Tag Archives: Christianity

Ep97 We need a Savior



Father Len explains why we need a Savior now more than ever and why many of us don’t know it.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “Now that we have science, we no longer need religion.” – Chris Hayes, MSNBC Host
  • “God of the Gaps” theory: People invented God and religion began because there was a lack of scientific knowledge to explain things like lightning and wind.
  • Science wouldn’t exist without the Catholic Church.
  • For the Catholic Church science has always been a way of studying and understanding God.
  • All early major scientists believed in God including Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Roger Bacon, Louis Pasteur, Nicholas Copernicus and Blaise Pascal. They came to God because of science. Many were Catholic priests.
  • Religion began out of gratitude and awe for God.
  • Those who believe there is no greater power in the universe than the human person must ignore humanity’s long history of ignorance, violence and shocking denials of the truth.
  • Those who believe science can answer every question won’t be able to find God or recognize the need for a Savior because they have too much ego.
  • Our country has a depression and suicide crisis.
  • Our society has become narcissistic. Narcissism steals our joy. Narcissists believe they have no need for a Savior.
  • Much of our country no longer trusts in God. It trusts in science, technology, and government programs.
  • If God doesn’t exist and life on earth is all there is, why not cheat, be cruel, or commit suicide?
  • There is a difference between joy and pleasure. Meth addicts have plenty of pleasure, but no joy.
  • Even with all the knowledge of science and the power of technology, we do not have the power to overcome death.
  • “Our country has the highest standard of living in human history and the greatest technological inventions. So, why do we have such high suicide and depression rates? That just proves humanity needs a Savior.” – Father Len

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Ep56 Bible Symbols Revealed and Explained-Part 2 Trees



Father Len reveals that trees are symbols for God and human beings and trees represent the most important choices we make in life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Trees are the third most common thing mentioned in the Bible.
  • God loves trees and gives them a ring every year on their birthdays.
  • Trees are places where human beings choose to worship or reject God.
  • There is a tree present at every major event in the Bible.
  • Every major character in the Bible is associated with a type of tree.
  • The only thing Jesus ever harmed was a tree that produced no fruit.
  • The Bible begins and ends with the “tree of life” and trees are present throughout the Bible.
  • The story of human history is choosing between two trees: the tree of life and the tree of good and selfishness.
  • There are two types of food. One gives us physical life. The other gives us spiritual life.
  • If we eat the fruit of the tree of good and selfishness we are cut off from the covenant with God and disconnected from the source of life.
  • The temptation to eat the fruit of the tree of good and selfishness is the promise of the power to define what is good and evil for ourselves rather than God.
  • We don’t have to earn the fruit from the tree of life. God gives it freely to us.
  • When anybody makes a commitment to God in the Bible there’s always a tree, an altar, and water present.
  • The tree of good and selfishness often appears in the form of an Idol in the Bible. The Idol is a false tree we create to define our own version of morality.
  • The Hebrews called idols “luxuriant trees” representing the pursuit of power, sex, and money for happiness. The Hebrew letters for “luxuriant tree” cleverly spell Garden of Eden backwards.
  • Addictions always promise happiness, but in the end leave us destroyed.
  • Trees in the Bible symbolize commitments and altars represent the rituals around the commitments.
  • The spiritual life in the Bible is pictured as a tree that must push its roots down deep to find the water of life necessary to produce good fruit in all seasons of life.
  • Jesus’ cross is called a tree in the Bible representing the tree of life. That’s why there is one cross next to or above the altar in every Catholic Church. It’s a reminder of the tree we should be eating from each day for eternal life.

Ep51 Why Did God Create Us?



Father Len reveals three reasons God created us with some illustrative and inspiring stories and a funny Twinkies analogy.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len reviews the two creation stories in the Bible.
  • Everyone is born an Earthling and we only become true human beings when we can love to the point of death.
  • We are meant to evolve into a relationship of unconditional love with God, other people, and creation itself.
  • Pagan myths trace their creation to something grand and declare their superiority to other people and their origin.
  • In Christianity, we have this idea of a Trinity. God is a Trinity: lover, beloved, and love itself. We are created by perfect loving relationship, a Trinity for relationship.
  • God is pure unconditional, self-sacrificing, and self-giving love.
  • Baltimore Catechism question: “Why did God make you?” Answer: “God made me to know him, to love him, to serve him in this world and be happy with him forever in heaven.”
  • Heaven is a place of ultimate community and unconditional love. Where we’re all completely different, but united together. Hell is the opposite, to live by and for only one’s self.
  • In Heaven, we’ll be together as one as grapes in wine. Shedding our selfishness like grapes shedding their skins. We’ll become one without losing our uniqueness, totally united, just as grapes in wine.
  • Christ sums up all of his teachings this way: “love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and your neighbor as yourself.”
  • God is not a rule keeper handing out punishment for misbehaving. We inflict our own punishment when we choose only to think of ourselves.
  • We’re created for relationship and love, work and responsibility, worship and freedom.
  • Our sin or our holiness affects creation and how we relate to each other.
  • People who live in long and loving relationships live longer, are happier and healthier.
  • It is better for your health to eat a Twinkie with friends than a salad by yourself.
  • People who live life having a purpose beyond themselves live longer, happier and more satisfying lives.

