‘Apocalypse’ stands for the end of time, but the word also means ‘Revelation’. Was Mel Gibson making a prophetic movie about our culture, a heroic underdog film or just a good old action picture with more gore than usual?Some friends and I debated this after seeing the film a few weeks ago.My own opinion is that Mel Gibson told us right up front what the movie was about. The opening quotation said something to the effect that a society cannot… Read more

After my ordination a perky seventeen year old girl at school said, “Fr Longenecker, do you feel ontologically different?” A delightful question which goes to show the high level of orthodox catechesis at St Joseph’s Catholic School. A parishioner asked a similar question, “Does it feel different saying Mass as a Catholic priest than it did as an Anglican?” Personal feelings are, on the one hand, totally unreliable indicators of the truth, and on the other hand they are perfectly… Read more

Some of my Evangelical friends argue that the Catholic Church is not a missionary Church.Amy Welborn has a post with statistics on the number of Catholic missionaries who gave their life for the faith in 2006.When we take the trouble to read the history of the Catholic Church we learn that in every age it has been a missionary church, and that in every age these missionaries gave their lives for the gospel.This is not to say that our separated… Read more

One day last summer I got into a conversation with a woman at our community pool. She was an Evangelical Presbyterian, and was intrigued to hear that I was Catholic. Before long I got all the questions fired at me, and we finally got to Mary. The woman asked why we worship Mary. I said we didn’t, but if you consider who she really is, she must be pretty special right?I then went on to explain that Mary was the… Read more

In all the discussion of how terrible (or not) the execution of Saddam was, maybe we didn’t pray enough. Remember the story of Therese of Lisieux’s answer to prayer with the murderer Pranzini. If she was a human little flower he was a most noxious weed.Here’s the story:In the early summer of 1887 Pranzini, was convicted of the murder of two women and a child. He was sentenced to the guillotine. The convicted man, according to police reports, showed no… Read more

  Fr Tim Finegan links to a site that sells the Pope’s Cologne. I thought the Pope’s Cologne was one of B16’s German cathedral cities, but it seems a California perfumier has resurrected a formula for a papal perfume. This adds a whole new dimension to ‘smells and bells’. I wonder if there is a special way to apply the stuff. Ring a little bell, dip your finger in the cologne, then make the sign of the cross on each… Read more

  David Palmer’s British blood runs cold at the hanging of Saddam, and Evangelical Catholicism supports the Vatican’s line that the execution of Saddam Hussein accommplishes nothing. Jimmy Akin and Gerald Augustinus think justice has been done. What does his execution accomplish? Is this really justice or is it revenge? C.S.Lewis has a very interesting essay on the underlying reason for any form of criminal punishment. He argues that society has various reasons for punishing criminals. Revenge is one reason…. Read more

  Today we remember the martyr Thomas Becket. Once chancellor of England, he was murdered on this day in 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral by agents of King Henry II. A great way to remember him is to read or re-read T.S.Eliot’s 1953 verse drama Murder in the Cathedral. Eliot is probably the only modern playwright to attempt verse drama. The play is a great tale of the conflict of spiritual and temporal power as well as Becket’s personal road to… Read more

Amy Welborn has a great report from Christmas in Indonesia where the Muslims help to foil attacks on Christians by extremist Islamic groups by turning up in large numbers to the Christian services.Since moving to the USA I’ve heard a lot of anti-Islamic bigotry. Its understandable, and I can’t profess to having a love of Islam myself, but we have to remember that most Muslims are not radical murderers.How would we like it if people considered all Catholics to be… Read more

  An Amish elder was once visited by some city slickers who asked him why he didn’t have television. He stroked his beard, thought for a moment then asked them if they had seen anything on TV that week that they could recommend. There was an embarrassed silence. He’d made his point.David Palmer is a former Anglican priest who blogs from Britain. Check out his anthem for getting rid of your TV. I grew up without a television, and didn’t… Read more

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