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.

Ep64 Toxic Religion



Father Len introduces the process of deconstruction to help a listener detox her religious upbringing and purify her religious values, beliefs, and practices.


Ep63 Bible Symbols Revealed and Explained-Part 3 Oils



Father Len reveals how oils and their fragrances help fulfill God’s intention for religion and worship to be carnal and sensuous experiences.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Previous Bible symbols episodes: Ep45 Water, Ep56 Trees

Ep62 The Dangers of Anger



Father Len reveals his 30 year battle with anger and explains why it’s like a cancer that can destroy you unless you learn how to respond to it.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len responds to an email from the mother of a 15-year-old daughter who became depressed and filled with rage over the death of George Floyd.
  • Father Len reveals that anger has been one of his most common sins throughout his life.
  • Research has shown that nothing rots your body like anger.
  • “Anger is rottenness to your bones.” – Proverbs
  • “Anger disintegrates community.” – Proverbs
  • “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension.” – Proverbs
  • Anger destroys wisdom and the ability to make wise choices.
  • “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays foolishness, even after he cools down.” – Proverbs
  • Anger is blinding. When you’re angry, you always think you’re completely right.
  • Anger distorts your view of situations, yourself, your view of the world, and your view of your family. It can make you really stupid.
  • “A hot tempered man must pay a penalty. If you rescue him, you’ll just have to do it again and again and again.” – Proverbs
  • Anger is very addictive. It’s like the cocaine of emotions.
  • Anger feeds on itself. Anger begets anger.
  • Anger often obscures truth and leads to denial.
  • COVID 19 has become an excuse for anger about almost everything.
  • When you’re angry, it’s very difficult to recognize that you may be the problem.
  • Sometimes anger is love in motion to a threat to someone you love.
  • “Be angry, but sin not.” – St. Paul
  • “He that is angry without cause, sins. He who is not angry when there is cause, sins.” – St. John Chrysostom
  • The best response to anger is prayer, self-examination, self-discipline, and sacrifice.
  • Unreasonable impatience is the hotbed of vices.
  • Anger tends to focus you on the problem and obscures the solution.
  • Studies have shown that compassionate people are better at defining boundaries of unacceptable behavior.
  • “Compassion is the strong man’s tool. Anger is the weak man’s tool.” – Father Len

Ep61 True Friendship



Father Len takes a deep and challenging dive into the nature of true friendship and its profound effects on us throughout our lives. 

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • In Greek, the word friend or friendship is another word for love.
  • The word love in English is just another word for sex, not friendship.
  • Greeks believe there are four types of love. Love of one’s family, love of one’s friends, romantic love, and unconditional love.
  • Catholics believe friendship love prepares us for heaven.
  • Catholics believe all types of love speak about the great mystery of God.
  • Father Len explains why he believes the United States has a crisis of friendship.
  • Father Len describes much of the friendship present in the United States as what he calls cultural friendship. Relationships based not on reciprocal love, but on getting some sort of advantage, either economically or socially.
  • “Amen with many companions comes to ruin, but there’s a friend who sticks closer to you than a brother.” – Book of Proverbs
  • Today the word friend has been turned into a verb. We “friend” people we don’t really know on social media.
  • Friendship brings something into your life that family and romance can’t.
  • True friendship helps form us.
  • We are formed by God and the community of our family and friends.
  • “One can perish for lack of true friends or for making the wrong friends.” – Book of Proverbs
  • True friendship has a foundation that you discover. Some common interest, love, passion, vision, or truth.
  • Father Len explains the difference between friendship love and romantic love.

Ep60 The History of Marriage and What Makes It Work



Father Len explores the history of marriage, our changing attitudes and expectations about it, God’s expectations for marriage, and what makes marriage so difficult yet so worthwhile.

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • Ancient marriages were rarely about love and had little to do with religion. Marriages were pragmatic contracts between families about such things as wealth, political alliances, childbearing, and, for poor and working-class families, acquiring a work partner.
  • Christ revolutionized expectations for marriage. Declaring it to be about unity, love, and becoming a true human being, having nothing to do with legal rights.
  • Modern expectations for marriage revolve around happiness. Finding the one person that’s going to make me happy until they don’t. Then, it’s time to find a new partner.
  • Marriage is a pathway to becoming the image of God, the image of love.
  • Marriage involves a death, dying to ego and selfishness.
  • “True love doesn’t make up for all your faults. True love exposes all your faults.” – Dante Alighieri
  • You can’t work on your faults until they’re exposed.
  • True love demands constant sacrifice.
  • Marriage is about sacrificing your ego and learning to think as two rather than one.
  • Unmarried people often have difficulty thinking about other people because they don’t have to.
  • Marriage is a way to holiness because it is about the way of self-sacrificing love.
  • God can save you, but your spouse gets you in the best shape to be saved.
  • Marriage gets you ready for heaven.
  • Marriage is about sacrificing everything for the sake of love.

Ep59 Understanding the Language of God



Responding to a listener’s question about whether God’s teachings are black and white, Father Len explains why it’s difficult for us to fully understand the language of God’s love.

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • God’s morality and teachings are black and white and pure because God is love, without ego and without corruption.
  • Our interpretation of God’s morality and teachings is often wrong because it is viewed through the prisms of our egos and agendas.
  • Father Len illustrates the dangers of interpreting God’s word through ego by pointing out how wrong the Jews were in their interpretations of the Bible’s prophecies about Christ’s purpose on earth.
  • Jesus interprets morality and laws from the perspective of love.
  • Father Len points out that Jesus welcomed prostitutes and adulterers in his life knowing that prostitution and adultery are wrong because that’s what love does.
  • Love perfects us.
  • The Bible tells us that anyone who does not love and proclaims that they know God is a liar.
  • Our black and white view of morality often errs on the side of being harsh and judgmental, void of love.
  • Black and white morality can be very seductive because we can proclaim it to be justice, but without compassion it can be very wrong.
  • There are two kinds of moral extremes: black and white and relativism. Both are based a lot on ego.
  • Moral relativism is morality based solely on personal feelings and choice usually driven by ego or agenda.
  • Reacting to immoral behavior with love forces us to have empathy and compassion.
  • Father Len uses the Bible’s various perspectives on slavery to illustrate how God is constantly trying to help us evolve in our morality understanding we can’t always accept the whole truth all at once.
  • Fully understanding God’s language of love and morality is a lifelong process.