Santo Commodius, Ora Ro Nobis

Friday, April 01, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (10)

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One of the nice things about having a half-brother who works as a custodian in the office of the papal Advocatus Diaboli is that you hear all kinds of interesting tidbits.  I don’t mind passing this along because I know y’all are a fairly friendly audience (except for the person or persons who keep mailing me dead fish), and won’t share this story with anyone who wouldn’t understand.

Here’s the scoop:  recent excavations in the caves of New Jersey have unearthed some mind-blowing new artifacts dating from the second century AD.  No, they’re not Algonquin, but are remnants from a short-lived protomonastic movement of seafaring ascetics who, frustrated with the inescapable comforts of life...READ MORE

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Is the World Getting Worse?

Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (80)

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Well, it’s definitely pretty bad.  Turn on the news, and any halfway decent citizen will quickly run out of adjectives to describe what goes on in research labs, classrooms, courtrooms and battlefields alike.  And even in the shelter of our homes, several generations are growing up plugged in, tuned out, increasingly deaf and cold to the calls of the human heart.  Evil surrounds us; we’re drowning in it.  Horrors abound, and no one is even outraged—we’ve even gotten to the point where the worst actions are lauded as progress or enlightenment.  No doubt about it:  the world is getting worse.  The end must be near, because, God help us, we’ve never sunk this low.

Or have we?

This...READ MORE

Filed under evil, history, hope

There's No Such Fing as Grace!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (43)

When my son was a toddler, he went through an angry stage. He would step out into the yard, where friendly butterflies kissed the sweet faces of daisies dancing in the golden sunshine. And he would growl, “It is NOT a bootiful day.”

Another time, he was having a temper tantrum in the car. We tried to distract him: “Look at the pretty trees! Oh, look at the cows! Look at the water!” and he would answer us, “I don’t yike the cows.  I don’t yike the water. It’s stupid water. There’s no such FING as water!”

He’s much happier now. But I think of that stage from time to time when I run across a certain type of Catholic. There are frankly heretical movements, like these fellows, who apparently...READ MORE

Filed under feast days, lent, penance

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

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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.