What NFP Means to Me

Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:07 PM Comments (18)

Perhaps you are unaware that it's NFP Awareness Week. Perhaps you are even unaware of what the letters "N" "F" and "P," when arranged in that order, signify to the princely figure of nearly 4-5% of Catholics. Perhaps you hear the letters “NFP” and nothing at all springs to mind. Doelike you stand, innocent and incorrupt, your mind as blank and pristine as a spring meadow.

You lucky son of a gun.

If you’re anything like me, the past week has seen you absolutely saturated in thinking about, talking about, promoting, defending, clarifying, and occasionally innappropirately oversharing about NFP. I’m about as tired of thinking about NFP as a man serving a life term is tired of hearing his...READ MORE

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A Chat with Mary's Shelter Founder Kathleen Wilson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:46 AM Comments (2)

On August 23, I’ll be the Keynote Speaker at the Summer Soiree for Mary’s Shelter in Fredericksburg, VA

Mary’s Shelter offers housing and support to women and children in need, helps them learn basic life skills, and guides them toward getting an education, a job, and stable housing.

Yesterday, I called Kathleen Wilson, the executive director, who is also one of the founders. We were chatting about our kids, and I discovered that she has ten children . . . and then some. Here is part of our conversation:

 

KW: Besides my ten, I have two kids who are now five and six. They were with their dad, and he abandoned them in a shelter. The mom got them back, but things fell apart, and she...READ MORE

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To Serve Your Parents

Thursday, July 17, 2014 3:59 PM Comments (12)

This summer, an awful lot of my friends are teaching their kids to cook -- or, even more amazingly, they are making their kids teach themselves to cook.  These enterprising kiddies are preparing no mere sandwiches or cereal for a casual lunch, but they are planning and preparing three-course meals for their entire families, while mom and dad lounge on the back deck, sipping sangria and waiting for the dinner bell.

Late afternoon finds me, on the other hand, slaving over a hot Facebook page, gorging on a smorgasbord of tantalizing photos with captions like: "Here is my 8-year-old carefully chopping the chives she grew in her little garden! This is the second time this week she's made pork...READ MORE

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Some Answers about the Seal of Confession

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:42 AM Comments (27)

Last week, I wrote a post about the seal of confession, and how a priest in Lousiana is being threatened with contempt of court and jail time if he refuses to disclose what a girl told him in confession. In my post, I said:

However, a penitent may give a priest permission to talk about what was confessed. The penitent may release him from the seal.

and

If the penitent wants the priest to talk, the priest is no longer morally compelled to keep silent.

This is not accurate, and I appreciate the correction from so many readers. The Seal of Confession is utterly nviolable. According to Canon Law

Can.  983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden...READ MORE

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Maite Roche Is a Treasure

Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:38 PM Comments (10)

Back before Easter, I planned to review a lovely little book that came to our house: My First Pictures of Easter by Maite Roche (Ignatius Press).

Better late than never! This book is a treasure. With simple, carefully chosen words and phrases describing the events of Holy Week, it is a springboard for parents to tell their kids the story of the Passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, giving as much or as little detail as they would like. My kids have absconded with the Easter book, but I do have in front of me another of Roche's books: My First Prayers with Mary.  

It's a sturdy little board book with rounded edges. It includes several short, simple prayers to Mary, with large, bright...READ MORE

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Some Questions about the Seal of Confession

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 12:01 PM Comments (63)

First, some background about the Seal of Confession. According to Canon Law, 

“The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.” (Can. 983)

and 

“A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.” (Can. 984)

In other words, when a penitent tells something to a priest during the sacrament of confession, the priest is not allowed to talk about what was said, to anyone, for any reason. He is not even allowed to acknowledge that the person made a confession...READ MORE

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We Who Are About to Camp Salute You

Monday, June 30, 2014 8:00 AM Comments (19)

Guess what my husband and I almost got into a fight about the other day? That's right: it was about whether it makes more sense to spend lots of money on air mattresses that get leaky and go flat in a few days, or if we should settle for the ones which are leaky and flat right out of the box.

If you look closely, you will see that there is a small strain a fatalism in our plans. This is because we are going camping. With all nine kids. In two cabins without electricity. For five days. Again.

We're doing this for two reasons: (a) we firmly, if unscientifically, believe it is good for us as a family in some way and (b) I dunno. We made our reservations back in January, when all kinds of...READ MORE

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SCOTUS: Pro-Lifers Are Citizens, Too

Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:52 AM Comments (16)

Score one for the Constitution! The Supreme Court just unanimously -- unanimously -- struck down a buffer zone law in Massachusetts. The law, instituted in 2007, barred protesters, counselors, quiet pray-ers, and even silent witnesses from coming within 35 feet of an abortion clinic. Only patients, clinic workers, and people passing through were allowed to be within the buffer zone.  The law didn't wait until you proved that you were there to make trouble: it simply shut you out, assuming the guilt of private citizens.

In effect, the law created a First and Fourteenth Amendment-Free Zone for a certain class of people. It made it a crime for some citizens to be on a public sidewalk, or to...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 at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.