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Fr. Dwight Longenecker2018-12-05T13:22:22+00:00

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 twelve 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 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 podcast homilies and a regular history podcast are free for all listeners here on the blog and at BreadBox Media and other podcast outlets. The current history feature is Hilaire Belloc’s Characters of the Reformation. You can also listen to some of my True Fairytales for free on the blog. Triumphs and Tragedies–my twenty-three part series on church history has now been archived here in the podcast section. In addition to Triumphs and Tragedies there is a new podcast series called Stories of the Unexpected these are true stories of the miraculous and marvelous that have happened to me or to my friends and family members. Coming soon will be my podcast fiction, Renegade Priest. 

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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 Boy Jesus – A New Samuel

Luke chooses  two stories of Jesus' boyhood--the Presentation in the temple and the Finding in the Temple-- There must have been other stories about his childhood. The tradition says St Luke gathered the information about the nativity from the Blessed Mother herself. Why did he choose those two stories? Because, along with the principle first established by Matthew, St Luke is intent on showing how Christ the Lord recapitulates or gathers up the whole Old Testament story into himself. Matthew shows Jesus to be the new Moses. John the Baptist the new Elijah. Jesus the Shepherd-King is the new David.

December 30th, 2018|0 Comments

Canterbury’s Four Toms

In 2015 my friend Joseph Pearce and I led a memorable pilgrimage to England to pray at the shrines of the English martyrs and the graves of the greatest literary figures. We packed an enormous amount into ten days, and I will always remember Joseph huddling with me in the priest hole at Oxborough Hall and singing the Salve Regina. One of our visits was to Canterbury Cathedral, and on the bus journey from London I gave a talk on Canterbury's Three Toms. They are St. Thomas a Becket, St Thomas More, T.S.Eliot and Thomas Cranmer. How are they linked?

December 29th, 2018|1 Comment

True Fairytales 6 – Rapunzel

The sixth episode of True Fairytales is the classic Grimm Brothers' tale Rapunzel. There is much more to this story than you remember, and it is darker and more mysterious on second or third hearing than the pretty Disney treatment. In the introduction I also explain why fairy tales are important and why it is a mistake to sanitize them too much. This latest episode is available now for Donor Subscribers here.  If you are not a Donor Subscriber and don't mind listening to sponsorship ads you can listen and download here at BreadBox Media and through most mainstream podcast

December 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Poem for the Nativity

Forget your Christmas cards and little creche the cutesy donkey, sheep and shepherd boys. Put away the twinkle lights and all that trash; the candy, carols, cards and tacky toys.   For there in your safe familiar manger lies something that should shock and terrify— a mewling, interstellar stranger, an undercover agent—infant spy.   He promises to turn every table and become an unrelenting master. making the satisfied world unstable and lashing the complacent with disaster.   Here shivers something unpredictable— divine but defined, swaddled yet wild. Here is something tender and terrible— a feisty girl and her dangerous child.

December 24th, 2018|0 Comments

How Can We Be Sure That Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem?

To visit Bethlehem today is to visit a modern city torn struggling in the midst of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The famous wall between the territories runs right through the middle of modern Bethlehem. Nevertheless, pilgrims still flock to the ancient Church of the Nativity  the oldest Christian church still standing--built by the Emperor Constantine in the early fourth century. It was re-built and restored over the centuries, but in the lower level the pilgrim can still kneel and venerate the silver star that marks the place of the Savior's birth and see the niche in the cave wall where he was

December 24th, 2018|0 Comments

Advent, Apostasy and the Anti Christ

The major problem in the church today is when Christians exchange the Divine and supernatural economy of redemption for an attempt to do no more than change the world. Many Catholics have forgotten that the Church is established for the forgiveness of sins and the proclamation of the gospel, and believe instead that the Church is here to make the world a better place, and that this needs to be accomplished by all sorts of educational, social welfare, political and even revolutionary activities. Preachers, priests and prelates have decided Jesus' kingdom really is of this world after all and have

December 22nd, 2018|4 Comments

Catholicism and the Power of Myth

At Christmas there is invariably the usual talk about the gospels being myth. As C.S.Lewis (who as a literary critic understood myth) observed, those who say the gospels are myth have probably not read either very many myths or the gospels. One person who did understand myth was Joseph Campbell. I’m fascinated with Campbell–who was brought up as a Catholic but left the faith. By the way, I met a fellow who gave good anecdotal witness that Campbell was reconciled with the church on his deathbed. I’m intrigued by Campbell for several reasons. First, because of his encyclopedic knowledge of world religions, myth

December 21st, 2018|1 Comment
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