Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ep102 Beware of Judgmentalism



Father Len exposes the scam of judgmentalism and reveals the value of critical and objective judgment of our own attitudes and behaviors.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • People are often harsh on other people for the very sins that they themselves commit.
  • “In 33 years of priesthood, I’ve observed that those who love to condemn and love to be judgmental really are the worst sinners. The reason they are so judgmental is really a scam. It’s a shtick of misdirection to get a whole group of people to condemn others and to portray themselves as good and rigidly moral in hopes nobody examines them and discovers their sins.” – Father Len

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep101 It’s a Soul Problem



Father Len explains how all the big problems in our nation are soul problems.

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We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep100 The Most Consequential Decisions in Life



Father Len helps us recognize and grapple with decisions we make that control the trajectory of our lives and determine our happiness.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The Most Important Decision in Life – College commencement speech by Bishop Robert Baron that inspired this episode
  • The most important question in this life is what kind of soul you will have.
  • “To love is to be vulnerable.” – CS Lewis
  • “What you do with your soul really is a map to your future.” – Father Len
  • Your soul is not your mental ability or your psychological profile. It’s a thing that contains all the virtues of God and the spirit of God.
  • The Old Testament describes heaven as a place of true relationship where people relate to each other soul to soul.
  • From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life by Arthur Brooks
  • Happiness comes down to care of your soul, not success in the world.
  • “Everybody worships something. Everybody adores something. Everybody has something that gives their life meaning and worth. Everyone lets something capture their imagination. That thing will control the direction of your life. If you worship money and things, then you’ll never feel like you have enough. If you worship your body and beauty and sexual allure, in time, you’ll be resentful because you’ll never be beautiful enough. You’ll feel ugly. And, as time and age starts to show, you will die a million deaths. If you worship power, you’ll end up feeling threatened and afraid. Read any biography of a dictator. You will need evermore power to numb you against the fear of being afraid. If you worship intellect, being seen as smart, you’ll end up feeling stupid and a fraud and on the verge of being found out. The most insidious thing is, that for most people, it will remain unconscious, but it’s their true religion.” – David Foster Wallace
  • Whatever you worship shapes your soul and controls your life.
  • Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman
  • Meditation is one of the best ways to care for your soul and good for your health.
  • Not all worship is good. Worshiping or calling on the name of God can be a way of manipulating evil.
  • Good worship is supposed to lead you to self-sacrificing love.
  • What will what you worship do to your soul?

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep99 Dividers and Uniters



Father Len grapples with the causes, effects and solutions to the anger and division present in our country, our churches, and our families.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Dividers are often inspired and motivated by their own psychological needs.
  • Dividers are judgmental.
  • People with a deep desire for division make up their own rules and condemn others for not following their made-up rules.
  • In the Bible, the Pharisees made up hundreds and hundreds of rules. They condemn Jesus and others for not following the rules they made up. They love to proclaim how much more religious and holy they are than everyone else.
  • People who seek division are the enemies of Christ and true religion.
  • How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks
  • Father Len shares the story of a guy who lived much of his life as a divider though he was very religious. His sense of religion was very legalistic and judgmental, critical of everybody. Remarkably and unconsciously, at the age of 50, he experiences a remarkable deep conversion to his faith and becomes a disciple of love with a desire to unite everyone.
  • Some people accidentally and unconsciously end up working for division in a community out of their own sense of anger, insecurity, or pain.
  • Division or unity is a fundamental choice. At some point in life, we must decide between division and unity, hatred and love.
  • Father Len tells the story of a woman who experienced an awful childhood of rape and incest, yet she devotes her life to helping the wounded and broken of the world to reject shame, heal their souls and feel loved.
  • It’s not what happens to you in life that matters. It’s how you react to what happens that matters.
  • Saint Paul warned people to keep away from those who cause division and put obstacles in their way because they don’t serve the Lord.
  • Satan loves division. Satan loves to dress up as something good, but the only fruits he offers are not good, just more division.
  • Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam
  • Social capital is a sense of unity and solidarity, the need to take care of others and build up an entire community or nation.
  • The United States was built on and succeeded because of social capital.
  • Division is where injustice and hatred grow.
  • Higher social capital tracks with more justice, more societal success, and more happiness.
  • Societies that are more narcissistic, about me, me, me, are less happy and have more crime, corruption, and injustice.
  • Social capital is connected with holiness.
  • “Let’s move away from the current plague in our country and our church that we need to attack each other. We can build a great country and church with social solidarity. We can’t build anything putting each other down constantly.” – Father Len

