Worry, and Other Unappealing Temptations

Thursday, June 05, 2014 8:54 PM Comments (21)

Last night, and the night before, I spent many hours worrying instead of sleeping. I was utterly at the mercy of my worries, pinned to my fears like a beetle on a card. I won't bore you with the details, but my worries included everything you would expect: money, health, education, family life, things I will never be able to control, things I can control, but wasn't; big things, little things, ridiculous things, petty things, tragic things, and the shade of green I had finally chosen for the living room -- or had I?

Anything and everything was up for a good worrying. I finally got to sleep maybe 45 minutes before the alarm went off in the morning.  Getting up seemed so unfair.

As I drove...READ MORE

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An Army that Intends to Win

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:04 AM Comments (20)

Last weekend, our oldest child was confirmed. I've never seen a full-blown confirmation ceremony before, because my husband and I were both confirmed by priests (with permission from the bishop) in small, private ceremonies. The sacrament was the same, but this mood this time was very different: the bishop was there, with his gleaming mitre and gilded crosier and concelebrants; the Knights of Columbus filled the aisles of the church, the altar boys were out in full force, and there were nearly thirty candidates for confirmation, all young, lovely, and, as least as I could tell from my seat, solemn and sincere. There was nary a Desiree or Destinee among the saints' names chosen. There was an...READ MORE

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The AP Stylebook of Galileo, Pedophiles, and Galileo

Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:54 PM Comments (55)

Here's something new:  For the first time, the new edition of the Associated Press stylebook includes a chapter on religion. The AP Stylebook is a reference guide for reporters, and lays out consistent rules for things like how to abbreviate the names of states, how to refer to congressmen and military people, and how to report sports scores. 

I haven't seen the new religion chapter, but I have seen how the press generally reports on Catholicism -- and it seems like there are already some agreed-upon guidelines. For instance: 

Catholics in the news. If an actor, a football player, a CEO, or any other reasonably decent, successful or attractive person is a practicing Catholic, that is...READ MORE

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Why Does Francis Keep Kissing Hands?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:57 AM Comments (99)

If you do a web search for the words, "Francis kisses hands," you might find a story about Pope Francis kissing the hand of the Ecumenical Patriarch, kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors, or "raising eyebrows" when he kissed the hand of a homosexual activist priest

Or you might find this story, somewhat less recent. The original story dates from the 13th century, and it's about a different Francis:

The saint was close to the end of his life, unable to walk and suffering from an eye disease and the stigmata. As he was brought through a region, some people from a nearby town came to ask for his help with their parish priest. They had discovered that their priest was involved in a...READ MORE

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The Rotten Teenager's Guide to Staying Unemployed

Thursday, May 22, 2014 2:28 PM Comments (33)

Have you finally turned 16? Have you run out of excuses for spending the summer lying on your neck and building Minecraft volcanoes to throw your chickens into?  If you are in the middle of a job hunt, here are some questions you can ask yourself, to predict your chances:

1. Your mother says, "Hey, you have a half day today. It's a perfect opportunity to go pick up some applications." Do you 

(a) Say, "You're right. Thanks. Let's go."
(b) Say, "But me and my friends were going to . . . never mind, let's go. Hey, can we get pizza while we're out?"
(c) Say, "Bu-u-u-u-u-u-u-ut I have to finish my science project that's due tomorrow, and I haven't had a chance to even start it yet because I...READ MORE

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We All Need Re-Creation

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:19 AM Comments (19)

My legs feet were filthy, my shoulders felt like they were in a vice, my fingernails were chipped, and my knuckles were bleeding. I can't remember the last time I felt so good. 

Yep, it finally got warm enough for us to work in the yard last weekend, and I got to do something really wonderful: I made my hands work hard enough to shut up my brain. Using mainly a small spade and my bare fingers, I weeded out my old flower bed, tore up some grass to expand it, wrenched out all the new rocks that turned themselves up over the winter, airlifted many benevolent worms to a safer spot, broke up the moist clots of soil, ferreted out the mighty dandelion taproots, and smoothed everything down so...READ MORE

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A Few Tips for Making Hard Choices

Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:00 PM Comments (29)

This is the time of year when people start asking me about how we decided to make the transition from home school to the traditional classroom. I started to tap out an answer, but then I realized that these ideas can be applied to lots of important decisions. Here is my advice:

First, figure out exactly what your main goal is.  Seems obvious, but when we're making momentous decisions, we usually have more than one reason for wanting to lean one way -- and more than one reason for fearing that choice, too. So narrow it down, as succinctly as you can, to the one main thing you want to achieve, and be honest about the best possible way to achieve that. Then figure out what your second-most...READ MORE

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Tug of War at Harvard Is a Sign of Good Civic Health

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:02 AM Comments (26)

There is much to puzzle over in yesterday's Black-Mass-That-Wasn't-(Or-Was-It?) debacle. First we thought they were planning to use a consecrated Host; then they said they wouldn't; then we thought they might after all. Then it was supposed to take place at Harvard; then it looked like it would be off campus; then it seemed like it didn't happen; and now some people are saying it did happen, but it was just quiet. All in all, the story reminds me of one of those fairy tales where the dragon gets smaller and smaller until it becomes an insignificant lizard that scuttles away through a crack in the floor.

One puzzle remains, though, and that is this: why do so many Catholics feel uneasy...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.