Top 10 Rap Songs for Catholics

04/29/2011 Comments (71)

My two favorite types of music are classical choral pieces and rap. (Which is sometimes startling to guests when my iPod shuffles from Clemens Non Papa to Tupac.) I am a hopeless lover of a good rhyme over a bass beat, which has left me in a tough spot ever since my conversion to Catholicism. I have brought my rationalization ‘A’ game to the task of trying to figure out how to keep songs like Pass the Courvoisier Part II in my playlist, assuring myself that God must approve of any song whose video begins with Mr. T busting through a wall and ends with Busta Rhymes fighting ninjas. But, alas, I simply can’t justify listening to music whose lyrics glorify all seven of the deadly sins in the...READ MORE

Filed under music

On Being Catholic and Infertile

04/27/2011 Comments (91)

This week is Infertility Awareness Week. According to the CDC, over 2 million married women in America are currently experiencing infertility. This is a deeply painful experience for any couple, but faithful Catholics face unique challenges in this department—yet in all the discussions about Natural Family Planning and how and when to avoid pregnancy, the struggles of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are not able to achieve pregnancy often get overlooked. So this week I spent some time chatting with friends who are facing infertility, including a woman whom I’ll call “A.,” who chronicles her journey online at This Cross I Embrace. They shared some of the challenges unique to being...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, culture of life, fertility, in-vitro fertilization, infertility

Virtues Gone Wild

04/25/2011 Comments (51)

While I was reading news headlines this morning I was struck by how much of the evil that plagues the world is ultimately based on good intentions. Almost everyone has a natural desire to do good. But when we unmoor ourselves from the fullness of truth about what good really is, we can go down paths that seem good if looked at from one angle alone, but are actually quite evil. G.K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy:

When a religious scheme is shattered ... it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world...READ MORE

Filed under morality, sin, virtue

Why the World Needs Good Friday

04/22/2011 Comments (25)

One of the advantages of coming to Christianity from lifelong atheism was that I got to read the New Testament like a suspense story. I knew from cultural osmosis that Jesus was born in a manger, that three wise men visited, and that he was eventually crucified, but I that was about it. So I was caught off guard when I learned the details of his conviction and execution. I was particularly shocked that many of the same people who shouted “Crucify him!” had joyously hailed his entrance into Jerusalem just a few days earlier. What could explain such a drastic change of heart?

There were undoubtedly many factors at play, and each person who joined in the shouting had his or her own reasons....READ MORE

Filed under crucifixion, culture of death, good friday, suffering

The Beautiful, Flourishing Church

04/20/2011 Comments (93)

A few weeks ago I was in Boston and heard a priest give a great speech about the power of confession. However, at one point he made a comment that confused me: He made a joking reference to the fact that priests don’t like to have too much time to catch up on reading while in the confessional, implying that there are periods when no one comes.

A priest reading in the confessional? I couldn’t imagine such a thing. The main problem I’ve seen priests have with this sacrament is crowd control. Our parish offers the sacrament of reconciliation six days a week, and I’ve never seen fewer than 25 people there, though double that number is not uncommon. And the Holy Week confessions are something...READ MORE

Filed under church attendance, church closings, evangelization, new evangelization

But Isn't Christianity Anti-Learning?

04/18/2011 Comments (28)

Magdalen College, University of Oxford

Father Tim Finigan has a great little post over at The Hermeneutic of Continuity in which he points out, among other things, that the traditional vestments worn at Western graduation ceremonies come directly from universities’ religious pasts. It is quite striking: When I first looked at the picture of the graduation procession in his post, I assumed it was a shot from some kind of church service.

Any modern person immersed in secular wisdom knows that Christianity is an antiquated, superstitious belief system that is antithetical to reason and learning. The religious nuts can sit around and talk about fairies and angels and all the other silly stuff that interests them, but people who...READ MORE

Filed under faith and reason, higher education, history, science, university

Should We Let Our Kids Go to Prom?

04/15/2011 Comments (43)

The hot topic in the local Catholic mommy groups this month is prom. A few families I know have had daughters invited to proms at some of the public high schools around here (some of the girls are students at the schools, others are homeschoolers who were invited by students), and it’s left the parents pondering the question: Is the typical modern prom an appropriate event for a young person striving for holiness?

My first reaction was to breathe a sigh of relief that I have over a decade until I’ll have to confront this question. But as the mother of four daughters, I’ve followed my friends’ discussions with interest. (Our friend Allen Hebert wrote a great piece detailing the discernment...READ MORE

Filed under dancing, homeschool, parenting, prom, teenagers, teens

How Women Can Rule the World

04/13/2011 Comments (55)

Did you see Simcha Fisher’s post from yesterday? If not, go check it out. It’s a takedown of a Slate piece by Jocelyn Nubel, in which Nubel suggests that women who support Planned Parenthood should go on a sex strike if Planned Parenthood’s contraception and STD testing services are threatened. Simcha peels back the layers behind that idea, pointing out just how much it reveals about the author’s worldview:

[Nubel] can’t imagine having sex that isn’t risky. She can’t imagine making love with a man and not subsequently needing to be tested and treated for disease. She can’t imagine intimacy that’s not inextricably linked with an appointment to be wrapped, plugged, scarred, burned, twisted,...READ MORE

Filed under abstinence, chastity, planned parenthood, sex, women

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About Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She's a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.