August 18, 2018

Author Archive | Simcha Fisher


Simcha Fisher: Napolean at the baptismal font

The baby who was baptised last week was past the newborn stage, and strong enough to sit up on his own. At first, he was astonished to find water trickling down over his forehead, but he got over it quickly – and then he lurched forward in his mother’s arms, rummaged around in the font, […]


Simcha Fisher: Help, help, Humanae Vitae isn’t a rigorous logical treatise!

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Catholics have been indulging in a long, unrestrained, passionate orgy of whining about Humanae Vitae. Well, far be it from me to tell you you can’t complain about Catholic sexual ethics. They are hard. They cause suffering. They tell us things we don’t want to hear. […]


Simcha Fisher: But what if I don’t love God?

When I was little, I gobbled up book about saints, especially child saints. I wasn’t an especially pious kid; I was mostly in it for the fascinating, horrible details about martyrdom, and the dark self-interrogation about whether I could face down a lion or not. I was pretty sure I couldn’t, and I’d embarrass everybody […]


Simcha Fisher: We must remain open to the beauty around us

In the spring, we heard a bird singing. I asked my toddler what the bird was saying. She thought for a minute, and then said, “He is saying . . . I have a friend!” She was likely right, in a way. A lot of birdsong is what the dad in the novel A Day No […]


Simcha Fisher: Sunshine, buttercups, and rainbow flags

As the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae approaches, there’s been a lot of talk about the way we present and promote NFP to couples. One message keeps turning up: Enough with the sunshine and buttercups. We must stop telling couples, “Just use NFP, and you’ll automatically become close, learn to communicate, divorce-proof your marriage, and […]


Simcha Fisher: Should you go into debt to get a liberal arts degree?

Because there are so many strange things in the world, I imagine that somewhere, there are liberal arts college graduates who emerge from their liberal arts cocoons, tentatively fluttering their gorgeous, fragile wings and shuddering at the very thought of swinging a hammer or mopping a floor. Somewhere, there are effete, snobbish youths who believe […]


Simcha Fisher: When receiving art, be Penelope, not Argos

“Art and Poetry don’t explain the world, they depict it,” said author Michael Ende, in a letter to a reader. He continues: “They do not need anything that exceeds them. They themselves are goals. A good poem does not exist to improve the world – it in itself is a piece of an improved world, […]


Simcha Fisher: What I learned from my mistakes as a writer

A friend recently asked me, “What was the best online criticism of your work that you ever read? Not something crazy or mean but something that caused you to think, ‘That person has a point. I will adjust accordingly.’” Excellent question. I do like to blow off steam from time to time by sharing the […]


Simcha Fisher: Learning to live as a baptised person

A friend asked, “You mentioned once that having kids brought you and your husband back to the Church. Can you elaborate what that was like?” I remember the exact moment it dawned on me that, after several years of being indifferent or even rebellious Catholics, there could now be No More Coasting. We were sitting […]


Simcha Fisher: Five pieces of advice for pastors (and a thank-you)

Last week, a priest responded to the article “Five Rules for a Royal Bride” with a humble request: “I wish Catholics in the pews would write us new pastors and new ordained priests advices like these! Y’all help us to be men of God, men for others, and men that have joy in their lives! […]


Simcha Fisher: Your personal apocalypse is the only one worth tracking

A woman told me she thought a Marian apparition was just about due. Others in the room nodded their heads, agreeing that was starting to feel pretty apocalyptic around here. Maybe now would be a good time for Mary to stop in and give us our final warnings. I couldn’t bring myself to disagree. Events […]


Simcha Fisher: Is it technically abuse? Does it really matter?

Imagine you’re in the emergency room, talking to the triage nurse. She asks you what happened, what you’re feeling, how much pain you’re in, and how long it’s been going on. And then she makes a decision about how quickly you need to be seen. Sometimes, another patient comes in, and he’s in much worse […]