Father Dwight Longenecker was raised an Evangelical and graduated from Bob Jones University. While there he became an Anglican and after graduation went to Oxford to train as an Anglican priest. After serving for ten years as an Anglican priest he realized he and the Anglican faith were as he calls in “on divergent paths” so in 1995 he converted to the Catholic faith with his wife and family. Eventually he returned to the United States to be ordained as… Read more

In his letter “On the Perfection of the Life of Solitaries,” St. Basil gives advice that applies not just to monks and nuns, but to every Christian. No matter what we do, it should be obvious that we’re Christians and that we take our com­mitment seriously. Inspired Scripture tells us many things that everyone who is eager to please God ought to do. But, for right now, I think I need only remind you of what I’ve learned from Scripture… Read more

Jesus left us many sayings, commandments, and sermons. But he also taught us by doing. St. Ignatius of Antioch tells us that it’s better to be silent and practice what we preach than to be a teacher who doesn’t act. It’s better to be silent and be a Christian, than to talk and not be a Chris­tian. It’s good to teach—if the teacher also acts. Then there is one Teacher, who spoke, and it was done. Even those things he… Read more

Can people tell that you’re a Christian? St. John Chrysostom says we should live lives that always remind people of what we believe—not to show off, but because our example should be leading others to Christ. I see many living after their baptism more carelessly than the uninitiated, with nothing special to distinguish them in their way of life. Thus neither in the market nor in the church can you tell quickly who is a believer and who is an… Read more

Babies are born into the world helpless, completely dependent on the people who take care of them. St. Augustine, beginning the story of his own life, points out how God has ordered everything so that meeting the infant’s needs also meets the needs of the caretakers. What can I say, Lord my God, except that I don’t know how I came into this—well, should I call it a dying life, or a living death? But I have heard from my… Read more

God gave us free will, and we often misuse it. When Christians are persecuted, says St. Clement of Alexandria, it’s not God who makes it happen: every judge who condemns them has a free will and is using it wrongly. But if God cares for you, they say, then why are you persecuted and put to death? Did God make that happen? No, we don’t suppose that the Lord wants disasters to happen to us, but that he foretold prophetically… Read more

Many Catholics today misunderstand the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Catholics celebrate this feast day each year of December 8. Many people believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Though that is one of the great gifts God gave to humanity it is not the one he gave in this instance. Catholic Doctrine of Mary The Immaculate Conception refers… Read more

In the natural world, things grow, die, and decay. Is God’s creation imperfect, then? No, says St. Augustine: every created thing has its place in God’s great plan, and even its decay serves the larger purpose. All natures that exist have a genus and species of their own, and a kind of internal harmony, and because of that they are certainly good. And when they are in the places assigned to them in the order of nature, they preserve the… Read more

St. Clement of Rome tells us that we’re all different for a reason. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, but we all have different gifts, and the Church needs all of us. We should try to use the gifts we’ve been given, knowing that every gift—no matter how insignificant it seems—is equally important to the Church. So, as men and brothers, let us energetically play the part of soldiers, fol­lowing his holy commandments. Think of those who… Read more

God is always beyond the grasp of our reason, as St. Hilary of Poitiers tells us. Yet we can work toward understanding It is the Father to whom all existence owes its origin. In Christ and through Christ he is the source of all. In contrast to all else he is self-existent. He does not draw his being from without, but possesses it from himself and in himself. He is in­finite, for nothing contains him and he contains all things;… Read more

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