Fr. Dwight Longenecker2019-10-14T15:52:30-04:00

Welcome to Standing on My Head

I started blogging in 2006 when blogs were something new. I wanted to stand things on their head in a Chestertonian spirit but figured the material was unlikely to get published elsewhere. I was surprised when the blog readership took off, so I kept going– considering it to be a ministry in the new media.

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Standing on My Head

“A scene is often most clearly seen when it is seen upside down.” G.K.Chesterton

The Myth of the Noble Savage

I can't help feeling that the agenda of the Amazon Synod is driven not only by concern for the environment, but also by a sentimental attitude to the indigenous peoples. The idea of the "noble savage" has been around for a long time, and this fascinating article goes into the history of the concept. I won't bore you with the details. Those who are interested can follow the link. Suffice it to say that the idea of the noble savage really took off as European colonialism expanded. Wherever they went, the Europeans discovered indigenous peoples and they had to decide

October 20th, 2019|2 Comments

The Amazon Synod and Ten Learning Points from St John de Brebeuf

The current Amazonian synod is a reminder that the struggles of Catholic missions to indigenous peoples is nothing new. Today is the memorial of St John deBrebeuf and his companions. The Jesuit missionaries to North America endured the most amazing hardships to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to tribal people who were locked in superstition, in bondage to repulsive demons and trapped in a cycle of revenge, torture cannibalism and violence of the most unimaginable kind. A few months ago I read St Jean de Brebeuf- Saint Among the Hurons- the best biography of the great Jesuit missionary. Learning

October 19th, 2019|1 Comment

Dating St Luke

Of course you can't really date St Luke. He's dead, and anyway the tradition has it that he was celibate like Jesus and St Paul. We're not sure about the end of Luke's life. Some say he was martyred, but I think the prevailing tradition is that he died at the age of 84 in Greece. What interests me more than the date of his death is the date of his gospel. I was brought up as an Evangelical fundamentalist and their approach to the Bible (or so it seemed to me) was very literalistic. Moses wrote the first five

October 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Pachamama, the Dragon and the Blessed Virgin

One of the aims of the Amazonian synod is for people of the developed West/North to understand the indigenous cultures better. The fertility goddess Pachamama has featured in the discussions, so I did a bit of extra reading about her. The mythology of indigenous peoples is vast, complicated and very interesting. You can learn a good bit about Pachamama and Peruvian indigenous culture at this good summary. You can also learn about the Peruvian Pachamama rituals here. Remember as you read, however, that primitive religions are, by their nature, mythological not dogmatic. The different myths and rituals blend into one

October 17th, 2019|1 Comment

Final Day of Pass the Saturno Membership Drive

Cool Saturno photo in the snow. The Norwegian Beaver skin Saturno is the one you want for winter. When I wear mine I scare the kiddies by telling them it is made from the fur of a black cat... So now let's pass the saturno for the last time in this week long membership drive. I'm not asking for donations, I'm asking you to get involved with my writing apostolate by becoming a Donor Subscriber. When I started blogging over ten years ago, blogs were very personal. It was just a writer with a platform. They were ordinary and real

October 15th, 2019|0 Comments

Why That Naked Native Lady Statue in the Vatican Ain’t Catholic

I commented here last week on the weird Amazonian earth mother ceremony with which they kicked off the Amazonian synod. It's got me thinking that "Amazon" is just about right for the name of this synod, and not because of the river. The Amazons, if you remember your Greek myths, were fearsome female warriors--the daughters of Ares the god of war and Harmonia--a wood nymph. The predominance of tree worship, the reverence for the sacred grove of Amazonia and the predominance of "female ministry" all echoes the Greeks mysteries of old. We have a rather twee recollection of Greek and

October 15th, 2019|6 Comments

Newman at Littlemore: A Homily

I preached this homily at Mount Calvary Church, Baltimore on the congregation's reception into the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, January 22, 2012 I don’t know how many of you have ever made the pilgrimage to Littlemore. No trip to Oxford should be complete without making your way along the ring road past the empty car factory, the mean streets, ugly houses and modern developments of Cowley before you turn down what is left of the main street of the hamlet of Littlemore. There, on a corner plot you see the crude buildings which had been a stable and grain

October 14th, 2019|0 Comments

Nostalgia and Desire in C.S.Lewis and T.S.Eliot

This is an example of one of the archived articles from the Inklings and Friends section of the blog. The archived articles are gathered from over twenty years of writing for a range of papers, websites, magazines and journals. They cover my range of interests--English literature and drama, film, Biblical studies, theology and Catholic culture. Scroll down from the main blog page on the website to view the fifteen sections of archived articles. These also include my personal growth program Ordinary Hero my channel on Benedictine Spirituality called The Suburban Hermit, a chapter by chapter upload of my book The Quest for the

October 12th, 2019|0 Comments
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