Graces and Grousing and Gladness — UPDATE

Thank you for your prayers after yesterday’s pathetic post. I did go to see Saint Philip Neri and I believe he helped me; I am sure your prayers and good wishes also helped. I ended up having a lovely lunch with Kathryn Jean Lopez, followed with a bit of Sambucca, which I had never had before. I drank it thinking, “well, either I’m better or I’m not but I’m tired of not having fun.”

Perhaps the Sambucca helped tame the stomach bug. Or made it too drunk to bother me!

In any case, I am going to venture forth into St. Peter’s today and will bring your prayers with me, especially for Alex, mentioned in the comments thread. I’m not what you’d call a “well-connected” person, but I’ll offer my own prayers, and who knows. Maybe I’ll trip over the pope, and beg a favor, as he makes his way to the local department store to pick up a few things, incognito!

And for today — let’s end with a word from Blessed John Henry Newman, a son of Saint Philip Neri via the Oratory (thanks to Magnificat Magazine):

As years roll on, by little and little one will discover that, after all, he is not, as he imagined, possessed of any real substantial good. He will begin to find, and be startled at finding, that the things which once pleased, please less and less, or not at all. He will be unable to recall those lively emotions in which he once indulged; and he will wonder why.

Thus, by degrees, the delightful visions which surrounded him will fade away, and in their stead, melancholy forms will haunt him, such as crowded around the pool of Bethesda…Then a man will beginto be restless and discontented, for he does not know how to amuse himself. Before, he was cheerful only from the natural flow of his spirits, and when such cheerfulness is lost with increasing years, he becomes evil-natured. He has made no effort to change his heart — to raise, strengthen, and purify his faith — to subdue his bad passions and tempers. Now their day is come; they have sprung up and begin to domineer…

Gain hearling from troubled waters. Make up you mind to the prospect of sustaining a certain measure of pain and trouble in your passage through life; by the blessing of God this will prepare you for it — it will make you thoughtful and resigned without interfering with your cheerfulness.

UPDATE: So much for optimism. I’m still sick. Can’t wait to go home.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Maria

    A longtime reader but first time commenter… Can you get your hands on a probiotic supplement by any chance? Supplementing the “friendly bacteria” in your GI tract may help you kick this bug once and for all. Praying for you… Tummy issues are awful as it is, but while traveling…blah. God bless.

    [I'm trying to find's getting worse, again. thanks. -admin]

  • Kate

    Thank you! I really appreciate it. Who knows? Maybe someone who reads your posts can help or knows someone who can. I guess I’m so excited by all this new possibility and because some of the things I’ve heard Pope Francis say has made me feel like what I do everyday makes a difference and matters and is the work that the Church needs to do. And I’m already doing some of it! Simply by taking care of my son and family, community, parish and simply living day-to-day. I guess I lost that sense somewhere along the way in the past years and feel empowered a bit. I matter! My son matters! You matter! We all do. Also, I kind of feel like the woman with the bleeding problem who had the faith to know she could find relief and healing if she just touched Jesus’ garment. Or maybe like the old woman who pestered the judge until he ruled in her favor. Only not so much for me, but for Alex, for Little D, my son, and for all others who are vulnerable, weak, and need our love, concern and help. So, that’s why (plus I pay attention when I get inspiration to do or say something when I’m doing something else) I wrote yesterday. There is so much possibility! Who knows what may come of our little ripples. So, again, many thanks! I am deeply grateful.

  • Gayle Miller

    More prayers for you and for all of us is a good thing. We’re praying for you also. A word of thanks, incidentally. My roommate, who became horrendously ill a year ago this month is, after 11 surgeries, finally turning the corner into good health! I know this because she is back to criticizing me and grumping at me. I missed that! Seriously! When she was too ill or weak to holler at me, it was frightening.

  • Ann

    So glad that you are feeling better! Make sure that you bring home a souvenir bottle of Sambucca…for medicinal purposes, of course!

  • Manny

    Glad you’re feeling better. If you like Sambucca, and I’m not that crazy about straight Sambucca, you should try chocolate or coffee Sambucca, which is more to my liking. Oh the evil that men create. ;)

  • Kay

    Hoping and praying that you will feel better soon. Being sick is bad enough when you are at home but being in a strange place and feeling awful is a special kind of agony. I was sick for a few hours on a visit to New York City many years ago and honestly, dying did not sound scary.

    Thank you for all your blogging. Your words so often match the feelings and thoughts that I could never express, much less do it so eloquently in a way that touches the heart. I guess many people thought of Benedict as their personal pope. I’m trying to be openminded and I see much to love in Pope Francis and no doubt he is who the Holy Spirit thinks we need, but he is not Pope Benedict who made himself right at home in my heart.

  • Bob Coldiron

    From California, I pray that you feel better soon, and manage to enjoy the remainder of your trip. Thanks for all the posts!

  • Lawrence S. Cunningham

    It is probably too late but the sovereign remedy for visceral upset is a good glass of Fernet-Branca. If you drink Sambucca it should come with “Chiodi” (literally: “nails”) i.e. coffee beans but always in an odd number.

  • Teresa

    Sambucca is wonderful but probably not right now with your ailment. Also keep away from milk products, coffee and chocolate until tummy is feeling better. Get well.

  • RJT

    Hope you’re better very soon. Thank you for these profound words of Blessed John Newman. Our parish in Philadelphia is a Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, and we couldn’t be more blessed with four holy (and really nice) priest, who teach us about Saint Philip and Bl. John Newman.

  • Yae

    Lunch with K Lo sounds grand! I had to smile at her post when she commented on Papa Francis having looked ad his wrist watch as he was processing out into the square on the feast of St. Joesph. I noticed that too as I was watching everything live and it was a sweet moment. I have read that walking from the altar to the outer square is the length of two football fields! I did not know that. I have never been to Rome but hope to visit one day soon.
    Anyway, those black shoes came in handy to make that walk, glad for it! ^^
    God bless you towards a well deserved rest and a speedy recovery. Love your blog!