The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast

The Role of Hope in Holy Week

The Role of Hope in Holy Week

There are many great ways to describe hope, but Fr. Mike defines it as “trust in another extended into the future.” He recalls two stories from the Gospels that exemplify what hope is not. When Peter denied Christ, and when the two travelers on the road to Emmaus abandoned their hope in Christ....

Episode 198: How to Pick up Your Cross

Episode 198: How to Pick up Your Cross

Fr. Mike’s words on taking up our crosses may come as a relief to many of us. He rejects the “harder is holier” approach, and reminds us that taking up our crosses is ultimately about having more freedom. Christ says “My yoke is easy, and my is burden light” (Matthew 11:30). God has a particular...

Do I Have a Good Conscience?

Do I Have a Good Conscience?

Jiminy Cricket said “Always let your conscience be your guide,” but how do I know if I have a good conscience? A good conscience more often is concerned with our responsibilities than with our rights. It is more preoccupied with what God wants than with what I want. Fr. Mike tells us, “Stop...

Why Catholics Call Mary Their Mother

Why Catholics Call Mary Their Mother

When Catholics call Mary their mother, it may seem like they are taking away some of the respect due to Jesus and giving it to Mary. This is far from the case. Fr. Mike points out two reasons why calling Mary our mother can improve our relationship with Christ, and strengthen our faith life....

Signs that Your Relationship Is Falling Apart

Signs that Your Relationship Is Falling Apart

Fr. Mike discusses four signs that your relationship is in danger of falling apart, especially when it comes to stonewalling. Stonewalling, as used in the context of this episode, is when we refuse to communicate or cooperate with someone. Psychologist Dr. John Gottman calls it one of the “four...

What NOT to Do During a Breakup

What NOT to Do During a Breakup

Fr. Mike is asked a lot about what to do when your life is thrown off course by a breakup. In a previous episode, Fr. Mike discussed four questions to ask yourself when discerning God’s will for your life. When presented with a new door (or big decision), ask yourself: Is it good? Is it open? Is...

The Purpose of Lent

The Purpose of Lent

What does the Israelites’ forty years in the desert tell us about the purpose of Lent? Sure, they both involve the number forty—which often represents a time of test and trial in the Bible—but what’s the more important connection? The Israelites’ time in the desert and our forty-day Lenten fast...

Picking a Thing for Lent

Picking a Thing for Lent

Fr. Mike knows the tricks we can play on ourselves when it comes to picking something for Lent. So he gives a straightforward guideline: Don’t pick something that’s arbitrary. Pick something that is necessary. In other words, don’t say you’re giving up watermelon when you know you will hardly eat...

Getting Involved in Parish Life

Getting Involved in Parish Life

The value of a new parishioner introducing him or herself to parish life and just asking the priest, “How can I help?” is priceless. When entering a new community, we may have all of these ideas about what we can do to help, but to listen and simply tell the leaders that you are available shows...

The Meaning of "I Love You"

The Meaning of "I Love You"

Fr. Mike breaks down the real definition of love, which is willing the good of the other for the other. He goes further than that though, saying that if we truly believe in Christ, then the loving thing to do would be to share Christ with others by being his witness. St. Valentine risked his...

How Does God Restore Us?

How Does God Restore Us?

Fr. Mike explains how God restores our brokenness, especially when it comes to our bodies. So often, we find that the more precious a thing is, the more fragile it is. And when something precious is broken, we often think it’s become worthless. Like when we break a fragile teacup, we throw it away...

You Are a Burden

You Are a Burden

Yes, you are a burden. We are all burdens, including Fr. Mike, but we are burdens worth carrying. Many of us choose to deal with our problems on our own because we don’t want to bring our mess into other people’s lives. But the very nature of love is to sacrifice for others, and we cannot have any...

What is Stopping You from Becoming a Saint?

What is Stopping You from Becoming a Saint?

It may seem too difficult, or even unrealistic, to be a saint today. The reality is though, a saint is simply someone who has conformed their will to the Father’s will rather than the spirit of the age. Fr. Mike mentions three popular mentalities that prevent us from becoming saints: Our hearts...

Episode 186: Am I the Exception to God's Rule?

Episode 186: Am I the Exception to God's Rule?

God has his commandments and everything, but aren’t there times when there are exceptions to God’s rule? It’s a trick we’ve all tried to pull. When a particular sin is too hard for us to avoid, we say to God—or perhaps a priest—something like, “I know the Church says don’t do this thing, but in my...

Episode 185: Why is it a Mortal Sin? Skipping Mass and Communion without Confession

Episode 185: Why is it a Mortal Sin? Skipping Mass and Communion without Confession

Why is skipping mass a mortal sin? And when we do go to mass, why do we need to receive communion in a state of grace? It’s tempting to believe we can love God in whatever way suits us, but that’s not how love works. The way we express our love for God is through obedience and worship. Fr. Mike...

Episode 183: Data-Driven Discernment

Episode 183: Data-Driven Discernment

Who would have thought algebra and data could be the key to discernment? Fr. Mike explains that the discernment journey isn’t always about having this epiphany moment where your life’s purpose immediately becomes clear to you. Figuring out what God’s will is for you sometimes requires a...

A Fr. Mike Christmas Special

A Fr. Mike Christmas Special

Fr. Mike explains why "It's a Wonderful Life" is his favorite Christmas movie and how it can help us understand the importance of duty and love. Spoiler Alert "It's a Wonderful Life" is a classic, but there's a theme carried through the movie that is rarely...

Episode 182: Do All Good People go to Heaven?

