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The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning Paperback – February 4, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Simcha speaks … with honesty along with the wit and wisdom that always make her teachings so memorable and helpful. She summons all of us to trust, mutual patience and kindness, and to a joyful honesty about NFP. --Msgr. Charles Pope, Pastor of Holy Comforter - St. Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC

Fisher is wide-awake; she appreciates irony and with a sense of humor that is proportionate to the seriousness of her purpose she helps the reader wake up and smell the irony, too ...
NFP is not free. It costs a great deal, of both partners. And yet...through the very depths of her learned compassion expressed so eloquently and with such transparent humility Fisher provides the evidence of its solid, life-enhancing value. --Elizabeth Scalia, author of Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

Before The Sinner s Guide to NFP, the only way you could get this kind of candor on the subject of Natural Family Planning was in private conversations with your best friend. Simcha has taken all the things we think about NFP but feel like we can t say, brought them into the light, and addressed them with insight and razor-sharp wit. You ll laugh, you ll nod your head in recognition, and you ll ultimately walk away inspired by the kind of encouragement that only someone else in the trenches can offer. --Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary

About the Author

Simcha Fisher is a Catholic blogger, speaker, and freelance writer. She blogs for the National Catholic Register and Patheos at "I Have to Sit Down". She lives with her husband and children in Southern New Hampshire.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612787878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612787879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have struggled with the Church's teaching on NFP through two children, two miscarriages, widowhood and now heading into another marriage. I was extremely thankful for the honest approach to NFP and how difficult it can be (when it fails, when it makes you resent your partner, when you just do not want to accept the fact that it is morally acceptable) in contrast to how much I have seen it romanticized to the point of alienating those who don't find it easy or enjoyable. If you are looking for acceptance of not wanting to use NFP do not look here. But if you need to encouragement to keep trying and keep trying to use NFP in spite of how truly difficult it can be, this is an awesome book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"You get what you pay for," is a truism more powerful than we realize. Our age cries out a demand for "free birth control" but anything that is truly valuable costs something, or requires some kind of saving-up or sacrifice. In her book, The Sinner's Guide to NFP, Simcha Fisher spells out -- in frank, often hilarious terms -- the very real costs of Natural Family Planning.

Fisher is wide-awake; she appreciates irony and -- with a sense of humor that is proportionate to the seriousness of her purpose -- she helps the reader wake up and smell the irony, too: that "do your own thing" means "as long as you don't get pregnant"; that "use natural products because your body deserves wholeness" does not extend to family planning, where the artificial contraception that will compartmentalize the biggest relationships and most meaningful acts of your life has become de rigueur. Don't buy that, counsels Fisher. Likewise, don't buy the "sweetness and light" version of NFP -- the one promising a continual "honeymoon effect" -- until you have had a chance to examine the costs. NFP is demanding, and Fisher chronically just how daunting, exacting, and, yes, frustrating it can be to submit something as powerful, joyous and consoling as one's sex drive to something as unseen and wayward as the life of faith, in marriage. NFP is not free. It costs a great deal, of both partners. And yet...through the very depths of her learned compassion -- expressed so eloquently and with such transparent humility -- Fisher provides the evidence of its solid, life-enhancing value. You get what you pay for.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Simcha Fisher mixes the perfect cocktail of great humor, profound insights, down-to-earth wisdom, and practical advice. I especially loved the bits about how to talk about NFP in the public forum. And I especially especially loved the in the trenches sections about how to talk about it with your husband.

Knowing what a funny writer Mrs. Fisher is, I expected the funny parts. I didn't expect to need a box of tissues sitting next to me as I read. It's already helped to launch some great conversations about NFP in our marriage. Also, I've already found it helpful in discussing NFP with friends on Facebook.

I am looking forward to sharing copies of this book with all my friends. And with women I haven't met yet. This book is sorely needed and I am so glad that Simcha is the woman who wrote it.

I think priests should add this one to the pile of books they hand out to newly engaged couples. (What priests don't do that? They should.)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Simcha had me at "It is not possible to use NFP with a `contraceptive mentality' so stop making up new sins, people" (yes, that is a paraphrase; yes, she says it so much better; yes, that's when I started cheering and didn't stop).

This is not a book about how to chart your cycle or how your body works, it's a book about how human nature and husbands and wives work. Clear writing, refreshing logic, profound wisdom, practical, detailed advice, and laugh-out-loud humor (hooray!) make this unlike any other NFP book you have ever read.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite chapter, but Simcha's gentle admonition in the "You Don't Know" section is worth the price of the book and should be required reading for any Catholic who's ever expressed a public thought on NFP. Heck, while we're at it, the entire book should be required reading for every secular sex therapist on the face of the planet -- they might learn a thing or two (or 50) that never even occured to them and save a million relationships.

If you love NFP, hate it, are confused by it, or have never heard of it, this is your book -- and the one you'll be discussing with your spouse and sharing with your friends.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simcha Fisher's new "The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning" is the most refreshing and honest work on NFP I've ever read. In easy prose that's at times laugh-out-loud funny, Fisher has the courage to face the true ups and down of using NFP as a Catholic couple -- both the joys that come from marital chastity and the fact that sometimes, when you want to have sex and need to abstain, it kinda sucks.

The book is divided into three sections. In the first, "NFP and the Spiritual Life," Fisher outlines important spiritual considerations of the Church's teachings on martial love. In the second, "NFP and the Rest of the World," she deals with the counter-cultural implications of NFP. But the final and longest section, "NFP in the Trenches," is the real meat of the book, where Fisher takes a brutally honest look at what it means to put the Church's teachings into practice. Fisher is not afraid to tackle difficult and rarely-discussed aspects of marital sexuality and should be commended for finding safe ground between frankness and explicitness.

As a husband I can also say that the book is "guy-friendly"; while much of the advice is clearly directed towards wives, it never turns flowery or overly emotional in a way that might turn of committed Catholic men, and I recommend that husbands and wives read the book together.

"The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning" is an outstanding contribution to the Catholic conversation on marital sexuality and I heartily recommend it.
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