Tag Archives: Catholic

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.

Ep52 Dying to Live



Father Len reveals the path to a happy, healthy, and holy life involves multiple deaths and funerals.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares the story of an alcoholic to illustrate the consequences of denying death in life.
  • The “gospel of prosperity,” which professes that if you’re good God will give you health and stuff throughout your life without sacrifice, is a hoax.
  • To get to happy and holy requires doing a lot of funerals.
  • Change is easy, transitions are hard.
  • Every change in life involves a death. Every step forward involves a loss.
  • Money can be like steroids for your worst vices.
  • It is dangerous not to accept the many deaths and funerals required to get to a better life.
  • People want change in their lives, but what they can’t stand is the transition to the change.
  • The way of the cross means dying to your ego, selfishness, greed, and fears; dying to all those things that prevent the fullness of life.
  • The opposite of the way of the cross is a constant need and desire for more – more wealth, more security, more stuff – and a constant fear of losing anything we have which actually makes us prisoners of fear and greed.
  • The spiritual life is not about addition, but subtraction. The way of the cross is the way of subtraction.
  • Christ shows us that the way of life is through the cross.
  • “Litany of Humility” Prayer
  • The spiritual life is this choice between death and life. It’s kind of a trick question. Those who choose a type of death, dying to things like hate, selfishness, fear, addictions, and their own agenda are choosing life. Those who choose life as it is right now will experience no change, no growth, no increase in love or compassion. What they’re really choosing is death.
  • “If you die before you die, when you die, you will not die.” – Sign at the Monastery of St. Paul in Greece.
  • TED Talk from Jia Jiang about conquering fear by dying to it: “What I learned from 100 days of rejection”
  • Dying to fear sets us free.
  • There are lots of funerals on the bridge to happiness.