Fr. Dwight Longenecker

55300
The Blame Game and the Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception reminds us of the original problem with original sin: blaming others. When things go wrong the first thing we do is blame others. God: “Adam, did you eat the fruit?” Adam: “Eve gave it to me.” God: “Okay. Eve, did you...

55263
Why You Need a “Soul Friend,” and How to Find One

What is the role of a spiritual director? The spiritual director is part counselor and (if he is a priest) confessor. The best term I have heard for spiritual director is “soul friend.” A soul friend is a person to whom you can confide your...

55204
There’s No Way Around It: Life is a Casting Off

What is it in me that likes the difficult sayings of Jesus more than the easy sayings? Everybody loves Jesus who says, “Let the little children come to me” and “Neither do I condemn you” But have you read the gospels lately? Jesus’ teaching is...

55168
There’s a Wildness in God’s Mercy

The classic hymn “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” always makes me joke in the sacristy before Mass, “There’s a Wildness in God’s Mercy,” then during a dull moment in church I thought, “Truest words are spoken in jest. There is actually a...

55091
Desire, Destiny and Disneyland

If you never have, you should read C.S. Lewis’ wonderful sermon The Weight of Glory. The great don begins with comments on the nature of desire. Christianity is known by those outside for its prohibitions. It seems to be a religion of “Thou...

54991
Catholicism and Paganism

Some atheists like to claim that Christianity is simply an outgrowth of paganism—or that Christianity is, if you like, just warmed-up paganism. Furthermore, they say, since paganism is obviously nothing but a silly collection of myths and...

54952
2 Ways You Might Be Hurting Your Priest Without Even Knowing It

Are priests too consumed with their own power, prestige and importance? Some are. That’s for sure. My favorites are the ones who put on a front of being consultative while ruling with an iron fist—or the ones who come across all humble and holy...

54817
The Scouring of the Shire

The last time I read Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, it became clear just how deeply the work, as Tolkien admitted, was deeply Catholic. But those who are looking for a religious book will be disappointed. The Catholicism is embedded in...

54713
Leprosy is a Perfect Metaphor for Sin

When I visited India in the mid-1980s, I visited a leper colony run by the Missionaries of Charity. It was a good chance to learn about leprosy and understand the meaning of this horrible disease and why it features so significantly in the...

54654
The Pill is at the Root of This Marriage Mess

The discussion and debate about the Pope’s teaching document Amoris Laetitia continues, with some Catholics worried that the Pope will condone giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. I am as concerned as anyone else about this...