A Pre-Pre-Christmas Gift

11/13/2012 Comments (25)

It's November, time for the annual complaint from secular and religious people alike:  Christmas decorations already?  Christmas music?  Christmas shopping?  Too soon!  Too soon!

While some businesses are taking a stand  -- or what passes for a stand (holding off until the day after Thanksgiving is now "noble?") -- most businesses are floundering, and they don't feel like they can pass up even a day or two of trying to nab some holiday revenue.  At the Dollar Tree, the plastic holly and berries crept onto the shelves even as we hunted for swimming goggles to take us through the final weeks of summer vacation.  Yeesh.

Well, this is the first year I've had any sympathy for the stores,...READ MORE

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How Can a Married Woman Be a Bride of Christ?

11/08/2012 Comments (40)

A reader writes:

    I'm a sixteen year old girl [. . .]
    For a few years I very much wanted to be a cloistered nun, and read many works and practiced some of the spirituality of different orders.  However, for a while now I've felt more like I might be called to marriage (and this began before I met any nice guys ;)), and though I'm only sixteen and a little young to be sure of a call either way, I've been struggling with a problem begun during the years I thought I was going to be a nun.  I was very attracted to the idea of Jesus as the bridegroom, as a spouse, and due to my age I fell into a "Jesus-is-my-boyfriend" mindset.  Right now I'm having trouble because though I'm not...READ MORE

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Authority and the Catholic Vote

11/06/2012 Comments (132)

So far, there has not been a mass display of penitence by Catholics who voted for Obama in 2008.  Joe Biden hasn't gotten knocked off his horse, and Nanci Pelosi hasn't started wearing Sackcloth by Armani.  And heck, I hope and pray that Romney wins, but he's not exactly Leo the Great.  As far as religious liberty is concerned, I think that we can expect him to stop the bleeding if he wins, but not much else.

But here is one thing that tells me that the tide is slowly turning:  On Sunday, American bishops around the country required all of the priests under their authority to read a letter at Mass, to remind Catholics of their moral responsibility to vote to protect human life in all...READ MORE

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The Good News About Bad Motives

11/01/2012 Comments (38)

Last week, my van was a hideous mess.  There was an audible shambling, sliding sound every time I came to a short stop, as the detritus of our endless commute migrated from back to front. Every time someone opened a door, something would tumble out -- sometimes a book or a toy, but sometimes something more squalid:  a muddy sock, an apple core, or even a chicken bone. I was disgusted and ashamed, but I just couldn't find the time to clean it.

Finally, at my wit's end, I took desperate measures:  I volunteered as a driver.  Twice a month, I'm now committed to drive middle school kids from one campus to the other.  And now, time or no time, I have no choice:  I have to clean that van.


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Go Ahead, October.  Surprise Me.

10/25/2012 Comments (119)

In case anyone's wondering, I'm going to vote for Romney.

I think it's wrong to vote for Obama, and I think it's morally neutral but foolish to vote for a third party candidate or for no one, especially if you live in a swing state. I desperately want Obama gone, banished forever to the netherworld of a presidential library stocked entirely with his memoirs; and I think helping to elect Romney is the bet way to make that happen.  Hey, I said it wasn't a sin not to vote for Romney.  It's also not a sin to coat your hair with Vaseline and make chicken noises at high noon.

Be that as it may, there are, apparently, still plenty of undecided voters out there -- the kind of people Donald...READ MORE

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Do Brains Break the Communion Fast?

10/23/2012 Comments (61)

While I was busy rubbing my hands together and thinking about how hilarious and yet subversively informative my post about Halloween costumes was going to be (once I got around to writing it), noted overachieving spoilsport Jimmy Akin went ahead and wrote it.  Even worse, the big show-off produced a slick video about it, including some very relevant images of kitten and puppies.  He also, without losing his rhythm, got sidetracked by thinking about delicious brains.

Akin makes the sensible point that people are attracted to spooky stuff for a reason -- that God made us so that we enjoy small doses of peril and tension, because it prepares us to deal with the real thing, which will...READ MORE

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Catholic Context and Catholic Noise

10/18/2012 Comments (74)

[Note:  This post has been edited slightly for clarity.  In the first sentence of the last paragraph, "when I vote" has been changed to "when I vote pro-life;" and the phrase "(or not voting)" has been added to the final sentence. -- Simcha Fisher at 11:43 ET]

"We're not that much smarter than we used to be," says statistical analyst Nate Silver, "Even though we have much more information."

Silver is the author of The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – But Some Don't, and in a recent interview on Fresh Air, he pointed out that the internet age has created a real problem:  too much information, not enough meaning. 

He says, "That means the real skill...READ MORE

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Twelve Movies To Terrify Your Kids

10/16/2012 Comments (127)

Because we are integrated Catholics, we observe All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Halloween -- the latter, by trick-or-treating, putting the little guys stickily to bed, and showing the older kids a scarier movie than we normally allow.  And because I'm still in denial about just how many outrageous promises I carelessly made about costumes I'd be happy to whip up, I'm thinking hard about what movie we'll show this year.

It needs to be scary, but not too scary.  There are plenty of flat-out terrifying movies out there, but we're looking for one that don't introduce any themes or images that kids aren't ready to deal with.  So, The Silence of the Lambs (1991)? I almost died of terror,...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.