How Delmar Got Saved

12/19/2013 Comments (10)

In today's second reading, poor Zachariah gets a one-two punch:  first he was doing his duty as priest, burning incense in the sanctuary, when he's terrified by the sudden appearance of an angel.  He survives the shock, but then the angel tells him that his wife will bear a son -- and his first response is, "“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

A reasonable response.  They were old; they thought their time had come and gone, and it seemed obvious that God was going to allow them to remain in the "disgrace" of being childless.  But the angel answers,

“I am Gabriel, who stand before God.
I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this...READ MORE

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The Stupids Buy a Tree

12/18/2013 Comments (28)

Christmas trees?  Don't talk to me about Christmas trees.

In the past, when we go to pick out a tree, we've gone the ultra rustic route, where you pay eight dollars for the privilege of choosing a rusty bowsaw off the side of a shed and wandering in gladness through glittering fields of snow, until, maybe forty minutes later, you finally find the perfect tree -- and by "perfect," I mean that it's the one that everybody hated, rather than the one that one person hated and everyone else liked, or the one that everyone hated, except for one person who would rather die than not come home with this particular tree. And yes, when we got home, that particular tree rained melting snow for six...READ MORE

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A Mother who Looks Like Me

12/12/2013 Comments (33)

In recent years, some in the adoption community have been rethinking the ideal of "colorblind" adoption.  Deborah Johnson, an adoptee from South Korea who works with adoptive families, says

Years ago, we were taught that the best way to handle racial differences was to ignore them altogether. “Color-blindness” was considered open-minded in many social circles, including the adoption community ... We have since learned that issues of race cannot and should not be ignored.

Race -- and obvious racial characteristics -- do matter, she says.  Hollee McGinnis, Policy and Operations Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute says the same in an interview with NPR


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Advent for Adults

12/10/2013 Comments (19)

Here's a neat tidbit about that very familiar Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel":  the words are based on the O antiphons, which have been sung since the very early days of the Church.  According to, each of the antiphons is one of the titles of Christ:

O Sapientia (O Wisdom),
O Adonai (O Lord),
O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse),
O Clavis David (O Key of David),
O Oriens (O Rising Sun),
O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations),
and O Emmanuel.

Here's the neat part:  look at the first letter of each title.  From first to last, it reads SARCORE.  Now read the letters backwards, and you get EROCRAS.  So what?  ERO CRAS is Latin for "I am coming," and you have...READ MORE

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I'm Making a List

12/05/2013 Comments (49)

Gifts for everybody!  Here's what I've got so far:

1. I can only guess how much it pains Rush Limbaugh that he's been so stymied in his earnest search to find out anything, anything at all, about basic Catholic social teaching, and how, if at all, it differs from Marxism.  Headscratchy!  To remedy this tragic and embarrassing gap in his intellectual arsenal, I freely offer Mr. Limbaugh 1000 free hours of AOL. Once he figures out some basic internet skills, such as how to use Google, here is a good place to start .  Happy larnin', big guy!

2. To Fran Person, assistant to Joe Biden, a crisp new $10 bill, to pay him back for the money Mr. Biden borrowed when he ordered four sandwiches...READ MORE

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Evil Isn't Private (and Neither Is Good)

12/03/2013 Comments (76)

For infecting at least 46 people with hepatitis C, David Kwiatkowski was sentenced to 39 years in federal prison with no chance of parole.  Kwiatkowski was a hospital lab tech here in NH.  An alcoholic and narcotics addict, he routinely injected himself with powerful pain killers meant for patients.  He would then refill the syringes with saline solution, tainting them with the infection he carried, and send them off to be reused.  Ten thousand patients who might have come into contact with the infected syringes were advised to be tested for the disease -- because NH was not the only place where Kwiatkowski worked. He had been fired from several hospitals in other states, on suspicion of...READ MORE

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Happy Thankcircumcisionsgiving!

11/28/2013 Comments (82)

Do you know what the slowest day on the blogosphere in the U.S. is?  Not Christmas, not Easter, not even Valentine's Day.  It's Thanksgiving.  Everyone is going to be busy cooking turkey, welcoming friends and family, playing football, running charitable marathons, or bringing about the final downfall of western civilization by running out for a consumerist pound of butter.  Anything, anything at all, but not reading blogs.

All bloggers know that feeling of typing into a void -- of expending pixels for naught, dispersing their words into the ether, or possibly the ethernet, whatever that is.  It doesn't really feel bad.  It reminds me of when we used to watch the TV show Cheers when I...READ MORE

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Savor the Name

11/26/2013 Comments (7)

Most fruit seems like a gift, but a pomegranate is the most extravagant.  The seeds burgeon under the skin, and when you tear it open with a tart ripping sound, the byzantine arrangement within tells you that here, there is both order and design, and an unaccountable exuberance.  The seeds shine.  They glow like rubies, and you crunch them with your teeth and lick the blood of rubies off your lips.

Well, that's how I feel about pomegranates. 

I was saying the rosary the other day.  Chesterton says that if a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly.  That's the only thing that kept me going with that morning's rosary:  the idea that it's better to pray badly than to not-pray well. ...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.