Tag Archives: Johann Hari

Ep98 Listening Is Loving

Father Len helps us grapple with what it means to truly listen and why God calls us to be professional listeners.

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Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Shema Prayer: “Listen O Israel, the LORD your God is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Shema means listen, but it really means pay attention.
  • The Shema is the central prayer of Judaism and Catholicism.
  • The Bible says, ears that Shema will discover God and what God has made known.
  • Our society is not trained to listen, but to overpower each other with counter accusations.
  • God meant us to become professional listeners, listening to the word of God and the voice of God in other people.
  • Listening forms community.
  • Not listening or paying full attention destroys community.
  • Marriage is a type of community.
  • The gift of hospitality is your full attention.
  • We can become what we listen to so we must be careful what not to listen to.
  • “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen Covey
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey
  • “The only commandment I ever obeyed – ‘Consider the lilies.’” – Emily Dickinson
  • “The number one sin that people are confessing these days is anger.” – Father Len
  • “All morality comes down to attentiveness, attentiveness to God, attentiveness to other people. The essence of immorality is not to be attentive to others or God, not to see or hear other people.” – Iris Murdoch, Irish philosopher
  • “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again” by Johann Hari

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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.
  • “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions” by Johann Hari
  • 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.