Simply Having a Wonderful Chickentime

12/07/2012 Comments (43)

Is it my imagination, or is the Catholic internet just bristling with lists of gift ideas for men this year?

Are there suggestion lists like this for women's gifts?  Is it my silly little lady imagination going all kookie again, or is it actually fairly easy to buy presents for women?  Of course it's  possible to go astray, but most women will tell you exactly what they want, if you ask them.  Then what you do is you go out and buy or make or get or do that, and then either add an unexpected upgrade, or add something a little extra to show that you like buying stuff for her (which you don't, but shut up, it's Christmas).  It's pretty easy.

But buying presents for men is quite another...READ MORE

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Catholic Community:  What, Why, and How?

12/06/2012 Comments (82)

A reader writes:

After converting to Orthodox Judaism, I adopted a very "frum" life in a tight-knit Orthodox (although non-Chassidic) community. After several years, though,(and for various reasons) I drifted away from yiddishkeit and eventually came to know Christ. (This is, of course, a very terse summary of my spiritual journey.) The main difficulty I have encountered with my new faith is the lack of community I feel in the Catholic world. In the Orthodox world, there were relatively easy and concrete ways in which to forge that connection with your community. There were Shabbos and Yom Tov meals to share, everybody attended the same shul, and holidays were very much communal...READ MORE

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Nothing Special

12/04/2012 Comments (29)

All mothers think that their babies are special.  As a young and insecure mom, I was really hung up on this concept of specialness.  I constantly compared my kids to other people's kids, reassuring myself that my kids were at least a little bit above average in every way, if not off the charts.  They were smarter, more beautiful, more agile, more alert, more talented, more promising in every area -- they had to be.  I forget why, exactly, I felt that way; but I was completely in that feeling's thrall.  I even felt slightly scornful of people who went ga-ga over some other, inferior baby's big blue eyes, as if blue were a good color for a baby's eyes, for goodness sake, when clearly brown...READ MORE

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Ten Silly Reasons You Won't Pray Today (and Why You Should Reconsider)

11/29/2012 Comments (140)

1.  You don't know how to do it.

You know how to talk, don't you?  That's what prayer is -- talking to God, and learning how to listen.  Like any conversation, it feels awkward if you are more or less strangers, or if you've been away for a while, but prayer is something that everyone can learn.  Try some Ignatian Spirituality for some gentle, practical advice on how to get the conversation going.

2.  It seems childish.

Religion seems childish to people who stopped learning about religion when they were children.  Don't think that whatever you learned about God in second grade is all there is to learn!  Read some Aquinas, or learn about the martyrs, and then get back to me about...READ MORE

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You and Your Heathen Friend

11/27/2012 Comments (284)

A reader writes:

    Can a faithful, orthodox Catholic be best friends with a non-Catholic (a non-Christian, even)? I've been criticized by women holier than me that my best friend is not Catholic--- they question how I can connect with someone when something so basic is missing. No common lens to interpret the world, speaking different languages almost.

    They wondered how can being friends with non-Catholics be beneficial to the improvement and salvation of one's soul? If you are friends with a non-Catholic for reasons other than Catholicism, then you are putting an emphasis on secular external things rather than trying to do spiritual work on your soul like you could with a...READ MORE

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Dear Simcha

11/22/2012 Comments (25)

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know that many of you are very busy and/or really depressed today.  Some of you are alone, and many, many more of you desperately wish that you were.  So, rather than tax you with a challenging or insightful essay, I thought I'd take this opportunity to clean up my inbox and answer a few of the questions that people have asked me recently.


Dear Simcha,

By this time of day, I'm supposed to be basting the turkey for the fifth or sixth time so it will be golden and delicious in time for our Thanksgiving feast.  But I haven't even defrosted it yet, because I spent all of yesterday watching Benny Hill and drinking the rum I bought to make rum raisin bread...READ MORE

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Advent's Coming:  Keep It Simple!

11/20/2012 Comments (41)

I know, I know, you're focused on Thanksgiving right now.  Just bookmark this for next week.

Advent is coming!  I always feel a little silly saying that, because the word "advent" actually means "coming."  But that's how life is when you're In Charge of Stuff:  you even have to plan about planning ahead.  So, if you haven't looked it up yet, the first Sunday in Advent is Dec. 2, which is less than two weeks away.

We do try to put off celebrating Christmas until it's actually almost Christmas.  I claim this is because it would be a violation of the integrity of the spirit of penance and preparation to behave as if Christmas has already arrived; but actually my main reason is that my...READ MORE

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10 Good News

11/15/2012 Comments (46)

Because you -- yes, you, with the quivering chin and the raggedy fingernails, with one eye glued to the morning news and the other sort of furtively calculating how far you'd have to fall before you blacked out, if you jumped out the window right now just to get away from any more bad news -- you kind of look like you need some good news.  So here you go!

1. There may have been a breakthrough in the treatment of medical problems associated with Down Syndrome:

Scientists from the University of Washington have been able to remove the extra chromosome 21 in cells taken from a person with Down Syndrome

Dr. David Russell explains in an article on the breakthrough on...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.