Why Does Francis Keep Kissing Hands?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:57 AM Comments (99)

If you do a web search for the words, "Francis kisses hands," you might find a story about Pope Francis kissing the hand of the Ecumenical Patriarch, kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors, or "raising eyebrows" when he kissed the hand of a homosexual activist priest

Or you might find this story, somewhat less recent. The original story dates from the 13th century, and it's about a different Francis:

The saint was close to the end of his life, unable to walk and suffering from an eye disease and the stigmata. As he was brought through a region, some people from a nearby town came to ask for his help with their parish priest. They had discovered that their priest was involved in a...READ MORE

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The Rotten Teenager's Guide to Staying Unemployed

Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:28 PM Comments (33)

Have you finally turned 16? Have you run out of excuses for spending the summer lying on your neck and building Minecraft volcanoes to throw your chickens into?  If you are in the middle of a job hunt, here are some questions you can ask yourself, to predict your chances:
 

1. Your mother says, "Hey, you have a half day today. It's a perfect opportunity to go pick up some applications." Do you 

(a) Say, "You're right. Thanks. Let's go."
(b) Say, "But me and my friends were going to . . . never mind, let's go. Hey, can we get pizza while we're out?"
(c) Say, "Bu-u-u-u-u-u-u-ut I have to finish my science project that's due tomorrow, and I haven't had a chance to even start it yet because I...READ MORE

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We All Need Re-Creation

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:19 AM Comments (19)

My legs feet were filthy, my shoulders felt like they were in a vice, my fingernails were chipped, and my knuckles were bleeding. I can't remember the last time I felt so good. 

Yep, it finally got warm enough for us to work in the yard last weekend, and I got to do something really wonderful: I made my hands work hard enough to shut up my brain. Using mainly a small spade and my bare fingers, I weeded out my old flower bed, tore up some grass to expand it, wrenched out all the new rocks that turned themselves up over the winter, airlifted many benevolent worms to a safer spot, broke up the moist clots of soil, ferreted out the mighty dandelion taproots, and smoothed everything down so...READ MORE

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A Few Tips for Making Hard Choices

Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:00 PM Comments (29)

This is the time of year when people start asking me about how we decided to make the transition from home school to the traditional classroom. I started to tap out an answer, but then I realized that these ideas can be applied to lots of important decisions. Here is my advice:

First, figure out exactly what your main goal is.  Seems obvious, but when we're making momentous decisions, we usually have more than one reason for wanting to lean one way -- and more than one reason for fearing that choice, too. So narrow it down, as succinctly as you can, to the one main thing you want to achieve, and be honest about the best possible way to achieve that. Then figure out what your second-most...READ MORE

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Tug of War at Harvard Is a Sign of Good Civic Health

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:02 AM Comments (26)

There is much to puzzle over in yesterday's Black-Mass-That-Wasn't-(Or-Was-It?) debacle. First we thought they were planning to use a consecrated Host; then they said they wouldn't; then we thought they might after all. Then it was supposed to take place at Harvard; then it looked like it would be off campus; then it seemed like it didn't happen; and now some people are saying it did happen, but it was just quiet. All in all, the story reminds me of one of those fairy tales where the dragon gets smaller and smaller until it becomes an insignificant lizard that scuttles away through a crack in the floor.

One puzzle remains, though, and that is this: why do so many Catholics feel uneasy...READ MORE

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Satan Isn't Fussy, But Neither is Christ

Thursday, May 08, 2014 11:52 AM Comments (27)

Spokesmen for the "Satanic Temple" of New York are giving conflicting stories about whether a consecrated or an unconsecrated Host will be used in the Black Mass "recreation" hosted by Harvard's Cultural Studies club.   

Does it make a difference? Yes, a big difference. A Black Mass is a sacrilegious parody of the Mass which profanes the Eucharist. It would be hard to overstate how dreadful this is to Catholics. Countless martyrs have died protecting a consecrated Host from injury. So if they are planning to use a consecrated Host -- that is, if they are going to insult and damage the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the species of bread -- then Catholics should be fasting...READ MORE

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Yarr, Novenas

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 1:17 PM Comments (39)

Being a lazy slob, it's easy enough to ignore all my super physically fit friends and their perpetual challenges. "My FitBit says I worked off 39,00 calories today by replacing my desk chair with a giant hamster wheel that is on fire!" reports one friend, and I yawn. "Just four months more to train for the Monster Mama Marathon," says another, "Where women in their third trimester run 26 miles as a way of warming up before they swim the English Channel with their husbands on their backs! It's gonna be a blast!" Yeah, last time I was pregnant I blasted my way through those last months, too, but wasn't no one takin' pictures.

So, I'm immune to that kind of challenge. Give me my treadmill and...READ MORE

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True Suffering Isn't Photogenic

Thursday, May 01, 2014 11:01 AM Comments (29)

 "I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it's true!" This is the latest catch phrase at our house (where I'm the only person who hasn't yet seen The Lego Movie, which the quote is from). It's a great point: just because something is a cliché doesn't mean it's false. Lately, I'm rediscovering the truth of a perennial cat-posterish idea: change hurts.

We all know this is true, yes? We're all familiar with a whole panoply of phrases that express this idea: "No pain, no gain"; "You have to break some eggs to make an omelet"; "No guts, no glory"; "No cross, no crown"; and so on.

But it's truer, and uglier, than most "cat posters" want to admit. The problem with living with a world in love...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.