Ep77 Introducing Wrestling with God Productions



Irish shares a big decision about his future and the expansion of the work he and Father Len have begun with the Wrestling with God Show.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Irish looks back at what inspired the Wrestling with God Show, the effect he and Father Len hoped the podcast would have and how listeners have responded to the podcast during its first two years.
  • Irish describes how producing the podcast, working with Father Len, and the success of the podcast has been the most meaningful and rewarding work he’s ever done and how it’s caused him to leap headlong into a completely new vocation.
  • Irish introduces Wrestling with God Productions. The organization he’s forming to expand the work he and Father Len have begun with the Wrestling with God Show.
  • The mission of Wrestling with God Productions is to identify extraordinary teachers of the Catholic Faith, like Father Len, and publish their teachings far and wide to promote the importance and value of faith and religion in life.
  • The goal of Wrestling with God Productions is to create timeless content, like the Wrestling with God Show, which is available on demand to help people discover truth, meaning, and purpose in their lives.
  • Irish describes what Wrestling with God Productions plans to do right away and the resources necessary get it done.
  • Here is the place to send donations if you’d like to help launch Wrestling with God Productions: GiveSendGo.com/WWGproductions

Ep76 What Near-Death Experiences Tell Us about Life



Father Len wrestles with his lifelong fascination with near-death experiences and how what they reveal should challenge all of us to examine how we’re living our lives.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares Plato’s analogy of life as a cave where we experience only a dim reflection of true reality and the scientific and philosophical revolution it sparked.
  • “The Republic” by Plato
  • “Life after Life” by Raymond Moody Jr, MD
  • “Near-death experiences are a type of evidence of heaven and gifts from God to color in the picture revealed by prophets and mystics.” – Father Len
  • There have been thousands and thousands of near-death testimonies from adults and children in every country and culture in the world since the beginning of time.
  • Father Len shares the stories of religious and nonreligious doctors who believed near-death experiences to be nonsense until they began to study the experiences of their own patients.
  • “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Eben Alexander, MD
  • “Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation” by Michael Sabom, MD
  • Modern medicine has increased the number of near-death experiences revealed because of its ability to bring back more people from apparent death.
  • Strikingly similar near-death experiences have been reported by people of all ages who speak different languages, in all countries and cultures.
  • Here are the similar patterns of near-death experiences reported everywhere:
    • Phase 1: All pain, anxiety, and fear are gone. There is just peace.
    • Phase 2: People report popping out of their bodies and floating above themselves able to describe what was happening, where they went, what they did while apparently dead.
    • Phase 3: People, both religious and nonreligious, describe complete darkness going through a tunnel.
    • Phase 4: A light begins to shine accompanied by beautiful music or a feeling of unconditional love with beautiful colors all around. Suddenly a person’s entire life, from beginning to end, unfolds before them. They can not only see, but feel everything they caused other people. Joy, pain, anger, they feel it all. Half of the people in this last phase report being sent back to life because their mission in life was incomplete.
  • The most common denominator of near-death experiences is that life and life after death are all about love.
  • Surprisingly, near-death experiences for the blind and sighted people are very similar. For the blind, the light speaks to them in just the right language and just the right tone. The light speaks at the speed of light. The blind feel the same love as the sighted and also see beautiful colors all around, many for the first time.
  • The light experienced in near-death experiences frequently causes profound changes in people’s lives and religious beliefs. Religion becomes extremely important. The love, community, and joy they encounter in life after death inspires them to practice this life when they return to life.
  • Knowledge of near-death experiences should challenge us all to wrestle with the truth about God and life.
  • Emanuel Swedenborg visions of heaven.

Ep75 “A Priest’s Life” – The Father Len Story



Introducing a new podcast coming soon from Wrestling with God Productions. It features candid conversations with Catholic priests about their journeys to the priesthood, their experiences being a priest, and why those experiences are so meaningful and rewarding. The intention for the podcast is to create intrigue and interest in young men becoming Catholic priests. This preview episode explores Father Len’s story. It’s raw, revealing, deeply personal, brutally honest, and full of Father Len’s signature humor and wisdom.


Ep74 Is there an afterlife?



