Tantrum Ergo Sacramentum

Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:14 PM Comments (18)

It's a whole year away, but I'm starting to get excited about World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia! There are going to be tons of fantastic speakers, and best of all, there will be a Papal Mass. 

Imagine, if you will, how much preparation goes into a huge, complicated event like this:  the scheduling, the promotion, the legal issues, even just making sure there are enough bathrooms. And how about the music? Which hymns would be appropriate for a Mass which culminates a celebration of all things pertaining to family life? Here are a few suggestions, from someone who's spent the last 17 years drowning in rejoicing in Catholic family living:

  • Recalling the importance of preparing...READ MORE

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What Are You Doing for Catechism This Year?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 10:55 AM Comments (42)

The first few weeks of school are accomplished. We've picked up most of the important pieces of our shattered psyches, and are looking around for ways to move forward, rather than just survive. Top of the list: what to do about catechism for nine kids? Even though the summer was technically full of free time, somehow we never managed to get any regular catechesis in. Well, better now than never. On the principle that doing something second-rate consistently is better than doing something first-rate hardly at all, here is our sustainable plan:

The toddler, who two-and-a-half, is perfecting her sign of the cross CUTE!), shouting "SAY HAIW MARY!" when we hear a siren, and learning how to...READ MORE

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Sam Rocha Sings . . . Augustinian Soul?

Thursday, September 11, 2014 4:35 PM Comments (2)

Sam Rocha's new album, Late to Love (Wiseblood, 2014) took me by surprise. Frankly, I had my doubts about music billed as "Augustinian soul." It sounded a little too cute and a little too weird. And there's always that old problem of music that aims to be both popular and religious: to often, it's only musically and theologically mediocre at best. But we're supposed to "support" it anyway, because it's the right thing to do.

Late to Love is different. It sounds good. Good, I tell you! Rocha's voice is supple and velevty, the production value is top notch, the musicians are in the zone, and the tunes are catchy, with flashes of ingenuity to keep you on your toes. In short, it's fun to...READ MORE

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Love, Blame, and Hope in the movie Mud

Tuesday, September 09, 2014 11:29 AM Comments (17)

The other night, we watched the 2012 movie Mud with Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon

My husband and I both enjoyed it immensely, both for its skillful artistry and for its desire to entertain. At no point were we whacked over the head with messages, symbolism, or art (none of that, "Lookit me artist the heck out of this fillum!" stuff that gets so tiresome in so many thoughtful movies). It certainly could have: it has heavy with astonishing imagery: a boat in a tree!  A floating house! A pool full of black snakes!  A string of pearls!  A diver who needs more light! While no second of dialogue was wasted and no scene was framed carelessly, the story worked fine on its own, and...READ MORE

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What About Behavioral and Spiritual Arguments Against Vaccines?

Thursday, September 04, 2014 10:54 AM Comments (90)

As we can see from Tuesday's post and the response to it, it's not necessarily clear what we mean when we say "science" or "medicine." So let's put science and medicine aside entirely for a moment, and let's focus on two arguments against vaccines that I keep hearing -- arguments which don't appeal to science at all, but which are spiritual and behavioral.

The first argument against vaccines is spiritual, and goes like this: vaccines are an affront against God, because they imply that the bodies He created, including their immune systems, are flawed and are in need of artificial alteration or improvement. 

Again: we're not discussing, today, whether vaccines are medically effective. That...READ MORE

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Science, Catholics, and Fear

Tuesday, September 02, 2014 5:44 PM Comments (130)

It is a disgraceful and a dangerous thing for an unbeliever to hear a Christian, presumably explaining science, nutrition, and medicine, talking nonsense on these topics. Many non-Christians are well-versed in Natural knowledge, so they can detect vast ignorance in such a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The danger is obvious-- the failure to conform interpretation to demonstrated knowledge opens the interpreter, and by extension, Christianity as a whole, to ridicule for being unlearned.   

All right, so St. Augustine didn't say "science, nutrition, and medicine," he said "the meaning of scripture."  But other than that, he's describing a good 40% of my Facebook wall.

More and more,...READ MORE

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What Did the Pope Mean by "Sins Against Unity"?

Thursday, August 28, 2014 11:20 AM Comments (45)

Yesterday, the Pope spoke about the need for unity among Christians. According to CNA, he said,

In a Christian community division is one of the most serious sins, because it does not allow God to act.  What God wants is that we be welcoming, that we forgive and love each other so as to become more and more like Him, who is communion and love.

This quote is being used like a giant, wet fish to fraternally correct people right in the face. Smack! Unity! The Pope says so! Whack!

Let's put that fishie down for a minute, and let's think about what kind of things the Pope was actually talking about, when he admonished us to avoid division.  He clearly didn't mean "Don't disagree with anyone"...READ MORE

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Catholics With a Past

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 12:45 PM Comments (27)

"The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?" says Rabbi Abraham Herschel. He may be onto something. When we look for insight and understanding, we go to someone who has been wronged, and who has come out stronger and wiser: survivors of wars, genocide, concentration camps; people who have overcome massive disabilities; people who have been abused and outcast, and who have responded with love, gentleness, generosity, and wisdom.

But what about the man who caused his own suffering? The man who has been selfish, foolish, ugly, cruel, and who has suffered because of his own willful sins?  What can he possibly know, anyway?

This past weekend, I was honored to deliver the...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.