Choice

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (104)

You’ve seen that bumper sticker, “Question authority.”  Several generations have internalized the idea that to question authority is a fine and courageous act of freedom, and they are right.

But what they forget is the whole point of asking a question is to find an answer.  Only a fool would hear that answer and continue to crow, “Yes, but I asked a question!”  Questioning is a means to an end, not a self-contained act that has value in itself.

The same is true for choice.  Choice does not have value in itself.  The freedom to choose is a hallmark of liberty, but liberty is for something.  Choice is like the action of sharpening an axe:  after a while, you need to stop sharpening and...READ MORE

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Just Pray.

Friday, February 24, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (30)

I hate to tell you this, but you’re going to have to pray today.

Any Lenten penance you’re doing—any fasting, any sacrifice, any alsmgiving, any good works —these are all very well.  But if you’re not praying regularly, all your efforts are like buying someone a present, wrapping it carefully with a big, beautiful bow, and then putting it away in a closet forever.  It’s like cooking someone the perfect omelette and then leaving it in the pan.  It’s like calling someone your best friend and then—well, not talking to him.

Praying is hard work.  Praying is boring.  Praying makes you feel silly, and you don’t do it very well.  So what?  Do it anyway, because if you’re not, you’re like a...READ MORE

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A Non-Catholic's Guide to Lenten Weirdness

Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (68)

Maybe we are all Catholics now, and maybe we aren’t.

For those of us who really still aren’t, things suddenly got weird yesterday, starting with an epidemic of poor forehead hygiene among Catholic co-workers.  If you did the polite thing by licking your thumb and trying to clean off that smudge, you may not have been properly rewarded for your solicitous behavior.  You may even have been swatted at.  This is because Wednesday was an official Cranky Day of the Church, when Catholics are hungry, and feeling guilty for not hiding it better.

You may have been tempted to try to smooth things over by offering your offended friend the extra double quarter pounder with cheese that the drive thru...READ MORE

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Eight Lessons of Pregnancy that Everyone—Yes, Everyone!—Can Use

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:11 PM Comments (48)

My baby is now 2 ½ months old.  She is a delightful baby, completely charming, very friendly, healthy, lovely, and undemanding.

The pregnancy, however, was horrible. Granted, I only have eight other pregnancies to compare it with, but this one was really outstandingly wretched. Nothing went wrong—but nothing went right, either. People were actually in awe of how miserable I looked, and that was when I was trying to hide how miserable I felt! Phew, it was just awful.

Still, looking back, I see that it was an extremely fruitful time. Not only was I growing a truly wonderful baby, but I figured out a thing or two about life in general. Maybe other people don’t have to be pregnant to figure...READ MORE

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Keep Coming Back to It

Friday, February 17, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (33)

A reader writes:

I read your post about the mother with only one child, and there was a line it it that hit WAY too close to home, and I was wondering if you could give me some practical advice for overcoming this in my own marriage:

“My husband didn’t know how to help me. I didn’t know how to ask for help. My husband had become a father, and I adored him for it. My husband got to leave the house every day, and sleep every night. He got to go to the bathroom alone. I hated him for it.”

The reader listed all the spiritual and practical things she does to foster a loving and generous relationship with her husband—all the things I was going to suggest to her, to be honest—but she says that...READ MORE

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What Do Single People Need From the Church?

Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (280)

It’s been an unpleasant week for single laymen, I’ve heard.  Valentine’s Day and World Marriage Day, and even the current battle over the contraception mandate—all have love and marriage, or at least fertility, at the center of the conversation.

But even at other times of the year, the Church in America is extremely family-centered.  There are countless Church ministries dedicated to encouraging, supporting, and celebrating marriage and family life:  meals and baby supplies for new mothers, retreats and lectures for couples, special blessings and intercessory prayers for the family.  Myriad groups and activities invite and support children of all ages.  And of course the “milestone”...READ MORE

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How To Date Your Wife

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (43)

Oh, aren’t I lucky?  Last year, I got to write a post on Good Friday.  This year, it’s Valentine’s Day.  Different decor, same general atmosphere:  suffering and tears, remorse and reparations.  At least on Good Friday, you don’t have a bunch of single people watching you suffer and saying, “Oh my gosh, you’re so lucky!

Cream of tartar!  Semiconductors!  Onomatopoeia!  Gerbil bedding!  Notary public!  Joint compound!  Abstract expressionism!  Borscht!

That was me, trying to think of something, anything, to write about other than Valentine’s Day.  What do I know about Valentine’s Day, anyway?  It’s taken me most of my married life to admit that there’s not really anything wrong with women...READ MORE

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Fight Globally, Be At Peace Locally

Friday, February 10, 2012 9:00 AM Comments (53)

Ha, we thought it was a big deal when the new translation of the liturgy came out.  Remember how worked up Catholics got? 

Then, like a one-two punch, came the Komen debacle and the HHS contraception mandate.  Catholics who are plugged into Catholic news all day long might feel like we’ve spent the last few years carefully applying paint to a canvas—a little cobalt blue here, just a dab of burnt umber over there.  We’re paying close attention to composition, not wanting the warm tones in the background to overwhelm the subtly-weighted dynamic lines in the foreground.

And then, this past week, someone came along and said, “Ooh, you’re doing spin art—awesome!!”  and flicked on the switch....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.