The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast

Striving vs. Abiding

Striving vs. Abiding

In the spiritual life, it’s difficult to know whether striving to do God’s will or just abiding in him is better. But why can’t we do both? Fr. Mike tells the story of a perpetually active student athlete. His inability to disengage in doing things and just abide in God was a problem, and he knew...

Finding Balance in Your Walk with Jesus

Finding Balance in Your Walk with Jesus

Rigidity and laxity are difficult obstacles to avoid when trying to find balance in your faith life. When we treat Christianity as a project, that leads to rigidity. When we treat Christianity like a projection, that leads to laxity. If you’re just looking at what Christians are supposed to do...

Make Small Sacrifices for a Big Change

Make Small Sacrifices for a Big Change

Making small sacrifices is not just for Lent, because sacrifices and penance are necessary. As Christ said: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). And this is true all year long. But when Jesus said to deny yourself, he didn’t...

Family: Your Shortcut to Holiness

Family: Your Shortcut to Holiness

Fr. Mike explains how being at home with our family is one of God’s favorite ways to make us holy—if we are honest about the areas where we need to grow in our relationships with family members. Fr. Mike has observed that college students often have a profound encounter with Jesus through their...

Special Episode: Reconciling the Body of Christ (with Fr. Josh Johnson)

Special Episode: Reconciling the Body of Christ (with Fr. Josh Johnson)

In today’s special podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz sits down with Fr. Josh Johnson to discuss racial division in the Church and how Catholics can strive to restore unity in the Body of Christ. Fr. Josh emphasizes that he is not infallible, so it’s okay to disagree with anything he says that doesn’t lead...

How to Practice the Presence of God

How to Practice the Presence of God

Throughout the Gospels Jesus says, “Remain in me” or “abide in me,” which—in simplified terms—means whatever you do, invite Jesus along. Ask him to “come with.” This is a way to grow in your relationship with him, but it’s also a smart thing to do because, after all, Jesus said: “I am the vine,...

The Benefit of the Doubt

The Benefit of the Doubt

When someone says something hurtful to you, it is wise to give them the benefit of the doubt. What does that mean? It means ask yourself, “Do I firmly believe that this is a person of good will?” If so, is there anything that can help you better understand their behavior? Give them the benefit of...

How Do You Pray with the Bible?

How Do You Pray with the Bible?

You know you should be praying. But do you ever wish someone would show you how? Fr. Mike starts by showing us how to pray with the Bible with a time-honored method called lectio divina. For full shownotes, please go to: https://bit.ly/2WYdL5F Monday, May 18 at 8 PM ET, Father Mike will answer...

The Christian Solution to Vanity

The Christian Solution to Vanity

Vanity is not what many people think it is. It can come in many forms, and is not necessarily an infatuation with yourself. Vanity is an inordinate preoccupation with what other people think about you—which is different. It’s important, to an extent, to care what others think about you. It can...

4 Essentials for Every Catholic

4 Essentials for Every Catholic

In a previous episode, Fr. Mike said that all Catholics grow in the same “soil” together, but the fruit we bear is unique. But what is this common soil? What are the essentials for every Catholic Christian? “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of...

How to Deal with Your Partner’s Sexual Sin

How to Deal with Your Partner’s Sexual Sin

Fr. Mike talks about how to navigate discussions with your partner about sexual sin—whether it’s pornography, masturbation, or other impurity. It’s important to realize that sometimes a person doesn’t have a right to know everything about you immediately. Keeping this in mind, at what point does a...

Have You Mastered the Basics of Your Faith?

Have You Mastered the Basics of Your Faith?

Fr. Mike makes the case that, before you claim a certain “style” in practicing the faith, you have to master the basics. He tells a story about when he was learning guitar. The teacher told his students to hold their guitar on an angle with their left knee higher than their right. This way they...

Healing from the Wound of Sin

Healing from the Wound of Sin

Fr. Mike explains how even partial healing from the wound of sin is still worth the effort. Don’t give up just because you know your sins will leave some stains and scars. God’s mercy can do amazing things in your life, even if it is just partially healed. No matter how massive and unforgivable...

Does God Ever Lead Us into Temptation?

Does God Ever Lead Us into Temptation?

When we pray “lead us not into temptation”, it may seem like God has the capacity to tempt us. But that’s not the case. God does not tempt us, but he can and sometimes must put us through tests. Here are a four helpful ways to look at this part of the Our Father: Tests reveal things to us. When...

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

Fr. Mike describes exactly how God works with us, even though God’s ways are not our ways. It’s like when a person you’re living with asks “What do you want for dinner?” and you say, “Whatever you want.” He then starts offering suggestions, but you turn them all down. After a few minutes of back...

How Should Catholics Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

How Should Catholics Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Fr. Mike gives us some advice about how we should respond to the coronavirus pandemic. He begins with the story of the recent pilgrimage he took to Israel amid the coronavirus outbreak. Israeli authorities were quarantining people in the country and canceling all flights except for citizens. Fr....

