The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast

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...

Does God Make Us with Flaws?

Does God Make Us with Flaws?

Fr. Mike answers that God does not make us with flaws, but we are all born with the unfortunate effects of original sin. We were all made in the image and likeness of God, but if we feel like some sinful behavior has been a part of us for as long as we can remember, that part doesn’t come from God....

Signs That Your Relationship Is Falling Apart, Part 2

Signs That Your Relationship Is Falling Apart, Part 2

Fr. Mike offers a follow-up to his video on Dr. John Gottman’s “four horsemen of the apocalypse” with this video on Dr. Gottman’s proposed remedy: the Golden Ratio. For every one instance of these four horsemen that signify a relationship is falling apart—which are defensiveness, criticism,...

Why Catholics Have a Pope

Why Catholics Have a Pope

Fr. Mike goes all the way back to Genesis to explain why Catholics have a pope. God established the kingdom of Israel with the twelve sons of Jacob. Centuries later, he appointed David as the king who would unite this kingdom. Centuries after that kingdom was divided, Jesus established a new...

In the World, but Not of It

In the World, but Not of It

We hear the phrase “in the world but not of it” quite often. But how do we live that out in our everyday lives? Fr. Mike gives a crash course on how to follow Christ in situations where there may be tension between you and someone you’re close to. Reminding us of Matthew 10:34, “I have not come...

Trying to Keep God at a Distance?

Trying to Keep God at a Distance?

When it comes to trying to control God and keep him at a distance in our lives, there are at least two ways that we go about it. Either we lay low and stay out of trouble, or we excel at whatever task we’ve currently been assigned to. Both strategies intend to keep God out of our lives so we can...

Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends?

Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends?

Fr. Mike is honest about why it’s so hard for us to make friends. A necessity for friendship is time, something that many of us simply don’t have. More than that, true friendship requires a painful level of vulnerability and transparency. When asking yourself who you are willing to be friends with,...

Understanding Our Capacity for Evil

Understanding Our Capacity for Evil

Fr. Mike asks if the bad things you think you don’t have the capacity to do are actually just things you don’t have the opportunity to do. A friend of Fr. Mike’s was recovering from an addiction, and this friend noticed how he was deceiving himself. He was telling himself “I would never …” when he...

How Do We Spend Our Time?

How Do We Spend Our Time?

How we spend our time is one of the most valuable decisions we make, because time is one thing we can never get back once it’s gone. Maybe God is calling you to do something more with your time, in this very moment even, but distractions are pulling you in too many different directions to focus....

Catholic Teaching on IVF and Contraception Explained

Catholic Teaching on IVF and Contraception Explained

For many people, the Catholic Church’s teaching on in vitro fertilization and contraception is a hard one, but it is in concordance with the nature of things. The nature of a thing, as Fr. MIke puts it, is its “what-it’s-for-ness”. Sex is for procreation and the unity of the couple. Equally...

Fitting In at Church

Fitting In at Church

Perhaps you’ve felt the temptation to be a cookie-cutter Catholic, one who does all the Catholic things that other Catholics are doing because they think … well … that’s what makes us Catholic. But comparison is kind of like the cousin of envy, Fr. Mike says. If we only express our faith in certain...

Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Feeling Sorry for Yourself

What good does feeling sorry for yourself do? Fr. Mike points out a hard truth in saying—while you have the right to grieve when tragic things happen in your life—you never have the right, or permission, to feel sorry for yourself. All it does is shrink the universe down to the size of you. It...

Old Testament God vs. New Testament God

Old Testament God vs. New Testament God

Many people say God acted much differently in the Old Testament than he did in the New Testament. They say the God of the New Testament is merciful and compassionate, but in the Old Testament he is often harsh and unforgiving. A thorough look at Scripture reveals that this is not the case. God is...

How Does Purification Work?

How Does Purification Work?

God wants you to be holy, so he is going to set you on a path of purification if you choose to do his will. He is the one who is going to make you holy. This process is going to strip away many things you hold dear. It’s going to require active participation in his will, doing what is right and...

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