Holy Cow, My Mother Was Right

05/11/2012 Comments (31)

About the following, for starters:

Reading is what people do, like breathing or blinking.  Read to yourself, read out loud to your kids (any age), read with your spouse at night.  Every time you turn off the TV, you've won back a little bit of your life.

Not everything that's good is explicitly Catholic, and not everything that calls itself  Catholic is good.  True for art, music, ideas, lives.

But sooner or later, you have to decide which side you're on.  I think she said this to me when she saw the trashy cover of a CD I was listening to as a teenager.  You can make excuses and give yourself passes, but your spiritual life is made up of these choices:  there's no such thing as (a)...READ MORE

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I Can't Believe You Haven't Read KRISTIN LAVRANSDATTER

05/10/2012 Comments (75)

No matter how late it is, I have to read for at least a few minutes or else I can't go to sleep.  It turns out Kristin Lavransdatter:  The Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset was the wrong book to keep beside my bed, because I couldn't read for just a few minutes.  I devoured this book, stopping only to check the title page several times, unable to believe that it hadn't been written in English.

That's the first marvel of this trilogy, written in the 1920's and set in Catholic medieval Norway:  the incredibly fluid and evocative language.  I'm reading the translation by Charles Archer and J. S. Scott, which preserves enough of the formal language of medieval times to give it flavor, without...READ MORE

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Meddling In the Lives Of Middle Schoolers

05/08/2012 Comments (60)

We home schooled for seven years.  Now six of our kids are in charter or public school -- the oldest in 7th and 8th grades.  We're thrilled with 99% of what goes on in the school we're so fortunate to have.   But on the other hand, oy-oy-oy-oy-oy.  It is a tricky age. 

It's our job to meddle in our children's lives.  You don't have to be an obnoxious helicopter parent to realize that kids in their early teens are not yet adults.  We're not done raising them yet!  And kids in home school or Catholic school face many of the same challenges our public school kids do.

The first area of concern is the other kids.  We've never had to flat-out forbid our kids to hang around with a particular...READ MORE

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Snappy Peppy

05/03/2012 Comments (28)

Because it's Friday, and I'm about as peppy as a piece of eggplant skin that went through the dishwasher, let's play a game.  I'm calling it "Catholic SEO Mad Libs," because I couldn't decide which joke I wanted to go with.

This is my gift to you, the person who needs to come up with something that is both relevant and edgy, and has words in it.  You remember Mad Libs, right?  One person supplies the required parts of speech, without knowing the context, and the other person fills the words in.  Then they read the completed story aloud.  Hilarity ensues.

Here's the template, which you can use for just about any occasion.  Heck, you can leave it as it is, with the blanks blank, and...READ MORE

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Is It Really Okay To Laugh About Sex?

05/03/2012 Comments (86)

The other day, someone quoted Ephesians 5 at me:

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

If I understand her properly, she took this to mean that it is wrong to use coarse language in general, and she's probably right about this.  Mea culpa.  (I'm working on it:  just the other day, I heard myself using "Sam-I-am" as an expletive, as in, "Sam-I-am, this chili is spicy!" This strikes me as more weird than virtuous, but I guess it's an improvement.)


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How To Ruin Your Marriage With NFP

05/01/2012 Comments (344)

Couples who use NFP have an incredibly low rate of divorce, and many couples have reported that using NFP to space pregnancies has led to an increase of grace, happiness, and intimacy in their marriage.

Sound too good to be true?  It sure is!  Oh, using NFP can strengthen your marriage, but that doesn't happen automatically.  In fact, there are tons of easy and excellent ways to ruin your marriage while using NFP to postpone pregnancy.  If you're interested in sharing many miserable years with your spouse, here's your action plan:

1.  Men, make you wife feel either "useful" or "useless," depending on her current fertility.  For instance, if you agree to postpone a pregnancy, launch a...READ MORE

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NFP, Providentialism, and Future-You

04/27/2012 Comments (128)

Among the small fraction of married Catholics who don't contracept, there are two camps:  those who space pregnancies by practicing NFP; and providentialists, who may or may not actively pursue pregnancy, but who do nothing to postpone it.  Maybe we have respect for Catholics who are in the other camp, and maybe we don't, but we readily identify ourselves as belonging to one or the other.

Well, stop it.  Why?  First, because if it pits us against other Catholics, it makes us anxious to show that we're right, which is never an attitude conducive to discerning God's will.  Second, because when we identify our marriage as a providentialist type or an NFP type, it implies that we have to...READ MORE

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Good Fiction for Young Adults

04/26/2012 Comments (95)

I haven't read The Hunger Games yet, but I gather that the YA reading list hasn't become especially sunny or optimistic lately.  When I was a YA, everything we read had to be about two or more of the following: the Holocaust, suicide, or bulimia.  Also acceptable were books about racism, provided several lynchings were described in technicolor.  Then, after we finished our assigned reading for the year, the school board would hold a workshop on what could possibly be causing the rampant depression in the student body.

Well, it's too late for me, of course.  As soon as I'm done with this post, I'm going to go huff some wood glue, write a note blaming my parents, and OD on some Xanax I...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.