Tag Archives: Culture

Ep96 We Are Our Culture

Father Len invites us to grapple with the virtues and character we value, permit, model and promote and the effect they have on us and those around us.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Culture over time is the most important force in shaping our identity. When an entire community prizes certain things, these things just seep into our pores.
  • Our emotions and values are very infectious. They move through a community faster than a virus.
  • Change happens, for better or worse, when entire communities unite around virtues and character they value.
  • There’s undeniable proof that an individual’s character and values effect all of society.
  • We take on the values of the communities to which we belong.
  • Virtues and character that are valued by a community are inherited by the community’s children.
  • If we want to change the world, we have to change our hearts. We are the culture. We are the system.
  • What impedes us empowers us.
  • Failure and struggle cause the hero in every hero story to become a hero.
  • Grit is frequently a greater predictor of success than talent.
  • Grit or fortitude is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • You need grit to become a spiritual person.
    • It takes grit to forgive when you’ve been wounded.
    • It takes grit to become prudent and know how and when to hold your tongue.
    • It takes grit to become patient.
  • We can lose our grit when life is good.
  • Grit is like a muscle. You’re not born with it. You train yourself into it.
  • “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth
  • “Democracy in America” by Alexis De Tocqueville
  • Beatrice Webb
  • Patrick Lencioni
  • What virtues and character do you value, permit, model and promote and how do they match up with the values of the communities to which you belong and, importantly, what are you going to do if they don’t?
  • We all have a big stake in our community’s culture and the effect it has on us and those around us.

We welcome your questions and comments:

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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?