Tag Archives: slavery

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.

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.

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

Ep9 What is the Bible and why does it matter?



Father Len explains what the Bible is, where it came from, why it matters and how to use it.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The Bible is a collection of books of sacred stories that span thousands of years.
  • The Bible is not a rule book. There are rules in the Bible, but they only make sense in the context of the stories in which they are contained.
  • The stories in the Bible give meaning to why we’re here and help us understand the purpose of our lives.
  • Bible stories are stories of a community written by a community explaining sacred reality from many viewpoints, different viewpoints, and even opposing viewpoints.
    • The wisdom contained in the “Book of Proverbs” is innocent and sweet like a young teenage girl.
    • The “Book of Ecclesiastes” critiques everything in the “Book of Proverbs.” Imagine a 40-year-old guy with a cigarette in one hand and a tumbler of whiskey in the other sitting down to share his perspective on life with the innocent and sweet teenage girl.
  • The Bible tests our ideas about life and reveals truth from many different angles. It offers the wisdom of generations and generations.
  • Wisdom grows over time. Wisdom at one part of your life may not work at another. Your truth at age 18 might be true, but it’s a limited truth. Your truth at 50 is another type of truth and it might be true. When you get to 90, you’ll see the world much differently than you did at 18 or 50.
  • The Bible uses many genres to reveal truth. It contains large amounts of poetry, historical facts, myths, and fiction. All are sacred stories.
  • The Bible is inspired by God and directed by God, but written by human beings for human beings.
  • The Bible should be used as stories. Complete stories. Isolating and quoting individual chapters and verses from Bible stories can be problematic. Even though the words are correct, their meaning can easily be misunderstood or misinterpreted when removed from the context of the overall story and its meaning.
  • The Bible disagrees with itself at certain points, and it’s meant to, because then you have to change your thinking.
  • If you’re going to study the Bible, read it regularly in a community with a community’s perspective. Read it slow. Let it challenge you.