The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast

The Fr. Mike Schmitz Catholic Podcast
Faith, pop culture, and headline reflections from Fr. Mike Schmitz.

Freedom from the Fear of Death
Aug 13 • 7 min
Wearing masks, not wearing masks, and all the mixed emotions that have come with the coronavirus reveal that—as a society—we lack freedom from the fear of death. Maybe you know someone who has died from the virus, or someone who lost their livelihood due…
Believing in a God Who Allows Evil
Aug 6 • 9 min
It may sound foolish to believe in a God who allows evil, tragedy, suffering, and disasters. But God never promised to rid the world of these things. He promised us hope: “and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts…
Why Are Some People So Annoying?
Jul 30 • 7 min
We all have pet peeves. We all get annoyed by things that really don’t matter much, whether it’s someone chewing with their mouth open, or someone whispering the Rosary in an Adoration chapel—which are two things that used to be pet peeves for Fr. Mike.…
How Certain Is Your Faith?
Jul 23 • 6 min
Is your faith certain enough to stand up against the doubts and different ideas out there? Fr. Mike shares insight about certainty from Dr. Montague Brown, professor of philosophy at St. Anselm College, New Hampshire. Dr. Brown says certainty is…
Who You Are vs. Who You’re Called to Be
Jul 16 • 7 min
Fr. Mike recalls the speed math tests he took in second and third grade. He finished them in decent time, but his cousin—who was in the same class—finished them way faster. In fact, his cousin was the fastest in his class. For some reason this led Fr.…
How to Share the Gospel (and How Not To)
Jul 9 • 6 min
If you want to know how to share the gospel, it’s important to have the love and courage to not just give answers and corrections, but to ask questions. It is in asking questions from the heart that you convey true interest in the person’s soul, instead…
Striving vs. Abiding
Jul 2 • 8 min
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…
Finding Balance in Your Walk with Jesus
Jun 25 • 8 min
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…
Make Small Sacrifices for a Big Change
Jun 18 • 7 min
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…
Family: Your Shortcut to Holiness
Jun 11 • 9 min
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…
Special Episode: Reconciling the Body of Christ (with Fr. Josh Johnson)
Jun 4 • 79 min
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…
How to Practice the Presence of God
May 28 • 7 min
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…
The Benefit of the Doubt
May 21 • 7 min
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…
How Do You Pray with the Bible?
May 14 • 5 min
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: Monday, May…
The Christian Solution to Vanity
May 7 • 7 min
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…
4 Essentials for Every Catholic
Apr 30 • 6 min
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’…
How to Deal with Your Partner’s Sexual Sin
Apr 23 • 8 min
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.…
Have You Mastered the Basics of Your Faith?
Apr 16 • 9 min
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…
Healing from the Wound of Sin
Apr 9 • 8 min
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…
Does God Ever Lead Us into Temptation?
Apr 2 • 6 min
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…
God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways
Mar 26 • 5 min
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…
How Should Catholics Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Mar 19 • 10 min
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…
Offering Up Your Inconveniences
Mar 12 • 5 min
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…
How to Start Strong and Stay Strong
Mar 5 • 8 min
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…
How to Live This Lent for Others
Feb 27 • 6 min
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…
Why Isn’t Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?
Feb 20 • 8 min
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…
When Your Desires and God’s Plans Are Different
Feb 13 • 8 min
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…
Even More Questions from the Internet about Priests
Feb 6 • 7 min
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…
BONUS: Telling the Story of God’s Love
Feb 4 • 37 min
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…
Answering the Internet’s Most Asked Questions About Priests
Jan 30 • 9 min
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?…
Is Swearing a Sin?
Jan 23 • 6 min
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…
Why Is Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain Wrong?
Jan 16 • 7 min
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…
How Catholics Should Connect with Others
Jan 9 • 7 min
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…
Hope in the New Year
Jan 2 • 7 min
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…
Having Joy in Uncertainty
Dec 26, 2019 • 9 min
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…
The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy
Dec 19, 2019 • 7 min
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…
When You Don’t Feel Like It
Dec 12, 2019 • 5 min
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.…
The True Meaning of Advent
Dec 5, 2019 • 8 min
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…
How to Be a Steward
Nov 28, 2019 • 6 min
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…
Battling Dryness in Prayer
Nov 21, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Why Is Prayer So Hard?
Nov 14, 2019 • 9 min
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.…
The Pressure of Public Conversion
Nov 7, 2019 • 7 min
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…
God Is Going to Interrupt You
Oct 31, 2019 • 4 min
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…
Does God Want Me to Be Spontaneous?
Oct 24, 2019 • 6 min
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.…
How We Use the Word Should
Oct 17, 2019 • 5 min
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,”…
Is Curiosity a Vice?
Oct 10, 2019 • 7 min
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…
What You Can Control
Oct 3, 2019 • 6 min
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…
How to Make Decisions Together
Sep 26, 2019 • 8 min
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…
Reading the “Signs” from God
Sep 19, 2019 • 6 min
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…
How to Handle Spiritual Setbacks
Sep 12, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Responding to ‘Expressing Your Opinion’ Video
Sep 5, 2019 • 8 min
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…
Expressing Your Opinion?
Aug 29, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Why Catholics Use Scripture and Tradition
Aug 22, 2019 • 12 min
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…
Can We Joke about God?
Aug 15, 2019 • 9 min
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…
5 Things the Church Can Learn from Crossfit
Aug 8, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Not Everything in the Bible is Morally Good
Aug 1, 2019 • 6 min
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…
Does God Make Us with Flaws?
Jul 25, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Signs That Your Relationship Is Falling Apart, Part 2
Jul 18, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Why Catholics Have a Pope
Jul 11, 2019 • 14 min
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…
In the World, but Not of It
Jul 4, 2019 • 10 min
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.…
Trying to Keep God at a Distance?
Jun 27, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends?
Jun 20, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Understanding Our Capacity for Evil
Jun 13, 2019 • 8 min
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…
How Do We Spend Our Time?
