Tag Archives: God

Ep82 Encore: Can Freedom Destroy Our Country?



The effect of freedom depends on how you define it. Father Len reveals how God defines freedom and how other definitions can produce destructive consequences.

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 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 freer is wrestling with our own egos and recognizing when we’re being selfish.
  • “If your definition of freedom is, I get to do whatever I want, just historically, it ends terribly. If our country just believes, I’m free to just think about myself, that’s a loss of freedom. I think it destroys our country.” – Father Len
  • 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.
  • Support the work of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: https://www.givesendgo.com/wwgproductions

Ep81 Good News



Irish shares some good news about the return of the Wrestling with God Show and the new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions featuring Father Len.


Ep80 The Purpose of Prayer



Father Len explores two Bible stories about the purpose of prayer beginning with the time the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. This is a preview of episode 3 of the new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded.”

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares a fun story about his experience with a Protestant minister and his wife who have a very different idea than Jesus about the purpose of prayer.
  • The purpose of prayer is not to ask God for help getting something as if God is the big Santa Claus in the sky.
  • We don’t pray to get something. We pray to become something.
  • “If your definition of prayer is to get something you want, you better be careful. You may become a very self-absorbed person and then call it religion.” – Father Len
  • We pray for the bread of life so that our lives become bread for other people. We hand on the bread of life to other people in the way that we live our lives.
  • Becoming the bread of life for other people requires persistent prayer, day after day, year after year.
  • The Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke refers to the forgiveness God gives us when our lives become a force of forgiveness and we free ourselves from all grudges and resentments.
  • Becoming a constant force of forgiveness isn’t easy and takes a lifetime of prayer.
  • Prayer is a type of hospitality.
  • The prayer life of the prophet Abraham, the father of religion and hospitality, was all about welcoming and praying for the life of other people, not for himself.
  • True prayer is not being concerned about yourself. True prayer is this hospitality where your prayer life feeds other people.
  • “You have a choice. When you offer hospitality to other people, God grants you greater life. When you only care for your own life, God will take away the little life you have.” – Father Len
  • Prayer is a constant lifelong dialogue with God about becoming holy.
  • Bible stories explored in this episode:
    • Book of Genesis 18:20-32
    • Gospel According to Luke 11:1-13

Ep79 The Religion of Jesus



Father Len explores the Bible story of a wealthy and powerful man and a bankrupt and outcast old woman. Both seeking healing from Jesus. The story reveals the essence of the religion of Jesus and puts our personal beliefs about religion on trial. This is a preview of episode 2 of the new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded.”

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Jesus pushes us to take religion beyond just believing that He is the Messiah and being a good person obeying moral laws.
  • Jesus dismisses laws in the Book of Leviticus that reject or marginalize people.
  • “If the best that you can say about your life is that you’re a good person who obeys all the moral laws, you’re boring and lack spiritual depth.” – Father Len
  • The Book of Wisdom tells us that God is about love, life, and healing. God rejoices in welcoming and loving all people.
  • Jesus gives us a test of religion. Do we want a religion that is about rules, regulations, and moral laws that causes us reject or marginalize some people? Or, do we want the religion of Jesus that accepts and loves all people unconditionally?
  • “Let your heart be broken when people are marginalized, rejected, or treated as if they’re dead. Believe in the way of Christ. Believe in life and unconditional love for everybody.” – Father Len
  • Bible stories explored in this episode:
    • Book of Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
    • Gospel According to Mark 5:21-43
  • Please prayerfully consider supporting the mission of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions
  • We welcome your questions and comments;

