Tag Archives: Catholicism

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.

Ep11 Why do we need religion?



Father Len explains how religion helps us recognize who we are meant to be and helps us become our best selves.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Religion is to spirituality what tea is to water. Religion adds flavor and extracts the essence of spirituality.
  • Practicing religion makes people happier, healthier, and live longer. It reduces depression, lowers blood pressure, crime, and the divorce rate.
  • “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” by Robert Putnam
  • Religion brings people together and helps them recognize who they’re meant to be.
  • We all need a community that cares about values and way of life to bring out our full and best selves. Working together with a common purpose, we begin to share each other’s story and become more concerned about other people’s stories than our own.
  • Human beings have always searched for the divine.
  • The common translation of the word shalom is peace, but it really means unity. This unity has four parts. Unity between us and God. Unity between each other. Unity within ourselves. Unity with creation. When you have all four, you have shalom and a great analogy for religion.
  • We all need connection with a goal and purpose in life that is greater than us.
  • Father Len reveals what he believes is missing in our Facebook “connections” and why he believes the “Facebook life” is likely contributing to rampant depression and the rise in suicide, cynicism, and mocking in our society.
  • Research has shown that worship produces a Spike in the love hormone oxytocin that helps bind us together.
  • Worship helps us discover our personal worth, other people’s worth, and the worth of God.
  • Father Len shares a little fun “family trash” to illustrate the relationships, values, and commitments that flow from religion and help us improve ourselves and our lives.
  • Religion is about a sacrifice and an offering of that part of us that thinks only of ourselves in hopes that part of us will eventually die.

Ep10 What is religion?



Religion has been with us since the beginning of human history. Father Len explains what it is and what it always has been.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Religion is a binding of a relationship and commitment to God and other people.
  • Religion can be traced all the way back to the Stone Age, Paleolithic and Neolithic times.
  • Early religion was a mix of storytelling, music, art, architecture, astrology, and ritual that brought people together, unified them and tied them to a common purpose.
  • Stone Age caves were like churches often containing the same 32 symbols that are believed to be a hieroglyphic response to God.
  • Religion is not a monologue from God. Religion is a dialogue between us and God with us responding to God.
  • There’s good religion and bad religion. Good religion is one that binds us together and to God. Bad religion is just a structural form for coercion that often divides us.
  • Good religion is both educational and unifying. It helps us discover the presence of God in our daily lives.
  • Human beings have forever been trying to answer this call from a mysterious thing we call God that binds us together and directs our lives.
  • There have been cultural experiments without God in countries like Soviet Russia and Communist China. These experiments in atheism haven’t gone so well and led to lots of bloodshed and millions of deaths.
  • Atheism’s failures can be traced to the lack of a higher moral code beyond human reasoning.
  • We like to proclaim ourselves as rational, but we’re not. We’re really good at coming up with excuses to justify our behavior.
  • Atheism says there is no source of justice beyond “how I view things.” In religion, we say God is the source of justice and our behavior will be judged by God.
  • Atheism is a type of religion. It may take more faith to believe that “I am the measure of morality” than the faith it takes to believe in God.
  • Taking the Lord’s name in vain is to misuse religion for power, wealth, or violence. To commit evil in the name of God.
  • There’s good Scripture and bad Scripture. When you think God is telling you to do something that is not in the Bible, that’s bad Scripture.
  • Father Len explains how to choose a religion and why not to choose a religion.
  • Love is not just an emotion. Love is also a type of reasoning.
  • Father Len shares a fun MacMillan family dinner table conversation to answer the question, “should you choose a religion for your child?”
  • Religion is incredibly human because it’s constantly seeking the deep connections we all crave and need in this life.