Jun 6, 2019 • 10 min
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…
Catholic Teaching on IVF and Contraception Explained
May 30, 2019 • 12 min
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…
Fitting In at Church
May 23, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Feeling Sorry for Yourself
May 16, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Old Testament God vs. New Testament God
May 9, 2019 • 7 min
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…
How Does Purification Work?
May 2, 2019 • 12 min
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…
Do You Want to Be Well?
Apr 25, 2019 • 8 min
Jesus asked the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda, “Do you want to be well?” It seems like an obvious question, but—as Fr. Mike explains—in order for this man to desire healing, he had to believe he could be healed. So many of us have given up on the…
The Role of Hope in Holy Week
Apr 18, 2019 • 8 min
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…
How to Pick up Your Cross
Apr 11, 2019 • 11 min
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…
Do I Have a Good Conscience?
Apr 4, 2019 • 11 min
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…
Why Catholics Call Mary Their Mother
Mar 28, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Signs that Your Relationship Is Falling Apart
Mar 21, 2019 • 9 min
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…
What NOT to Do During a Breakup
Mar 14, 2019 • 10 min
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),…
The Purpose of Lent
Mar 7, 2019 • 6 min
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…
Picking a Thing for Lent
Feb 28, 2019 • 5 min
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…
Getting Involved in Parish Life
Feb 21, 2019 • 9 min
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 Meaning of “I Love You”
Feb 14, 2019 • 10 min
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…
How Does God Restore Us?
Feb 7, 2019 • 9 min
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…
You Are a Burden
Jan 31, 2019 • 7 min
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…
What is Stopping You from Becoming a Saint?
Jan 24, 2019 • 9 min
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…
Am I the Exception to God’s Rule?
Jan 17, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Why is it a Mortal Sin? Skipping Mass and Communion without Confession
Jan 10, 2019 • 7 min
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…
Data-Driven Discernment
Jan 3, 2019 • 5 min
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…
A Fr. Mike Christmas Special
Dec 27, 2018 • 9 min
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…
Do All Good People go to Heaven?
Dec 20, 2018 • 11 min
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…
Why We Say ‘Memento Mori’
Dec 13, 2018 • 6 min
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…
What Does it Mean to Be Blessed?
Dec 6, 2018 • 7 min
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…
The Heart of Sin
Nov 29, 2018 • 6 min
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…
Giving Thanks is Necessary
Nov 22, 2018 • 6 min
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…
Is it Ever OK to Deny Christ?
Nov 15, 2018 • 10 min
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…
Why We Need Boundaries
Nov 8, 2018 • 12 min
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…
Don’t Have Any Friends?
Nov 1, 2018 • 10 min
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…
Reminder: God Loves You
Oct 25, 2018 • 6 min
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…
Building Healthy Relationships
Oct 18, 2018 • 8 min
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,…
Farmer, Priest, and Martyr
Oct 11, 2018 • 7 min
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…
We Are Not Cosmic Accidents
Oct 4, 2018 • 8 min
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…
Why Joy is More Christian Than Happiness
Sep 27, 2018 • 7 min
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…
When Mass Feels like Going Through the Motions
Sep 20, 2018 • 10 min
The Karate Kid didn’t know waxing a car would teach him karate, but Miyagi knew. In a similar way the Church, in her wisdom, teaches us certain motions—kneeling at Mass, making the sign of the Cross, etcetera—so we may learn the deeper virtues that will…
Do Catholics Have to Respect Everyone?
Sep 14, 2018 • 8 min
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…
Faith is Not Something You Can Lose
Sep 6, 2018 • 10 min
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…
Repentance and Church Reform
Aug 30, 2018 • 10 min
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…
The Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal
Aug 23, 2018 • 16 min
Anti-Fragile Christianity
Aug 16, 2018 • 10 min
Is Courtesy Required for Catholics?
Aug 9, 2018 • 8 min
For Those Without a Clear Vocation
Aug 2, 2018 • 10 min
Developing a Clear Vision in Life
Jul 27, 2018 • 7 min
Becoming Flexible to Accept God’s Will
Jul 19, 2018 • 7 min
What Boredom Can Teach Us
Jul 12, 2018 • 9 min
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 Work Josef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture
Freedom and Its Consequences
Jul 5, 2018 • 6 min
The Church and Immigration
Jun 28, 2018 • 8 min
Consistency Will Make You Holy
Jun 21, 2018 • 7 min
Why Non-Catholics Can’t Receive Communion
Jun 14, 2018 • 9 min
Catholics, Alcohol, and Drinking
Jun 7, 2018 • 7 min
How to be a Good Disciple of Christ
May 31, 2018 • 8 min
Can a Catholic Marry a Non-Catholic?
May 25, 2018 • 11 min
Religion Doesn’t Cause as Many Wars as You Think
May 18, 2018 • 7 min
Do You Present Your True Self to Others?
May 14, 2018 • 7 min
Dealing with Stress
May 9, 2018 • 8 min
Eposide 145: 3 Questions to Ask to Prevent Gossiping
Apr 27, 2018 • 3 min
Is It OK To Stay The Night?
Apr 20, 2018 • 8 min
Fr. Mike offers a message that may be hard to accept for some of us, but his intention is to help us live happily and get to heaven. In a culture where anything goes, the Catholic views on dating can seem strict, but behind them are very good reasons. If…
The Culture of Netflix and Chill
Apr 13, 2018 • 8 min
Every generation has its own code words for things that are taboo, but when watching TV and relaxing could mean having casual sex, it’s fair to say we’ve reached a tipping point in our culture. In this episode, Fr. Mike examines the “Netflix and chill”…
How to Prepare for the Sunday Readings
Apr 6, 2018 • 8 min
Have you ever left Mass feeling like the homily just wasn't satisfactory? In this episode, Father Mike Schmitz shows us how to always gain what we need from the Sunday readings, regardless of the quality of the homily. Father Mike also tells us not to be…
Fr. Mike’s Autobiography
Mar 29, 2018 • 6 min
This episode is not a new autobiography by F​r.​ Mike Schmitz. It’s about everyone’s autobiography, which is—in a word—the ​crucifix. Jesus​'​ dying on the Cross sums up every person’s life story because it shows what our sins did and God's power to…
Take Courage!
