Tag Archives: St. Irenaeus

Ep73 Encore: The Real Christmas Story and Its True Meaning



Father Len reveals the real “reason for the season” is us.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “When I look at the world upside down, that’s when it seems right to me.” – Jeret “Speedy” Peterson
  • Father Len tells a story about geese to illustrate why God became a human being.
  • Christmas is a revelation of who we are meant to be.
  • To be good is to become a true human being.
  • Our true humanity is to live like Christ.
  • “Christianity is the attitude of amazement at the dignity of the human person.” – Pope John Paul II
  • “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” – Irenaeus
  • “Paradise Lost” by John Milton
  • “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Sin is the temptation to stop being a true human being.
  • Evil is the no to human goodness. Evil is the no to all that is good.
  • Satan is not one who hates God. Satan is one who believes that God can’t love him or us.
  • The good news of Christmas is that God became one of us to show us how to become true human beings and discover the goodness of being a true human being.
  • Salvation is not the story of God rescuing us from an evil universe. Salvation is the story of God coming as one like us to teach us what true goodness looks like.
  • Absolute love will embrace death.
  • Absolute love cannot be contained by the tomb.
  • Sin is anything that deprives us of our full humanity.
  • Christmas is the beginning of the journey to our true humanity to love and to be connected.

Ep41 The Real Christmas Story and Its True Meaning



Father Len reveals the real “reason for the season” is us.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • “When I look at the world upside down, that’s when it seems right to me.” – Jeret “Speedy” Peterson
  • Father Len tells a story about geese to illustrate why God became a human being.
  • Christmas is a revelation of who we are meant to be.
  • To be good is to become a true human being.
  • Our true humanity is to live like Christ.
  • “Christianity is the attitude of amazement at the dignity of the human person.” – Pope John Paul II
  • “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” – Irenaeus
  • “Paradise Lost” by John Milton
  • “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Sin is the temptation to stop being a true human being.
  • Evil is the no to human goodness. Evil is the no to all that is good.
  • Satan is not one who hates God. Satan is one who believes that God can’t love him or us.
  • The good news of Christmas is that God became one of us to show us how to become true human beings and discover the goodness of being a true human being.
  • Salvation is not the story of God rescuing us from an evil universe. Salvation is the story of God coming as one like us to teach us what true goodness looks like.
  • Absolute love will embrace death.
  • Absolute love cannot be contained by the tomb.
  • Sin is anything that deprives us of our full humanity.
  • Christmas is the beginning of the journey to our true humanity to love and to be connected.

Ep19 Why does God create us fragile and flawed?



Father Len explains that we’re all born in the image and likeness of God with gifts, defects, and work to do to become mature human beings and find our way to Christ and each other.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • The Hebrew word for image is the same word as Idol.
  • There was a time when a King was perceived to be the image of God.
  • We’re all made in the image of God regardless of the color of our skin.
  • God is pure loving community so the image of God is all of humanity not a singular human being.
  • Jews and Catholics believe we storm the Gates of heaven together, not alone.
  • Father Len explains the difference between the image of God and the likeness of God.
  • Every human is given gifts to make the world a better place.
  • God created us pure with work to do to become mature.
  • Father Len explains how and why God created man and woman.
  • Once we know self-sacrificing love, we become true human beings.
  • God creates every human being with a fault that is not a defect in the eyes of God. The defect helps us find our way to Christ and each other.
  • If we were all created perfect, we’d all be the same. We’d be just like every other human.
  • “Revelations of Divine Love” by Julian of Norwich

Ep13 Understanding Human Evil



Father Len reveals two primary impulses God gives us and how we can use them for good or evil. This episode was recorded before the murder of George Floyd, but it couldn’t be more relevant.

Highlights, Ideas, and Wisdom

  • Human evil is the most difficult kind of evil to grapple with because it’s what we do to ourselves.
  • Human evil is never part of God’s plan.
  • God created human beings with two primary impulses. One is rooted in self-interest or self-protection. The other an inner sense that alerts us when we’re violating God’s law and urges us to live lives of generous care for other people.
  • “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Ep5 The Good of Coronavirus and Other Evils



Father Len helps us wrestle with evil. What is it? Why is there evil in the world? How can the consequences of evil help us mature and become better and more complete human beings?

Highlights, Ideas, & Wisdom

  • Father Len explains why the Corona virus crisis demands that we wrestle with God about what is evil and why there is evil in the world in hopes that this pandemic will become a species changing event.
  • Father Len introduces us to theodicy, the theology that grapples with evil and why an all good and loving God permits evil in our world.
  • Father Len shares “The Epic of Gilgamesh.” The story of a man whose pain, suffering and loss from the death of his best friend cause him to look deep into the purpose of life and how to become a complete human being.
  • Father Len explores the theology of St. Irenaeus that looks at evil to find the ultimate goodness of God.
  • Humanity is born innocent, but immature. We have work to do to become mature and complete human beings.
  • We don’t get to define goodness for ourselves. Only God can define what is good.
  • Maturing is a complex process. It requires that we experience the pain we inflict upon ourselves by going after the wrong things to make us happy. We must come to understand what is evil, evil’s consequences and die to our selfishness.
  • God did not cause the Corona virus, but God can use it to make us better people.
  • The coronavirus demonstrates how interconnected we are in this world. What happens in China affects us no matter where we are in the world. A problem in one part of the world becomes a problem for all of us. We’re waking up to the fact that either we survive together or we fall apart.
  • There are two types of evil. Moral evil and natural evil.
  • Moral evil is the things we do to each other. Often, without knowing or thinking about it. A good example is texting while driving. We’ve trained ourselves not to care about the accident it might cause and the pain, suffering, and loss it can inflict on other people.
  • Natural evils are things like the coronavirus, earthquakes, and floods.
  • St. Irenaeus would say the coronavirus itself is not evil. What is evil is the way we respond to it. If we deny its danger and existence, think only of our own well-being, endanger others, or be unwilling to come together as a community to battle the virus, that’s evil.
  • The coronavirus offers us a source of bane and enlightenment. For some of us it will be a source of spiritual enlightenment and help us to become more mature human beings. For others, the experience will be dismissed or quickly forgotten.