Ep30 Guilt and Shame Are Not the Same

Father Len explains why guilt is a good and shame is evil.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len reacts to the pain and suffering inflicted on Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too Movement,” by the shame she felt after being raped and sexually molested as a child.
  • Shame is evil because it mars the image of our being made in the image of God and crushes our self-worth.
  • Shame is dangerous and correlates to increased incidence of addiction, eating disorders depression, and suicide.
  • Guilt is about amending our behavior and increasing our self-worth.
  • Guilt is a tool for self-improvement; becoming more loving, more kind, more patient.
  • Shame is a tool of oppression, racism, and sexism.
  • Guilt is based on love and shame is based on evil.
  • Father Len shares a fun story about catching kids stealing dark chocolate from him to illustrate why guilt is good and guilt and shame are not the same.
  • Religion should be a force for inflicting guilt and healing shame.
  • Both guilt and shame make us feel bad, but for different reasons. Guilt makes us feel bad because we realize we could have done something better. Shame makes us feel bad because some horrific event causes us to define ourselves as trash.
  • Brené Brown’s podcast: “Unlocking Us”
  • Brené Brown’s TED Talk: “The Power of Vulnerability”
  • Shame loves to hide in the dark and doesn’t like being named. Privately and sadly, the lives of many people are controlled by shame.
  • Healing shame is not easy, but working through the process brings wisdom, compassion, and joy.
  • The Catholic Church is like a good mother who teaches her children guilt to help them grow and become better and more loving human beings.