Mar 23, 2018 • 8 min
It's easy to think of courage as something we only need when facing our greatest fears, but in this episode Fr. Mike explains how courage is necessary to live out every virtue. He shows how cowardice can seem harmless in the ways it sneaks into our…
What’s the Point of Fasting During Lent?
Mar 16, 2018 • 7 min
We fast during Lent for many reasons. Whether those reasons are good or not is hard to tell sometimes, though. Sometimes we fast and do penance for personal reasons (I want to lose weight), or for practical reasons (I can save my family money or feed poor…
Confessing the Same Sins Over and Over Again
Mar 7, 2018 • 7 min
Fr. Mike discusses why confessing the same sins over and over isn’t entirely a bad thing. He also offers some ways we can make our confessions more effective in helping us avoid those same sins in the future. The practice of naming, confessing, and…
Why Should I Confess My Sins to a Priest?
Mar 5, 2018 • 9 min
If you’ve ever been in a conversation where you had to defend the Catholic Faith, people have probably asked you this question. It can be a tough one to answer, but Fr. Mike lays out many reasons why confessing our sins to a priest makes perfect sense.…
Should Catholics Call Priests Father
Feb 26, 2018 • 7 min
One of the most common Bible verses people use to try and debunk Catholic teaching is Matthew 23:9, where Jesus says, “Call no man on earth father.” In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz guides us through the New Testament to give us the context and…
Overcoming Envy and Dealing with Jealousy
Feb 16, 2018 • 7 min
Envy and jealousy sneakily gain control of our minds. They don’t feel like other sins that give at least a brief moment of gratification, so it’s easy to dismiss these disordered thoughts. In this episode, Fr. Mike explains why we need to focus in on…
4 Helpful Rules for Discernment
Feb 9, 2018 • 6 min
When we are discerning God’s will in our lives, we often get overwhelmed by the anxiety of making the right choice and don’t permit ourselves to consider what we actually want. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages us to weigh all the choices that…
Motivation to Go to Catholic Mass
Feb 1, 2018 • 9 min
You may have heard priests or devout Catholics say something like, “If only people knew what was happening at Mass, they’d be more willing to go.” That may be true, but in this episode, Fr. Mike also gets to the more practical—and painfully direct—heart…
Why God Gave Us Bodies
Jan 25, 2018 • 9 min
God made the world—and you—on purpose. What is that purpose? Well, that’s what St. John Paul II went to great lengths to explain in his Theology of the Body talks, which Fr. Mike sums up beautifully in this episode. With profound simplicity, Fr.…
Inspiration to Stop Complaining
Jan 18, 2018 • 5 min
St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “In all things give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). In this episode, Fr. Mike shows us how to live up to that challenge, helping us to see that everything we complain about can be viewed as an opportunity to praise…
The Virgin Mary’s Struggles
Jan 11, 2018 • 7 min
If we want to be holy, the Virgin Mary should have an integral role in our spiritual life; but sometimes, perhaps, you might ​think you cannot relate to the Blessed Mother because she was immaculately conceived and didn’t have to struggle with sin as we…
The Secret to Sticking to a New Year’s Resolution
Jan 4, 2018 • 7 min
So you felt a strong wave of inspiration and became determined to make a New Year’s resolution. Great. Now what? In this episode, Fr. Mike teaches how to strike a balance between great change and manageable consistency, so you can tackle that resolution…
Christmas: A Time for Hope
Dec 28, 2017 • 5 min
While many of us may become stressed out before Christmas and depressed afterwards—working hard to make the holiday perfect and burning out once it’s all “over”—the Light of the season can still shine through if we remember one thing. In this episode, Fr.…
Learning How To Love from the Bible
Dec 21, 2017 • 9 min
Do you want to learn how to love like the Bible teaches? Bible-based love, indeed any Bible-based relationships, can be attained if we understand what the Bible says about love. Loving someone rightly is difficult because selfish motives often seep into…
Straightforward Career and Job Advice
Dec 13, 2017 • 8 min
It’s all too common for us to think of our work as either the thing that gives us our identity, or something to be avoided at all cost, or some unhealthy combination of those two misleading philosophies. In this episode, Fr. Mike aims to bring inspiration…
The Problem With Criticism
Dec 7, 2017 • 6 min
In this episode, Fr. Mike delivers a crackdown on habitual criticism. He discusses how easy it is to criticize something, and how hard it is to create something and open yourself to be critiqued. While pointing out how excessive criticism is a form of…
Finding God in Darkness
Nov 30, 2017 • 10 min
The phrase “dark night of the soul” is thrown around quite a bit in Catholic circles, but what does it mean exactly? In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains precisely what is happening in our souls when we feel this kind of spiritual darkness, and he…
How Do Priests Pray
Nov 23, 2017 • 9 min
Finding the right words to pray can be difficult, and the rote prayers we were taught as children are too often not prayed from the heart. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz tells us about a way to pray that priests are taught in their formation years…
The Lesser Known Final Judgment
Nov 16, 2017 • 8 min
Death, judgment, heaven, and hell—the four last things—are popular enough topics among Christians; but there’s more to these things than just our own personal end. In this episode​,​ Fr. Mike explains how, as the Catechism teaches, in the Last Judgment…
Decision Making 101
Nov 9, 2017 • 6 min
Fr. Mike gives help when it comes to making decisions.
The Battle of Prayer
Nov 2, 2017 • 7 min
Drawing from the wisdom of the saints, Fr. Mike explains why prayer should be in the center of our lives, while offering some helpful pointers on how to make that so, especially during distractions.
