Tag Archives: Anger

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

Ep58 The Big Mysteries of Christianity



Father Len and Irish grapple with the mystery of the three big events that are the foundation of Christianity: God taking on human flesh and living among us, God being tortured and killed by us, and God’s miraculous resurrection from the dead.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len explains why we should view these events as a whole, as one.
  • Father Len identifies three groups of Christians and their sensibilities: Christmas Christians, Good Friday Christians, and Easter Christians.
  • Christmas Christians love the idea of God becoming a human being and the practice of giving and receiving gifts as a way of showing appreciation for the gift of people in their lives.
  • God recognizes there’s a problem in creation and it’s us. We don’t realize that being a true human being means living a life of love. So God takes on human flesh to teach us the way of love.
  • Good Friday Christians see the brokenness in the world. They have a deep awareness of sin in the world. They recognize the fight between goodness and corruption and injustice, even in ourselves. They see and understand the need to “die” for what is right.
  • Atheists, like Richard Dawkins, believe that we can solve the problems of the world, on our own, with education and our intellect. Father Len explains why this is a big lie.
  • We have to be able to see sin and corruption in the world and realize that it’s not the world that needs to change, it’s us. We’re the ones that have to change.
  • Father Len uses the movie “The Help” to illustrate how Christ’s model for becoming a true human being and living a life of love actually works.
  • The struggle against injustice and oppression and dying to our ego purifies the soul. It gets us ready to enter the kingdom of God here and now.
  • Christ’s resurrection from the dead is not just a singular event. It represents a whole way of life that begins for us right here and now and is fulfilled in heaven when we die.
  • If Christ didn’t die, he couldn’t have been resurrected.
  • Resurrection for us is not returning back to our former life. That’s resuscitation. That’s continuing to live like zombies with half a conscience.
  • The resurrection for us is a whole new life. It’s Christ putting his life in our hearts. It’s freedom from all the shame and darkness in the world. It’s so extreme that in the early church those who were resurrected were called “new persons.”
  • Easter Christians live in the resurrection. Their hope is in them and beyond them. They live with love and joy inside them that can’t be taken away because they’ve died to anger and fear.
  • “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • All our sins begin on the inside, in our hearts.
  • Our modern culture tells us that the problems in the world are outside of us. Therapists believe this is the result of a generation raised with the idea that self-esteem is all important. A generation constantly told, “you’re smart, you’re good, you’re beautiful, you’re special, you’re a winner, you can’t be the problem.”
  • If you’re not participating in the resurrection, right here and now, why do you think that you’ll be participating in it in heaven? If you spend your whole life denying your own brokenness, not becoming something new, better, and connected, what makes you think that you will be ready for heaven?

Ep36 Anger and Fear Are Not the Answer to Loss and Disappointment



Father Len offers perspective and advice to those who feel anger and fear after the recent national election or following any loss or disappointment in life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len’s concerns about the effects of what he refers to as “post traumatic election syndrome” inspired this episode.
  • Father Len shares a personal experience from a trip to Colombia to put election induced anger, fear, and anxiety in perspective.
  • Father Len explains why joy, determination and patience, not anger, are the remedy for injustice.
  • Jesus implores us to responsibly control the emotions in our hearts, without excuse.
  • Anger clouds our hearts and minds.
  • When you’re angry is not the time to figure out how to respond to what’s causing your anger.
  • “When you’re angry or in a bad mood at work, just go home because you’re just gonna make everyone you work with miserable.” – Sage advice from Father Len’s former bookkeeper
  • History is not logical. One of the best things that ever happened to Christianity was the fall of Rome. It actually helped Christianity spread.
  • History’s greatest and most effective activists, like Martin Luther King Jr and Dorothy Day, turned their anger into steely determination based on prayer and peace.
  • Anger often turns people away from your cause.
  • We need to place our hopes in eternal truths:
    • Christ is our King, not a political group, political faction, or any nation.
    • Faith and love, not anger will unite our country.
  • Father Len’s tips for calming anger:
    • Breathe deeply through your nose.
    • Pray
    • Place the source of your anger in a world 10 years from now and try to imagine if it will really be the big deal or emergency you think it is now.
    • Stop or limit your “doom scrolling” (constantly checking the news for stories that will trigger your anger and anxiety)
    • Focus on an upcoming joyful event in your life.
  • Father Len introduces his “St. Jolly Project” to add more fun and joy to life.
  • It’s the little things in life that make a real difference. Like a song that suddenly puts you in a good mood.
  • Prayer to Fast from Incivility

Ep27 How to Forgive



Father Len shares the forgiveness method he uses along with his experiences learning to forgive.

