05/28/2013 Comments (45)

Several years ago, an ex-Catholic writer thought she would spend a year sampling all the different churches she could find, one per week.  I haven't read the resulting book, but I do remember hearing her say that Catholics certainly don't smile very much during Mass -- and what a shame that was. I suppose it varies from region to region, but she's right about her observation.  In all the Catholic churches I've been to, I've only seen smiles during Mass on a few occasions:  during the sign of peace (which often feels like an interruption or intermission in the middle of Mass, rather than a part of it); during a homily, if the priest cracks a joke; when there is a "milestone" sacrament,...READ MORE

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Walk the Walk

05/24/2013 Comments (43)

Even at this late date, I’m still looking for it:  that one, simple step I can take that will make my life easier, make my love stronger, make my brain faster, and make my pants looser.  Deep down, I know there is no such thing; but hope springs eternal in the heart of a lazy person.  I don’t want to have to take all the little steps I’ll have to take to slowly and gradually make minor improvements in thirty-six different areas of my life.  I don’t wanna!  I want to push a red button and wake up to find that everything’s better.

Well, if we did have a red button that way, I guarantee you, the kids would have pushed fig newtons so deep into it by now that it wouldn’t be functioning;...READ MORE

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Ten Marks of a Good School

05/23/2013 Comments (73)

In the last nine years, our family has tried five different types of elementary school:  home school, private school, parochial school, public school. and charter school.  We're extremely lucky to have found one that works very well for us, and it's hard to imagine switching for any reason other than, say, statewide devastation by asteroids.  With all that switching around from school to school, we've learned a few things about the basic marks of a good elementary school.  (There are often fewer options for high school; and older kids have different needs, and are more resilient than younger kids.) Since this is the time of year when parents are assessing whether or not their kids are...READ MORE

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Psst, Episcopalians!  Over here!

05/21/2013 Comments (198)

You may remember The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.  When she took office in 2006, she was interviewed by the New York Times, and had the following exchange:

Q: How many members of the Episcopal Church are there in this country?

A: About 2.2 million. It used to be larger percentagewise, but Episcopalians tend to be better-educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than some other denominations. Roman Catholics and Mormons both have theological reasons for producing lots of children

So right away, we learn two important things about Bishop Jefferts Schori:  first, that despite her talk about inclusiveness and tolerance, she...READ MORE

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My Profession

05/17/2013 Comments (164)

In her illuminating post the other day, Jennifer Fulwiler describes going to a party where she knew hardly anyone, and conducting a little social experiment:  for the first half, she introduced herself as a stay-at-home mom, and got little more than a verbal pat on the head in reply.  For the second half, though, she introduced herself as a writer; and then conversation blossomed.

But this disparity in response, Jen says, is not necessarily because people don't value motherhood as a way of life.  It may simply be because saying "I'm a mom" can mean so many very different things that it doesn't really give much information at all.  She says:

I know that a lot of moms who are out of...READ MORE

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05/16/2013 Comments (73)

I woke up this morning to an angry -- oddly, almost a tearfully angry -- letter, protesting my blatant racism, my inappropriately partisan tone, and my meanypants attitude in a post I wrote some eight months ago.  This was back when the "Romney 2012, I Guess" campaign looked like it had a good chance of eeking out a victory over Obama, so I offered a list of ideas for how the Obama campaign could bulk up their fundraising strategy.  (I remember writing this post, because I was doing that Yosemite Sam evil laugh so hard, I almost choked on my own tongue.  If there were some way I could pay myself for enjoying my own stupid jokes, I'd be out-fundraising all three parties put together.)


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Beep Beep Yesh

05/14/2013 Comments (182)

So you're in your car, you've got the windows down, and you feel like doing some very mild rocking out in your dorky, parentish way.  But of course the kids are also in the car.  What to do?

Some people just make the kiddies hitch a ride on whatever crazy train the parents are on:



It ain't pretty.  But it's also fairly depressing to realize that the last hundred tunes you listened to all had to do with little white ducks or the importance of eating veggies.

We never really got into kid music much.  Instead, we cherry pick the kid-friendly stuff from our favorite albums, and everybody's happy.  As a bonus, we have discovered a few excellent threats: "Do you want me...READ MORE

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Humblesse Oblige

05/10/2013 Comments (33)

On Thursday morning, I had the following thought process.  Raise your hand if you can relate:

Let’s see, Thursday, Thursday.  Almost done with the week.
Let’s see, Facebook, Facebook.  Ha, look at that cat . .  Oh, poor lady, gotta pray for her . . . Ugh, MSM hypocrisy . . . Ha, look at that other cat . . .
WAIT.  Holy Day?  Of obligation?  Today?  Wait, no, they changed it to Sunday!  Or did they?  No, not in my diocese!  Phew.
Okay, but we really should go, even if we don’t have to.  I should go because I want to and because it’s a privilege, not because I have to!
But wait, I can’t, because I already made that appointment, and we were on the waiting list forever, and we already...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.