Tolkien’s Leaf
Oct 25, 2017 • 7 min
J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story "Leaf by Niggle", reveals that minutia matters: even the little things we do have can have great significance. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explores how the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings shows that having a…
Wonder Woman
Oct 19, 2017 • 7 min
What is it that makes a hero? In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a definition we can all live up to. Using the Wonder Woman movie as an example, he explains how a hero, or heroine, is characterized more by his or her praiseworthy human qualities…
Living in the Present Moment
Oct 12, 2017 • 6 min
Never before was there and never again will there be a moment quite like the present, yet so often we find ourselves wishing we were in another time in our lives, wishing we could be enjoying the achievement of our future goals or the past times when…
NFL Protests
Oct 5, 2017 • 7 min
Football has recently become a forum to look at where patriotism and protest intersect. The last thing most NFL fans want is for the NFL to get political, yet with the recent National Anthem protests around the league, that seems to be what’s happening.…
Finding Balance in Christian Life
Sep 28, 2017 • 6 min
Balance in life is something many of us strive for while not having much insight on how to achieve it. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz provides three principles that can help, advising that when we seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33),…
What is Hope
Sep 21, 2017 • 5 min
Hope, in the Christian sense, is often misunderstood. It is not the same as optimism or presumption. It is not the blind faith that we will go to heaven or the escapist way to avoid the troubles of this world. It’s not the virtue we need to see the…
Avoiding Impurity
Sep 14, 2017 • 7 min
Did you know we have the ability to write our own stories? So often we consider ourselves victims of our own passions, constantly giving in to them while thinking they’re too strong. In this video, Fr. Mike empowers us to live out the vow we make in our…
Is it OK to Judge Someone
Sep 7, 2017 • 6 min
Jesus commanded us not to judge… but not to judge what? If we look at the words of Jesus, we find he’s actually telling us that even though we can’t judge the heart, we should judge actions – it’s important to make distinctions between right and wrong!…
What’s Your Burden
Aug 31, 2017 • 6 min
How do you carry your burdens in life? In this episode, Father Mike discusses a tendency to make our life harder based on the "work beneath the work." Our approach to difficulties doesn't have to make them even tougher.
Who Do You Spend Time With
Aug 24, 2017 • 7 min
Common wisdom tells us we become the people we spend the most time with, so choose your friends wisely. In this video, Fr. Mike expands upon that advice to encourage Catholics to spend more time with God in prayer, and surround ourselves with people who…
Training vs Working Out
Aug 17, 2017 • 5 min
Inspired by the diligence of professional athletes and St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, Fr. Mike encourages us to approach our prayer life—and life in general—with a goal and sense of purpose. Getting physically in shape requires more than just…
Talking About Suicide
Aug 3, 2017 • 9 min
Fr. Mike explains why hope is the best remedy for suicidal thoughts. If you know someone struggling with such thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out to them with reasons to have hope. If someone you know or love has committed suicide, pray for them and…
Be a Hater
Jul 27, 2017 • 7 min
You may be familiar with the expression, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” Fr. Mike would agree, especially when it comes to ourselves. We are quick to point out the sin we observe around us, but not as quick to examine our own souls. Along with this…
Responding to the MMA Episode
Jul 20, 2017 • 8 min
Fr. Mike addresses some of the disagreements his audience expressed regarding last week’s video on mixed martial arts. Showing that he wasn’t singling out MMA, he gets to the root of the issue and asks, “Does the entertainment I choose help or harm my…
Why Watching MMA Strips Human Dignity
Jul 13, 2017 • 5 min
Sometimes the forms of entertainment we choose to watch raise important moral questions. In this episode, Fr. Mike puts the sport of mixed martial arts on trial for its glorification of unnecessary violence. He distinguishes between the ability to defend…
Generosity - The Greatest Spiritual Gift
Jul 6, 2017 • 5 min
In Matthew 17:20,​ Jesus tells us if we have faith as small as a mustard seed we could move mountains. The problem is most of us don’t put our faith to use. In this video, Fr. Mike invites us to make use of the gifts God has already given us. In doing so,…
Are My Sacrifices Working
Jun 29, 2017 • 5 min
The Book of Eli (Denzel Washington) and The Road (Viggo Mortensen) provide powerful illustrations for Fr. Mike’s talk about hope this week. These two dystopian stories demonstrate how hope can give us the strength to put everything on the line for…
Do Catholics Worship Saints
Jun 22, 2017 • 7 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz wants to straighten out some confusion regarding Catholics’ veneration of saints. In this episode, he explains how—far from being icons to worship—statues and paintings of the saints are reminders of what God can do in someone’s life, so…
Why We Don’t Drink Coffee At Mass
Jun 15, 2017 • 6 min
Leaving our coffee cups outside - there are a few reasons for this. Fr. Mike reminds us that we all have a vital role to play in the Mass, and it’s probably more significant than any of us realized!
Why Be Catholic And Not Just Christian
Jun 8, 2017 • 9 min
There are many similarities and differences between the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz narrows the differences down to one thing that really sets Catholicism apart from the rest. If you like this video, you…
How To Face Temptation
Jun 1, 2017 • 6 min
Father Mike uses the classic myths involving the Sirens to explain some ways to avoid temptation. He points out the differences between the ways Ulysses, his crew, and Jason of the Argonauts dealt with the monsters and suggests we use some advice St. Paul…
What I Learned Getting Roasted At The Seminary
May 26, 2017 • 4 min
Fr. Mike uses a memory from the seminary to discuss a lesson about self-identity. He asks us what we would like to be known for at the end of the day. Some of us want to be recognized for our talents or for our interests, but Fr. Mike narrows it down to…
What You Should Know About Purgatory
May 17, 2017 • 6 min
Some people reject the idea of purgatory because they misunderstand its purpose. In this episode, Fr. Mike explains why purgatory is needed and straightens out some of those misunderstandings.
Is God in the Center of Your Life?
May 11, 2017 • 5 min
Does your life revolve around your relationship with God, or is your relationship with him just a side-note?
Is it OK to Hate Someone?
