Fr. Dwight Longenecker2019-08-24T16:29:59-04:00

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

Two French Saints and the Immaculate Conception

I'm finally getting a chance to blog from our parish pilgrimage to France. As usual, we hit the ground running, with a hectic two days in Paris. The first morning we celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Sacre Coeur before taking a bus tour of Paris. On day two we celebrated Mass at the shrine of St Catherine Laboure at the Rue de Bac, then visited the shrine of St Vincent de Paul which is just around the corner. There is a great spirit of joy and fellowship on the pilgrimage--which is something I have experienced on all our pilgrimages.

September 5th, 2019|0 Comments

A Sacred Moment at Sacre Cour

It was a joy to visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur yesterday at the beginning of our pilgrimage to France. It nostalgic for me because it was there that I had my first positive experience of the Catholic faith. The summer after my senior year in high school I joined an Evangelical mission team which was part of the Slavic Gospel Association. The Slavic Gospel Association was founded by a Ukrainian pastor who was a refugee from the Soviet Union. Part of their mission work to those trapped under the communist regime was to smuggle Bibles and Christian literature into

September 3rd, 2019|0 Comments

The Power and Purpose of Pilgrimage

In 2015 my friend Joseph Pearce invited me serve as chaplain to a pilgrimage he was leading to England. We were to explore the lives of English Catholic literary figures and holy martyrs. I was not enthusiastic. My travel has always been independent...figuring out my own accommodation, travel details, train timetables and schedules. That was part of the fun. In the summer of 1987 I had made a pilgrimage of my own hitch hiking to Jerusalem and staying in monasteries all along the route. For me that was the idea of pilgrimage. A backpack on my back, a walking stick

September 1st, 2019|0 Comments

The Radical Rejection of Jesus

I wrote here yesterday about the "elusive solitude of Christ", observing that he was alone in his simplicity and integrity. He was one with God his Father and had no other agenda and no other cause but to do the Father's will. While this might seem as plain as the nose on your face, it is remarkable how many writers have tried to interpret Jesus' life and ministry through various lenses. They see the political Jesus, the religious teacher, the mystic, the rabble rouser, the country preacher, the healer and wonderworker, the eco-warrior, the proto-feminist....you name it. He came to

August 30th, 2019|2 Comments

The Elusive Solitude of Christ

In reading the gospels I am always struck by the elusiveness of Jesus Christ. It is extraordinary how realistic the portrait of Jesus is in the gospels. On the one hand he is incredibly complex, but then on another glance he is totally simple, straightforward and clear. You can't figure him out, and then you realize he doesn't need figuring out. He is what he is. Nothing false. He doesn't play power games. He doesn't manipulate. He's not on an ego trip. The scholars who have tried to write their biographies of Jesus have invariably failed because they have all

August 29th, 2019|3 Comments

What I Say to My Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Thank you for taking seriously the ministry of serving the Lord's body and precious blood to the faithful. Your ministry in the liturgy and to the home bound is important to the whole ministry of the church, and I want you to understand that the ministry in which you share is more than just a practical way to "help Father and the deacons." As a layperson administering communion, you fulfill a particular function within the symbolism and meaning of the liturgy. You are not just "helping Father." To be honest, we can do it without you if necessary. In fact,

August 27th, 2019|2 Comments

Mary Queen of Heaven – Where’s That in the Bible?

Calling Mary the “Queen of Heaven” seems to most non-Catholics a title too far. How can the simple girl from Nazareth be “Queen of Heaven”? Isn’t that a pagan term? In fact, isn’t the “Queen of Heaven” actually condemned in the Bible? In Jeremiah 44 the Hebrews are blamed for turning back to false gods and they admit that they were making cakes and burning incense to the Queen of Heaven. That’s what Catholic do right? They burn incense and light candles and eat little cookies all in honor of the Queen of Heaven. Well, not quite. The Queen of

August 22nd, 2019|1 Comment

Casinos: the New Cathedrals

I first went to a casino when I was visiting Detroit on a speaking engagement. A guy named Bob was my host. He said, "Where do you want to go for lunch Father?" "Someplace local." So Bob took me to the casino. On the way over I said, "Bob. I have a confession to make." "What's that?" "I'm a casino virgin." "Whaddya mean?" "I've never been to a casino before." "You're kiddin me." So I told Catholic Bob about my evangelical upbringing and how we didn't go to movies, smoke, drink or even play cards. We sure didn't go to

August 20th, 2019|0 Comments
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