Ep80 The Purpose of Prayer



Father Len explores two Bible stories about the purpose of prayer beginning with the time the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. This is a preview of episode 3 of the new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded.”

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares a fun story about his experience with a Protestant minister and his wife who have a very different idea than Jesus about the purpose of prayer.
  • The purpose of prayer is not to ask God for help getting something as if God is the big Santa Claus in the sky.
  • We don’t pray to get something. We pray to become something.
  • “If your definition of prayer is to get something you want, you better be careful. You may become a very self-absorbed person and then call it religion.” – Father Len
  • We pray for the bread of life so that our lives become bread for other people. We hand on the bread of life to other people in the way that we live our lives.
  • Becoming the bread of life for other people requires persistent prayer, day after day, year after year.
  • The Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke refers to the forgiveness God gives us when our lives become a force of forgiveness and we free ourselves from all grudges and resentments.
  • Becoming a constant force of forgiveness isn’t easy and takes a lifetime of prayer.
  • Prayer is a type of hospitality.
  • The prayer life of the prophet Abraham, the father of religion and hospitality, was all about welcoming and praying for the life of other people, not for himself.
  • True prayer is not being concerned about yourself. True prayer is this hospitality where your prayer life feeds other people.
  • “You have a choice. When you offer hospitality to other people, God grants you greater life. When you only care for your own life, God will take away the little life you have.” – Father Len
  • Prayer is a constant lifelong dialogue with God about becoming holy.
  • Bible stories explored in this episode:
    • Book of Genesis 18:20-32
    • Gospel According to Luke 11:1-13

Ep79 The Religion of Jesus



Father Len explores the Bible story of a wealthy and powerful man and a bankrupt and outcast old woman. Both seeking healing from Jesus. The story reveals the essence of the religion of Jesus and puts our personal beliefs about religion on trial. This is a preview of episode 2 of the new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded.”

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Jesus pushes us to take religion beyond just believing that He is the Messiah and being a good person obeying moral laws.
  • Jesus dismisses laws in the Book of Leviticus that reject or marginalize people.
  • “If the best that you can say about your life is that you’re a good person who obeys all the moral laws, you’re boring and lack spiritual depth.” – Father Len
  • The Book of Wisdom tells us that God is about love, life, and healing. God rejoices in welcoming and loving all people.
  • Jesus gives us a test of religion. Do we want a religion that is about rules, regulations, and moral laws that causes us reject or marginalize some people? Or, do we want the religion of Jesus that accepts and loves all people unconditionally?
  • “Let your heart be broken when people are marginalized, rejected, or treated as if they’re dead. Believe in the way of Christ. Believe in life and unconditional love for everybody.” – Father Len
  • Bible stories explored in this episode:
    • Book of Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
    • Gospel According to Mark 5:21-43
  • Please prayerfully consider supporting the mission of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions
  • We welcome your questions and comments;

Ep78 Future of WWG Show & How to Love like Christ



Irish explains why there hasn’t been a new WWG Show episode lately and Father Len unpacks three Bible stories about love and illustrates the traits God will help us develop, and we’ll surely need, if we are to love like Christ. This a preview of episode 1 of a new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded”.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • When Jesus began preaching love and pushing the boundaries of love to include loving all people unconditionally, the people didn’t like it. All they wanted to hear was God loves me and people like me.
  • God tells the prophet Jeremiah, people “will fight against you” when you preach unconditional love, but I will “form you into a wall of brass, a pillar of iron, a fortified wall” so “they shall not prevail against you.”
  • “If you call yourself a follower of God, you need to push yourself to try to love everyone.” – Father Len
  • “Some religious people say they want to hear the word of God, but only if it agrees with everything they think and believe already.” – Father Len
  • “When I die and stand before Christ, the question won’t be, does God love me? The question will be, did I love like Christ?” – Father Len
  • Bible stories examined in this episode:
    • Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
    • 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
    • Luke 4:21-30
  • “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded” is crafted from hundreds of hours of Father Len’s homilies and talks on faith, religion, and life recorded over the past eight years.
  • “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded” is the first new podcast produced by Wrestling with God Productions, the organization founded by Irish with the mission of identifying extraordinary teachers of the Catholic Faith, people like Father Len, and publishing their teachings far and wide.
  • The new podcast delves into stories from the Bible. Stories that reveal God’s purpose for creating us and his intentions for our lives. Stories about God’s expectations for our relationship with him. Stories about what to worship and how to worship.
  • The intention for the new podcast is to help listeners grapple with the true purpose of life and deal with the messiness and mysteries, challenges and difficulties that this crazy life seems to throw at us all.
  • Please prayerfully consider supporting the mission of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions
  • We welcome your questions and comments

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.

Ep72 Imagine a World without Jesus



Father Len explains how the radical ideas Jesus introduced 2000 years ago and the church he established to spread those ideas have changed the world forever.

Make a financial donation here: https://www.GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “You’re talking about the single event that probably influenced civilization as we know it now. It’s created our laws and behavior. The knowledge of good and evil. It’s influenced art and literature. It’s affected every possible aspect of anyone’s life, whether they know it or not. It’s absolutely everything. If it wasn’t, what would there be? – Mel Gibson, producer/director, The Passion of the Christ
  • The Gospel of Luke describes how Jesus changed morality and remapped society around meals.
  • In Jesus’s time there were meal codes about how you eat and who you eat with. Jews ate with Jews, never with Gentiles. Jews ate as a family. Men, women, and children together. Gentiles, the Romans and the Greeks, ate with people of their own class and caste system. Rich and poor never ate together. Men and women didn’t eat together. Men ate first and then women because men were considered superior to women.
  • Jesus broke all the meal codes of his time drawing people together by a much different morality. He offered radical hospitality to everyone. He welcomed men and women, rich and poor to sit at table with him.
  • The one person who changed the world the most was not a king or an inventor. The greatest mark on history was made by a traveling preacher named Jesus who established a church community and gave it the responsibility to redraw the world according to hospitality.
  • “I am an historian. I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history. Is it any wonder that to this day, this Galilean is too much for our small hearts?” – HG Wells
  • Jesus broke all the rules on how to treat women. Prior to Jesus women were treated inhumanely. They were viewed as inferior to men and nothing more than property. In Jesus’s eyes, women and men are equally valuable. Jesus was friends and ministry partners with women. He treated them with dignity and respect.
  • The idea that all humans – men and women, rich and poor, rulers and peasants – are equally valuable and should be treated with dignity and respect was extremely rare before Christianity.
  • The church Jesus founded, the Catholic Church, started hospitals, universities, and food banks.
  • Jesus started an organized movement to care for the poor and the needy. Religion before Christianity, except for Judaism, wasn’t really concerned with morality or taking care of the poor.
  • The origins of science are rooted in Christian belief. All the early scientists were religious. They were inspired by their faith in Christ to do science. They all viewed science as a means of uncovering the traces of Christ’s handiwork in the universe.
  • The concepts of social justice, education, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom all fit into the idea of radical hospitality that Jesus introduced to the world.
  • Jesus has changed the personal lives of billions of people throughout the world by introducing the theology of the cross. Dying to yourself, dying to your ego, becoming a whole new person by living a life of sacrificial love.
  • Wisdom is path, not a door. The path of daily choices you make on how to live your life.
  • Wisdom is gained through daily small activities. Small choices that become the whole direction of your life.
  • The way of the cross is daily making moral choices, making small choices of virtue. Dying to your pettiness, anger, and selfishness.

We welcome your questions and comments:

Links to Podcasts from Wrestling with God Productions


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.