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • Father Len confesses that he is “not great at forgiving,” but he’s working on it.
  • Forgiveness is a skill that can be learned just like all the other virtues.
  • Forgiving is like an exercise, the more you do it, the better you get.
  • If you learn to forgive small things, you build up the forgiveness muscle so that later you can forgive other things.
  • The LETGO forgiveness method Father Len uses has five steps:
    • L – Look deeply at what went wrong.
    • E – Apply Empathy
    • T – Tell a better story
    • G – Give forgiveness
    • O – One more day to remember choosing to forgive.
  • You may not be able to forgive immediately after an insult or injury because you need time to mourn.
  • Anger prevents forgiveness.
  • Prolonged anger can turn into bitterness.
  • Anger is a reaction to a feeling. You can train yourself to replace anger with forgiveness.
  • Forgetting the insult or injury is not the same as forgiveness.
  • If you don’t give yourself time to really feel the pain of the injury or insult, it can become easy to hide behind anger.
  • Quick compulsive forgiveness may actually be fake forgiveness and a form of denial of the insult or injury as well as a sign that you’re more comfortable being a doormat.
  • Empathy is thinking about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes and awareness of their pain.
  • Stories change our opinions, not evidence.
  • Stories with a message of hope cause the greatest change.
  • Telling the same story to yourself over and over carves a deep rut in your memory. That can be good or bad.
  • We must learn how to forgive ourselves for stupid things we’ve done.
  • Praying that you’ll have a sincere desire for forgiveness, even if you don’t have the ability, God will answer that prayer.
  • Releasing an expectation that is causing you to suffer is a significant element in the forgiveness process.

Ep16 What is forgiveness and why do it?



Father Len explains what forgiveness is and isn’t and the powerful positive effects it has on us and those around us.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • We live in an age of anger. It defines our politics, the way we drive, our Facebook posts, and even our religion.
  • A lot of religious people baptize anger and make excuses for it by calling it righteous.
  • Nowhere in the Bible does it mention God’s having righteous anger. There is no righteous anger. Anger is anger.
  • There is a joke about Irish Alzheimer’s. It’s when you forget everything, but those you’re mad at.
  • People often confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. Forgiveness doesn’t require reconciliation.
  • Everything is forgivable, but not all things can be reconciled.
  • Forgiveness means you’re not going to be trapped in a prison of anger, bitterness, and resentment. It’s a source of freedom.
  • Attempts to reconcile with the sociopath can be problematic. An invitation to get hurt again and again.
  • Forgiveness that skips over justice and doesn’t hold the offender accountable is fake forgiveness. Its amnesty and submission to the wrong. It turns forgiveness into the way of the weak and not the strong.
  • Why should we forgive? First and foremost because God said so.
  • Father Len describes how forgiveness gave Nelson Mandela freedom.
  • Father Len tells the amazing story of a young actress whose career was ruined by Alfred Hitchcock, but she was able to forgive him and later attend his funeral free of anger, bitterness, and resentment.
  • Bitterness has a long-term effect on the brain. It makes you dumber.
  • Anger contributes to bad decision-making.
  • Wounded people wound others. If you hold on to anger and a really deep hurt, you’re likely to hurt other people.
  • Forgiveness silences the voice of the offender that keeps telling you you’re a victim and you have no dignity.
  • Forgiveness contributes to better health and a longer life.
  • Dr. Robert Enright’s “International Forgiveness Institute”
  • “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” – CS Lewis
  • The book, “A 1000 Acres” by Jane Smiley is a great story about the power of forgiveness.
  • People who’ve been able to forgive a deep hurt have a much greater capacity to love.