Monthly Archives: August 2021

Ep68 Commitments, Happiness, Love and Having Kids



Reacting to why actor Seth Rogen says he and his wife don’t want kids, Father Len explains the relationship between making commitments, happiness, love, and having kids.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “It’s not an easy haul having kids. You can’t be narcissistic. You have to give yourself over to parenting. Kids have got to be the priority.” – Howard Stern
  • God asks of us that our lives be life-giving.
  • Living life for yourself, free from commitments, is an immature definition of happiness.
  • Commitments lead to greater happiness. Lack of commitments lead to greater unhappiness.
  • You’ll never find yourself through your feelings and aspirations. What defines you is your commitments.
  • “Without being bound to the fulfillment of our promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each person’s lonely heart, caught in its contradictions and equivocations.”-Hannah Arendt
  • Being unable to settle on something means not being settled ever.
  • People willing to commit to marriage and having children almost always test out happier than those who don’t.
  • The world tells us self-fulfillment comes from being free of commitments. Truth says fulfillment comes after commitments.
  • People who avoid commitments and constantly pursue pleasure in pursuit of an easy life tend to end up bitter and unhappy.
  • Christ challenges us to not to choose the easy way, to make a sacrifice and give ourselves away.
  • Life is not supposed to be easy, but rather a great adventure.
  • Pursuing pleasure as happiness always ends up in unhappiness.
  • Each year since 1972, there has been a gradual decline in people’s overall happiness in the United States. This despite the average person spending 22% more on eating out and entertainment, living in homes that have doubled in size, having huge screen TVs, access to the Internet, and social media.
  • The moral question is not whether you should or should not have kids. The moral question is why you would not want to have children.
  • Religion challenges us to look at everything in life and decide what kind of life we want to have.
  • Once you fall in love, you can’t help but want to give yourself away. That’s what real love feels like.
  • God’s perpetual command is to make an offering of our lives, to give ourselves away.
  • Those who don’t know the power of commitment are yet to know what love is.
  • God is a trickster who tricks people into falling in love and willing to sacrifice everything for those they love.

Ep67 The Myth of Self-Esteem



Father Len exposes the dangers of focusing on boosting self-esteem as a means to improve lives.


Ep66 Curing Shame



Father Len shares his favorite method for the difficult and necessary job of curing shame.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Shame can control you and make your life and the lives of those around you miserable.
  • Shame is that voice inside your head that constantly tells you that you are worthless.
  • Self-esteem programs are not effective for curing shame.
  • You have to learn how to love yourself in order to cure shame.
  • The practice of self-compassion is the antidote to shame.
  • Father Len introduces his version of the St. Ignatius Daily Examen that he uses and recommends to cultivate self-compassion and conquer shame.
  • People who are controlled by shame are usually less compassionate.
  • People who are able to change the shaming voices in their heads are more likely to develop grit and determination and overcome failures.
  • Father Len demonstrates how he used the St. Ignatius Daily Examen to avoid shame and produce self-compassion and personal growth after being a “jerk” to a homeless man and his dog.
  • Father Len tells the story of Oprah Winfrey using a daily gratitude journal to help overcome the shame of being raped, having a child out of wedlock and to learn that it’s the simple things in life, not her money, that bring her joy.
  • “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
  • “What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey
  • You can pray as much as you want, but it will be hard to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit if the loud voices of shame are playing in your head.
  • Shame is connected with low grade physical pain.
  • If you are controlled by shame, every failure reminds you what a piece of trash you are.
  • If you are controlled by self-compassion, every failure says I’m going to get better and better.