Now Let Us Praise the Extraordinary Freedom of Catholic Life and Skin Care

01/13/2016 Comments (10)

If you heard some wild cackling last night, that was just me, lying on the couch and getting a little too much fun out of reading the latest exquisitely inane piece from Slate's Rebecca Schuman. 

“Radical Self-Care: Meet the feminist academics who love K-beauty” is the article that gave me so much pleasure. In it, Schuman explains that she likes to put a lot of fancy creams and things on her face to make her skin look good. At first she felt weird about it, because something something patriarchy, but then she realized it was actually the most radical feminist thing ever, because something something reasons something.

If you think I'm being unfair, I invite you to read Schuman's piece in...READ MORE

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Let the Grouchy Lady Come To Me

01/06/2016 Comments (60)

Tommy Tighe sets us up nicely for a little twist in his essay, A Letter to the Lady Annoyed By My Kids at Mass. He starts out with a complaint I've heard a thousand times -- a legitimate complaint, but maybe somewhat overplayed: Hey, fellow Catholic. I'm just here being pro-life, walking the walk, doing what Jesus told us to do, letting the little child come unto me, and you mean Catholics were mean to me!

Here's how he begins:

[L]ast Sunday you felt inspired by the Holy Spirit (I’m assuming) to let me know that I was handling the situation all wrong.

Didn’t I know there was a crying room where I could let my children be as crazy as they want to be? Could I take the screaming baby...READ MORE

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Give It Away, But Give It Some Thought

12/30/2015 Comments (29)

Frans Francken the Younger (1581-1642), "The Seven Works of Mercy"

Last week, Zoe Romanowsky made the sensible call to "stop giving our junk to the poor." She asked us to ask ourselves:

Does what you’re putting in that box honor the people it will go to? Is it your junk, or is it a sacrificial gift?

She challenges us to ask ourselves if we are giving sacrificially, to help the poor, or are we giving just to get rid of stuff, to help ourselves; and to ask ourselves if we're giving away stuff that will make the poor happy, or if we're giving stuff that seems good enough for them, because they are poor, and we are not.

Jane the Actuary at Patheos responded with a few questions of her own, trying to refine our standards for how and what to give. She...READ MORE

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Oh, That Final Verse!

12/23/2015 Comments (3)

The other day, my sister posted the sheet music for a lovely Christmas carol I haven't heard in many years. It's called “Would I Were Nigh,” and it's from An Irish Carol Book (published by McLaughlin and Reilly) compiled by Fr. John Fennelly, arranged by Fr. Fennelley and "J.G.P." who is J. Gerald Phillips, my sister's choir director in college. I can’t find a recording anywhere, so here is the music (thanks to Sam Schmitt for hunting down and sharing the sheet music!):

This is my favorite kind of Christmas carol: gentle, tender, and spare, with enough details to make the scene human, but also eliciting a sense of wonder.

The sheet music above shows that the choir director wanted the...READ MORE

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We Shall All Be Changed Into Soup

12/09/2015 Comments (2)

May I make a suggestion?  The caterpillar should be the official mascot of Advent.  Advent is the time for change, and the caterpillar knows all about that – or at least, he will. Advent is the time for realizing that we are just humble creepers, hungry and helpless.  Advent is the time for hanging in a transitional state, waiting to be reborn. Into butterflies! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful butterflies.

Yeah, have you ever taken a close look at a butterfly -- at the body, not just the pretty wings?  Maybe we had it vaguely in our heads that a butterfly is just sort of a slimmed-down worm, plus fluttering -- that the elegant butterfly body is what's left after cracking out of a thick and...READ MORE

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We Don't Kill People Because We Think They're Likely to Turn Bad Someday

12/02/2015 Comments (15)

Ben Carson is home from Jordan, where he visited Syrian refugee camps. He remains opposed to allowing refugees into the United States, telling the Today show that they would become dangerous to our country

Particularly if you bring them into an environment where a lot people of are resentful of the fact that they are here. That’s just going to create incidents that will increase further the likelihood of radicalization.

In other words, he's actually saying the words that the satirical paper The Onion mockingly put into his mouth a few weeks ago with the headline: GOP Warns Refugees Likely To Be Driven To Terrorism By Way America Would Treat Them.

It took me a minute, but then I...READ MORE

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Dear Simcha

11/26/2015 Comments (2)

Dear Nobody,

Here is my annual Thanksgiving Day “Dear Simcha” advice column! I hope and pray that, according to tradition, you (Nobody) will continue your so-far unbroken record of reading this post with the close attention it deserves.


Dear Simcha,

As you may know, yesterday was Walk-in Warrant Day at court, which means that lots of people who have a warrant out for their arrest turned themselves, hoping the judge would be reluctant to send someone to jail right before Thanksgiving.

I did this myself, and it worked like a charm, and I’m going home, instead of the lock-up. So, rather than spending the holiday trapped in a dim, drafty, funny-smelling building with a bunch of...READ MORE

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No Words Can Describe the Legacy of Harpo Marx

11/24/2015 Comments (8)

Yesterday was the birthday of the great and glorious Harpo Marx. No words can describe his legacy (honk honk!). 

Anyone want to hear my theory about the Marx Brother and the Brothers Karamazov? No? That's fine, just watch this; it'll be good for your soul:

Harpo is, of course, most famous for his miming, letting his insane rubber face and his horn-topped cane speak for him. It turns out he became mute for the movies because, when he was young, he never was able to memorize his lines. Here's the justifiably famous "mirror scene" from Duck Soup. Harpo is on the right, disguised as his real-life brother, Groucho:

When my husband's dad was young, he lived in the house next door to Harpo...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.