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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The Saddest Voice

06/14/2013 Comments (70)

It turns out my kids like The Traveling Wilburys, which is okay with me.  They think they sound like The Wiggles, which makes me feel bad for The Traveling Wilburys and for The Wiggles.  In fact, the two bands are more of less the opposite of each other:  The Traveling Wilburys was made up of guys who were already rock stars, and just decided to goof around and have some fun.  The Wiggles always expected to be actual rock stars, but instead ended up being charming and harmless for the soggy bottom crowd.  Both bands ended up writing fairly light and carefree stuff, because, in both cases, who cares?  But I'm fairly sure that, if you look deep into Murray's eyes, you'll see deep wells of...READ MORE

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Ruin It Yourself

06/13/2013 Comments (43)

Recently, I turned down a request to review a book of full of crafts and projects you can do at home with your kids.  The reason I gave was that I was just too busy, but the real reason is that I’m just too smart.  I’ve learned, after a trial-and-error experiment that’s lasted nearly thirty years, that I’m good at making one thing and only one thing:  babies.  I do keep on trying to be crafty, and sometimes I don’t even make my family suffer too much while I’m trying, but even my highly biased eyes can see that the end result is usually a wad of gluey junk.  This is true whether or not I have been using glue.

That being said, even I have gotten to the point where I can spot a sure-fire...READ MORE

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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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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.