Change? That Means Pain

My latest blog post for National Catholic Register looks at the pains that are necessary for real and lasting change to take place. Many of us are trapped in a cycle of lust and shame. We’re trapped in a downward spiral of a dead end job, a loveless marriage or an inner dynamic of rage, [Read More…]

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The Theological Theory of Indiana Jones

My article this week at The Imaginative Conservative website explicates the hidden meaning of the Indiana Jones films…. ….or does it? Is it possible that the popular Indiana Jones trilogy is a cleverly structured, well thought-out, theologically astute analogy of the Christian spiritual quest? I do not suggest that it is an allegory, and I [Read More…]

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A New Year and A New Start for Humanity

My article on Mary Mother of God and New Year’s Day is here at the National Catholic Register Did you know that, for centuries, Christians celebrated the new year on March 25 — not Jan. 1? March 25 is the feast of the Annunciation, and the new year was celebrated on that day because the [Read More…]

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Hey Punk. Look New Year in the Eye

I am not really what they call a party animal and have never understood the human need to celebrate a calendar date. The turn of the New Year, however, does cause me to pause. I want to give the New Year one of those squinty eyed, cheroot chomping, Clint Eastwood type silent stare downs. I [Read More…]

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What’s It Like Being a Married Catholic Priest?

I don’t often mention my wife and family on this blog because the blog is public and I have a private side. However, people do often ask what it is like being married to a priest. I think I can answer for Mrs Longenecker and my family. These are the main questions and answers: Q [Read More…]

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Hypocrites and Heretics: Welcome to the Catholic Church!

One of the things that troubles me as a pastor and as a man trying to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is the hypocrisy and heresy in the Catholic Church. I should be more precise. What troubles me are the heretics and hypocrites in the Catholic Church. A heretic is someone whose Catholic belief [Read More…]

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Why I Converted to the Catholic Faith

I was brought up in a Protestant fundamentalist home. We saw all the different denominations, but we considered them all to be man made institutions. None of them were God-given, so you just chose the one that was best for you. It is commonplace within Protestant circles to believe that the early church was similar [Read More…]

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Archbishop Martyrs: Becket and Romero

Last summer during our pilgrimage to England we visited Canterbury. Saying Mass in the crypt of the cathedral was an amazing experience, then spending time in prayer at the site of the martyrdom of St Thomas a Becket (memorial today) was very moving. What made the visit to Canterbury even more astounding was our visit [Read More…]

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The Infant of Prague – Warrior for Our Times

I have to admit that the Infant of Prague was one of those Catholic devotions that was not immediately accessible to me as a convert. “Help me out here. What’s with Jesus dressed up as a baby doll?” But some time ago I had an experience that made me realize that the Infant Jesus–and especially [Read More…]

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The Slaughter of the Innocents Today

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents and it is one of the most heart wrenchingly relevant of all of the church’s feasts. With great and terrible irony we see in the slaughter of the Holy Innocents the wrath of the world against the gift of God. God gives the gift of his Son–an [Read More…]

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Anglican Priest Smears the Virgin Mary

Just when you thought the Anglicans couldn’t stoop much lower, in a disgusting article published, predictably, on Christmas Eve, Anglican priest-journalist Giles Fraser not only publicly denies the Virgin Birth, but he ridicules the idea, proposes that the Blessed Virgin Mary was just another teen fornicator and that it’s probably a good thing that Jesus [Read More…]

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Watching St Joseph

Gentlemen who are reading, for Christmas Day make it your point to meditate in the midst of the jollity on the patience, purity and prudence of St Joseph. My latest article at Those Catholic Men website points us to St Joseph, the model of masculinity. “It’s no mistake” I said to Mike, “that every Catholic [Read More…]

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Have a Very English Christmas

My article at Imaginative Conservative for Christmas Day is a celebration of all thing British for the holidays. Having spent twenty-five years of my life in “the damp lands,” I can affirm that while the Americans cannot be beat for Thanksgiving, the English cannot be beat for Christmas. Yes, it is true. The dour snobs [Read More…]

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Once in Royal David’s City…

For two years as a young Anglican priest I had the privilege of serving as chaplain to Kings’ College Cambridge Choir School. This is the prep school where the choristers of the famous Kings College choir are educated. It was my job to help mentor and chaperone them as well as teach religion and English. [Read More…]

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Ten Reasons Why Atheists Should Celebrate Christmas

Sometimes I hear Christians grumbling about atheists celebrating Christmas. So they’re hypocrites. Big deal. Aren’t you? In thinking it through, there are good reasons why Christmas matters for atheists and for everyone. If they don’t realize why it matters, maybe the prominence of the season will  make some of them stop and think twice and [Read More…]

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God is With Us. Do Not Be Afraid

My latest blog post at National Catholic Register tries to calm you down in the midst of the Christmas rush. Whew! Have you encountered the shopping mall, main street and the Christmas rush? There is a kind of panicked grasping after material happiness. Not only do we want to pack the tree with goodies, we want [Read More…]

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What’s Wrong with Santa?

From the Christmas archives comes this article at the Imaginative Conservative in which I ask what’s good, bad and indifferent about Santa Claus. Some time ago a pastor friend of mine incurred the wrath of a squadron of militant mama bears when he preached at a school service against Santa—calling him a “fat pagan elf.” [Read More…]

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My Christmas Gift to Jesus

Every year my Baptist neighbor puts a sign in his front yard, “Keep Christ in Christmas” and I’m tempted to get a sign for my front yard which says, “Keep Mass in Christmas”. Despite the un-ecumenical impulse, I agree with my neighbor’s yearly cliche. Furthermore, this Christmas I’m feeling that keeping Christ in Christmas isn’t [Read More…]

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Monsters and Monks in Star Wars

One of the riveting themes within the Star Wars saga is the existence of monasticism. The Jedi Knights are also monks. Connecting with the warrior monks of Eastern religions, they also connect with the religious orders of knights in medieval Christendom. The Jedi clearly  remind of the spiritual truths of the New Testament where St [Read More…]

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Heaven and Hell at Christmas?

My homily last week at Our Lady of the Rosary was on two of the Four Last Things I tied Heaven and Hell up with a meditation on how we are created in God’s image with Free Will and Eternal Souls. Therefore we will live forever somewhere and God gives us the choice of where. [Read More…]

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The Politically Correct Force Awakens

I went to see the new Star Wars film last night. It was pretty much a re-make of A New Hope  but it was fun and I enjoyed it. It was certainly better than the plastic and shallow prequels. It was great to see Han and Leia back in the story and I loved seeing Luke [Read More…]

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Angry Blogger On the Attack?

There is a curious range of reactions to my blog posts that “attack” people. Some progressives accuse me of being an angry, white, male reactionary, arch traditionalist who longs for a pre Vatican 2 church. Meanwhile some conservatives accuse me of being a spineless shill, a “neo con” sell out, member of the Patheeos Francis Church [Read More…]

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