May 4, 2017 • 6 min
What do we need to do as Catholic Christians to convey that the message of our religion is one of pure love? So often we misrepresent what it means to be Christian, causing many people to just see judgment when they see us upholding our principles. In…
What Is the Sin of Gluttony?
Apr 27, 2017 • 6 min
Many of us have learned the hard way that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. In this episode, Fr. Mike shows us how to savor life’s delights without losing our ability to enjoy life. He gives palpable examples as he demonstrates how our favorite…
God Doesn’t Owe You Anything
Apr 20, 2017 • 6 min
When we’re going through hard times, it’s easy to think we deserve better from God. In this episode, Fr. Mike uses a compelling story from the book of Daniel to exemplify the challenging but proper response to adversity. As tough as it may be, finding a…
Good Friday- The Meaning of the Cross
Apr 13, 2017 • 7 min
Many people wonder, and even become angry, about God’s ways. In this episode for Good Friday, Fr. Mike explains why God’s answers often seem like contradictions to us. While Jesus dying on the Cross makes no sense according to human wisdom, according to…
Hell Is for Real
Apr 6, 2017 • 6 min
It’s a question that arises whenever someone challenges the beliefs of Christianity: If God is all-loving, why does he send people to hell? Some Christians choose to believe that hell doesn’t exist, or if it does, then only those guilty of the most…
Where is Lent in the Bible?
Mar 30, 2017 • 8 min
Just about any question you might have about Lent is answered in this episode. Fr. Mike explains where the observance of Lent came from (the Bible), clarifies why Catholics observe the season, and shares how it can make a difference in our lives. Find…
Acedia- The Noonday Devil
Mar 23, 2017 • 6 min
The Meaning of Suffering
Mar 16, 2017 • 6 min
Books upon books have been written about the problem of suffering. Fr. Mike isn’t about to reinvent the wheel in this video, but the wisdom he shares in it ​echoes​ that of the saints. What did the saints and martyrs know about suffering that enabled them…
Fasting Can Change You Forever
Mar 9, 2017 • 7 min
Fr. Mike talks about the real reasons Christ tells us to fast. It isn’t just about strengthening our will and showing our love for God through some small sacrifice. Ultimately, it’s about freedom. When we give up something for Lent, by the time Lent is…
Why Fast on Ash Wednesday?
Mar 2, 2017 • 6 min
Fr. Mike offers a refreshing reason for fasting​ on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting shouldn’t be simply something Catholics do to show they are Catholic. It is a way to show God that we give him our hearts and care about what he asks of us.
That’s Offensive!
Feb 23, 2017 • 8 min
The more we live in the truth, the harder it will be for others to offend us, because false statements about us won't bother us and true ones won't be hidden from us. In this video, Fr. Mike lays out why, as Catholic Christians, we are called to be both…
Preparing for Lent
Feb 4, 2017 • 8 min
In this video, Fr. Mike explains how prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three pillars of a spiritually fruitful Lent. He then challenges us to try new ways to exercise these Lenten practices, sharing several simple strategies for drawing closer to…
Mortal Vs Venial Sin
Feb 2, 2017 • 7 min
Even though mortal sins are more deadly than venial sins, that doesn’t mean venial sins are harmless. Fr. Mike explains the damage venial sins do to us and advises us to not become complacent in our sin, no matter how minor it may seem to us, because all…
3 Steps to Unceasing Prayer
Jan 31, 2017 • 6 min
First Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray constantly,” but how do we do that? In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz suggests a three-step approach used by St. Francis de Sales. These steps can be difficult or easy, but the important thing to remember is that…
Love is an Ability
Jan 27, 2017 • 3 min
Chapel Veils and the Significance of Dreams
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
How can we know if God is speaking to us through a dream? Is it acceptable to wear a chapel veil to a Novus Ordo Mass? Fr. Mike responds to these questions from his audience with clarity and enthusiasm, helping us discover the underlying principles behind…
What Is Sin?
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
In this episode, Fr. Mike lays out not just what sin is but also what it is not. He also explains the difference between regret and repentance, and how evil is really just the absence of good.
What Constitutes a Practicing Catholic?
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
It may be difficult to tell a non-practicing Catholic that he or she can’t receive ​C​ommunion, but—as Fr. Mike Schmitz proves in this episode—in the big picture​, ​​you would actually be helping the person. While telling an awe-inspiring story about a…
Mastering Love and Relationships
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
Who doesn’t want to have more constructive conversations in their close relationships? In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how achieving this may be simpler than you think. So many times, we just don’t give the people we love the attention they…
Will My Pet Be in Heaven?
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
The question addressed in this episode runs much deeper than the cartoon classic All Dogs Go to Heaven. Fr. Mike ventures into the theology of the matter, even taking some words of wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Paul—who says in Romans 8, that…
Can I Go to Confession Over the Phone?
Jan 25, 2017 • 3 min
With all of the communication we do through the Internet and over the phone, why do we still have to go to confession in person? Fr. Mike Schmitz explains the importance of the matter.
Discernment 101
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz explains ​that it is best to focus on one thing at a time when discerning a vocation. Not only is it most prudent to discern ​​just one vocation at a time;​ ​it is​​​ also important to take discernment ​one step at​ ​a time.
3 Reasons Catholics Genuflect
Jan 25, 2017 • 4 min
By genuflecting before the tabernacle at church, we’re saying at least one of three things with our bodies. Those three things have to do with humility, service, and love. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how a simple kneel before we enter the…
Wanting to Fix People
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
We have a tendency to want to fix the people we love. While delighting in all their good traits, we think, “If only they didn’t have this one quirk…” In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains that love embraces the entire person just the way he or she…
The Value of Silence
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
God never ignores us, but sometimes we simply can’t hear him due to all of the distractions in our life. That’s why Fr. Mike Schmitz feels it’s necessary for people to become more comfortable with silence, because silence is God’s first language, and it…
Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
How can God be good, but allow bad things to happen? Fr. Mike Schmitz tackles one of the toughest questions religious believers must answer
Independence Day Special
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
It might be tough not to feel patriotic after hearing why Fr. Mike Schmitz loves America in this episode. More importantly, though, he talks about the “burden of freedom” and explains why true freedom requires wisdom, virtue, and a thorough understanding…
Will God Heal My Wounds?
