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Fr. Dwight Longenecker2020-01-30T12:33:24-04:00

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.

All that archived material from thirteen years of blogging is available without charge at Patheos here. Also, all my new blog posts continue to be free of charge at this location. In the Archived Articles section of the website there is much more from years of writing for other magazines, papers, journals and websites.

I also invite you to sign up for my free monthly newsletter called FaithWorks! It provides a short reflection and links to great Catholic resources.  A form is in the right sidebar, and when you sign up you can receive my free e-book called Is Anybody There? 

I’ve now added to the blog a podcasting stream. My podcasts are free for all listeners at BreadBox Media and other podcast outlets. My latest history podcast is not quite history. Instead it is a predictive look into the future with a chapter by chapter discussion of John Allen’s book The Future Church. You can listen to the abridged version of this podcast free at Breadbox along with my channel True Fairytales and my reading of Hilaire Belloc’s Characters of the Reformation.

Triumphs and Tragedies–my 23 part podcast series on the history of the church, as well as other podcast material is on the website is restricted to Donor Subscribers who make a monthly donation to support the work.

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Standing on My Head

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

Life After the Pandemic

The question already on everyone's mind is "When will the pandemic end and when will life return to normal"? Even if the pandemic ends by June or July I don't think life will return to "normal." Time and our lives roll onward and it is one of the delightful delusions  of mankind that we can continue with a status quo --something we consider "normal". In fact life never stands still. Even when we think we have everything just as we want it, when we've got everything under control, when we're worked it all out....still life is dynamic. Even then things change, and

April 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

Lockdown Diary Week Three

It is Wednesday of the third week of our lockdown and things are looking pretty grim. The people of New York City are suffering most, but the authorities are planning for the pandemic to hit hard over the next couple of weeks.  We have the father of one of our school families hospitalized, and I'm sure things will continue to worsen as we move through April. Yesterday I was not actually depressed, but feeling disoriented and confused about just how to cope. A fellow priest on social media said he never expected that he would have to completely re-design priestly

April 1st, 2020|2 Comments

Ten Ways to Stop Worrying

Like most people, my world has been thrown into a spin with the pandemic. I am very disturbed at the total lockdown of the sacraments. I can understand stopping public church services, but eliminating all sacraments--even private visits to homes or private confessions seems very draconian. However, with so much that is uncertain about the virus, I can understand that all leaders wish to err on the side of caution. Most people reacted at first by denying there was a major problem. That's natural. It was my reaction too. We have yet to see just how major the problem is,

March 31st, 2020|1 Comment

A Lesson from Lazarus

Fr Richard Ballad prepared a homily for the Fifth Sunday in Lent. You can access our home worship resources from Our Lady of the Rosary here. However, I wanted to also share a few thoughts about the gospel lesson from Lazarus. Over the last few weeks God has been presenting us with a clear teaching about suffering and distress in the world. Remember the gospel reading of the man born blind? The disciples asked who sinned to cause this suffering--the man or his parents. Jesus taught that it was not punishment for sin, but that the works of God might

March 29th, 2020|1 Comment

Lockdown Diary Week Two

Last week in the first week of the COVID-19 lockdown I was able to write my Lockdown Diary every day, but planned for it to be twice a week or weekly. Already another week has flown by and I seem to be busier in lockdown than when not in lockdown. Much of this is trying to re-arrange ministry within the parish while I and my staff work from home. Our Director of Faith Formation has been doing a great job along with our parochial vicar to get worship aids and catechetical resources out to our people. Communications director and secretary

March 28th, 2020|3 Comments

Lockdown T.S.Eliot Book Club

To understand Eliot’s poetry we really have to understand his biography. He didn’t like this idea. He was a very private person and believed the poetry should stand on its own without reference to the life of the poet. Despite this, his poetry is extremely personal and when you understand what was going on in his life at the time suddenly the obscurity and difficulty of his poems lift. Therefore, if you want to learn more you ought to read a biography of Eliot. There are a good number out there, but I think the best is by Lyndall Gordon. T.S.Eliot

March 25th, 2020|0 Comments

The Annunciation and the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin

In the story of the Annunciation the word ‘overshadowed’ is full of multi leveled significance. One connection is that it is an allusion to the the story of Ruth and Boaz in the Old Testament. You may remember that the young widow Ruth presented herself for marriage to her husband’s kinsman, Boaz, and that he evidenced his betrothal to Ruth by wrapping his cloak around her. The word for cloak is the same word used in Hebrew for angels’ wings, and the transliteration of the word in the New Testament is ‘overshadowed’. The clear reference is that the Blessed Virgin

March 25th, 2020|0 Comments

Is Coronavirus God’s Judgment?

"Theodicy" is the name for the conundrum at the heart of faith. "If God is all good and all powerful why is there suffering? If he is all good God would want to end suffering. If he is all powerful he is able to end suffering. Therefore he must not be either all good or all powerful." That certainly seems reasonable from a sort of seventh grade level of logic, and it has always astounded me that grown up philosophers and theologians still pick their brains over it. I've therefore suspected that they don't really puzzle over the question. It's

March 24th, 2020|4 Comments
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