Episode 182: Do All Good People go to Heaven?

Good people go to heaven when they die, right? Well, according to the Gospels, not exactly. Fr. Mike Schmitz points to at least four things Christ says we need for salvation: Baptism (John 3) The Eucharist (John 6) Faith (Romans 10:9) Doing the Father’s will (Matthew 25:31-46) None of them are...

Episode 181: Why We Say 'Memento Mori'

Episode 181: Why We Say 'Memento Mori'

You may have heard the phrase memento mori (remember your death)—especially if you hang out with those strange Catholics—but did you know there are three meanings woven into those two words? Sure, the immediate thought that comes to mind may be the fact that someday we will die; and this is good...

What Does it Mean to Be Blessed?

What Does it Mean to Be Blessed?

To be blessed means to holy, and to be holy means to be set apart for God. Fr. Mike reminds us of our calling to be holy, because, as Christians, we have been blessed by Baptism. Being set apart doesn't mean to be physically separated from everything else. It means that something is...

The Heart of Sin

The Heart of Sin

A sin is not simply breaking the rules. It’s when we say in our hearts, “God, I know what you want and I don’t care. I want what I want.” Fr. Mike makes it abundantly clear that sin is defiance toward God—usually in favor of self-interest. So often, when Catholics talk about sin people see our...

Giving Thanks is Necessary

Giving Thanks is Necessary

Fr. Mike says giving thanks is not only good and polite. It’s not just a thoughtful gesture. Giving thanks is necessary. We begin Mass by saying “It is right and just” to give God thanks. Not only that, the priest continues by saying: “It is our duty and salvation always and everywhere to give...

Episode 177: Is it Ever OK to Deny Christ?

Episode 177: Is it Ever OK to Deny Christ?

Fr. Mike answers some hard questions from his #askfrmike inquirers, starting with a question about the controversial book and movie, “Silence”, wherein two renowned Portuguese priests travel to Japan and deny Christ to prevent the suffering of their parishioners. After telling the story, Fr. Mike...

Episode 176: Why We Need Boundaries

Episode 176: Why We Need Boundaries

We all have those people in our lives whom we love, but just ask too much of us. Establishing limitations in relationships can be hard, but we need boundaries. Even Jesus did it when he spent time with just his disciples, or just his apostles; or just Peter, James, and John; or even just his...

Don't Have Any Friends?

Don't Have Any Friends?

We use the term “friend” loosely, introducing casual acquaintances as “My friends Lucy and John.” But what is friendship, really? Fr. Mike uses Aristotle’s three kinds of friendship—pleasant friendships, useful friendships, and virtuous friendships—as guidelines. While all three can be good,...

Episode 174: Reminder: God Loves You

Episode 174: Reminder: God Loves You

Father Mike Schmitz forgot to say one thing in his video “We’re Not Just Cosmic Accidents” – God loves you. In his previous video Fr. Mike made comments on The Greatest Showman song “This is Me”. To elaborate on his original message, he quotes Pope Benedict XVI, saying, “Until I am accepted and...

Episode 173: Building Healthy Relationships

Episode 173: Building Healthy Relationships

Fr. Mike shares three things that will help you build healthy relationships. If a couple wants to get married, that’s something we should celebrate. However, that doesn’t mean we should blindly encourage them no matter what, and offer cliche advice like, “You’re in love, and that’s all that...

Farmer, Priest, and Martyr

Farmer, Priest, and Martyr

Blessed Father Stanley Rother was a farmer, priest, and martyr from Oklahoma who found a way to give everything to the Lord, even his greatest struggles and disappointments, because he knew nothing is wasted when given to God. Fr. Mike tells Father Rother’s story, and shows what we can learn from...

We Are Not Cosmic Accidents

We Are Not Cosmic Accidents

Without our dignity that comes from God, we are just cosmic accidents. This is a humbling realization, but one that can also be empowering. Fr. Mike says we often misunderstand humility because we think it involves thinking less of ourselves. What it really involves is greater focus on God’s power...

Why Joy is More Christian Than Happiness

Why Joy is More Christian Than Happiness

Happiness is circumstantial. In fact, the word has the same root as the word “happenstance”. And yet, despite how fickle it is, many of us base our lives on the pursuit of happiness. Joy, on the other hand, is the abiding and pervasive sense of well-being. Fr. Mike explains that joy is, as G.K....

Do Catholics Have to Respect Everyone?

Do Catholics Have to Respect Everyone?

Sometimes it can be hard to respect the character of a person you really don’t like. That’s no problem, says Fr. Mike, because you can still respect them as a human being and—if they are in a position of authority—you can still respect their position. Not everyone in our lives is going to earn the...

Faith is Not Something You Can Lose

Faith is Not Something You Can Lose

Sure, there are times when it’s just hard to believe what the Catholic Faith tells us, but when someone says “I’m losing my faith,” or “I lost my faith,” there’s something much more serious going on there. Fr. Mike examines this problem, but emphasizes that we actually can’t lose faith because it’s...

Repentance and Church Reform

Repentance and Church Reform

Anyone can and should condemn the sins of the priests and cardinals that have been all over the news. The real challenge is to ask God what he is expecting us to do within this time, our time, in history. If he has created us to live in these difficult times for Catholics, he must be calling us to...

What Boredom Can Teach Us

What Boredom Can Teach Us

The wisdom he shares here is akin to that of many successful, insightful writers such as Cal Newport and Josef Pieper. You can find the works Fr. Mike references here: Cal Newport's Deep WorkJosef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture

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