb.”

It’s nothing like, “Fishwrap threw a nutty at SCOTUS.” Did you see their howl of virtue signaling? They blamed Trump. They blamed the bishops.

These unholy alliances have led some Catholics to distance themselves from the pro-life movement. For others, this acquiescence to Trump’s dictatorial tenure in the Oval Office was deemed a necessary evil, since criminalizing abortion has been named the “preeminent” priority by the U.S. bishops and by many in the pro-life movement. Yet the term “pro-life” may not be the best name for a movement that has too often embraced anti-life positions on other policies that do not deal with women or sexuality.


The murders of the 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, still cry out to heaven for justice and sensible gun control measures remain, as yet, out of reach. Thousands of migrants die each year at the U.S.-Mexico border, and immigration reform is, for all purposes, without legislative hope. And the death penalty remains active in 20 states. That’s just to start.

Prolonging the abortion fight will not be helpful. The country is broken, caused at least in part by polarization and culture wars supported — even led — by Catholic bishops and pro-life activists. Are these same leaders also capable of the dialogue and encounter our country and church so desperately need now?

This one-issue obsession has compounded the hit on the church’s credibility caused by the sex abuse crisis.

Talk about yawn inducing.

Who knows what high drama today will bring to Madrid. It looks like Nepo, 31 years old, could prevail, since he’s 4.5 after 8, which might in turn mean that Magnus – dude, all you have to do is use his first name – might refuse to defend his championship… ring, or belt, or whatever they have. Magnus, 31 years old, doesn’t want to play someone from his “generation”. Chinese Ding is 29. So is American/Italian Caruana. Polish Duda is only 24. Iranian Firouza is 19 but struggling.

I’m not sure what Magnus means when “talkin’ ’bout my g-g-generation”. However, the things happening on the boards in Madrid look awful c-c-cold. Except, perhaps to Magnus, who took a pretty nasty swipe at American Hikaru Nakamura commenting on the Round Five match against Russian Nepo… Naka v Nepo … and Naka, who had an advantage, offered Nepo a draw. Magnus: “Smell the blood in the water, dude, be a shark!”

Speaking of blood and water, yesterday was the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Many of Rome’s churches are enriched with paintings of the Sacred Heart, mostly copies of Batoni’s in the Gesù.   For example, in S.M. Scala…

Here’s one which is not a copy of Batoni, in my adoptive parish church Ss. Trinità dei Pellegrini, or as I like to call it sometimes, Trinity Pilgrim Church.

The Roman churches, even though they are in the hands of shlubs are still usually packed with holy, devotional images before which one can pray at length or briefly, spontaneously or premeditatedly, but earnestly.  I have, lately, made my way to a few churches where I know their to be the tombs of certain saints or images that appeal to me and I have prayed hard for somethings.  Some with concern, others with gratitude: friends in pain or for my wonderful benefactors, especially those who helped me to come here, which is like home in many ways.

Also in Trinity Pilgrim is this lovely crowned image.  It isn’t the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but rather Our Lady under the title “Help of the Miserable”.

I suppose we could render that as “Help of Wretches”, like the Victor Hugo novel, “The Wretches”.

It’s edifying to see how many people kneel here and pray and light candles.  There is an old prayer that accompanies this image.  Right click for larger and open in a new tab.

Victor “the winner” Hugo aside, one cannot but help to think of Aeneid I when Dido greets Aeneas and crew, saying “Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco… I, no stranger to misfortune, have learned to give help to those those who suffer.”

Our own sufferings can be a school of charity.  They can crack the youthful illusion of immortality, the coldness of disregard for others, the blindness of self-interest.

Here’s a good Roman sight for you.  It has all the elements, and it is a little weird.

Why do you think that I think that it’s weird?

A detail: the altar painting is the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

Our Lady is thinking about the consistory list.

The last days are flying by.  I am entering into the phase of tidying things up in the apartment, sorting what I’ll pack (I was given a lovely but heavy chessboard, which must go back to the USA) and what I will leave.

I’ve started making arrangements for October.  Among the things I want to do in Rome in October, in addition to the “Summorum” pilgrimage, is finally get my chalice refurbished.

I wanted to do it for my 30th, but… COVID.  I have to have the bottom plate redone to include a new donor who might like to help with the project.  This is a case in which, perhaps, one might be best.

Because St. Terese pretty much saved my vocation, I had a wreath of roses placed on a node.