Offering Up Your Inconveniences

Offering Up Your Inconveniences

A great way to make this Lent even better spiritually is to offer up not only something you chose, but also to offer up your inconveniences. Give God those moments when you’re stuck in traffic, or when someone says something bitter to you, or when you have to run an errand you just don’t want to...

How to Start Strong and Stay Strong

How to Start Strong and Stay Strong

Starting strong is easy, but staying strong—perseverance—is a mark of holiness. It’s easy to be excited about a new relationship, ministry, job, or school, but enduring through the dull times when that newness wears off is difficult. Fr. Mike is not trying to downplay the importance of starting...

How to Live This Lent for Others

How to Live This Lent for Others

Lent is about transformation, but that transformation will be incomplete if we make it about ourselves. Instead of aiming for self-mastery alone this Lent, what is the key to living this Lent for others? In 2 Samuel 7, when King David says he will build a house for the Lord, the Lord says to David...

Why Isn’t Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?

Why Isn’t Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?

Why is Ash Wednesday not a holy day of obligation? A holy day is a day that has been consecrated for God, so in that sense Ash Wednesday is a holy day. At the heart of a holy day of obligation, however, is the Resurrection. For this reason holy days of obligation are times to celebrate and feast....

When Your Desires and God’s Plans Are Different

When Your Desires and God’s Plans Are Different

Just because you desire something deeply doesn’t mean it’s God’s plans for you. Sometimes our desires and God’s will are different. Our desires are not predictors of the future and they’re not the voice of God. We are supposed to tend to our desires and discern what is being revealed through them,...

Even More Questions from the Internet about Priests

Even More Questions from the Internet about Priests

Fr. Mike follows up on his episode “Answering the Internet’s Most Asked Questions about Priests” with answers to even more questions from the internet about priests. Here he answers questions like: How do you bless holy water? Are priests allowed to drink alcohol? Where do priests live? Do...

BONUS: Telling the Story of God’s Love

BONUS: Telling the Story of God’s Love

Fr. Mike speaks about evangelization, new media, and telling the story of God’s love at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Addressing future pastors, he tells them “the heart of your formation is to become a dad” to your parishioners. He encourages them to use the same motto they use at...

Answering the Internet’s Most Asked Questions About Priests

Answering the Internet’s Most Asked Questions About Priests

Fr. Mike is at the library of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, and he’s answering the most asked questions about priests and the priesthood—according to the internet. He answers great questions like: Do priests get paid? Do they get married? Do they pay taxes? How do priests become...

Is Swearing a Sin?

Is Swearing a Sin?

Fr. Mike comments on whether swearing, as in using vulgar language, is a sin. He gives three times when using vulgar words can be sinful: If I use the vulgar word against someone, directing it toward them If I use a word connected to a sexual act, because sex between persons is meant to be holy...

Why Is Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain Wrong?

Why Is Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain Wrong?

There’s a reason why “Do not take the Lord’s name in vain” is not only one of the ten commandments, but is second on the list. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a big deal. Yet so many of us do it anyway all of the time. It has almost become part of our everyday vocabulary. We may say we don’t...

How Catholics Should Connect with Others

How Catholics Should Connect with Others

There’s justice and prudence and temperance and fortitude, faith, and hope, and love. But do you recall the social virtues at all? Thankfulness and affability are some social virtues that show us how Catholics should connect with others in social situations. Thankfulness is the social virtue by...

Hope in the New Year

Hope in the New Year

With each new year come new hopes, new plans, and new opportunities. Fr. Mike points out that this optimism and this “spirit” of New Year’s is a great inspiration of hope for the interior life of the Christian. For each of us, last year probably had a fair mix of “wins” and “losses” – of joy and...

Having Joy in Uncertainty

Having Joy in Uncertainty

The only things we can be certain about are the things that have already happened to us in the past, and we live in a perpetual state of uncertainty about the future. If we’re honest, we can all probably agree that it’s not really comfortable to be constantly wondering what your life will look like...

The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

If you’re wondering about the difference between jealousy and envy, Fr. Mike clears up the confusion in this video. Simply put, jealousy is not wanting to share something or someone you possess or hope to possess, and envy is resentment toward the possessions of someone else. There can be some...

When You Don't Feel Like It

When You Don't Feel Like It

Sometimes we have to do stuff when we don’t feel like it, but finding the motivation to do those things is really difficult in the moment. That’s when it’s important to keep in mind that motivation is not about just feeling good about doing something. It’s about having a motive. If something is the...

The True Meaning of Advent

The True Meaning of Advent

What is the best way to prepare for the season of Advent? You’re free to do what you know will help you prepare for Christmas the best. If decorating and so forth does not help you prepare for the coming of Christ, you can be the judge of whether it’s worth doing. Fr. Mike also wants to remind us...

How to Be a Steward

How to Be a Steward

Which is better, being an owner or a steward? Fr. Mike reminds us of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) as he points out how seeing ourselves as an owner is not as great as it seems. When we see ourselves as the owner of something, we hold onto it more closely for fear of losing it. When...