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep98 Listening Is Loving



Father Len helps us grapple with what it means to truly listen and why God calls us to be professional listeners.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Shema Prayer: “Listen O Israel, the LORD your God is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Shema means listen, but it really means pay attention.
  • The Shema is the central prayer of Judaism and Catholicism.
  • The Bible says, ears that Shema will discover God and what God has made known.
  • Our society is not trained to listen, but to overpower each other with counter accusations.
  • God meant us to become professional listeners, listening to the word of God and the voice of God in other people.
  • Listening forms community.
  • Not listening or paying full attention destroys community.
  • Marriage is a type of community.
  • The gift of hospitality is your full attention.
  • We can become what we listen to so we must be careful what not to listen to.
  • “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey
  • “The only commandment I ever obeyed – ‘Consider the lilies.’” – Emily Dickinson
  • “The number one sin that people are confessing these days is anger.” – Father Len
  • “All morality comes down to attentiveness, attentiveness to God, attentiveness to other people. The essence of immorality is not to be attentive to others or God, not to see or hear other people.” – Iris Murdoch, Irish philosopher
  • “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again” by Johann Hari

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep97 We need a Savior



Father Len explains why we need a Savior now more than ever and why many of us don’t know it.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “Now that we have science, we no longer need religion.” – Chris Hayes, MSNBC Host
  • “God of the Gaps” theory: People invented God and religion began because there was a lack of scientific knowledge to explain things like lightning and wind.
  • Science wouldn’t exist without the Catholic Church.
  • For the Catholic Church science has always been a way of studying and understanding God.
  • All early major scientists believed in God including Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Roger Bacon, Louis Pasteur, Nicholas Copernicus and Blaise Pascal. They came to God because of science. Many were Catholic priests.
  • Religion began out of gratitude and awe for God.
  • Those who believe there is no greater power in the universe than the human person must ignore humanity’s long history of ignorance, violence and shocking denials of the truth.
  • Those who believe science can answer every question won’t be able to find God or recognize the need for a Savior because they have too much ego.
  • Our country has a depression and suicide crisis.
  • Our society has become narcissistic. Narcissism steals our joy. Narcissists believe they have no need for a Savior.
  • Much of our country no longer trusts in God. It trusts in science, technology, and government programs.
  • If God doesn’t exist and life on earth is all there is, why not cheat, be cruel, or commit suicide?
  • There is a difference between joy and pleasure. Meth addicts have plenty of pleasure, but no joy.
  • Even with all the knowledge of science and the power of technology, we do not have the power to overcome death.
  • “Our country has the highest standard of living in human history and the greatest technological inventions. So, why do we have such high suicide and depression rates? That just proves humanity needs a Savior.” – Father Len

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep96 We Are Our Culture



Father Len invites us to grapple with the virtues and character we value, permit, model and promote and the effect they have on us and those around us.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Culture over time is the most important force in shaping our identity. When an entire community prizes certain things, these things just seep into our pores.
  • Our emotions and values are very infectious. They move through a community faster than a virus.
  • Change happens, for better or worse, when entire communities unite around virtues and character they value.
  • There’s undeniable proof that an individual’s character and values effect all of society.
  • We take on the values of the communities to which we belong.
  • Virtues and character that are valued by a community are inherited by the community’s children.
  • If we want to change the world, we have to change our hearts. We are the culture. We are the system.
  • What impedes us empowers us.
  • Failure and struggle cause the hero in every hero story to become a hero.
  • Grit is frequently a greater predictor of success than talent.
  • Grit or fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • You need grit to become a spiritual person.
    • It takes grit to forgive when you’ve been wounded.
    • It takes grit to become prudent and know how and when to hold your tongue.
    • It takes grit to become patient.
  • We can lose our grit when life is good.
  • Grit is like a muscle. You’re not born with it. You train yourself into it.
  • “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth
  • “Democracy in America” by Alexis De Tocqueville
  • Beatrice Webb
  • Patrick Lencioni
  • What virtues and character do you value, permit, model and promote and how do they match up with the values of the communities to which you belong and, importantly, what are you going to do if they don’t?
  • We all have a big stake in our community’s culture and the effect it has on us and those around us.