Ep42 Only One Thing Will Unite Us



Father Len presents the solution to contention and division in our individual lives and in the world around us.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “Secretaries rule the world. Never tick off a secretary because they control everything.” – Father Len
  • Unity comes through Christ.
  • The word Catholic means universal.
  • Father Len shares the hope for unity found in the two creation stories in the Bible.
  • We are meant to live in unity with other people, even when there is great diversity.
  • The word devil means divider. The devil is constantly tempting us to be divided against each other and God.
  • Humanity is forever attempting to come up with a source of unity outside of Christ.
  • We end up more divided when we develop external things to bring us together.
  • Ego will always tear us apart.
  • The Bible chronicles humanity’s quest for unity.
  • Father Len shares the Bible story of the Good Samaritan to reveal God’s most important laws.
  • We cannot possibly love God without loving one another.
  • The Catholic Church is the most ethnically diverse movement in human history.
  • Father Len tells the story of what CS Lewis learned about the effect other people and community have on our personalities.
  • Father Len explains why private personal relationships with God are not Christian and not spiritual.
  • God is perfect loving community.
  • The one thing God desires in the Bible is family; that all of us will look at each other as brothers and sisters.
  • Unity is not brought about by conformity.
  • Our relationship with other human beings should be founded on God.
  • The only path to unity is the self-sacrificing love Christ came into the world to model for us.

Ep34 The Surprising Origin of Halloween and Its Purpose



Father Len reveals that Halloween actually began as a Catholic Church holiday celebrating our mystical connection with all those who have died.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Most of our holidays have Catholic origins. There are exceptions like Columbus Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.
  • Halloween is the Catholic feast of All Saints who are in heaven and calling us to join them.
  • Father Len shares his love of giving people a “little bit of a scare.”
  • From the very beginning of Christianity it has been a custom to remember and celebrate the anniversary of the death of all Saints.
  • The idea for Halloween costumes began in France where they would dress up as Saints to celebrate their virtues.
  • Kids receiving treats on Halloween originated in England. Kids and poor people would go from house to house singing or “souling” and promising to go to church and pray for deceased family members of the household. In return, they’d receive either candied apples or “soul cakes.”
  • Father Len shares the story of “Stingy Jack” to explain how Jack-o’-lanterns became part of Halloween.
  • “Stations of the Sun” by Ronald Hutton
  • Halloween as we know it today is a combination of various European customs that we’ve mixed together here in the United States.
  • The modern world tries to unhinge the profound truth of the original celebration of Halloween and the feast of All Saints. That is our mystical connection with the dead who are trying to pull us into the great feast of love in heaven.

Ep19 Why does God create us fragile and flawed?



Father Len explains that we’re all born in the image and likeness of God with gifts, defects, and work to do to become mature human beings and find our way to Christ and each other.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The Hebrew word for image is the same word as Idol.
  • There was a time when a King was perceived to be the image of God.
  • We’re all made in the image of God regardless of the color of our skin.
  • God is pure loving community so the image of God is all of humanity not a singular human being.
  • Jews and Catholics believe we storm the Gates of heaven together, not alone.
  • Father Len explains the difference between the image of God and the likeness of God.
  • Every human is given gifts to make the world a better place.
  • God created us pure with work to do to become mature.
  • Father Len explains how and why God created man and woman.
  • Once we know self-sacrificing love, we become true human beings.
  • God creates every human being with a fault that is not a defect in the eyes of God. The defect helps us find our way to Christ and each other.
  • If we were all created perfect, we’d all be the same. We’d be just like every other human.
  • “Revelations of Divine Love” by Julian of Norwich

Ep5 The Good of Coronavirus and Other Evils



Father Len helps us wrestle with evil. What is it? Why is there evil in the world? How can the consequences of evil help us mature and become better and more complete human beings?

Highlights, Ideas, & Wisdom

  • Father Len explains why the Corona virus crisis demands that we wrestle with God about what is evil and why there is evil in the world in hopes that this pandemic will become a species changing event.
  • Father Len introduces us to theodicy, the theology that grapples with evil and why an all good and loving God permits evil in our world.
  • Father Len shares “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” The story of a man whose pain, suffering and loss from the death of his best friend cause him to look deep into the purpose of life and how to become a complete human being.
  • Father Len explores the theology of St. Irenaeus that looks at evil to find the ultimate goodness of God.
  • Humanity is born innocent, but immature. We have work to do to become mature and complete human beings.
  • We don’t get to define goodness for ourselves. Only God can define what is good.
  • Maturing is a complex process. It requires that we experience the pain we inflict upon ourselves by going after the wrong things to make us happy. We must come to understand what is evil, evil’s consequences and die to our selfishness.
  • God did not cause the Corona virus, but God can use it to make us better people.
  • The coronavirus demonstrates how interconnected we are in this world. What happens in China affects us no matter where we are in the world. A problem in one part of the world becomes a problem for all of us. We’re waking up to the fact that either we survive together or we fall apart.
  • There are two types of evil. Moral evil and natural evil.
  • Moral evil is the things we do to each other. Often, without knowing or thinking about it. A good example is texting while driving. We’ve trained ourselves not to care about the accident it might cause and the pain, suffering, and loss it can inflict on other people.
  • Natural evils are things like the coronavirus, earthquakes, and floods.
  • St. Irenaeus would say the coronavirus itself is not evil. What is evil is the way we respond to it. If we deny its danger and existence, think only of our own well-being, endanger others, or be unwilling to come together as a community to battle the virus, that’s evil.
  • The coronavirus offers us a source of bane and enlightenment. For some of us it will be a source of spiritual enlightenment and help us to become more mature human beings. For others, the experience will be dismissed or quickly forgotten.