Battling Dryness in Prayer

Battling Dryness in Prayer

Last week Fr. Mike Schmitz talked about why prayer is so hard in his battle of prayer video, and this week he talks about what to do when you experience dryness in prayer. He says being distracted or discouraged in prayer is like losing control of a car on ice. When dryness or distraction in...

Why Is Prayer So Hard?

Why Is Prayer So Hard?

Growing up Fr. Mike thought prayer should be like soaking in a hot tub. He didn’t understand why it was so hard when he tried it. It took him a while to learn that, as the Catechism says, prayer is a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. Prayer always presupposes effort. There’s...

The Pressure of Public Conversion

The Pressure of Public Conversion

Fr. Mike comments on Kanye West’s conversion. He celebrates Kanye’s conversion, but hesitates to lift him up as a Christian leader. He recommends that we let Kanye’s roots in the faith grow without the responsibility of having people watch his every step to see if he will fall; because we all fall...

God Is Going to Interrupt You

God Is Going to Interrupt You

Fr. Mike uses the life of St. Maximillian Kolbe as an example of how God is going to interrupt us if we choose to do his will. We may love schedules, like Fr. Mike does, but life is unpredictable and tends to create a dangerous environment for our schedules. No less happened to St. Maximillian, who...

Does God Want Me to Be Spontaneous?

Does God Want Me to Be Spontaneous?

God may want you to be spontaneous, but he also wants you to be disciplined. How does that work? Well, unless you just want to have no control over you impulses like a dog chasing a squirrel, discipline is a necessary prerequisite to being spontaneous. Spontaneity requires a schedule, Fr. Mike...

How We Use the Word Should

How We Use the Word Should

We may be too hard on ourselves when considering how we use the word “should.” Of course, we should go to Mass and pray every day. We should avoid stealing and other sins. However, in the midst of the healthy “shoulds,” there could be unhealthy “shoulds,” like “I should enjoy going to Mass and...

Is Curiosity a Vice?

Is Curiosity a Vice?

Knowledge is always good, but St. Thomas Aquinas said curiosity—or the fickle pursuit of unnecessary knowledge—can be a vice. What he meant, and what Fr. Mike means here, is that the methods by which we feed our curiosity, and our motivation for feeding it, can lead to vice if we just want to know...

What You Can Control

What You Can Control

If you’re in any kind of situation in your life where you feel you are limited in what you can control, you may not be as chained to your circumstances as you think. Fr. Mike offers encouragement, saying you can still make interior decisions and have an effect on your circumstances to some extent....

How to Make Decisions Together

How to Make Decisions Together

Fr. Mike says the key to making decisions together is distinguishing between preferences and principles. If the reason you’re favoring a choice is a matter of principle, it is your duty to lead the other person in that decision to the truth of that principle. If the choice you’re favoring is just a...

Reading the "Signs" from God

Reading the "Signs" from God

Fr. Mike offers the antidote of common sense for the anxiety that often comes after making a big decision. As a campus minister, he sees many students who feel like they made the wrong decision to come to college because things are not the way they imagined. To people in these situations, he...

How to Handle Spiritual Setbacks

How to Handle Spiritual Setbacks

After reading a book on will power, Fr. Mike discovered an important lesson when it comes to how we handle spiritual setbacks. He noticed how resisting sin is a lot like resisting a donut when on a diet. If we resist for some time but then end up giving in and eating the donut, that doesn’t mean...

Responding to 'Expressing Your Opinion' Video

Responding to 'Expressing Your Opinion' Video

Fr. Mike responds to last week’s episode, “Expressing Your Opinions”, where he said when we speak our mind we need to consider why, what, who, and how. We need to discern why we think we should express our opinion. What’s our motive? We need to consider what it is we are commenting on, and whether...

Expressing Your Opinion?

Expressing Your Opinion?

Fr. Mike says there are four things you should ask yourself before expressing your opinion: why, what, who, and how. First, evaluate why you’re expressing this thought. Is it because it’s the right thing to do, or is it because you are trying to one-up someone? Second, what is your opinion? Is...

Why Catholics Use Scripture and Tradition

Why Catholics Use Scripture and Tradition

Catholics use Scripture and Tradition because Scripture tells us to use both. St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). If God wanted us to use Scripture...

Can We Joke about God?

Can We Joke about God?

If we can’t use the Lord’s name in vain, can we joke about God? Fr. Mike makes the case that there is room for humor about God in the context of love. No one in the universe or beyond it deserves more honor, respect, and reverence than God, and we jeopardize our souls if we fail to see this. At...

5 Things the Church Can Learn from Crossfit

5 Things the Church Can Learn from Crossfit

Fr. Mike points out five things the Church can learn from one of the latest fitness crazes, Crossfit: In Crossfit gyms, you’re seen, you’re known, and you’re missed when you’re not there. How often does someone stop coming to church without us even noticing? Crossfit is functional fitness,...

Not Everything in the Bible is Morally Good

Not Everything in the Bible is Morally Good

Not every protagonist in the Bible makes the morally good choice. The Bible is not a collection of stories that tell us how to live. It’s not a bunch of fables; the stuff in the Bible really happened. If the characters who we are told to look up to always did the right thing, it wouldn’t have much...

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