How Do You Imagine God?

05/12/2011 Comments (35)

When you pray, who are you praying to?

For pagans, that can get sticky—don’t want to make Odin jealous by sacrificing too many goats to Heimdallr!—but for Catholics, the answer seems pretty simple: We pray to Mary or another saint to intercede for us, or we pray to God. There is one God, and he always hears our prayers.

But what is God like? Now is when I wish I could just throw out pictures I grabbed from around the internet, because I’d love to illustrate this point. When you say your evening prayers, it’s just you and God in the room. But is it you and the Good Shepherd? You and the almighty judge? You and the suffering lamb? You and Yeshua the ironic rabbi? You and the Ancient of...READ MORE

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Opus Dei: The Good, the Bad, and the Albino

05/10/2011 Comments (100)

Now that There Be Dragons has hit the theaters, secular audiences are reeling from the shock of learning that Opus Dei admits members with a normal amount of melanin. It’s true! Josemaria was a downright swarthy guy, relatively speaking.

To the sane world, this is not news. Of course Opus Dei isn’t some kind of super-secret cabal of hooded masterminds who—okay, I’ll admit I didn’t see or read The Da Vinci Code. But can I just say ... THE GUY’S NAME WAS LEONARDO. If you don’t even know that, then I don’t want to hear what you have to say about anything else, coded or uncoded.

Anyway, if all you know about Opus Dei is what you’ve seen in The Da Vinci Code or There Be Dragons, you’d either...READ MORE

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All Things Bright and Nude-iful

05/06/2011 Comments (49)


I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been in a fistfight. First there was the royal wedding, for which, for some reason, Catholics nationwide felt it necessary to show their colors as either pro- or anti-enthusiasm, even though the one and only type of social leper that the royal family has managed to exclude from its ranks is Catholics.

Then there was the beatification and Divine Mercy Sunday, a wonderful opportunity for the universal Church to make snippy remarks about supposedly holy people who hang around with Jews and Muslims.

Then, of course, Osama bin Laden got killed, and I wasn’t the only one who commemorated this profound turning point in history by rushing over to...READ MORE

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Someone to Watch Over Me

05/05/2011 Comments (43)


When I read this 1997 essay about the death of Diana (recently linked at XXFactor), and I found myself nodding along. The author says that modern women’s over-the-top fascination with princess-hood isn’t just a craving for everything foofy and romantic—but points to a deeper longing:

t is the rare little girl who wants to grow up to be queen. To wish to be a princess is not simply to aspire upward, to royalty; it is also to aspire to perpetual daughter-hood, to permanent shelter. To dependency.

But, as Diana’s life demonstrated, that radical dependency bore terrible fruit:

[F]or all her fame and her 36 years and her accomplished motherhood and her millions, the life of a princess...READ MORE

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Fear of Hell?

05/03/2011 Comments (42)

So, I go for a walk in the mountains. Halfway up, I come across a little unexpected stream, with bracing cold water that sparkles over the mossy stones. The sweet smell of the waving weeds intoxicates me, and for one giddy moment, the shadow of a falcon races over my path. There are berries and wildflowers, sweet breezes and a new kind of birdsong, something wild and delightful that I’ve never heard before.

So I tell everyone about it. Most people say, “How beautiful! I love the mountains, too.” But one guy sneers, “Yeahhh, I’d scuttle up there too, if I shared your primitive fear of carnivorous valley monsters.”

I go, “Huh?”

And another guy goes, “Why, I don’t blame you a bit. It’s...READ MORE

Filed under atheists, fear, hell, love

Saints Act Like, Are Human Beings

04/29/2011 Comments (20)

Max Lindenman (filling in for Elizabeth Scalia as she, lucky lucky lucky duck, is in Rome for the Catholic blogging conference) asks “What saints can’t you stand?” The responses are pretty interesting: There are some saints that no one likes, because they were unpleasant weirdos. Then there are some that inspire and enchant some people, while repelling and disgusting others. For me, St. John Vianney is one of these repellant types. Every time I hear a saint quote that makes me go, “WHAT?!?!” it turns out to be St. John Vianney. Oh, well—there are plenty of other saints.

Catholics are, of course, discussing sainthood lately because of the approaching beatification of John Paul II. All of my...READ MORE

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When Kids Evangelize

04/28/2011 Comments (113)


Something funny happened the other day. The mother of my kids’ friend brought my daughter back home after a play date, and asked if she could speak to me privately for a second. At these words, I felt a chill, because my daughter is something of a loose cannon. She is five years old, and has silky, honey-colored hair, large doe eyes, dimpled cheeks like a rose in bloom—and the mind of an unhinged baboon. Not to mention that she idolizes her brothers, ages 7 and 9, and strives mightily to keep up with their sophisticated culture of violence and poop jokes.

So I was worried. But the mother was concerned about something different: It seems that my daughter somehow found out that her...READ MORE

Filed under atheists, catholic, evangelization, faith, kids

Confessions From the Confession Line

04/26/2011 Comments (61)

So many people came into the Church this Easter! Congratulations, my new brothers and sisters. I’m so glad you’re here. Your new faith is wonderful, and soon you’ll see how liberating, how illuminating, and above all, how much sense it makes!

That is, unless you’re going to confession. Oh, not the sacrament itself. The sacrament of confession is the greatest thing in the world, next to Cadbury eggs. Um, and the Eucharist. There is nothing better than going into a dark box all laden, dirty, and bruised with sin, and coming out lighthearted, clean and healed. Magnificent!

But the confession line. Oh, the confession line.

I love my parish. But oh lord, I hate going to confession there. It’s...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.