The idea that faith and reason are inevitably at odds with each other is one of the most persistent and least defensible myths of modern times.
Sometimes your day is going so poorly, for no reason at all, that you just need to curl up inside some music that makes you feel like somebody’s baby. Here’s mine:
“Dumai, Zlato,” whatever that means, sung by the Pennywhistlers in Bulgarian. We had this LP when I was little, and listened to it incessantly.
What’s your bad day music?
I’m not going to tell you to get your wife a book or two for Valentine’s Day, but IF you are VERY SURE that she would want a book or two for Valentine’s Day, here’s a deal for you: I’m offering …
The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning (OSV list price $9.95)
Catholic and Married: Leaning Into Love (OSV list price $14.95) with my chapter, called “Mirrors Around a Flame: The Gift of Children”. This is a new book from OSV. You can read a nice review of it at Aleteia here.
(If the Aleteia link isn’t working, cut and paste this into your browser:
both autographed by me. $12 each, $20 for both, including shipping.
If you’d like to order either or both of these books,
1. Email me at simchafisher[at]gmail[dot]com and put “SIGNED BOOK REQUEST” in the subject heading.
2. Include the following information:
(a) which books you would like: just SGNFP, just CMLIL, or both
(b) exactly what you would like me to write on each book’s title page (if nothing is specified, I’ll just sign my name). If you would prefer to have them without anything written in them, please specify that.
(c) the address to which you’d like the books delivered.
If any of this information is missing, I may run out of books before we can straighten it out.
3. The cost is $12 per book or $20 for both, which includes the cost of postage and shipping materials. Please pay with PayPal. You can use the link on the right sidebar (where it says “Tip tip tip tip tip!”) or use simchafisher[at]gmail[dot]com as the recipient address. Please specify “signed book” in the “note” section. (Yes, please pay via PayPal AND send me an email. Trust me, I need the email.)
4. No Valentine’s Day orders will be accepted after February 7. You may still order signed copies after February 7 if there are any left, but I cannot guarantee it will get to the recipient before Valentine’s Day.
5. I have a limited number of copies on hand. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you ask very nicely, I may be willing to give up the one I inscribed for my bishop but then chickened out and didn’t give to him.
The offer is a starkly physical one. This is not about political policy or ambassadorial maneuvers. George’s letter clearly reminds us that blood is being shed unjustly. The sacrifice of one body in place of another is an ancient and enduring bargain. This is what Isaac escaped; this is what Jesus Christ endured. This is the offer that we are all called to make for each other, to one degree or another.
Pope Francis Refuses to Meet with [ANYBODY].
That would be news. That would be a headline.
That’s not gonna happen.
No, you can’t imagine Benedict having a private meeting with a transgendered person and fiancee. That’s because Benedict was a different kind of pope, who had a different mission. Francis is doing different good things besides the kind of good things that Benedict did. And if you think that Benedict resigned with the understanding that the conclave would elect a Benedict clone, and was shocked and horrified to discover that Francis is a different kind of man from him, then you’re either horribly naive, or think Benedict was horribly naive. I vote for the former.
Francis meets with everybody he thinks he can talk to. Everybody. Everybody. At least so far. So let’s stop being shocked and astonished that he keeps doing the thing that he keeps doing. Let’s stop trying to figure out what it could possibly mean to us, and start thinking about what it could possibly mean to the people he’s meeting. Your outrage is not going to change his behavior. But maybe his behavior can change the way you think about about what the modern Church has to offer to the modern world.
Look, it’s news when something interesting happens; I get it. So go ahead and write the headline: Pope Francis Has Private Meeting with Non-Saint. But don’t make up a story to go under that headline — a story like, “Is Church on the Verge of Going Queer?” or “In Latest Outrage, Francis Undermines Traditional Marriage.” A legitimate story might go, “What could Francis be intending, based on everything else he’s said and taught?” That could actually lead somewhere.
We don’t know what happened in that private audience. What we do know is that this is a very personal pope, who believes in meeting people whom the world believes the Church despises. He’s going to keep meeting with people. Everybody. Everybody. He’s not going to get over it, so maybe we should.
On the way home from a Scooby Doo birthday party, my punky little daughter suddenly says, “Mama, how do wimmin get preg-a-nent?”
She is kid #7, and I honestly can’t remember how much she already knows, so I start vague: “Oh, well, when a man and a woman love each other very much [shut up, that’s a fine way to start this conversation!], one way they show each other that they love each other is they can put their bodies together in a very special way, and if the timing is just right, then the man can start to make a baby grow inside the woman.”
She says, “Okay. But how do they come together?”
I said, “Well, you know how [OH GOSH I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW] people have private parts on their bodies? And you know how a man’s private parts are different from a woman’s private parts? Well, they are different because they are made to fit together. Like a lock and a key. Does that make sense?”
Her: “Yyyyyes. . . . ”
Me: “So, it’s a very good thing if they love each other and they are married to each other, and they decide to make their private parts fit together in a nice way. And a thing that is almost like a seed comes out of the man’s body, and finds a spot inside the woman’s body. It’s almost like she’s a garden, and she lets him plant a seed in her garden to grow a baby. Isn’t that nice? Does that answer your question?”
Her: “Yeah. So, basically, a man is, like, a seed bag.”
Sorry, men. I tried. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard a man called!
As my previous post demonstrates, we are exactly the kind of people who should be having more children. Luckily for you, we not only are having another girl, but we honestly truly really still haven’t settled on a name yet. The due date is Feb. 26.
Luckily for me, Rebecca Frech of Shoved To Them is hosting a vitual baby shower for me, where you can leave your suggestion for a baby name.
Yarr, I totally forgot that I was supposed to pick a winner, and I totally forgot to mention that dear Rebecca is offering a $15 Starbucks gift card as a prize! I blame the baby.
So, how about if I choose a winner this coming Friday? So please stop by and make a suggestion! The names we’ve already used are:
Moses John Paul
And in the meantime, if you were moved by the spirit to maybe throw a few dollars my way, I’d be very grateful. Rebecca has a PayPal button on her blog. (Thank you, so much, to all the generous folks who have contributed so far! I have send thank-you notes to everyone using the email address provided by PayPal, so I hope they all went through.) We are set for clothes and diapers, but not so much for the paychecks I’ll be missing while I recover. I get as much maternity leave as my boss thinks the organization can afford. Unfortunately, I am a freelancer, and I’m my own boss, and my human resources policies are downright inhumane. Is outrage! Don’t put up with this kind of shabby treatment of American motherhood! And so on.