Ten Things I Like About St Gregory the Great

Pope St Gregory the Great

Here’s a little list. Ten Things I Like About St Gregory the Great He was a Benedictine monk. I’m a Benedictine oblate and the monk in me will always hanker for the cell, the cloister and the bell. He was a scholar. You got to love a Pope who is brainy. He was a liturgist. [Read More...]

Easter and the Atheists

Resurrection_of_Christ

The last few years have seen a shelf load of worthy books de-bunking what is called the New Atheism. I’m sure it is a mighty good thing to explain and expound the five proofs of God’s existence, but it seems to miss the point. I’d rather present the reality of God’s work in the world [Read More...]

On the Glory of Purgatory

mission

Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross by S. Mark Heim is a fascinating exposition of the thought of Rene Girard to the theology of the atonement or “what really happened when Jesus died on the cross. I’m reading it as part of my research for a book I am working on called The Sacred Sacrifice which [Read More...]

Why the Secular Humanists Cannot Cope With Islam

Rotherham, England

In England the liberal left wing ideologues are shaking their heads with shame at the revelations coming from the town of Rotherham. In a huge scandal it has emerged that hundreds of children in state run children’s homes were systematically abused by gangs of Muslim men. More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a [Read More...]

Prepare for the Rise of the Right

rwing

Ordinary people are fuming. Ordinary, decent, down home Mom and Pop types are frightened and fed up. In Britain and France, in the United States and Germany, in Scandinavian and Low Countries, in Spain and Italy ordinary, quiet citizens are angry and afraid. Check out this article reporting on the huge swing towards a new right [Read More...]

Polygamy, The Feds and the Gas Chambers

Polygamy? Why Not?

A Utah judge has ruled against a legal ban on polygamy. Mark Gordon reports on the case here. The story is not that complicated. Kody Brown, who is a member of a fundamentalist Mormon sect is living with his four wives. The judge observes that if they were not married, but just living together in an [Read More...]

Why Do Muslims Behead People?

foley

Are the brutal beheadings done by ISIS fanatics connected with their religion? Douglas Murray, writing here at the Spectator discusses the reluctance of any of the intelligentsia to discuss the reason for the barbarism of radical Muslims. Murray was on a BBC discussion program with a group of intellectuals who were debating the deteriorating situation [Read More...]

Powerful St Patrick

Powerful St Patrick

Some time ago I had a dream in which I saw a young boy swimming in a river. As he was swimming happily downstream I saw that around the bend was a large crocodile. I watched in terror as the boy swept past the crocodile and the beast slipped out from the undergrowth where he [Read More...]

Holy, Holy, Holy – How to Build a Beautiful Church

Intwithfont

  Here is my latest article for Our Sunday Visitor on God’s blueprint for a beautiful and sacred church. God is not “the Great Architect,” and he doesn’t deal in blueprints and building committees, but did you know God told us how to build a church? It’s in the Bible. If we believe the sacred [Read More...]

O Lord, Make Me Happy, But Not Yet…

unhappy_kid

Sister Mary Lucy was a Poor Clare nun who suffered greatly. She lost her eyesight and had a degenerative bone disease which caused her spine to crumble. The doctors could do very little to help her. I used to visit her regularly, but never once heard her complain. Instead she had a huge radiant smile. [Read More...]

The Hilarious Evangelist – On Laughter in Religion

rayandjesse

I’m waiting for my ride at San Antonio airport. The car pulls up. A Latino fellow leans out the passenger window with a huge grin, “Hey Father Longenecker! I get to meet you at last! I read your stuff all the time man!” It was Catholic lay Evangelist Jesse  Romero. I have had the pleasure [Read More...]

Encounters with Angels

angels

What is our proper understanding and relationship with angels? This article outlines the answer Praise and Proclamation and Protection may not seem quite as exciting as “listening to the light within”, channeling your angel or summoning up dark spirits, but our faith is incarnational. The child in the manger reminds us that Christianity is real [Read More...]

On Traveling in Clericals and Ecumenical Movement

travels

I am on my way to San Antonio to speak at the Fullness of Truth conference, and as usual I am traveling in clericals. I usually do so when traveling to a speaking engagement because it makes me behave myself… Seriously, I like traveling in clericals because it is a silent form of witness. “Look! [Read More...]

The Psychology of Savagery

How can the brutal armies of ISIS perpetrate such crimes? This fascinating article explains the psychology of savagery. War bonds people together in their groups and this bonding assuages some of the terrific fear and distress the individual feels when the state breaks down. It also offers self-esteem to people who feel humiliated by their [Read More...]

Cardinal Newman’s Prayer

Bl. John Henry Newman

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes… I have a part [Read More...]

Angels, Anointing and Peace at the Last

Extreme Unction

Twice in the last three days I have had the privilege of attending the death bed of an old woman. In both cases the dear souls were surrounded by loved ones, and in both cases they were struggling in the final stages of their lives. Mostly  unconscious, they were moaning and their facial expressions indicated [Read More...]

Scapegoating and Social Violence

Violence in Ferguson, MO

The violence in Ferguson shakes up a whole nation and we immediately look for people to blame. That’s the problem. The mark of Cain in the human condition is that we always, instinctively look for someone to blame: someone else. Anyone else. If there is a problem on an individual level or community level we [Read More...]

10 Things to Remember About the Assumption of Mary

assumption1

During the twenty years it took me to convert from a Bob Jones University student to a Catholic I considered many of the Marian dogmas to be pious opinions. It was okay for Catholics to believe them, but why did they have to go and make them dogmas and therefore make it more difficult for [Read More...]

Witness in Words and Works…Or Else!

The Parable of the Good Shepherd Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Oh how people love that quote attributed to St Francis: “Preach the word at all times. Use words if necessary.” It has become one of those religious bromides alongside “To travel well is better than to arrive.” While the little quote is certainly true, and a cleverer way of saying “Actions speak louder than words” [Read More...]

Understanding Iraq

  Today’s post for Aleteia explains the situation for Christians in Iraq–outlining who the different groups are and explaining a bit of their history. In 2003. Christians in Iraq numbered about 1,500,000 and represented just over five percent of the population. Their percentage had fallen since 1987 when they were 1.4 million, or eight percent [Read More...]

Good Non-Catholic Christians – Is There Salvation Outside the Church?

confused

The sudden death of Tony Palmer–the friend of Pope Francis–has raised the question whether he could be saved even though he never converted to the Catholic faith. Some Catholics would shake their head sadly and quote the famous phrase, Extra Ecclesiam nulls salus- Outside the Church, No Salvation. Does this mean that everyone who is not a [Read More...]

The Inseparable Four Marks

A

I get an increasing number of requests to assist Protestants who are interested in the Catholic Church. One came in today in which a Presbyterian has come to believe in the Apostolic Succession but wonders if that necessarily means he must become Catholic. In the creed we profess the four marks of the Church: that [Read More...]


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