Stop Saying All Women Are Beautiful

06/11/2013 Comments (153)

We're all familiar with the danger of euphemisms.  It's so distressing when an ugly concept is drained of the power to frighten us, just because someone managed to attach a sanitized name to it.  It's the simplest trick in the book:  just call evil by a nicer name, and people really will believe it's a nicer thing.  And so we have "reproductive healthcare" and "selective reduction" for abortion; "enhanced interrogation" for torture; "data mining" for spying on citizens.

But here's something just as distressing:  when a worthy concept gets drained of its power just because not everyone is up to the challenge.  Somehow, that frightens me even more than when sanitized words are used to...READ MORE

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Love-Proof "Love Contracts"

06/06/2013 Comments (47)

One of the saddest things I've read all week is this story about a new trend in marriages: "love contracts" that go beyond standards pre-nups, and put spouses under legal compulsion to do (or not do) certain very specific things.

“Lifestyle clauses are on the rise,” said New York City-based matrimonial  attorney Robert Wallack, who represented Christie Brinkley and Damon Dash, among  others, in recent high-profile divorces.
“It used to be for better or worse,  and you went with it. Now people want to dictate how the couple will live within  the marriage.”

Some of the stipulations include not getting a new cat when the old one dies, not bringing mom along on vacations, not...READ MORE

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The Distressing Disguise of the Hussy

06/04/2013 Comments (59)

The phrase "custody of the eyes" always gets a lot of play in modesty discussions.  (Yes, it's another post about modesty!  If you are tired of the topic, just practice some custody of the eyes and look somewhere else.)  In general, the phrase just means "watch where you look," and it usually has to do with not staring at somebody else's body parts.  This is just good old, practical Mother Church teaching us how to behave so we don't get into trouble:  if you're a man who is tempted into lustful thoughts by a woman's cleavage, then keep your eyes on her face.  If you're a woman who's tempted into lustful thoughts by shirtless joggers, then keep your eyes on the road.  Don't want to get...READ MORE

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Why I'm Wearing This

05/31/2013 Comments (289)

The weather's getting warmer, and here they come:  articles from nice Christian men, begging and pleading with their sisters in the faith to dress in a way that shows them as the beautiful women they were meant to be:  feminine, modest, and utterly captivating in the best possible way.

Well, well.  I, too, am less than thrilled to see the sidewalks a-flutter with girls wearing little more than a strategically draped ruffle, or wrapped tighter than an empanada in strips and straps of hot pink lycra.  Some of these ladies look alluring, some of them look just plain dumb, but they all have an unbearable eagerness to present themselves as a product to be approved of and consumed -- possibly...READ MORE

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Parents as Catechists

05/30/2013 Comments (35)

Barbara Nicolosi has written a typically frank and practical essay: Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis: Time for An Old Idea.  Her parish priest did the same thing as ours did recently:  he asked the parishioners if they could name the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  At Nicolosi's church, she was the only one who could recite them, which she did.

People gasped. Father approached our pew actually shocked. He was intrigued and, I guess, figured maybe I had gotten lucky. "Stand up and say them again. Slower." So, I did. And then our priest looked around and pointed at me and people applauded. Like I had done something extraordinary. Like I had said something brilliant....READ MORE

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05/28/2013 Comments (45)

Several years ago, an ex-Catholic writer thought she would spend a year sampling all the different churches she could find, one per week.  I haven't read the resulting book, but I do remember hearing her say that Catholics certainly don't smile very much during Mass -- and what a shame that was. I suppose it varies from region to region, but she's right about her observation.  In all the Catholic churches I've been to, I've only seen smiles during Mass on a few occasions:  during the sign of peace (which often feels like an interruption or intermission in the middle of Mass, rather than a part of it); during a homily, if the priest cracks a joke; when there is a "milestone" sacrament,...READ MORE

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Walk the Walk

05/24/2013 Comments (43)

Even at this late date, I’m still looking for it:  that one, simple step I can take that will make my life easier, make my love stronger, make my brain faster, and make my pants looser.  Deep down, I know there is no such thing; but hope springs eternal in the heart of a lazy person.  I don’t want to have to take all the little steps I’ll have to take to slowly and gradually make minor improvements in thirty-six different areas of my life.  I don’t wanna!  I want to push a red button and wake up to find that everything’s better.

Well, if we did have a red button that way, I guarantee you, the kids would have pushed fig newtons so deep into it by now that it wouldn’t be functioning;...READ MORE

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Ten Marks of a Good School

05/23/2013 Comments (73)

In the last nine years, our family has tried five different types of elementary school:  home school, private school, parochial school, public school. and charter school.  We're extremely lucky to have found one that works very well for us, and it's hard to imagine switching for any reason other than, say, statewide devastation by asteroids.  With all that switching around from school to school, we've learned a few things about the basic marks of a good elementary school.  (There are often fewer options for high school; and older kids have different needs, and are more resilient than younger kids.) Since this is the time of year when parents are assessing whether or not their kids are...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.