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The Fr. Mike Schmitz Podcast

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What's the Point of Fasting During Lent?

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 children), but too often our fasting is not actually about God. In this episode, Fr. Mike reminds us that God cares about us so much he is willing to notice our sacrifices—no matter how meager they may seem—and he wants us to use those...


Confessing the Same Sins Over and Over Again

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 renouncing our sins in Jesus’ name before, during, or after confession is one suggestion Fr. Mike shares. He also encourages us to move past simply wanting forgiveness and into having true repentance so we can experience deep conversion and...


Why Should I Confess My Sins to a Priest?

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. Confession isn’t a man-made tradition of the Church but rather a valuable gift given by God and rooted in Scripture. Fr. Mike is also a presenter in these faith formation programs from Ascension: Belonging: Baptism in the Family of God...


Should Catholics Call Priests Father

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 significance of this teaching. By the end of this episode, you will see that Christ’s words here have much deeper meaning than what many people would believe.


Overcoming Envy and Dealing with Jealousy

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 whatever jealousy or envy we may have in our lives, because it could inhibit our relationship with God. The remedy he shares is a reminder of who we are in God’s eyes, which is all that matters.


Motivation to Go to Catholic Mass

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 of the matter. He points out that the heart of worship is sacrifice, and ultimately it’s not about how engaged or entertained we are. Mass isn’t about us; it’s about God and what he asks of us.


Why God Gave Us Bodies

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. Mike—inspired by St. John Paul II—shares the fundamental truths of this ingenious vision of humanity and sexuality. Made in God’s image and likeness, you are your body, and you are made for love. What you do with your body matters. You’ll have to...


Inspiration to Stop Complaining

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 God. This isn’t just good advice. It is what’s required of us as Christians. Sure, we will have times when we need to vent to a confidant; but—as Fr. Mike suggests—keeping our complaining to a minimum is a great way to prove we are striving...


The Virgin Mary's Struggles

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 do. In this episode, Fr. Mike shares how even though ​Mary ​did not struggle with sin, she still had her own unique struggle that we can relate to when we are seeking holiness. Fr. Mike is also a presenter in these faith formation programs...


The Secret to Sticking to a New Year's Resolution

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 with determination and wisdom. By starting with small steps and plotting a course of action, you will experience what it means to be faithful and become who God is calling you to be by the end of the year. Fr. Mike is also a presenter in...


Christmas: A Time for Hope

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. Mike Schmitz explains what it means for Christmas to be a season of hope, and reminds us that strengthening our relationship with Jesus while learning to trust him is the one thing that matters this season. Fr. Mike is also a presenter in...


Learning How To Love from the Bible

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 even our closest relationships. In this episode, Fr. Mike Schmitz connects the Old and New Testaments, using the story of the Fall in Genesis to show how, despite our selfish motives, we are still made for love. He shows how the Fall was...


Straightforward Career and Job Advice

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 to our everyday jobs by showing us how our labor can be a way to share in God’s nature. By striving to look past humanity’s brokenness and sin, we can move beyond seeing work as a burden, and see how every act of work has dignity. Fr....


The Problem With Criticism

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 cowardice, he invites us to have courage and stand for the Creed while accepting the risk of criticism that comes with doing so.


Finding God in Darkness

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 encourages us to hang in there when it happens; because it means God is preparing our souls for much greater things.


How Do Priests Pray

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 which helps make their prayers both habitual and genuine.


The Lesser Known Final Judgment

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 “the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation” will be made known to us (CCC 1040). All the good and evil you and I have done will also become known. Fr. Mike’s perspective on this reality is both...


Decision Making 101

Fr. Mike gives help when it comes to making decisions.


The Battle of Prayer

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

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 more complete vision for life can affect our attention to detail. Reflecting on this, Father Mike shows us how the hope of heaven can give eternally deeper meaning to even the most minute tasks in our lives.


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