Tag Archives: Prayer

Ep101 It’s a Soul Problem



Father Len explains how all the big problems in our nation are soul problems.

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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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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

Ep62 The Dangers of Anger



Father Len reveals his 30 year battle with anger and explains why it’s like a cancer that can destroy you unless you learn how to respond to it.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len responds to an email from the mother of a 15-year-old daughter who became depressed and filled with rage over the death of George Floyd.
  • Father Len reveals that anger has been one of his most common sins throughout his life.
  • Research has shown that nothing rots your body like anger.
  • “Anger is rottenness to your bones.” – Proverbs
  • “Anger disintegrates community.” – Proverbs
  • “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension.” – Proverbs
  • Anger destroys wisdom and the ability to make wise choices.
  • “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick tempered man displays foolishness, even after he cools down.” – Proverbs
  • Anger is blinding. When you’re angry, you always think you’re completely right.
  • Anger distorts your view of situations, yourself, your view of the world, and your view of your family. It can make you really stupid.
  • “A hot tempered man must pay a penalty. If you rescue him, you’ll just have to do it again and again and again.” – Proverbs
  • Anger is very addictive. It’s like the cocaine of emotions.
  • Anger feeds on itself. Anger begets anger.
  • Anger often obscures truth and leads to denial.
  • COVID 19 has become an excuse for anger about almost everything.
  • When you’re angry, it’s very difficult to recognize that you may be the problem.
  • Sometimes anger is love in motion to a threat to someone you love.
  • “Be angry, but sin not.” – St. Paul
  • “He that is angry without cause, sins. He who is not angry when there is cause, sins.” – St. John Chrysostom
  • The best response to anger is prayer, self-examination, self-discipline, and sacrifice.
  • Unreasonable impatience is the hotbed of vices.
  • Anger tends to focus you on the problem and obscures the solution.
  • Studies have shown that compassionate people are better at defining boundaries of unacceptable behavior.
  • “Compassion is the strong man’s tool. Anger is the weak man’s tool.” – Father Len

Ep27 How to Forgive



Father Len shares the forgiveness method he uses along with his experiences learning to forgive.

Highlights, Ideas and Wisdom

  • Father Len confesses that he is “not great at forgiving,” but he’s working on it.
  • Forgiveness is a skill that can be learned just like all the other virtues.
  • Forgiving is like an exercise, the more you do it, the better you get.
  • If you learn to forgive small things, you build up the forgiveness muscle so that later you can forgive other things.
  • The LETGO forgiveness method Father Len uses has five steps:
    • L – Look deeply at what went wrong.
    • E – Apply Empathy
    • T – Tell a better story
    • G – Give forgiveness
    • O – One more day to remember choosing to forgive.
  • You may not be able to forgive immediately after an insult or injury because you need time to mourn.
  • Anger prevents forgiveness.
  • Prolonged anger can turn into bitterness.
  • Anger is a reaction to a feeling. You can train yourself to replace anger with forgiveness.
  • Forgetting the insult or injury is not the same as forgiveness.
  • If you don’t give yourself time to really feel the pain of the injury or insult, it can become easy to hide behind anger.
  • Quick compulsive forgiveness may actually be fake forgiveness and a form of denial of the insult or injury as well as a sign that you’re more comfortable being a doormat.
  • Empathy is thinking about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes and awareness of their pain.
  • Stories change our opinions, not evidence.
  • Stories with a message of hope cause the greatest change.
  • Telling the same story to yourself over and over carves a deep rut in your memory. That can be good or bad.
  • We must learn how to forgive ourselves for stupid things we’ve done.
  • Praying that you’ll have a sincere desire for forgiveness, even if you don’t have the ability, God will answer that prayer.
  • Releasing an expectation that is causing you to suffer is a significant element in the forgiveness process.

Ep15 What Is Prayer?



Father Len shares his love of prayer. He explains what prayer is and isn’t and the purpose of prayer. He also offers some ideas for developing your own personal prayer life.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • True prayer is listening. It’s about being totally mindful of God and being in the presence of God.
  • Prayer is not about providing God with frequent intelligence briefings about stuff we want because God is the “big candy machine.”
  • Father Len shares a fun story about a very kind and well-meaning minister and his wife that were concerned about the inadequacies of the car he was driving at the time and volunteered to “pray him up a new truck” to illustrate what prayer shouldn’t be.
  • Prayer is about being in the presence of love and wanting it to control you.
  • Father Len shares a favorite type of prayer he uses called “The Daily Examen” created by St. Ignatius 500 years ago.
  • Meditation on virtues like joy and love is an effective type of prayer that can help us find God in the fingerprints of our day while providing a sense of calm and peace.
  • Our whole life should be a love affair with the divine that inspires us to regularly spend time with God.
  • Some of us confuse entertainment that is self-gratifying with prayer. Father Len explains why golf is not prayer.

Ep14 Finding Lost Faith



Father Len explains what causes a loss of faith and gives listener Jennifer some ideas for finding her lost faith.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Father Len explains the difference between faith and belief.
  • Faith is like a muscle. If you don’t use it, it will atrophy and you’ll lose it.
  • Faith is like a seed. It’s a gift from God. We must prepare the soil in which it grows. The soil is our hearts. The best means for preparing the soil is prayer and reflection.
  • Faith is like water. It needs a path to flow. Prayer and reflection dig the “trench” that allows faith to flow.
  • Prayer and reflection are habits that give birth to faith.
  • Father Len introduces one of his favorite tools for feeding and deepening his faith, “The Daily Examen” created by St. Ignatius.
  • The daily practice of gratitude will make you a happier person and deepen your faith.
  • “Feeling Good: the New Mood Therapy” by David D Burns M.D.
  • Life is a matter of negotiating problems.
  • Troubles in life do not cause faith to evaporate. Quite the opposite. We can find the presence of Christ in all of our problems.
  • “God whispers to us in our good times, but shouts to us in our pain.” – CS Lewis