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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.

There are five levels of  Donor Subscriber beginning at $5.95 a month – that’s less than $1.50 a week.

If you can afford to fund the costs of the blog please do. Your support keeps the blog free of all third party advertising and means most of the blog posts and podcasts can be made available without charge for thousands who can’t afford a monthly subscription.

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Standing on My Head

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

Letters on Liturgy – What’s That?

My new book Letters on Liturgy is published this week. The book takes the form of letters to a fictional seminarian about the theory and practicalities of celebrating the liturgy. However, I hope this format will not limit interest to seminarians. Instead, it was a way of putting my thoughts and feelings down about the sometimes vexed subject of the liturgy. Why did I bother to write the book? Because I have become increasingly troubled by the liturgy wars in the church. On the one hand we have the typical abuses of the Ordinary Form of the Mass--brutal architecture, bland preaching, out

February 12th, 2020|2 Comments

Religion: What’s the Point?

We ought to be honest. Catholicism is complicated. It has rules and regulations and rubrics. Not only that, it has an awful lot of stuff to believe. Doctrines and dogmas and devotions and canon law...At times the simple, down to earth, individual faith of the Evangelical Protestant looks attractive. The criticism of the Reformers, of course, was that Catholicism was nothing BUT rules and regulations. They criticized the 1500 year accumulation of traditions, devotions, regulations and strictures mixed with a fair bit of superstition and intentional fraud, flummery and fakery. I get their point. They wanted to get back to

February 7th, 2020|2 Comments

What I Really Think About Donald Trump

Somewhere or other not long ago I was asked to state my political position. I wrote "Amish". It was an indication that I'm not really a political animal. I am naturally suspicious of all politicians and being realistic about human nature, I can't imagine any politician going into that murky profession for anything other than ambitious self interest. Yes, on a good day I can hope that there are some people out there we used to call "public servants" who dedicate their lives,like Jimmy Stewart, in Mr Smith Goes to Washington to serving their fellow Americans. I think it more likely that,

February 6th, 2020|2 Comments

Don Quixote Catholicism

I'm just coming to the end of a masterful book--a really excellent read. I'll be reviewing it in full before too long, but Tom Holland's Dominion-How the Christian Revolution Remade the World is simply magnificent. Chapter by chapter from Roman times to the present day he shows how the Christian idea subverted and upended everything, and how even now all the things we believe are "good" come from seeds planted by Christianity. However, we are in a situation which the church has never had to face: a large population that has breathed the air of a Christian society, but does not realize

February 5th, 2020|1 Comment

New Podcast with Joseph Pearce: Reading and the Screen

In this fourth podcast in my Conversations with Joseph Pearce channel, Joseph and I discuss the impact of the screen on the art of reading. How does the human imagination interact with a good book as opposed to the TV and movies? How must books be altered when they are adapted for the screen? Will the screen eventually destroy the written text? Go here to listen to this podcast. Just a reminder: this podcast channel is reserved to Donor Subscribers. If you are not a Donor Subscriber, I encourage you to support the work of this blog. Most of the content here

February 5th, 2020|0 Comments

The Irishman and Really Bad Catholics

It ranks up there with King Kong and Lord of the Rings as one of the really long movies, but I took the time to watch Scorsese's The Irishman during my recent bout with the flu. Joe Pesci was brilliant. Robert de Niro? I think he played this part a number of times before. The mafia hard guy who just shakes his head and frowns a lot. Whatever you think of Robert deNiro he still has that extraordinary quality that makes you want to watch him. Like most of Scorses's films, The Irishman is rich in theological themes and insights into human

February 4th, 2020|0 Comments

A Poem for the Presentation of Christ

Presentation See the father with two turtledoves. Fluttering in his heart are fear and joy, and by his side, two unexpected loves, the sudden mother and her infant boy.   Going up the mountain, he stops to rest Remembering Isaac and Abraham— the cruel command and the terrible test, the knife, the boy’s throat and the thorn crowned lamb. I n the distance he sees the temple’s towers, smells the smoke and hears the animals’ cry, and wonders how and why the ancient powers Demanded blood to reconcile earth and sky.   We like to see here a homely family

February 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

Why I Became a Catholic

Last night I was honored to be the guest speaker at the fund raising gala for the Fr Capodanno School High School in Pinehurst, NC. The school is an independent Catholic start up with only a handful of students, but like most of these entrepreneurial Catholic enterprises it is full of energy, youth, enthusiasm, solid Catholic faith and a joyful hope for the future. This is one of the things I love most about American Catholicism. On the one hand you have the old Catholic establishment. They have their big colleges in the Northeast. They have their bureaucracies, diocesan structures,

February 1st, 2020|1 Comment
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The Future Church

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Characters of the Reformation

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