Jan 25, 2017 • 9 min
Being alone isn’t supposed to be scary. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz shows us how solitude can be an invitation and doesn't have to lead to loneliness. God himself has revealed to us how he is a relationship of love between Father, Son, and Holy…
Learning to Be Alone
Jan 25, 2017 • 5 min
Being alone isn’t supposed to be scary. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz shows us how solitude can be an invitation and doesn't have to lead to loneliness. God himself has revealed to us how he is a relationship of love between Father, Son, and Holy…
Are All Catholics Hypocrites?
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
Sometimes we’re not everything we wish we could be. At times all we can do is act as if we believe, because we’re just not up to truly putting our faith in God​ at that moment​. In this episode, Fr. Mike explains why, in a sense, it’s ​OK to be a…
Dogma, Doctrine, and Meat on Fridays
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
Fr. Mike explains that Church teachings can develop without essentially changing. Using examples such as the doctrine of the Incarnation and abstaining from meat on Fridays, he shows how the heart of certain teachings always remains the same, even though…
Venting or Gossip
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
Sometimes we forget how much of an impact our words can make. In this episode, Fr. Mike reminds us that our words have the power to build up or destroy relationships and even whole communities. He points out some helpful distinctions between venting and…
Is Shyness Your Excuse?
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
Fr. Mike helps us break down the barriers that may keep us from evangelizing. He points out that the best way to spread the gospel is just by being yourself, and leading people to Christ in your own way. Sometimes the greatest witness is a quiet one.
Do We Deserve God’s Love?
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
Before we receive Communion, we essentially tell God we are not worthy to receive him. In this episode, Fr. Mike explains why this is not a reflection upon us, but rather on God’s unconditional love.
Can I Get a Tattoo?
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz gives us some things to consider before getting a tattoo. If we do choose to place permanent marks on our bodies, Fr. Mike advises us to make sure the marks portray values we’ll always identify with and live up to, because tattoos do…
Procrastination Isn’t Always Laziness
Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min
Fr. Mike teaches us the two questions we need to ask ourselves to figure out whether our procrastination is laziness or 'strategic procrastination'. He also draws the distinction between procrastination and sloth, and gives direction on how to break out…
Letting God Take His Time
Jan 25, 2017 • 6 min
Fr. Mike reflects on why God often takes his time when working in our lives. Sometimes God has to go back to the foundation of a problem to answer our prayers. This takes time, but every moment is worth it because it’s time spent with him.
Adulting Level- Expert
Jan 25, 2017 • 7 min
The mark of an adult really comes down to one word: responsibility. In fact, being responsible just happens to be a sign of sainthood as well, according to Fr. Mike. Let’s take back the word "adult" and make it about holiness.
Praying in a State of Mortal Sin
Jan 24, 2017 • 9 min
Contrite prayer can be an act of courage, because Lord knows there’s no harder time to pray than after we know we’ve sinned. In a way, we’re afraid to approach God. Yet, just as the only way to overcome our fears is by facing them, the only way to…
Prepare to Die
Jan 24, 2017 • 6 min
When we’re caught up in life, it’s easy to forget that it’s going to end someday. So, will you be prepared? Fr. Mike suggests that we use Lent as a preparation for death, embracing it as a time to let go of earthly concerns and desires so that we can die…
Shifting into a New Relationship
Jan 24, 2017 • 7 min
There will be conflict and arguments in relationships; it’s inevitable. But, we don’t have to let those situations cause irreparable damage. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how conflict can help a couple move forward together. The key is to…
Fr. Mike’s Easter Special
Jan 24, 2017 • 4 min
For this first week of Easter, Fr. Mike wants us to know how important we are to Jesus. When Jesus rose from the dead, the first people he encountered were Mary Magdalene and his disciples—the ones who believed in him. This Easter, because we believe in…
Praying Through Holy Week
Jan 24, 2017 • 5 min
Find out how the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist from Duluth pray during Holy Week, and maybe discover something you can use in your prayer life as we walk with Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem, to Calvary and the Resurrection. The unique prayer…
Confirmation Sponsors & Female Priests
Jan 24, 2017 • 7 min
In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz answers questions about the Catholic Faith from his listeners. In his first answer, he offers a few practical ways to be a truly helpful confirmation sponsor. Then, he reaches back to the time of Moses to explain the…
Aren’t All Churches the Same?
Jan 24, 2017 • 7 min
There’s an ancient symbol that uses a ship or boat to represent the Catholic Church. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz takes that analogy a step further, using it to explain how everything Christians love about their church, whichever one it may be,…
Batman V Superman Review
Jan 24, 2017 • 7 min
In this episode, Fr. Mike critiques Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Will I Ever Find the One?
Jan 24, 2017 • 7 min
Are you expecting to find that special someone someday, and are you hoping you’ll live happily ever after? Be honest. We’ve all had that hope at some point. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz addresses the difficulty of big decisions—like figuring out who…
4 Reasons for Almsgiving
Jan 24, 2017 • 8 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages us to be charitable this Lent, emphasizing how almsgiving is a foundational part of living the Catholic faith.
Outdoor Weddings
Jan 24, 2017 • 5 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz explains why a Christian marriage has to be inside a church. With the marriage vows we aren’t just committing ourselves to our spouse. We are also saying in a very specific way that we will follow Christ. Marriage is inherently connected…
Tips for Praying
Jan 24, 2017 • 8 min
Prayer isn’t just another good thing to do; it’s absolutely necessary if we want to know God’s will in our lives and draw closer to him. The trouble is finding the time and willpower to pray. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz suggests being a bit more…
What Defines You?
