Nobody told me!

03/31/2015 Comments (43)

There was a commotion in the communion line. I couldn't hear what the deacon was saying, but the woman who approached him was responding to him in a loud, conversational tone that rose above the reverent murmur in the church. "What are you talking about?" she called out. "Is this what you mean? This?"

Horror: she was waving around a consecrated Host like it was a business card or a cookie. I started to put the baby down, preparing to rush over and tackle this woman before she did something unthinkable.

Then I realized she was smiling, embarrassed. She gave the Host back to the deacon and said, just as loudly, "I didn't know! Nobody told me!" And she walked away. As far as I can tell, she...READ MORE

Filed under

Let's Ditch the Prom

03/26/2015 Comments (51)

A Pennsylvania Catholic high school is requiring girls to submit photos of their prom dresses for approval, before the actual night. Deacon Greg Kandra passses along the story here

Such policies always sound a little heavy-handed (and students claim that the guidelines were issued at the last minute, which means that already-purchased, non-returnable dresses may be ruled inappropriate), if not downright oppressive (well, by American standards of oppression), but I sympathize with the school.  If students showed up in appropriate dresses, the policy would not be necessary; but flat out hooker wear is still very much in vogue. So schools can't simply count on kids, or their parents, to...READ MORE

Filed under

What Can Catholic Parents Learn from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

03/24/2015 Comments (41)

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarneav is on trial today, and we know something about the argument his defense team will make. They will say that, while Tsasarneav is indisputably guilty of carrying out a ghastly plan to murder civilians in the streets of Boston, he was no ruthless mastermind, but a vulnerable young man pushed around by his older brother, Tamerlan. The 19-year-old Dzhokhar was in a country foreign to him, just beginning college when his parents were divorcing; his home life was unstable, money was tight, and the only stability and guidance he could find came in the person of his violent, radical brother. Tamerlan took the opportunity to radicalize the teenaged Dzhokhar,...READ MORE

Filed under

Of Catholics and Capybaras

02/19/2015 Comments (24)

Think you know more or less what Lent is about? Nope, nuh-uh, wrong-o. You haven't plumbed the depths of contradictary human behavior until you've spent several years observing Lent as only a Catholic can do. 

Luckily, I've been doing it for nearly forty years, so I can help you save some time. Here are a few questions you might have about Lent and Catholics, all answered as well as they possibly can be. 

Q. People were being really weird about the ashes. Some people told me I would be sinning if I washed them off before midnight, and then my mother-in-law said it would be a sin of vanity to check in the mirror to see if they look as goofy as my husband's, and then my sister said that...READ MORE

Filed under

Oh, the Lents You Can Lent!

02/17/2015 Comments (7)

How should we observe Lent? Catholics are often eager to share what works for us, and eager to warn others away from what turned out to be disastrous for us. But, as Jimmy Akin points out

The traditional custom of giving up something for Lent is voluntary. Consequently, if you give something up, you set the parameters. 

Not only do we set the parameters for what we give up (sugar in coffee? A second cup of coffee?  All the coffee?), but we decide what kind of thing we want to give up (or take on) -- and why. Here are a few broad categories of ways to observe the penitential season. One or the other may be more spiritually fruitful for you, but none of them is really wrong.


Lent as...READ MORE

Filed under

Hot Showers for the Homeless, Courtesy of St. Peter

02/10/2015 Comments (9)

It's been many years since I was in Rome, but I remember my first impression of the city: it's extremely beautiful, and it smells like poop. Part of that smell comes because Italians tend to have dogs, rather than children. And part of the smell comes because, at least when I was there, public bathrooms are few and far between, and they are coin operated. The phrase "eternal city" takes on a whole new meaning when you are penniless, on foot, and have nowhere to go for hour upon hour.

For a college sophomore spending a semester abroad, this discomfort had its exotic charm. For the thousands of homeless men and women who live in Rome, having nowhere to relieve themselves -- and nowhere to...READ MORE

Filed under

If You Watch Garbage, You Will Get Dirty

02/05/2015 Comments (77)

Last night, my husband and I were talking over our day -- conversations we'd had, news that made us think. He said, "Watching that kind of thing warps you, and warps the way you look at the rest of the world."

And I said, "I know. And there's tons of evidence that people who watch this stuff keep needing weirder and more awful things to look at, to keep their interest."

After a "Huh?" moment, we realized that we were talking about two different stories in the news. He was talking about people who thought they had a good reason to watch that poor Jordanian pilot being burnt alive in a cage; but I was talking about people who thought it was fine to watch two actors humiliate themselves and...READ MORE

Filed under

Dealing with Busybodies: Some Practical Tips

02/03/2015 Comments (19)

Some time ago, I shared some practical tips for how to make a difficult decision. While it can be a huge relief to make the initial choice, we sometimes still have to face another hurdle: defending or explaining ourselves to people who feel entitled to an opinion about our lives.

How difficult this is depends on your personality. Some people can just shake it off when other people question or disapprove of our choices. But it's not necessarily a personality flaw to care what other people think, or to be disturbed when we're challenged, or to wonder how to navigate an interrogation without either losing our dignity or the friendship of the people who insist on knowing more. For a sociable...READ MORE

Filed under

Page 9 of 72 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›

About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
  • Get the RSS feed
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.