It's "Buy Your Priest a Beer" Week!

Friday, March 25, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (33)

Yeah, it’s a Friday in Lent. I’m posting this today, because you are likely to meet a priest over the weekend, and should start making plans now.

Here’s the deal: Catholics need to be nicer to their priests. It used to be that priests were members of a happy, bustling community—almost universally respected, pampered and well-fed by the empty-nesters of the parish, and they had plenty of company from priests their own age.

That has changed. The priesthood has always been a demanding life—but I don’t think it’s ever been as lonely as it is today.

Think about it: These guys get shuttled around, never getting to put down roots. They spend hours on the road trying to cover a whole cluster of...READ MORE

Filed under priests

There Are Many Mansions

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (17)

Catholics are to seek God’s will in all things. Does he want us to take the job that will give the family more financial stability, but requires travel; or the job that pays less, but is ten minutes from home? Go to this college or that college? Start a home business or plug away at a large corporation? Homeschool or not? God rarely sends revelatory dreams, so when there are benefits to each choice, we just have to pray and do our best—and either it will go well, or it won’t. But if you’re paying attention, you can almost always glean something good from any choice you make (even the disasters).

As we started to discuss on Monday, though, the choice about whether or not to have another...READ MORE

Filed under discernment, god's will, marriage, nfp, sex

Gender Studies

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (34)

I have sons and daughters: three girls, then two boys, and then three more girls. Our house is basically a giant toy storeroom, and you play how you want to play, no questions asked. My boys mostly choose weapons and robots and dinosaurs, but occasionally baby dolls. My daughters play with tea sets and doll carriages and lace-up toys, but also light sabers.

A few years ago, I found myself trading funny kid stories with a group of moms. I told them about my then three-year-old daughter who—unlike her older sisters—had older brothers as role models. She was running along and suddenly took a magnificent header, SPLAT, right on her face on the floor. “And then,” I said, “She just got up, shook...READ MORE

Filed under feminism, gender, stereotypes

Every Part of the Buffalo

Friday, March 18, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (18)

Remember learning in third grade that the Native Americans used every part of the buffalo? The hide, the hooves, the horns, the organs, the bones, the sinew, and of course the meat—it was all put to good use, and helped them survive.  Nothing went to waste, not even the waste! They burned that for fuel.

Well, being a Catholic is kind of like that. Who could possibly find a use for a leaky pipe, a suicidal van, a five-year-old boy who routinely goes berserk, a bulging waistline, a wrenched back and another sleepless night, or fleas?

Who but God?

I certainly don’t want all of those things; I have no use for them at all. But when they come rumbling across the landscape at me in herds, I can...READ MORE

Filed under prayer, suffering

NFP Charting? There's an App for That

Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:00 AM Comments (51)

Now that the storm of ludicrous misinformation about the Confession app has all but died down, I’d like to draw your attention to another app that will be useful to many Catholics—and it was developed by a Baptist.

It’s an NFP charting app for iPad and iPhone.  There are several NFP apps available, mostly for the sympto-thermal method. They carry the warning: “for recreational purposes only,” which makes me giggle.  “Recreational?” I hate, dread, and stink at keeping charts. No, that’s not God’s way of telling me that NFP is inherently sinful, or that I should just go ahead and have 11 more babies. It’s just that I and my household are utterly, tragically unsuited for handling routine...READ MORE

Filed under apps, catholic, nfp

What We're Willing to Live With

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:00 AM Comments (9)

On Sunday, my husband and I had a home date. For reasons beyond my control, it featured red wine, fresh mozzarella with prosciutto, and sun dried tomatoes with basil and chopped almonds ... served on Goldfish crackers. It was very romantic, because my husband was super nice about the Goldfish crackers. Sometimes we do the whole “tablecloth, soft music and candlelight” bit, but we looked at each other and realized that we wanted nothing more than to zonk out in front of the TV for a while. So we watched Insomnia (2002), which is available for instant viewing on Netflix.

I didn’t zonk out! The movie was too good. And highly appropriate for Lent, since it’s all about self-examination and...READ MORE

Filed under compromise, lent, movies, reviews

Just How Holy Are You?

Friday, March 11, 2011 10:04 AM Comments (46)

In these early days of Lent, we can get to feeling pretty holy.  The bloom is not yet off the rose.  It’s the first week, and our souls are filled to the brim with a bracing combination of pious fervor and healthy humility.

But just how holy are you, really?  Here’s a handy quiz to help you keep track of your spiritual state.

1.  It’s Ash Wednesday Mass, and it’s so crowded with novelty-seekers that you and your kids can’t find a seat.  Do you:

(a)  Praise God that you may, all unknowing, be witness to the miracle as the Holy Spirit plants the seeds of faith in the hearts of your fallen-away brethren?
(b)  Force yourself to smile and nod at all the strangers busily texting their friends...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, garlic bread, lent, music

Gail DeMasi: "The Basic Knowing Is Already on Our Hearts"

Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:00 AM Comments (6)

One nice thing about living in a small state?  You run into the new President of the NH Citizens for Life while waiting for the deli man to slice your ham.  Gail DeMasi has always been more than approachable, though.  She and her husband Andy are down-to-earth, literally: they plow roads and cut wood in their rural neighborhood, as well as renovate and sell houses, raise purebred dogs, sell gelato, and teach the deaf, among other enterprises.  Did you guess that DeMasi also home schools?  Of her fourteen children, five are still at home, along with a few grandchildren.  Her grown children have spread out around the country and the world.

Did I mention she’s taking a Criminology course, is...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, citizens for life, planned parenthood, politics, pro-life

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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.