Jan 19, 2017 • 3 min
Whether it’s our reputation as the smartest person in the class or office or a signature beard that makes us look like Chuck Norris, we all have something distinct that helps define us. In the end​,​ though, when everything else fades away, there’s only…
Martha or Mary? - Who Should You Be?
Jan 12, 2017 • 4 min
Learning from Your Past
Jan 5, 2017 • 6 min
In this video, Fr. Mike advises us to dwell in the present and bring into this moment what we learned from the past. He points out that, while it isn't healthy to live in the past, there is also a danger in leaving it behind completely.
The Gospels of Grace and Nature
Jan 1, 2017 • 6 min
Fr. Mike’s popular Ascension Presents video series in audio form.
Season for Everything
Dec 22, 2016 • 6 min
The Church in its great wisdom has designed the liturgical calendar with the human spirit in mind. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explores the reasons for the seasons in the Church's calendar, with particular attention to the seasons of Advent and…
The Immaculate Conception Explained
Dec 18, 2016 • 7 min
Did you know that Mary actually knew her child would save the world? In fact, she was saved around forty-seven years before Jesus died. Fr. Mike Schmitz simplifies the complex theology behind the Immaculate Conception in this video. Using a clever analogy…
Waiting for Christmas
Dec 15, 2016 • 6 min
Sometimes when God tells us to wait he wants us to actively receive his grace for that moment. This is especially true during Advent. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages us to prepare our souls for the arrival of Christ as we wait for Christmas Day.
Advent- More than a Chocolate Calendar
Dec 1, 2016 • 6 min
What does Advent mean to you? A time to put the lights up, gift shop, and eat chocolate? Or is it something more? Fr. Mike says it’s good to prepare ourselves for Christmas during Advent, but ultimately that’s not what the liturgical season is about.
The Cure for Entitlement
Nov 29, 2016 • 6 min
G.K. Chesterton said “thanks are the highest form of thought, and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz maintains that a sense of gratitude is much more powerful than a sense of entitlement. We all have certain rights…
Spiritual Blind Spots
Nov 5, 2016 • 5 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz shines light on the blind spots in our spiritual life and points out that sometimes we are unaware of spiritual battles waging within our souls. He encourages us to be attentive and patient with ourselves and with others, while asking God…
The Power of Prayer
Nov 3, 2016 • 6 min
Fr. Mike lays down the reasons we should pray and gives a few spot-on examples of how real life reflects the nature of prayer. Through prayer, God invites us into his will and gives us the dignity to participate in it, which strengthens our relationship…
How to Avoid Being Ungrateful
Oct 22, 2016 • 6 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz reminds us to appreciate our blessings while we have them, rather than complaining when they are taken from us. Gratitude is a powerful vehicle for change when we use the gifts given to us … and use them well.
Does God Love Some People More Than Others?
Sep 15, 2016 • 7 min
Fr. Mike’s answer to this question may make you think differently about God’s love. He helps to reorient our perspective—explaining that it is not about how much God loves us, but about our capacity to receive his love. If the most valuable thing in the…
Hope in the Face of Suicide
Jul 7, 2016 • 8 min
With the way our culture disregards life sometimes, it is easy for the question “Is life worth living?” to surface. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz emphatically states that not only is life worth living—it is sacred. If there is anyone you know who is…
Save Yourself from Helplessness
Jun 9, 2016 • 7 min
When life throws challenge after challenge at us, it is easy to just give in and think we are helpless. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers an uplifting message for those tough times. No matter how dire the circumstances, with God’s grace, there is…
I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts!
Apr 21, 2016 • 9 min
The mere thought of ghosts can give us goose bumps sometimes, but there are still moments when we think ghost stories are just made up to scare us. Maybe it’s time for some real talk about things that go bump in the night and other stirrings we suspect…
4 Reasons for Fasting
Feb 18, 2016 • 8 min
The Significance of Ash Wednesday
Feb 10, 2016 • 8 min
They may just be ashes, but Fr. Mike points out that what they represent goes far beyond mere dust of the earth. With a simple cross on the forehead, we are recognizing that we are far from perfect, but that God loves and redeems us—not despite our…
Lucifer, the Trinity, and Leisurely Sundays
Jan 28, 2016 • 8 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz tackles several tough questions from his listeners, like “Who became the new light-bearer after Lucifer fell?” and “How do we make Sunday a time of rest amidst our busy schedules?” If you ever wondered about these things, Fr. Mike may…
I’m Sorry Versus Thank You
Jan 21, 2016 • 5 min
When we inconvenience someone, we may feel like we are in their debt. If so, Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages us to apologize to that person, but further, to offer our gratitude in response to his or her forgiveness. We should especially respond this way when…
Ways to Read the Bible
Jan 14, 2016 • 8 min
Maybe you used to read the Bible for inspiration, for its great stories, or for answers to the big questions in life. But now, it sits on your nightstand gathering dust. Perhaps you gave up reading it because it seemed irrelevant to your everyday life or…
Did the Church Ever Sell Indulgences?
Jan 7, 2016 • 9 min
When we think of indulgences, many of us think of an outdated and unfair Church practice that alienated many Catholics and sparked the Reformation centuries ago. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz sets things straight, explaining how indulgences are an…
Why God Loves You
Dec 29, 2015 • 4 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a relieving truth about God's paradoxical love for us, how he loves us: not in spite of our weaknesses, but because of them.
Influencing the World
Dec 16, 2015 • 5 min
Everyone has influence over someone. If we are striving to be great saints, then the people we influence will observe how we live and model themselves after us. Fr. Mike Schmitz encourages us to take St. Paul’s advice and imitate Christ, and in the…
Making a Good Confession
Dec 10, 2015 • 7 min
If you have ever wondered how to make a good confession, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers four powerful ways we can examine our consciences so that our experience of reconciliation moves us towards that holiness to which we are called.
What’s Your Bedtime?
Dec 3, 2015 • 7 min
What if today's attempts to be productive deprive us of the sleep we need to function tomorrow? Fr. Mike Schmitz gives us several good reasons to stop our work at the end of the day, relax, and prioritize getting a good night's sleep.
