March 27, 2017

Author Archive | Simcha Fisher


Simcha Fisher: Six sermons I could do without

In Giovanni Guareschi’s celebrated series of stories about a faithful but very human priest, the beleaguered Don Camillo once pitifully prays to Christ to help him blow his nose in a way that won’t be offensive to the congregation. He knows that he is under more public scrutiny than any other man in the village, and no […]

What is really happening in this photograph? Marija Pavlovic, left, prays in St James Church in Medjugorje, in what was then Yugoslavia, in this 15 August 1987, file photo. Pavlovic is one of six young people who had reported visions of Mary at Medjugorje as early as 1981. PHOTO: CNS

Simcha Fisher: The Lady of Medjugorje is not your mother

This morning, we had a blizzard. I lay blissfully in bed and heard my little girls clomp past the bedroom door in their heavy boots. “Don’t forget to cover your ears,” said one to the other. “Why?” the second one asked. “Mama always says to,” the first one replied. “So our ears don’t get cold.” […]


Simcha Fisher: God is in the crumbs

The time: A Friday in Lent. The place: A refrigerator in a Catholic home. The trivial little thing I want to talk about today: An American corn dog — meat on a stick, dipped in batter and deep fried — with all the batter carefully nibbled away, leaving a sheepish-looking hunk of red meat, denuded […]


Simcha Fisher: The X-Plan for salvation, or how to get your kids to take ownership

One family with teenaged kids has instituted what they call “The X-Plan.” If any of the kids finds himself in a sticky situation, and he needs to be rescued, he texts an “x” to their parents or older siblings. The parent or sibling, upon receiving the “x” text, calls the kid and says, “[S]omething’s come up and […]


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 […]

girl-609647_1920 808

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 […]