Ep78 Future of WWG Show & How to Love like Christ



Irish explains why there hasn’t been a new WWG Show episode lately and Father Len unpacks three Bible stories about love and illustrates the traits God will help us develop, and we’ll surely need, if we are to love like Christ. This a preview of episode 1 of a new podcast from Wrestling with God Productions, featuring Father Len, titled “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded”.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • When Jesus began preaching love and pushing the boundaries of love to include loving all people unconditionally, the people didn’t like it. All they wanted to hear was God loves me and people like me.
  • God tells the prophet Jeremiah, people “will fight against you” when you preach unconditional love, but I will “form you into a wall of brass, a pillar of iron, a fortified wall” so “they shall not prevail against you.”
  • “If you call yourself a follower of God, you need to push yourself to try to love everyone.” – Father Len
  • “Some religious people say they want to hear the word of God, but only if it agrees with everything they think and believe already.” – Father Len
  • “When I die and stand before Christ, the question won’t be, does God love me? The question will be, did I love like Christ?” – Father Len
  • Bible stories examined in this episode:
    • Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
    • 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
    • Luke 4:21-30
  • “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded” is crafted from hundreds of hours of Father Len’s homilies and talks on faith, religion, and life recorded over the past eight years.
  • “Life Lessons from Jesus and the Church He Founded” is the first new podcast produced by Wrestling with God Productions, the organization founded by Irish with the mission of identifying extraordinary teachers of the Catholic Faith, people like Father Len, and publishing their teachings far and wide.
  • The new podcast delves into stories from the Bible. Stories that reveal God’s purpose for creating us and his intentions for our lives. Stories about God’s expectations for our relationship with him. Stories about what to worship and how to worship.
  • The intention for the new podcast is to help listeners grapple with the true purpose of life and deal with the messiness and mysteries, challenges and difficulties that this crazy life seems to throw at us all.
  • Please prayerfully consider supporting the mission of Wrestling with God Productions by making a financial donation here: GiveSendGo.com/WWGProductions
  • We welcome your questions and comments

Ep77 Introducing Wrestling with God Productions



Irish shares a big decision about his future and the expansion of the work he and Father Len have begun with the Wrestling with God Show.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Irish looks back at what inspired the Wrestling with God Show, the effect he and Father Len hoped the podcast would have and how listeners have responded to the podcast during its first two years.
  • Irish describes how producing the podcast, working with Father Len, and the success of the podcast has been the most meaningful and rewarding work he’s ever done and how it’s caused him to leap headlong into a completely new vocation.
  • Irish introduces Wrestling with God Productions. The organization he’s forming to expand the work he and Father Len have begun with the Wrestling with God Show.
  • The mission of Wrestling with God Productions is to identify extraordinary teachers of the Catholic Faith, like Father Len, and publish their teachings far and wide to promote the importance and value of faith and religion in life.
  • The goal of Wrestling with God Productions is to create timeless content, like the Wrestling with God Show, which is available on demand to help people discover truth, meaning, and purpose in their lives.
  • Irish describes what Wrestling with God Productions plans to do right away and the resources necessary get it done.
  • Here is the place to send donations if you’d like to help launch Wrestling with God Productions: GiveSendGo.com/WWGproductions

Ep76 What Near-Death Experiences Tell Us about Life



Father Len wrestles with his lifelong fascination with near-death experiences and how what they reveal should challenge all of us to examine how we’re living our lives.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len shares Plato’s analogy of life as a cave where we experience only a dim reflection of true reality and the scientific and philosophical revolution it sparked.
  • “The Republic” by Plato
  • “Life after Life” by Raymond Moody Jr, MD
  • “Near-death experiences are a type of evidence of heaven and gifts from God to color in the picture revealed by prophets and mystics.” – Father Len
  • There have been thousands and thousands of near-death testimonies from adults and children in every country and culture in the world since the beginning of time.
  • Father Len shares the stories of religious and nonreligious doctors who believed near-death experiences to be nonsense until they began to study the experiences of their own patients.
  • “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Eben Alexander, MD
  • “Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation” by Michael Sabom, MD
  • Modern medicine has increased the number of near-death experiences revealed because of its ability to bring back more people from apparent death.
  • Strikingly similar near-death experiences have been reported by people of all ages who speak different languages, in all countries and cultures.
  • Here are the similar patterns of near-death experiences reported everywhere:
    • Phase 1: All pain, anxiety, and fear are gone. There is just peace.
    • Phase 2: People report popping out of their bodies and floating above themselves able to describe what was happening, where they went, what they did while apparently dead.
    • Phase 3: People, both religious and nonreligious, describe complete darkness going through a tunnel.
    • Phase 4: A light begins to shine accompanied by beautiful music or a feeling of unconditional love with beautiful colors all around. Suddenly a person’s entire life, from beginning to end, unfolds before them. They can not only see, but feel everything they caused other people. Joy, pain, anger, they feel it all. Half of the people in this last phase report being sent back to life because their mission in life was incomplete.
  • The most common denominator of near-death experiences is that life and life after death are all about love.
  • Surprisingly, near-death experiences for the blind and sighted people are very similar. For the blind, the light speaks to them in just the right language and just the right tone. The light speaks at the speed of light. The blind feel the same love as the sighted and also see beautiful colors all around, many for the first time.
  • The light experienced in near-death experiences frequently causes profound changes in people’s lives and religious beliefs. Religion becomes extremely important. The love, community, and joy they encounter in life after death inspires them to practice this life when they return to life.
  • Knowledge of near-death experiences should challenge us all to wrestle with the truth about God and life.
  • Emanuel Swedenborg visions of heaven.

