You and Your Heathen Friend

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 9:41 AM Comments (284)

A reader writes:

    Can a faithful, orthodox Catholic be best friends with a non-Catholic (a non-Christian, even)? I've been criticized by women holier than me that my best friend is not Catholic--- they question how I can connect with someone when something so basic is missing. No common lens to interpret the world, speaking different languages almost.

    They wondered how can being friends with non-Catholics be beneficial to the improvement and salvation of one's soul? If you are friends with a non-Catholic for reasons other than Catholicism, then you are putting an emphasis on secular external things rather than trying to do spiritual work on your soul like you could with a...READ MORE

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Dear Simcha

Thursday, November 22, 2012 6:00 AM Comments (25)

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know that many of you are very busy and/or really depressed today.  Some of you are alone, and many, many more of you desperately wish that you were.  So, rather than tax you with a challenging or insightful essay, I thought I'd take this opportunity to clean up my inbox and answer a few of the questions that people have asked me recently.

***

Dear Simcha,

By this time of day, I'm supposed to be basting the turkey for the fifth or sixth time so it will be golden and delicious in time for our Thanksgiving feast.  But I haven't even defrosted it yet, because I spent all of yesterday watching Benny Hill and drinking the rum I bought to make rum raisin bread...READ MORE

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Advent's Coming:  Keep It Simple!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:11 AM Comments (41)

I know, I know, you're focused on Thanksgiving right now.  Just bookmark this for next week.

Advent is coming!  I always feel a little silly saying that, because the word "advent" actually means "coming."  But that's how life is when you're In Charge of Stuff:  you even have to plan about planning ahead.  So, if you haven't looked it up yet, the first Sunday in Advent is Dec. 2, which is less than two weeks away.

We do try to put off celebrating Christmas until it's actually almost Christmas.  I claim this is because it would be a violation of the integrity of the spirit of penance and preparation to behave as if Christmas has already arrived; but actually my main reason is that my...READ MORE

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10 Good News

Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:03 AM Comments (46)

Because you -- yes, you, with the quivering chin and the raggedy fingernails, with one eye glued to the morning news and the other sort of furtively calculating how far you'd have to fall before you blacked out, if you jumped out the window right now just to get away from any more bad news -- you kind of look like you need some good news.  So here you go!

1. There may have been a breakthrough in the treatment of medical problems associated with Down Syndrome:

Scientists from the University of Washington have been able to remove the extra chromosome 21 in cells taken from a person with Down Syndrome
[snip]

Dr. David Russell explains in an article on the breakthrough on...READ MORE

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A Pre-Pre-Christmas Gift

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:04 AM Comments (25)

It's November, time for the annual complaint from secular and religious people alike:  Christmas decorations already?  Christmas music?  Christmas shopping?  Too soon!  Too soon!

While some businesses are taking a stand  -- or what passes for a stand (holding off until the day after Thanksgiving is now "noble?") -- most businesses are floundering, and they don't feel like they can pass up even a day or two of trying to nab some holiday revenue.  At the Dollar Tree, the plastic holly and berries crept onto the shelves even as we hunted for swimming goggles to take us through the final weeks of summer vacation.  Yeesh.

Well, this is the first year I've had any sympathy for the stores,...READ MORE

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How Can a Married Woman Be a Bride of Christ?

Thursday, November 08, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (40)

A reader writes:

    I'm a sixteen year old girl [. . .]
    For a few years I very much wanted to be a cloistered nun, and read many works and practiced some of the spirituality of different orders.  However, for a while now I've felt more like I might be called to marriage (and this began before I met any nice guys ;)), and though I'm only sixteen and a little young to be sure of a call either way, I've been struggling with a problem begun during the years I thought I was going to be a nun.  I was very attracted to the idea of Jesus as the bridegroom, as a spouse, and due to my age I fell into a "Jesus-is-my-boyfriend" mindset.  Right now I'm having trouble because though I'm not...READ MORE

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Authority and the Catholic Vote

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (132)

So far, there has not been a mass display of penitence by Catholics who voted for Obama in 2008.  Joe Biden hasn't gotten knocked off his horse, and Nanci Pelosi hasn't started wearing Sackcloth by Armani.  And heck, I hope and pray that Romney wins, but he's not exactly Leo the Great.  As far as religious liberty is concerned, I think that we can expect him to stop the bleeding if he wins, but not much else.

But here is one thing that tells me that the tide is slowly turning:  On Sunday, American bishops around the country required all of the priests under their authority to read a letter at Mass, to remind Catholics of their moral responsibility to vote to protect human life in all...READ MORE

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The Good News About Bad Motives

Thursday, November 01, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (38)

Last week, my van was a hideous mess.  There was an audible shambling, sliding sound every time I came to a short stop, as the detritus of our endless commute migrated from back to front. Every time someone opened a door, something would tumble out -- sometimes a book or a toy, but sometimes something more squalid:  a muddy sock, an apple core, or even a chicken bone. I was disgusted and ashamed, but I just couldn't find the time to clean it.

Finally, at my wit's end, I took desperate measures:  I volunteered as a driver.  Twice a month, I'm now committed to drive middle school kids from one campus to the other.  And now, time or no time, I have no choice:  I have to clean that van.

...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.