Tag Archives: Love

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.

Ep59 Understanding the Language of God



Responding to a listener’s question about whether God’s teachings are black and white, Father Len explains why it’s difficult for us to fully understand the language of God’s love.

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • God’s morality and teachings are black and white and pure because God is love, without ego and without corruption.
  • Our interpretation of God’s morality and teachings is often wrong because it is viewed through the prisms of our egos and agendas.
  • Father Len illustrates the dangers of interpreting God’s word through ego by pointing out how wrong the Jews were in their interpretations of the Bible’s prophecies about Christ’s purpose on earth.
  • Jesus interprets morality and laws from the perspective of love.
  • Father Len points out that Jesus welcomed prostitutes and adulterers in his life knowing that prostitution and adultery are wrong because that’s what love does.
  • Love perfects us.
  • The Bible tells us that anyone who does not love and proclaims that they know God is a liar.
  • Our black and white view of morality often errs on the side of being harsh and judgmental, void of love.
  • Black and white morality can be very seductive because we can proclaim it to be justice, but without compassion it can be very wrong.
  • There are two kinds of moral extremes: black and white and relativism. Both are based a lot on ego.
  • Moral relativism is morality based solely on personal feelings and choice usually driven by ego or agenda.
  • Reacting to immoral behavior with love forces us to have empathy and compassion.
  • Father Len uses the Bible’s various perspectives on slavery to illustrate how God is constantly trying to help us evolve in our morality understanding we can’t always accept the whole truth all at once.
  • Fully understanding God’s language of love and morality is a lifelong process.

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?

Ep57 The Real Story of St. Patrick’s Day



Father Len explains how a Roman citizen named Patrick became a great saint and hero to Ireland and the real reason we celebrate him and his life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Patrick was the child of a very religious Roman family, but he had no use for religion until he was captured by pirates on a beach in England and sent to Ireland as a slave to care for sheep and dogs.
  • Patrick discovered and fell in love with God while caring for sheep.
  • A voice in St. Patrick’s head guided him to escape slavery and return to his homeland where he decided to become a priest. The same voice convinced him to accept an assignment as a missionary and return to Ireland though he knew most missionaries in Ireland were being killed at the time.
  • Father Len explains how the Roman named Patrick, who had no interest in religion as a young man, goes on to use a special talent to help evangelize Ireland and become a great saint.
  • Father Len muses about how our culture ends up taming religious celebrations into secular celebrations like Easter becoming about the Easter Bunny, Christmas becoming about Santa Claus, and Valentine’s Day becoming about chocolates and roses.

Ep32 What Is Love?



Father Len shares some remarkable love stories to illustrate what true love is all about.


Ep25 Tour of Hell



Father Len takes us on a tour of hell exploring its origin and history providing glimpses of heaven along the way.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Hell can be hot and cold.
  • Hell is complete separation from God.
  • Heaven is complete union with God.
  • God is the source of life, love, community, justice, and compassion.
  • Hell is being separated from life, love, and community.
  • God offers life and love to all people as a free gift, but that doesn’t mean all people accept the gift.
  • Hell is often associated with fire, but in the Bible it is also depicted as a cold and lonely place.
  • The image of fire is also connected to heaven in the Bible.
  • Could it be that the fire of heaven and hell is the same, the fire of God’s love?
  • Life is a matter of preparing to live in the fire of God’s love or forever rejecting it.
  • If you live your life with hatred and selfishness, maybe pure love is something that you can’t stand.
  • People can create their own hell right here on earth. It’s not just an imaginary place where we might end up.
  • You separate yourself from God when you fail to live a life of love.
  • God wants everybody united in heaven, but that doesn’t mean everybody will be in heaven.
  • “The gates of hell are locked from the inside” – CS Lewis
  • Hell is something we create by our own choices, not something created by God.
  • God permits those who reject community, justice, compassion, and love, which is God, to live in the hell they create.
  • The images of heaven and hell help point our lives in the right direction.
  • Hell is a choice of selfishness and cruelty over love.
  • The gates of heaven are always open for those who love.

Ep21 “Crazy” and “Annoying” People



Father Len reveals how distancing yourself from “crazy” and “annoying” people in your life can separate you from parts of yourself that need attention.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • There are multiple stories in the Bible that reveal how distancing yourself from people in your life causes you to lose part of yourself.
  • Father Len explains the “sin of distancing” and how it affects us.
  • The problems we have with people in our lives often reveal problems we have within ourselves.
  • When we build walls around ourselves to avoid problems, we pay a price.
  • It’s easy to hate people from a distance.
  • Arguments and disagreements with people in our lives can be incredibly healthy because they can help us recognize and force us to deal with our own issues.
  • Life is supposed to break our hearts at times. When we experience pain and frustration we develop humility and the ability to love.
  • A whole heart is a broken heart. Distancing ourselves from “crazy” and “annoying” people will keep us safe, but we won’t have whole hearts.

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.