Free Lumen Fidei!

07/09/2013 Comments (74)

Did you hear about the bizarre dust-up over Lumen Fidei and the free downloads?

This is how the conversation should have gone:  

Brandon Vogt:  Hi, this is Brandon Vogt. I am super excited about the new encyclical, so I'd like to make it even easier for lots of people to read it.  Okay if I convert the Vatican's PDF to a bunch of different formats?
Vatican:  Of course!  Good job, Brandon. What's your address?  I'll send you a basket of oranges from the Pope's garden.
Vogt:  Thanks.

This is how the conversation actually went:

Brandon Vogt:  Hi, this is Brandon Vogt.  I'm super excited about the new encyclical, so I've made it even easier for lots of people to read it. ...READ MORE

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Unfinished Work

07/04/2013 Comments (40)

My father usually reads the Declaration of Independence out loud when we get together on the Fourth of July.  I suppose we'll do it again this year, if only to savor the beauty of the cadence of those words.  When I was young and listened to the Declaration, I used to feel pride and gratitude for our country, flaws and all.  But I've been struggling hard to find anything exceptional about our country right now.  The "long train of abuses" that stirred the founding fathers into revolution are nothing, nothing at all ,compared to the abuses we suffer from our elected government now, and we do it without a murmur. 

Would I rather have a bloody coup?  Of course not.  I suppose it's...READ MORE

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The Earth Is a Nursery

07/02/2013 Comments (85)

Last weekend, I went to Boston to meet with some college friends.  I realized, to my shock, that it had been nearly twenty years since we first met each other.  We go for months at a time without doing more than liking each other's baby snapshots on Facebook, but whenever we do meet, we just pick up where we left off.  The only difference was that, when we first started meeting in Boston as new college graduates, we went bar hopping.  This time, we met for lunch at a sit-down restaurant, and one of my friends asked the waitress if she could turn the music down.  Nobody had more than one drink, because we had to drive home; and we talked less about concerts and guys and weddings, and more...READ MORE

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06/28/2013 Comments (24)

Happy birthday to Mel Brooks!  I can't find documentation of it anywhere, but I have heard that when someone was fussing at Mel Brooks, maybe making demands that he would cut offensive scenes, or maybe asking him to explain himself, Brooks would just gaze blandly at him, pause for a moment while the words hung in the air, and then offer, " . . . Raisinet?" 

Sometimes, there's not really much else you can do.  This week has been rough.  After much thought about what I could possibly say at the end of a week like this, all I can offer you is, ". . . Raisinet?"

First off, something from the Master, Mel Brooks himself.  It was pretty hard choosing just one scene.  High Anxiety, Blazing...READ MORE

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Can We Save Infidelity?

06/26/2013 Comments (69)

As I write, the nation is waiting to see what the Supreme Court will say about gay marriage. The debates I've heard have centered mainly around whether or not gay people should be allowed to marry so that they can have the things that heterosexual couples take for granted.

The question is, do they actually want what heterosexual couples take for granted?

I just read an extraordinarily candid article by a gay man who promotes gay marriage.  He's been in what he considers a committed relationship with another man for six years.  They've had, he says, "varying understandings about monogamy at different times in [their] relationship."  It is, he says, a well-known secret in the gay...READ MORE

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Why Marriages Explode

06/25/2013 Comments (51)

Here's a happy thought:  caskets sometimes explode. The phenomenon is well-known enough to have a name: "exploding casket syndrome." It happens because bereaved people want the caskets of their beloved dead to be sealed up as tightly as possible against the insults of time, moisture, oxygen, vermin, and change in general.  They want the dead body preserved, and they want it to stay preserved, even once it's permanently out of sight.

The only problem is, death is death.  Bodies still decompose no matter what you do to them or where you put them, and decomposing bodies release gas.  So if the process of decomposition happens in a tightly sealed space, it's like trying to pump more air...READ MORE

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The Happiest Voice

06/21/2013 Comments (30)

We had a nice musical feast last week, with plenty of tearwater tea on the side, as we shared our favorite saddest voices. For the first day of summer, how about the sunniest voices? Who has a voice that just exudes warmth, joy or contentment, no matter what they're singing about? Here are my nominations:

Ladysmith Black Mambazo led by Joseph Shabalala. Most people first met this group when they collaborated with Paul Simon for Graceland. Listening to them always recalibrates my heart a little bit.  Here is "Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain."






Rotate the globe north (actually they were an American group, but sang mostly songs of Eastern Europe), and we have the...READ MORE

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How to Semi-Unplug

06/18/2013 Comments (54)

Last month, a Pew study showed that teens consider Facebook and other social media outlets more of a "social burden" then a pleasant and interesting way to spend time. One girl said, “Honestly, Facebook at this point, I'm on it constantly but I hate it so much."  The kids in the focus group gave several reasons for migrating away from Facebook and Twitter:  too much pressure to appear cooler or more wholesome than they actually are; too much drama; too much work.  I think there must also be some of what the senior tempter Screwtape describes when teaching Wormwood how to bring a man to Hell:

You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his...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.