Love Is Never Wasted

04/06/2016 Comments (6)

Mary Cassatt (1884-1926), “The Child's Caress”

Some time ago, I came across an anguished post by a devoted mom. She had spent an entire week teaching her kids an in-depth, hands-on, cross-curricular lesson on the major watercolorists of western art. Her kids were enthralled, and seemed to really internalize not only the beauty of the work, but also some of the history, the technical side, and even the biographies of the artists they studied.

Next week? They said, "Watercolor? What's watercolor?"

Poor mom. Kids are crumbs, and that's just a fact. But the thing that struck me is that the woman berated herself over having wasted so much time with the lesson.

How wrong she was! There is no such thing as wasted time with your children....READ MORE

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For the Catholic Suffering from Scruples

03/30/2016 Comments (11)

The other day, I wrote about how this Friday is within the Octave of Easter, which makes it a solemnity, or at least a day to be treated as a solemnity. This means that we can eat meat -- and, unlike any other Friday, we don't have to substitute another penance or sacrifice. It's a feast day, and we don't fast when the Bridegroom is with us.

For most people, this news means one thing: "Yay, meat!" But for others, it's a trapdoor into a pit of scrupulosity. The rules are not 100% crystal clear, and even if we do get clarity, we may still not be at peace: what if we're not necessarily required to abstain from meat, but not abstaining feels like we're letting ourselves off easy? Might that be...READ MORE

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The Only Mistake You Can Make

03/16/2016 Comments (3)

When we get this close to Holy Week, many Catholics are looking back over their efforts since Ash Wednesday and grading them “E” for “echhh.”

Maybe your Lent hasn't been very meaningful because you’ve just been slacking off, because Lent is hard. Maybe you just don’t feel like reining in even your little bad habits. Or maybe you could probably manage to change some physical habit, but the idea of facing God sincerely is just a little too much, and you’d just . . . rather not. You're not proud of it, but your plan is to keep your head down so as not to attract attention, and soon it will be Easter and you can eat candy and feel guilty, and then you’ll be safely back in ordinary time before...READ MORE

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"Suck It Up" vs. "Offer It Up"

03/09/2016 Comments (5)

A few weeks ago, I asked converts what most puzzled them when they first became Catholics. Several people said they heard "offer it up" all the time, and had no idea what it was supposed to mean. The best they could gather was that it was Catholic code for "suck it up."

It does get used this way. Let's say (just to choose a random example with no basis in reality) that an overworked mom went to bed after midnight because she was making special cupcakes for the class party, and then the teething baby kept her awake, and then she tripped over the dog and spilled her coffee and sprained two toes and now there's broken mug shards all over the floor . . . and one of the other kids chooses that...READ MORE

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13 Things To Be Happy About Today

03/02/2016 Comments (12)

(Image Credit: Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I don't have to tell you why. 

1. The average price of ground beef is down slightly compared to last year, and you know what the means: The occasional meatloaf!  

2. Seventeen days until spring! 

3. Canada has a fairly open refugee policy. I'm not saying that you should pack your bags now to be ready for election day, but I am saying, Canada has a fairly open refugee policy.

4. It's a good year for zingers, anyway. My current favorite: "[Chris Christie's eyes] were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss.. "

5. Reading this morning about Kanye West, I realized that I don't know what Kanye West sounds like, at all. It may...READ MORE

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Please Just Sell Me a Shirt

02/25/2016 Comments (36)

If you blinked, you might have missed the latest tempest in a teapot: Land's End, the venerable clothing company that supplies preppy sweaters to East Coast old money and sturdy uniforms to private school kids, made the ill-advised decision to feature an interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in their latest catalogue. The interview was to be the first in a series, presumably spearheaded by the company's relatively new female CEO. The series would be an “ode to individuals who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large." Land's End said, "We honor them and thank them for paving the way for the many who follow.” Land's End also offered the option...READ MORE

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Dialogue with Masons? Is There Any Point?

02/17/2016 Comments (14)

Some Cardinal named Ravasi has apparently called for dialogue with Freemasons. Here's a translation of the passage from his letter, provided by a reader of Rorate Caeli:

“…These various declarations on the incompatibility of the two memberships in the Church or in Freemasonry, do not impede, however, dialogue, as is explicitly stated in the German Bishops’ document that had already listed the specific areas of discussion, such as the communitarian dimension, works of charity, the fight against materialism, human dignity and knowledge of each other.

“Further, we need to rise above that stance from certain Catholic integralist spheres, which – in order to hit out at some exponents even in...READ MORE

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How to Obey Like an Adult

02/10/2016 Comments (10)

Who remembers being a kid and thinking, "Man, I can't wait to grow up! Then no one will tell me what to do!"? I remember; and I also remember that awful day when I realized that I was grown up, and that I now had to tell myself what to do. Not only did I have to pick up my dirty clothes, I had to be the heavy that insisted that dirty clothes get picked up. Wah! 

As I was reviewing the obligations of adult Catholics during Lent (here's a nice clear infographic), I felt a sense of gratitude to Mother Church. During Lent, and really any time the Church gives us clear guidelines for how we are to behave, it's an act of mercy: She gives us a chance to put the responsibility on someone else, and...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.