Ep71 Pride Poisons Everything



Father Len explains how pride can poison everything in life from relationships, to religion, to marriages, to organizations and companies.

Highlights, Ideas, & Wisdom

  • Pride and its effects are often so subtle as to be unrecognizable.
  • The easiest way to manipulate people is to use their pride against them.
  • Father Len shares the story of how an FBI agent uses the pride of criminals to induce them to confess their crimes.
  • “The Truth Detector: an Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth” by Jack Schafer
  • Prideful people are always defensive because their professed self-worth and inner strength is a façade.
  • Father Len reveals how pride causes him to “freak out and become defensive and disrespectful” when people don’t respect his time.
  • Pride is seductive and addicting.
  • Pride is like an animal that must be fed over and over.
  • Pride is like a freeway off ramp that takes you off the path to God.
  • Father Len tells the sad story of how pride caused Alexander the Great to kill his best friend.
  • Father Len explains how Satan uses our pride to tempt us to sin.
  • “Little Shop of Horrors” Movie
  • Prideful people have a constant need for outward signs to demonstrate that they’re okay which ironically leads them to feeling less and less okay inside.
  • The prideful are always armored up and defensive.
  • “The ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self is the mark of Hell.” – CS Lewis
  • Prideful people have difficulty laughing at themselves because of their constant need for input on how great they are.
  • Great leaders share two qualities: selflessness and humility.
  • Leaders with excessive pride bring nothing but destruction to their companies and organizations.
  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins
  • Father Len’s litmus test for a spiritual person: one who believes that pride poisons everything.
  • Irish shares the story of how he’s been unwittingly sucked into a corrosive game of pride by a prideful friend.
  • Humility and vulnerability are the antidotes to pride.

Ep70 Pride is a Demon



Father Len reveals that pride is damaging lies we tell ourselves about ourselves.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Pride is a cancer that often goes undetected until it’s too late.
  • “The Truth Detector: an Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth” by Jack Schafer
  • The moment you tell a lie about yourself you are owned by the lie.
  • Happy people don’t need to feel superior.
  • The fall of humanity began when Adam and Eve were enticed by pride to define for themselves what is moral.
  • The prideful lie is always about portraying yourself as superior in some way.
  • Pride produces a damaging ripple effect on us and everyone around us.
  • Father Len compares Albert Einstein and Richard Dawkins to illustrate the damaging effects of pride and the positive effects of humility.
  • “I am not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in a position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows somebody must’ve written those books.” – Albert Einstein
  • The prideful are not open to truth because they feel compelled to defend the lies they tell about themselves.
  • The prideful are always defensive and feel the need to posture, provoke, pick fights and bully because they fear wrestling with the truth.
  • Confident and humble people don’t fear grappling with the truth and allow themselves to be challenged, probed, and questioned.
  • The prideful can never be happy because they make their insecurities and flaws the center of their identities.
  • The prideful don’t recognize or appreciate their self-worth.
  • Lies about who you are, what you know, what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at are sure signs you have a pride problem.

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.