It has spots for little gem stones for the flowers that I never filled.  I’d also like to liberate to the light of day, the stones on the main node, which don’t do their job because they have no light from behind. Both the chalice and paten have to be replated.   So, it’ll need a good week in Rome.

Meanwhile, please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.  US HERE – UK HERE   I cling to the model of “many hands make light work”. Every purchase gives me a small percentage at no extra cost to yourself. It adds up.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Must be easy to be a Fishwrap writer. Take a large portion of Seamless Garment, add a dash of Everything is Trump’s Fault, mix in some Social Justice Warrior and Presto! an article.

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    Going through the statements put out by one’s local diocese is a fantastic means to discern the level of hard currency that one should be donating to diocesean projects. Three things to look for:

    1.) Some level of glorification of God for the results.
    2.) Acknowledgement of the hard work that the Pro-Life community has done.
    3.) Some call to action now that things are at the state level to eliminate abortion fully from state laws and protections.

    How many though will look like the Fishwrap piece, all but wishes that Roe was still in place? How many blather about a dialogue that only leads to loss of life and souls?


    Fr. Z — Thank you very much for the daily tours of Rome and our spiritual patrimony. It is a perfect way to start the day (along with some coffee). Really helps.

    [Your suggested criteria are solid. And you are welcome. It is my pleasure to be able to write them. If all goes well, I hope to do this again in October.]

  3. Question about refurbishing a chalice (or any other vessel for the Eucharist). Since laymen are not supposed to touch the chalice with their bare hands, do the craftsmen who do the refurbishing (assuming they are laymen) have to wear gloves to do the work? Or, if this is not possible, does the chalice have to be reconsecrated after the work is done?

  4. redneckpride4ever says:

    First of all, the culture wars were initiated by the left. When Obama was elected, these moral narcissists were convinced that their worldview was to be reigned in for eternity. Since Obama was African American, they attempted to negate valid criticism by screaming racism.

    Then Trump planned on undoing the damage. Again, scream racist and now sexist. Trump got in and the left, seeing their pitiful worldview at risk, decided to do what kindergarteners do best: have a tantrum and lash out. Seriously, I’ve disagreed with multiple SCOTUS decisions, but didn’t want to pack the court like a child scheming to get a cookie.

    They also invented privilege ideology to silence opposition. Unfortunately for them, you can be the most privileged person on Earth, but you owe nothing nor do you lose any ground to bare you opinions.

    Now with Sleepy Joe in there, the left are pushing along a senile man to their will. Low intelligence publications such as Fishwrap pathetically use Biden’s dubious Catholicity to defend their anti-conservative, non-Catholic worldview. In other words, a desperate attempt to change theology to produce their hippie-dippie Church.

    Just remember, when some fool says you’re not acting Christian, remind them: if someone asks “What would Jesus do?”, remind them flipping tables and chasing folks with a whip is not out of the question.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    Is the image weird because it is a tangle of legs? I can’t really make out what is in the heaven’s there.
    I enjoyed the photos of the trip. They do make me feel I have seen something of Rome. The beautiful things in Rome, in the churches, what a treat to see them even second hand.

  6. Patrick-K says:

    “Why do you think that I think that it’s weird?”

    The glass coffin (there’s probably a word for that) looks small? Like a 4 or 5 year old, who typically wouldn’t be candidates for sainthood, perhaps a martyr. Also, in the Help of the Miserable photo, what’s the thing chained to the left side of the altar, looks like a walkie-talkie?

  7. Grant M says:

    Ten years ago, those opposed to Obama’s policies were clearly racist. By the same token, those opposed to the court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson are also clearly racist- since Roe v. Wade would still be law if Clarence Thomas had decided the other way.

    BTW, that is a beautiful prayer in the photo, and in tolerably easy Italian.

  8. The Vicar says:

    The origin for “My Generation” was Pete Townshend’s annoyance that the Queen Mother had his car towed from a neighborhood in London.

    He drove a hearse, which might explain that.

    People try to put us d-down… Talkin’ ’bout my generation
    Just because we g-g-get around… Talkin’ ’bout my generation
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold… Talkin’ ’bout my generation
    I hope I die before I get old… Talkin’ ’bout my generation

  9. poohbear says:

    Fishwrap calling out others for “unholy” alliances? Can they say “pot/kettle”? sigh

  10. Not says:

    As much as we have enjoyed your Italian adventure, Looking forward to your return.

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