Translating Bergoglio

05/09/2013 Comments (17)

Can you believe it's only been about two months since Pope Francis was elected?  We've been getting to know him through his papal homilies, and books about him are starting to appear on the shelves.  Pray For Me: The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis by Robert Moynihan was released a few weeks ago; and as of yesterday, you can pre-order Encountering Christ: Homilies, Letters, and Addresses of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.   Encountering Christ will be released at the end of May.

My sister, Devra Torres, who blogs at The Personalist Project, did one of the many layers of translation and editing for Encountering Christ, so I asked her a few questions about her experience working so...READ MORE

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The Joy of Not Being Sold Anything

05/07/2013 Comments (37)

We have a huge billboard on our property, and I can see it from my kitchen and bedroom window.  It's not an offensive image, and I'm so used to it, it barely registers.  I'm actually glad it's there, because the billboard company pays us rent right around the time our vehicles send each other that secret "Let's both break down!" signal.  Still, I am annoyed if a corner of the billboard gets into a nice photo I'm taking of the kids.  When I toddle down memory lane, I want to see little girls in sundresses frolicking in a field of black eyed susans, not a grinning blond lady with her shiny new SUV.

So I especially liked this image that's been floating around Facebook:


Okay, so...READ MORE

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Putting a Bird on It

05/03/2013 Comments (41)

My grandfather was in the habit of casually using God's name in vain.  This bugged my mother no end, especially when my grandfather came to live with her.  Finally, one day, he used the Holy Name one time too often, and my mother yelled, "You know, Dad, if you keep calling Him, He is going to show up!"  Ha, and what do you know:  not long after that, my grandfather was baptised.  I guess He showed up.

Most Catholics know better than to literally use God's name in vain; but we may have fallen into the habit of using the idea of God in vain -- especially if you happen to make a living in some field that has to do with religion.  When you are supposed to come up with edifying,...READ MORE

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Good Movies You May Have Missed:  Attack the Block

05/02/2013 Comments (56)

Last night, we watched the 2011 sci-fi thriller Attack the Block (from the producers of Shaun of the Dead).  I loved it!  I can't remember the last time a movie was so satisfying.

It's not meant for kids or young teens.   it uses profanity freely (although that becomes something of an inside joke later in the script), it's intense and scary, it has a few quick scenes of gross-out gore, and it shows lots of people doing drugs.  But if you are an older teen or an adult who can tell the difference between a movie that shows certain behaviors and a movie that condones and promotes certain behaviors, then you might really enjoy Attack the Block.  (There is no sexual content to this film,...READ MORE

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Comic Books:  the Good, the Bad, and the #*&%^*@

04/30/2013 Comments (73)

Saturday, May 4th, is Free Comic Book Day, and I haven't decided whether or not to tell the kids.




It's a little nutty that so many parents in the video felt the need to make a special effort to pass on their love of comic books to the next generation.  I mean, I like cookies, too, and I would be sad if my kids went through their childhoods without ever enjoying cookies; but I don't recall that they needed any particular urging to discover and pursue this form of culinary expression.  They introduced themselves to cookies just fine.

Anyway, it's relatively new for parents to even tolerate their kids' comic book tastes, much less encourage it.  Comic books have been...READ MORE

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Scat Free

04/26/2013 Comments (76)

Yesterday was the birthday of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.  I Googled "queen of jazz" to see if that's really how she's known; but I already knew that that's what she was.  My sister and I grew up wearing grooves in our LPs of Ella Fitzgerald singing the Gershwin Songbook. Such earthy elegance -- such a stunning combination of warmth and poise, passion and control.




I once told a jazz-savvy guy how much I loved Ella Fitzgerald, except for the songs with scat singing.  He laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  Somewhat offended, I asked why.  It turns out that Ella Fitzgerald is especially known for her scatting -- that she's also, in fact, known...READ MORE

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Ten Things to Do Instead of Wallowing

04/25/2013 Comments (42)

As Catholics and as citizens, we have a responsibility to be well-informed about the news, because we have a responsibility to do the right things:  write to our congressmen, elect the right (or the least disastrous) candidates, make the right choices for our kids' education, maybe boycott or support the right corporations, and of course pray for the right things.  But keeping up with the news most certainly falls under the law of diminishing returns.  After a while, reading the headlines stops informing you and starts deflating you.  You think you're filling your brain with information so you can be spurred to action, but you're really just filling your heart with despair until you feel...READ MORE

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The Theology of the Bathroom

04/23/2013 Comments (87)

Not wanting to be one of those overbearing feminist types who always doubts the words of men who are wiser far than I, let me demurely defer to the great scholar of gender studies, Dave Barry.  I can't find the exact quotation, but the basic idea is this:  if you are cleaning a bathroom and are wondering, for the eight thousandth time, why men pee on the seats, then wonder no more.  The answer is that men are jerks.

It's been strangely healing for me to remember this wisdom today.  We've had several parties at our house lately, and usually that means that the bathroom gets cleaned regularly, if with more screaming and recriminations than are usually associated with peaceful...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.