All Sin Is Disgusting

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (73)

In my post about St. Anthony wet house, the homeless shelter which allows clients to drink, several commenters reminded us that alcoholism is an especially disgusting, shameful sin—a selfish one, one which destroys lives and displays in the sinner a brutish, willful resistance against grace.

I got the same reaction to an interview I did with a homosexual Catholic man: Most commenters were gracious, but a few were openly revolted at the very subject, and said they couldn’t stand to hear any more about this perverse and unnatural condition.

They’re all right, of course. What kind of man would choose alcohol over family, work, and even his own health? What kind of man is willing to admit...READ MORE

Filed under guilt, sin

What I Learned When My Kids Went to School

Friday, April 15, 2011 8:01 AM Comments (39)

Danielle Bean recently told me, “When God said, ‘In pain will you bring forth children,’ He wasn’t just talking about being in labor!” It’s so true: Bringing up children is a work of joy and delight, but also an enterprise fraught with so much pain, fear and anxiety, it can be almost intolerable (and there’s no epidural for child-rearing!).

One especially painful enterprise is figuring out your child’s education. After six years of home school and one year in Catholic private school, we enrolled our kids in a local public charter school. Was I nervous? You could say that: I didn’t sleep for about a month, fretting about all the things that could happen to my little ones. They weren’t used...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, education, evangelization, faith, kids

St. Anthony Wet House: Cruel Or Kind?

Thursday, April 14, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (60)

In a program themed, “Know when to fold ‘em,” This American Life recently ran a story about the St. Anthony Residence in Minnesota. It’s something I’ve never heard of: a “wet house” for alcoholics. It’s not a rehab facility or a prison or a halfway house—it’s a place where hardened alcoholics can drink in safety and privacy. They are not treated, or expected to try to stop drinking. According to a story in

The St. Anthony model accepts the obvious — that a certain number of alcoholics are indeed hopeless, said Katie Tuione, program manager at Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul, a homeless shelter.

“This is about meeting people where they are and loving them. It’s not rocket...READ MORE

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We Need More Sex Education

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (115)

Pro-lifers are still digesting the news that Republicans have shockingly—SHOCKINGLY, I tell you—knuckled under once again and allowed federal funding of Planned Parenthood to gallop ahead. I just can’t understand how such a thing could happen—after all, if you can’t count on Republicans to keep their promises to pro-lifers, than whom can you trust?

Oh my gosh, I was really lonely there for a second.

Anyway, I happened across this little piece by one Jocelyn Nubel, who on Friday (before the budget was passed) was all a-twitch with a sassy little Lysistrata-esque idea: Hey, everybody! Those mean old conservatives want to defund Planned Parenthood? Well, we’ll show them—we’ll stop having sex...READ MORE

Filed under congress, education, planned parenthood, sex

The Communion Of Virtual Saints

Friday, April 08, 2011 7:50 AM Comments (14)

The parody-proof silliness of Rebecca Black notwithstanding, I love YouTube.  I don’t remember what life was like without it.  Want your children to hear some authentic frontier gibberish?  You got it.  Got an urge to hear “Mary Had a Little Lamb” played upon a piece of broccoli?  Presto.

It’s also an invaluable teaching aid.  Sure, you can tell your kids, “Boy, those people in Jericho must have been scared.  Imagine sitting inside your house, listening to the feet tramping as the Jews march around and around the city walls.  You’ve heard that it’s an army led by God.  And then they begin to blow their horns!”

But it’s oh so much better if you can dig up a video and say, “And THIS is...READ MORE

Filed under communion of saints, music, video

Pro-life Euphemisms: What Do You Think?

Thursday, April 07, 2011 7:59 AM Comments (71)

Words matter.  I know this.  I understand that if you can change vocabulary, you can change hearts—for better or for worse.  And so recent times have seen euphemisms like “ethnic cleansing” for genocide, “adult” for smutty, and of course “choice” for murder.

And so you can hardly blame us, who are struggling to push back against the tide of evil, to try to pull this same sort of verbal trick.  And I believe it helps:  because of our persistence, the secular media are much more likely to use the term “pro-life” than they were ten or twenty years ago.  To be sure, many still use “anti-choice” or “abortion foes,” but “pro-life” is no longer only used by pro-lifers, and it used to be; and that...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, pro-life

Hey, You: God Is Here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (26)

My daughter, who is five, asked me, “God is everywhere, right? So, he’s under the table? And in the fish tank? And in my ear?” Like every child I’ve ever met, she imagined that God had run himself through a duplicating machine, churning out thousand and millions of identical copies of himself. And thus he is everywhere, filling up the empty spaces of the world like numberless divine packing peanuts.

I tried to explain, but I’m afraid the best I could do was to replace this millions-o’-Gods heresy with a slightly less silly heresy. I believe she now imagines God as the giantest giant ever, and is just so big that, if you took a photo of anything, you’d see him in the background. She’s my...READ MORE

Filed under prayer

Santo Commodius, Ora Ro Nobis

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


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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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.