Thanksgiving Special- Squanto
Nov 25, 2015 • 7 min
In this special Thanksgiving episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers different perspectives on the story of Squanto, showing how blessings can be found in dismal situations. By realizing this truth in our own lives, we may learn to find God in the most unlikely…
No Spiritual Director- No Problem!
Nov 16, 2015 • 5 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz offers resources for those who want spiritual direction but can’t find a spiritual director. He recommends the study program Oremus: A Guide to Catholic Prayer, by Fr. Mark Toups, as well as several books. You can gain wisdom and insight…
Getting a Spiritual Director
Nov 12, 2015 • 6 min
Have you ever thought you might like a spiritual director, but you don't actually know where to begin? As always, Fr. Mike comes through for you. He offers practical steps so you can find and connect with a spiritual director. You can, as Fr. Mike puts…
All Saints Day Pep Talk
Oct 29, 2015 • 7 min
What does a triathlon have to do with the Communion of Saints? Fr. Mike Schmitz draws parallels between his experience of completing a triathlon and the believer’s experience of journeying to heaven.
The Greatest Surprise- Jesus’ Second Coming
Oct 15, 2015 • 5 min
When Christ comes again, will it be a great surprise, or will it be more like an unwelcome Halloween scare? Father Mike Schmitz recommends getting to know Jesus well now, so that when he comes “like a thief in the night,” we will be ready.
Do Catholics Follow All Those Weird Old Testament Laws?
Oct 8, 2015 • 4 min
Fr. Mike Schmitz explains why Christians are called to follow some laws of the Old Testament and not others. Passing on the advice of Pope Benedict XVI, he distinguishes between universal laws, like the Ten Commandments and “case by case” laws, like those…
Padre Pio’s Secret to Holiness
Oct 1, 2015 • 4 min
What is the true sign of sainthood? Fr. Mike Schmitz explains why it’s not the stigmata or the ability to miraculously heal people. Saints like Padre Pio actually walked a path that is very much within reach for us all. Find out how that is so in this…
Sep 17, 2015 • 6 min
Father Mike Schmitz tells us what you can do when you’re overwhelmed. Sharing the advice of engineers, artists, and St. Paul himself, Father Mike helps us plan a course of action one step at a time.
Ashley Madison & Crushes on Other People
Sep 10, 2015 • 7 min
Ascension Presents’ Father Mike Schmitz breaks down the strong emotions behind the Ashley Madison scandal, laying out the real dilemma deep in the hearts of those who are tempted to be unfaithful in a committed relationship.
Did God Change?
Sep 3, 2015 • 5 min
Father Mike Schmitz explains why God focuses on justice in the Old Testament and then shows his mercy in the New Testament. To some readers of the Bible it may seem like God changed, but the truth of the matter is much more profound.
What Does God Want Me To Do?
Aug 27, 2015 • 5 min
Father Mike Schmitz directs us to the story of Israel’s desert wanderings in the Old Testament and the Annunciation to Mary in the Gospels, describing how even the tribes of Israel and Mary had to be content with the uncertainty of God’s will at times.…
Captain America-Superheroes Analyzed
Aug 20, 2015 • 4 min
Why Captain America is a true Christian superhero.
Aug 15, 2015 • 6 min
Father Mike Schmitz discusses the personal renewal that can come from accepting the hardships, tragedies and difficult situations that hit us throughout life.
TV-MA- America’s Addiction
Aug 7, 2015 • 5 min
Father Mike discusses why our culture is addicted to "mature" content on television. This addiction is a sign of deeper issues facing society.
Learning from Judas
Jul 23, 2015 • 4 min
What if Judas chose to share his true intentions with one of the other apostles? Instead, he kept his plans to himself, preferring to keep them unexposed and leaving his friends in the dark. Father Mike Schmitz sheds some light on Judas’ betrayal,…
Heaven: You’re Not Good Enough (and why that’s okay)
Jul 15, 2015 • 4 min
If getting to heaven were anything like getting into the Olympics, no one would make it. None of us are good enough to spend eternity in God’s presence. But Father Mike Schmitz reminds us that we don’t have to be good enough. God wants us to surrender our…
Jul 9, 2015 • 4 min
Father Mike Schmitz teaches us that forgiveness is rooted in justice. It doesn’t forget or ignore the injustice done, but it frees us from the need to get revenge. When you forgive, the one who hurt you is released from their debt to you, and you are…
What’s My Vocation?
Jul 2, 2015 • 6 min
In this episode, Father Mike Schmitz gives some direction that can lead to an answer for ourselves or someone we know. He shares how a vocation is more than just figuring out whether we’re called to married life or religious life, and it’s about more than…
Batman V Superman Anticipation
Jun 25, 2015 • 6 min
Today, we tend to bring down our heroes to a more ordinary, human level, and make them less worthy of our aspirations. Fr. Mike challenges this trend, saying the most important qualities of our heroes are their character and virtue.
Time to Pray
Jun 18, 2015 • 2 min
Father Mike Schmitz points out how oftentimes the issue is not whether we have time to pray but whether we truly believe that prayer works. If we truly believe prayer is effective, we’ll find time for it.
Bruce Jenner & the Transgender Question
Jun 11, 2015 • 8 min
Commenting on the recent Bruce Jenner “gender reassignment” issue, Father Mike Schmitz discusses the difference between one’s perception of gender and gender reality.
Bears. Beats. Battlestar Galactica.
May 21, 2015 • 3 min
Father Mike discusses how unwanted thoughts and temptations come and go, like a bear that intrudes upon your campsite and then leaves if you don’t bother it.
Fr. Mike Reviews the Avengers 2
May 14, 2015 • 5 min
Father Mike offers a reflection on Avengers: Age of Ultron. Totalitarian governments tried to protect people by offering them comfort and security. Fr. Mike quotes Pope Benedict XVI, who said “you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”