As a definite fan of Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s books and of course his blog I was delighted to receive his new book The Gargoyle Code from him Though I was even more delighted in reading it. In fact I started reading this 110 page book and pretty much continued until I had finished it.
Fr. Longenecker new book is in the tradition of the Screwtape Letters. His previous books have all been solid spiritual reading where at times we would get a glimpse of his Chestertonesque humor. His blog has amply shown his ability for humor and this book is a great combination of humorous spiritual reading. One minute you are seriously laughing at something and the next minute you are evaluating your own spiritual life.
As in the Screwtape letters we have a Demon tempter training a newer tempter in how to keep their “client” on the right path to Hell. The language is quite sarcastic and rude as they discuss their human clients and the ups and downs of their tempting success. The clients in this case are an older ultra-traditionalist who can do nothing but count liturgical abuses and having no real prayer life and a young man who is fine with his modern parish with awful music and bland progressive homilies as he check marks just going to Mass on Sundays.
The original Screwtape Letters were brilliant and I think Fr. Longenecker has pulled off equal brilliance. Having a specifically Catholic context really improves the concept and offers excellent spiritual advice at the same time. Somehow the setting of satire really drives the message home in a way that other forms of spiritual reading don’t. I highly recommend this book to give you both laugh-out-loud lines and much to reflect upon.
The book can be obtained via his site.