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep95 Encore: Pride is a Demon



Father Len reveals that pride is damaging lies we tell ourselves about ourselves.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Pride is a cancer that often goes undetected until it’s too late.
  • “The Truth Detector: an Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth” by Jack Schafer
  • The moment you tell a lie about yourself you are owned by the lie.
  • Happy people don’t need to feel superior.
  • The fall of humanity began when Adam and Eve were enticed by pride to define for themselves what is moral.
  • The prideful lie is always about portraying yourself as superior in some way.
  • Pride produces a damaging ripple effect on us and everyone around us.
  • Father Len compares Albert Einstein and Richard Dawkins to illustrate the damaging effects of pride and the positive effects of humility.
  • “I am not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in a position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows somebody must’ve written those books.” – Albert Einstein
  • The prideful are not open to truth because they feel compelled to defend the lies they tell about themselves.
  • The prideful are always defensive and feel the need to posture, provoke, pick fights and bully because they fear wrestling with the truth.
  • Confident and humble people don’t fear grappling with the truth and allow themselves to be challenged, probed, and questioned.
  • The prideful can never be happy because they make their insecurities and flaws the center of their identities.
  • The prideful don’t recognize or appreciate their self-worth.
  • Lies about who you are, what you know, what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at are sure signs you have a pride problem.

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep94 Encore: Is there an afterlife?



Father Len presents stunning evidence from hundreds of personal experiences that supports the reality of an afterlife.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Consciously or unconsciously, how we operate in this life has a lot to do with whether we believe there is an afterlife.
  • Father Len reflects on hundreds of personal experiences with death and dying, during 30 years of priesthood, that offer compelling, inspiring and uplifting evidence that there is an afterlife.
  • Catholics believe that nobody dies alone. The moment you die, the dead are there to welcome you to the afterlife. Father Len shares some amazing stories that totally support this belief.
  • There is a thin veil between heaven and earth.
  • Catholics believe the Holy Spirit creates this mysterious and unbreakable bond between the living, the dead, and God that is stronger than death.
  • The dying process produces healing that can’t be accomplished during our ordinary lives.
  • All the evidence that there’s far more to life than just the here and now begs us to be more attentive to the sacred and the mysteries of life.
  • Heaven is a great feast of love.
  • If there is a hint that all those who loved in this life go to heaven, why wouldn’t you want to be in that community? Why wouldn’t you change your behavior now?
  • In one sense, death is always kind of ugly, but at the same time it produces great beauty.
  • There’s very little evidence that death leads to oblivion.
  • Being fully present while witnessing death and dying will almost always give you a sense of the afterlife.

We welcome your questions and comments:

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Ep93 Encore: Sex before Marriage



A high school listener asks, “Will I go to hell if I have sex before marriage?” Father Len offers some sober, surprising, and humorous answers and insight about passion, sex, and promiscuity.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • There’s nothing wrong with sex. It’s so natural. Nothing could be more natural. It’s part of the drive of life that God gives us.
  • Sexual passion is good. It drives us to seek each other out. It brings us together, but there’s something better.
  • Augustine’s highly promiscuous life taught him what was missing in his life.
  • Sometimes things are wrong, not because they’re evil, but because they’re not good enough.
  • Promiscuity is wrong because it can train you to use and hurt other people and not be committed.
  • Being sexual is part of what it means to be a human being, but the best part of being human is something greater. Commitment and love.
  • Passion and pleasure can be blinding, but also be very enlightening. True passion opens you up for God.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions