Book Review:  Fill These Hearts by Christopher West

01/31/2013 Comments (14)

Like many Catholics, I've read a lot more about Christopher West than I have read things by Christopher West.  I am very familiar with what his critics say, and also with what his fans say.  And when I read his newest book, Fill These Hearts, I discovered that his critics and fans are both right, up to a point.

Fill These Hearts doesn't have any new ideas in it -- and this is a good thing.  West has woven together many old and extremely important ideas and presented them for a new audience, one that desperately  needs to hear the message that he brings.   His writing is clear, accessible, and easy to understand -- but the ideas in it are profound.

He systematically demolishes the...READ MORE

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The Pushmi-pullyu at the March for Life

01/25/2013 Comments (38)

In Tuesday's post, "Eight Reasons Not to Use Graphic Abortion Images at the March for Life," I argued that gory, graphic photos of aborted babies can be an effective pro-life tool in some situations, but that, for many reasons, they should not be displayed in public places.  There was a huge amount of variety in the responses to the post.  Many people agreed with me, but many did not.  The interesting thing was, there was variety even among the people who agreed with me, and among the people who disagreed with me:  Even the people who agreed with each other didn't agree with each other about why.

I tried to find out whether the organizers for the March for Life had an official policy on...READ MORE

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Like It Was Part of His Name

01/24/2013 Comments (40)

My husband and I both work at our computers off and on throughout the day, and we email back and forth a lot.  Every once in a while, I get what looks like an empty message from him -- just a series of dots in a box.  This makes me  laugh every time, because I know what happened:  It's just Gmail being too smart for its own good again.  When you end every email the same way, Gmail thinks it's your signature, and thinks it doesn't have to include it in every email, especially if it's a response to a response to a response to a response to a response.  The recipient must know who it's from by now.  So smart, right?

And so, when I get an empty email from my husband, I know it's because he...READ MORE

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Eight Reasons Not to Use Graphic Abortion Images at the March for Life

01/22/2013 Comments (342)

Are you going to the March for Life on Friday, either in DC or in your state?  If so, are you planning to display graphic photos or videos of aborted babies? 

If you are, I'm begging you to reconsider.  Fr. Pavone famously said, "America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion."  Most pro-lifers understand that Americans are tragically ignorant about what abortion really is -- what it really does to real babies.  Many of us remember seeing those bloody images for the first time, and can recall being shaken out of a vague, fuzzy support for the pro-life cause into the realization that this is a life-and-death struggle -- real life, and real death.

But a  public place is...READ MORE

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God Isn't Fair

01/18/2013 Comments (79)

To paraphrase Fulton Sheen,  "There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate God. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be God, which is of course, quite a different thing."

CNN iReport's contributor "TXBlue08" is one of these millions.  Her essay "Why I Raise My Children Without God" reads like an inverse catechism:  she meticulously lays out false premises about God, and then affirms her lack of faith in such a God.

Well, good for her!  If I had been taught to believe in the God she describes, I'd run away screaming, too (and I'd be a lot less tolerant of believers than she claims to be.)  She seems to have learned about God in the way...READ MORE

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Bright Wings

01/17/2013 Comments (28)

I'm writing an article for Catholic Digest about end-of-life issues.  To be more precise, I'm finally writing this article.  I was putting it off because (a) I'm lazy, (b) it involved conducting interviews, and I get very nervous talking on the phone, (c) it seemed like a depressing topic, (d) I was petrified of getting some detail wrong, leading readers astray, and causing the needless deaths of countless helpless grandmas, and most of all because (e) I was scared.  Scared of finding out exactly what the Church actually teaches.

I knew the secular ideas of Church teaching were wrong.  I knew that the Church is not cruel or heartless, and I knew that her teachings are derived from...READ MORE

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Praying as a Couple

01/15/2013 Comments (46)

If you've ever read an article or list of tips for how to have a stable and happy marriage, you'll know that every last one includes something about regularly carving out some alone time together.  I recently re-read something I wrote myself, several years ago, and cringed at my words.  "Doesn't matter how busy you are!"  I counselled. "Budget for a weekly date night, and make it special!"

Well, as someone who's waiting for seven W-2's to come in the mail, I can now attest that there is a big difference between being as busy as you want to be and being as busy as you have to be.  It's true that date night, home date night, or even just some unplugged alone time together is very...READ MORE

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For Your Marriage

01/11/2013 Comments (51)

We all know at least a few people who, when confronted with a problem or with their own bad behavior, will say humbly, "You're right.  I'm sorry.  This can't go on.  What can I do to make it better?"

And we all know a lot more people who, when confronted with a problem or their own bad behavior, will invariably protest, "It's not fair!  How can you treat me this way?  It's not my fault!  You all need to change to make me feel better!"

The liberal but contrarian Slate magazine should be ashamed to fit very neatly into the second category with their recent article, It's Better to be Raised by a Single Mom.  Now, Slate has a habit of attaching inflammatory, attention-getting headlines to...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.