February 25, 2017

Author Archive | Simcha Fisher

"Daddy Daughter Silly Faces in Morning" Photo: Steven Depolo, cc 2.0

Simcha Fisher: Daddy is an innocent man — an examination of conscience

Did you know that it’s almost Lent? Huh, huh, didja? Well, it’s not. But it’s almost almost Lent, and the liturgical year is good for two things: sneaking up on us like a thief in the parking lot, or giving us time to think about getting ready to prepare for the time of preparation. And this, my […]


Simcha Fisher: Why do we hold onto grudges?

Do you want to change your behaviour? Then you have to understand why you behave the way you do. I found some excellent relationship advice in an unlikely place: Cracked magazine, a secular humour site that mixes nuts-and-bolts, no-nonsense essays in with a lot of crass and salty entertainment. This particular essay offered five tips […]


Simcha Fisher: the Samurai martyr and the sex abuse scandal

On 7 February, the 16th-century Japanese samurai and martyr Takayama Ukon was beatified. He’s called a martyr even though he wasn’t directly executed, because his death came as a result of his exile and sacrifice for his faith. Takayama, who converted to Catholicism at age twelve along with his father, was not only a member […]

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Simcha Fisher: I so sorry

My daughter, who is almost two, picks up new words every day; but she also parrots back full phrases she hears people say. This is adorable when she shouts, “HI! NICE-A SEE YOU ‘GAIN!” when I come out of the bathroom; less adorable when she growls, “I gonna step on you” as I’m just waking […]

If the music's bad, bury your ego and grin and bear it. Humility is necessary for the reception of the Eucharist, after all.

Simcha Fisher: tell me again why you won’t sing at Mass

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with my new favourite artist, Jim Janknegt. I asked about his favourite artists, and he mentioned Paul Cézanne. He was surprised, he said, to learn that Cézanne was Catholic. How did he know? Because in his notebooks, the artist complained about the music at Mass. Going to Mass is […]


Not lost forever: miscarriage, grief, and hope

In the movie Gladiator (2000), the victorious but homesick general Maximus carries with him tiny, crude statues of his beloved wife and son. They are a reminder of home, but he also prays to them and for them, tenderly cradling the figures in his hand as he endures the pain of separation. The figures become […]

Always my baby: Mary and her mum, Pittsburgh, USA, 2006. Photo: Mark Knobil, licence: cc by 2.0

Simcha Fisher: undeserving, unremarkable, unreliable, and beloved

My social media feed is well-stocked with babies. I have my favourites: That one little girl with the amazing dark eyes and bounteous curly hair; that extra squashy toddler whose face is so ridiculously expressive; and of course my own children, who are sweeter, cuter, and more delicious to look upon then all the rest […]


Oh, such depravity. Tell me more!

When I heard that the state of California had legalised child prostitution, I held my breath. Strange stories do come from the west coast. I hear they don’t even have jobs, they just walk around smoking pot all the time! They spend every day surfing, braiding their beard hair, and drinking lumpy smoothies with suspicious […]

Amy Olsen holds her 1-year-old daughter, Piper, as she lights a candle on the Advent wreath at St. Raphael the Archangel Church in St. Louis Oct. 29. The wreath, with a candle marking each week of the season, is a traditional symbol of the liturgical period. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston)

How to Liturgisploit Your Kids All Year Long

As it says in the Good Book, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Likewise, the liturgical year was clearly made for mums who need a little magisterial oomph behind them when they try and whip their kids into shape, and not vice versa. A friend of mine takes this very […]

A Syrian boy, who was among the people evacuated from villages of Idlib governorate, flashes the victory sign on 19 December 2016 upon arriving at a temporary housing centre in the countryside outside Aleppo. Photo: CNS

Simcha Fisher: can we celebrate Christmas as Syria burns?

One mother doesn’t want to give her kids Christmas presents this year, because she’s so upset over what a mess the world is. The essayist spends several paragraphs bemoaning materialism. She says she hates the way she buys her kids presents in part to shut them up, and she wants to see them playing creative, […]

A detail from a 'St Dymphna's fire, by Jen Wojtowicz whose work is available at etsy.com

Simcha Fisher: “Emotional Rest” is our duty and our salvation

As Christmas looms closer, every mum, priest, teacher, baker and choir director I know is one cookie away from a full blown nervous breakdown. There is just so much work to do! Some of it is self-inflicted and avoidable, but much of it is just stuff that has to be done. And it is exhausting. […]

Photo: Tamaki Sono, CC by 2.0

Simcha Fisher: shh, there’s a baby nearby!

“Some people,” my priest friend said, “Would step over a bleeding body because they’re late for adoration.” It wasn’t, of course, a knock on people who take seriously their obligation to perpetual adoration. He encouraged us all to go to adoration, to pray daily, to worship God with our whole hearts, at Mass and everywhere, with all […]