Father Len presents stunning evidence that he’s experienced that supports the reality of an afterlife.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The WWG Show has been downloaded more than 38,000 times with regular listeners in 49 states and 11 countries.
  • Thanks for listening to the podcast and sharing it with friends and family.
  • Irish is forming “Wrestling with God Productions,” a nonprofit company, to expand and enhance what we’re doing with the WWG Show podcast. The intention is to build an interactive community where listeners can share experiences and ideas with us and each other. In addition, we want to publish hundreds of hours of talks given by Father Len about faith, religion, and life that have been recorded over the past few years.
  • Bringing “Wrestling with God Productions” to life will require money and resources. If you or anyone you know would like to help and support our mission, please email Irish at questions@wwgshow.com We welcome your contributions big or small. Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help us.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Ep73 Encore: The Real Christmas Story and Its True Meaning



Father Len reveals the real “reason for the season” is us.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “When I look at the world upside down, that’s when it seems right to me.” – Jeret “Speedy” Peterson
  • Father Len tells a story about geese to illustrate why God became a human being.
  • Christmas is a revelation of who we are meant to be.
  • To be good is to become a true human being.
  • Our true humanity is to live like Christ.
  • “Christianity is the attitude of amazement at the dignity of the human person.” – Pope John Paul II
  • “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” – Irenaeus
  • “Paradise Lost” by John Milton
  • “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Sin is the temptation to stop being a true human being.
  • Evil is the no to human goodness. Evil is the no to all that is good.
  • Satan is not one who hates God. Satan is one who believes that God can’t love him or us.
  • The good news of Christmas is that God became one of us to show us how to become true human beings and discover the goodness of being a true human being.
  • Salvation is not the story of God rescuing us from an evil universe. Salvation is the story of God coming as one like us to teach us what true goodness looks like.
  • Absolute love will embrace death.
  • Absolute love cannot be contained by the tomb.
  • Sin is anything that deprives us of our full humanity.
  • Christmas is the beginning of the journey to our true humanity to love and to be connected.

Ep71 Pride Poisons Everything



Father Len explains how pride can poison everything in life from relationships, to religion, to marriages, to organizations and companies.

Highlights, Ideas, & Wisdom

  • Pride and its effects are often so subtle as to be unrecognizable.
  • The easiest way to manipulate people is to use their pride against them.
  • Father Len shares the story of how an FBI agent uses the pride of criminals to induce them to confess their crimes.
  • “The Truth Detector: an Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth” by Jack Schafer
  • Prideful people are always defensive because their professed self-worth and inner strength is a façade.
  • Father Len reveals how pride causes him to “freak out and become defensive and disrespectful” when people don’t respect his time.
  • Pride is seductive and addicting.
  • Pride is like an animal that must be fed over and over.
  • Pride is like a freeway off ramp that takes you off the path to God.
  • Father Len tells the sad story of how pride caused Alexander the Great to kill his best friend.
  • Father Len explains how Satan uses our pride to tempt us to sin.
  • “Little Shop of Horrors” Movie
  • Prideful people have a constant need for outward signs to demonstrate that they’re okay which ironically leads them to feeling less and less okay inside.
  • The prideful are always armored up and defensive.
  • “The ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self is the mark of Hell.” – CS Lewis
  • Prideful people have difficulty laughing at themselves because of their constant need for input on how great they are.
  • Great leaders share two qualities: selflessness and humility.
  • Leaders with excessive pride bring nothing but destruction to their companies and organizations.
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins
  • Father Len’s litmus test for a spiritual person: one who believes that pride poisons everything.
  • Irish shares the story of how he’s been unwittingly sucked into a corrosive game of pride by a prideful friend.
  • Humility and vulnerability are the antidotes to pride.

Ep70 Pride is a Demon



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

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.

Ep69 Becoming Truly Free



Father Len explains what it takes to become truly free and how the common American understanding of freedom leads to selfishness and narcissism.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Freedom involves being free from something in order to be free to become something.
  • The American Revolution was about becoming free from the tyranny of a king and the injustices and oppression of a political system.
  • 70% of Americans say they are free or mostly free.
  • Two thirds of Americans define freedom as being “free to do whatever I want.”
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is an immature definition of freedom and the least likely to lead to happiness.
  • Being “free to do whatever I want” is a form of tyranny that allows you to intrude on the life and liberty of others.
  • “The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos” by Sohrab Ahmari
  • We create laws to set the parameters for a working society.
  • To be free theologically means that we are always working on freedom. Working to become more free from the tyranny of selfishness, oppression, and injustice.
  • When the people of a country define freedom as selfishness, it will always be divided and destroyed.
  • People who report the highest level of happiness tend to be religious and meditate regularly.
  • People who report the most freedom from moral constraints tend to be the least happy.
  • “Suicide, A Study in Sociology” by Emile Durkheim
  • The really hard part of becoming more free is wrestling with our own egos and recognizing when we’re being selfish.
  • Christians who believe giving up liberties for the sake of others makes them less free don’t understand the freedom of the cross of Christ.

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.