Tug of War at Harvard Is a Sign of Good Civic Health

05/13/2014 Comments (26)

There is much to puzzle over in yesterday's Black-Mass-That-Wasn't-(Or-Was-It?) debacle. First we thought they were planning to use a consecrated Host; then they said they wouldn't; then we thought they might after all. Then it was supposed to take place at Harvard; then it looked like it would be off campus; then it seemed like it didn't happen; and now some people are saying it did happen, but it was just quiet. All in all, the story reminds me of one of those fairy tales where the dragon gets smaller and smaller until it becomes an insignificant lizard that scuttles away through a crack in the floor.

One puzzle remains, though, and that is this: why do so many Catholics feel uneasy...READ MORE

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Satan Isn't Fussy, But Neither is Christ

05/08/2014 Comments (27)

Spokesmen for the "Satanic Temple" of New York are giving conflicting stories about whether a consecrated or an unconsecrated Host will be used in the Black Mass "recreation" hosted by Harvard's Cultural Studies club.   

Does it make a difference? Yes, a big difference. A Black Mass is a sacrilegious parody of the Mass which profanes the Eucharist. It would be hard to overstate how dreadful this is to Catholics. Countless martyrs have died protecting a consecrated Host from injury. So if they are planning to use a consecrated Host -- that is, if they are going to insult and damage the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the species of bread -- then Catholics should be fasting...READ MORE

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Yarr, Novenas

05/06/2014 Comments (39)

Being a lazy slob, it's easy enough to ignore all my super physically fit friends and their perpetual challenges. "My FitBit says I worked off 39,00 calories today by replacing my desk chair with a giant hamster wheel that is on fire!" reports one friend, and I yawn. "Just four months more to train for the Monster Mama Marathon," says another, "Where women in their third trimester run 26 miles as a way of warming up before they swim the English Channel with their husbands on their backs! It's gonna be a blast!" Yeah, last time I was pregnant I blasted my way through those last months, too, but wasn't no one takin' pictures.

So, I'm immune to that kind of challenge. Give me my treadmill and...READ MORE

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True Suffering Isn't Photogenic

05/01/2014 Comments (29)

 "I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it's true!" This is the latest catch phrase at our house (where I'm the only person who hasn't yet seen The Lego Movie, which the quote is from). It's a great point: just because something is a cliché doesn't mean it's false. Lately, I'm rediscovering the truth of a perennial cat-posterish idea: change hurts.

We all know this is true, yes? We're all familiar with a whole panoply of phrases that express this idea: "No pain, no gain"; "You have to break some eggs to make an omelet"; "No guts, no glory"; "No cross, no crown"; and so on.

But it's truer, and uglier, than most "cat posters" want to admit. The problem with living with a world in love...READ MORE

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Something Other Than God: Jennifer Fulwiler's New Memoir

04/29/2014 Comments (16)

Converts like to talk about their past lives, before they found God. A good many professional converts make a tidy sum out of shocking people with their former depravity, and then dazzling them with their current sanctity. It's almost as if they want to drive home the point: I used to be subhuman, before I found God. But look at me now!  I'm human! I'm a real boy.

If you have ever read Jennifer Fulwiler's blog or heard her speak, it will not surprise you that this is not the story she tells in her debut book, Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It (Ignatius).  Instead, one of the threads that winds through this spiritual memoir is the idea...READ MORE

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Doctrine Doesn't Change Over the Phone

04/24/2014 Comments (43)

There's this Catholic woman in Argentina who's been living with a man for many years. They have two children together, and are civilly married. Her legal husband was married in the Church previously, but he got a divorce.  So the woman is a Catholic who is living with man who is, in the eyes of the Church, apparently not her husband. As such, she is not in a state of grace, and may not receive Communion as long as she continues living as the wife of this divorced man. 

A difficult and painful situation, one which the Church is rightly hoping to avoid in the future.  A Catholic woman in this situation doesn't have a lot of easy choices, no matter how much she longs to be reunited with the...READ MORE

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This Law Is Not Pro-Life

04/22/2014 Comments (46)

Tennessee is waiting to see if its governor will sign a law which would hold pregnant women criminally accountable for drug use. If a baby is harmed by his mother's drug use, then under this law, the mother may be charged with criminal assault, with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Pro-lifers. Does this sound like Tennessee is getting tough to save babies' lives?  Then think about what will actually happen if a law like this gets passed.  Yes, we hate the idea that women are harming their unborn babies. Yes, we hate the idea that women are harming themselves with (already illegal, already prosecutable!) drug activity. We want to use any means necessary to protect innocent people.
...READ MORE

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A Little About Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

04/17/2014 Comments (14)

When I was growing up, our parish offered a few options for Catholic kids: you could join "Snoopy Group," which meant that you sat in a circle and talked about friendship; or you could join JCDA -- which, in our area, meant holding elections, baking, and frantically filling out the virtue chart on the way to the church basement.  "How many times do you think I was generous to someone this month? Ten? Five? I'll just write five."  There was also a Catholic school, but my parents quickly discovered that it combined the worst of both worlds: old school disciplinary practices, and a horribly new-school approach to academics and doctrine.

So my parents took full responsibility for our religious...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.