True Suffering Isn't Photogenic

05/01/2014 Comments (29)

 "I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it's true!" This is the latest catch phrase at our house (where I'm the only person who hasn't yet seen The Lego Movie, which the quote is from). It's a great point: just because something is a cliché doesn't mean it's false. Lately, I'm rediscovering the truth of a perennial cat-posterish idea: change hurts.

We all know this is true, yes? We're all familiar with a whole panoply of phrases that express this idea: "No pain, no gain"; "You have to break some eggs to make an omelet"; "No guts, no glory"; "No cross, no crown"; and so on.

But it's truer, and uglier, than most "cat posters" want to admit. The problem with living with a world in love...READ MORE

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Something Other Than God: Jennifer Fulwiler's New Memoir

04/29/2014 Comments (16)

Converts like to talk about their past lives, before they found God. A good many professional converts make a tidy sum out of shocking people with their former depravity, and then dazzling them with their current sanctity. It's almost as if they want to drive home the point: I used to be subhuman, before I found God. But look at me now!  I'm human! I'm a real boy.

If you have ever read Jennifer Fulwiler's blog or heard her speak, it will not surprise you that this is not the story she tells in her debut book, Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It (Ignatius).  Instead, one of the threads that winds through this spiritual memoir is the idea...READ MORE

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Doctrine Doesn't Change Over the Phone

04/24/2014 Comments (43)

There's this Catholic woman in Argentina who's been living with a man for many years. They have two children together, and are civilly married. Her legal husband was married in the Church previously, but he got a divorce.  So the woman is a Catholic who is living with man who is, in the eyes of the Church, apparently not her husband. As such, she is not in a state of grace, and may not receive Communion as long as she continues living as the wife of this divorced man. 

A difficult and painful situation, one which the Church is rightly hoping to avoid in the future.  A Catholic woman in this situation doesn't have a lot of easy choices, no matter how much she longs to be reunited with the...READ MORE

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This Law Is Not Pro-Life

04/22/2014 Comments (46)

Tennessee is waiting to see if its governor will sign a law which would hold pregnant women criminally accountable for drug use. If a baby is harmed by his mother's drug use, then under this law, the mother may be charged with criminal assault, with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

Pro-lifers. Does this sound like Tennessee is getting tough to save babies' lives?  Then think about what will actually happen if a law like this gets passed.  Yes, we hate the idea that women are harming their unborn babies. Yes, we hate the idea that women are harming themselves with (already illegal, already prosecutable!) drug activity. We want to use any means necessary to protect innocent people.
...READ MORE

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A Little About Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

04/17/2014 Comments (14)

When I was growing up, our parish offered a few options for Catholic kids: you could join "Snoopy Group," which meant that you sat in a circle and talked about friendship; or you could join JCDA -- which, in our area, meant holding elections, baking, and frantically filling out the virtue chart on the way to the church basement.  "How many times do you think I was generous to someone this month? Ten? Five? I'll just write five."  There was also a Catholic school, but my parents quickly discovered that it combined the worst of both worlds: old school disciplinary practices, and a horribly new-school approach to academics and doctrine.

So my parents took full responsibility for our religious...READ MORE

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Show Your Weasel Spirit Who's Boss

04/15/2014 Comments (8)

Last week, I was chugging along on my treadmill. The display told me I had one minute left. My first thought? "Aw, that's good enough. I should just quit now."  I immediately chased off that stupid idea, and it was immediately replaced by another one:  "Well, at least you can slow down for the last thirty seconds!"  

Well, I didn't.  If I had been smart, I would have cranked up the MPHs and added an extra ten minutes, just to show my stupid weasel brain who's the boss.  As it was, I exerted all my willpower to finish the allotted time at the normal speed.

If we're talking about the treadmill, it really doesn't make much physical difference if I push myself for 29 minutes or 30. But what...READ MORE

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The Evil Child's Guide to Holy Week

04/10/2014 Comments (24)

This morning, my daughter reminded me that this Sunday is Palm Sunday.

What she meant to say was "Light Saber Sunday." Because every parent of children with blood that is red knows that that is what you get when you bring a bunch of kids to an extra-long Mass and give them each their very own blessed palm branch:  furtive duels with blessed light sabers. Also blessed viking swords, blessed mustaches, blessed Harry Potter wands, blessed baby ticklers, blessed back scratchers, and blessed old-lady-in-front-of-us-neck-pokers, and of course blessed Wolverine knuckle blades.  At first you think your kid is miraculously giving the responses in ecclesiastical Latin -- and then you realize he's...READ MORE

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Teaching Contempt for Rules

04/08/2014 Comments (39)

It's never happy times when my tiny hometown makes national news. Matt Drudge doesn't pick up the story of a really successful chili cook off in Broad St. Park, you know? Nothing really awful happened in the story he did run -- just something so stupid that it makes me remember why I now live here instead of there. 
 
First, a little background. Three weeks ago, Christopher LeBlanc, a young male math teacher, was arrested for having sex with a fourteen-year-old student in the classroom. That's not what made national news, though. The headline that made the Drudge Report was about a different teacher, a long-term substitute, quit after decades of working for the school district, rather than...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.