February 21, 2018

Author Archive | Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher: Why we must leave the ninety-nine

You know this story. You’ve heard it so many times, it doesn’t sound fresh anymore: If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, […]

PHOTO: Bosmanerwin/Pixabay

Simcha Fisher: Are you ready to give up your enemies for Lent?

Guess what it’s time for? GIVING UP YOUR SINS. No, really. Look at the liturgical calendar. If not now, then when? On your deathbed? I don’t like the odds. What if your bus falls off a cliff, and your dying words are less “Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner,” and more “Aieeeeeee!”? Anyway, […]


Simcha Fisher: What does it mean to be present at Mass?

The good news is, our toddler did not spend Mass running around outside, throwing grass at birds and despoiling the Marian garden. The bad news is, that’s only because we’re under a foot of snow here, and the grass, birds, and garden are nowhere to be seen. We love that kid, but she is just […]


Simcha Fisher: Fostering friendships can save us from sexual chaos

In our family, we gloat over what excellent husbands (or priests) our sons will be someday because they’ve had so much practice hanging around women. Big sisters, little sisters, teenage sisters, toddler sisters, not to mention hoards of sisters’ friends – and of course their batty old mother. We have two sons, right in the […]


Simcha Fisher: When is parish shopping fair game?

All Catholics practice the same faith. You must repeat this to yourself, firmly and often, when you visit more than one Catholic parish, because it’s not always obvious. The variation from parish to parish in how that faith is practiced is intense and startling. I’m not even talking about different rites. Even if you visit […]


Simcha Fisher: A lot to ask from a baby

Occasionally, a lonely, unloved young woman will deliberately get pregnant by a man she doesn’t care about, thinking that a baby will love her unconditionally. She’s so desperate for affection and loyalty, she creates another human being, not realizing that a baby loves his mother, but a baby is also helpless, endlessly needy and demanding, […]


Simcha Fisher: When we’re mad at God because we’ve sinned

The other day, I changed my toddler’s foul and ghastly diaper. It was not a good time for her or for me, but I feel safe in asserting I got the worse end of the deal. Usually, when she needs a change, she shrieks and runs away, forcing me to chase her, catch her, and […]

Detail of a 13th-century sculpture on the south transept portal of Amiens Cathedral, France. PHOTO: Fr Lawrence Lew OP

Simcha Fisher: Mary’s downward gaze

A friend was very reasonably grousing about holy cards that make saints look like they’ve died halfway through a seizure. The mouths hang slightly open, the eyes are rolled up, and they’re pale as a corpse. That’s how sanctity is portrayed. This gooey, sentimental style has just about died out, thankfully. I do understand why […]


Simcha Fisher: On fly ashes and flexibility

Scoot! out the side door went the priest, right in the middle of Mass. He came back immediately, and picked up where he left off, which happened to be just after the consecration. Later, he explained what happened. He had just drunk up the last of the consecrated wine — the Precious Blood — when […]


Simcha Fisher: Don’t spend Advent grousing about secular Christmas

Advent is short this year. This is your warning! The fourth week of Advent is a whopping one day long — just Sunday — and Christmas is the very next day. You may not realize that the first Sunday of Advent is the first day of the Catholic liturgical year. It’s a beginning, not a […]


Simcha Fisher: Want more priests? Try asking

We wrapped up Vocations Week in the United States a few weeks ago. A quick search tells me Australia had its vocation awareness week back in August. Never mind! As with vocations themselves, it’s almost never too late. On Sunday, our beloved pastor told a version of the story he often tells: He had already […]