Rank #1: Episode 100: Why Be Catholic And Not Just Christian
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 may also like Sonja Corbitt’s blog post “Is Jesus the Only Mediator” on The Great Adventure Blog.
Rank #2: Episode 7: Acceptance
Father Mike Schmitz discusses the personal renewal that can come from accepting the hardships, tragedies and difficult situations that hit us throughout life.
Rank #3: Episode 25: Bruce Jenner & the Transgender Question
Commenting on the recent Bruce Jenner “gender reassignment” issue, Father Mike Schmitz discusses the difference between one’s perception of gender and gender reality.
Rank #4: Episode 11: Heaven: You're Not Good Enough (and why that's okay)
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 lives to him, accepting and responding to his grace and love.
Rank #5: Episode 17: Overwhelmed?
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.
Rank #6: 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, exercises that help you live your life. If we can bridge the gap between what we do on Sunday and our lifestyle, we will see how church helps us be more virtuous in our everyday life.
- Crossfit has scaled workouts. Crossfit trainers ask you what you can do. What if we made spiritual exercises tailored to each individual and what they can do?
- Crossfit is challenging. Pursuing Jesus is a challenge. What if we challenged Catholics, calling them to something higher?
- People doing Crossfit are willing to be led and to learn. What if pastors were more willing to be leaders, and parishioners more willing to be led?
Rank #7: Episode 116: NFL Protests
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. How do we take a stance that is Christian and respectful amidst such deep-rooted tension? In this episode, Fr. Mike lays out a game plan for us, and it starts with looking within.
Rank #8: Episode 10: How to Avoid Being Ungrateful
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.
Rank #9: The Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Scandal
Rank #10: Episode 85: 3 Steps to Unceasing Prayer
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 simply inviting God into every moment is as good a way to pray as any.
If you liked this episode, you may also like Oremus: A Guide to Catholic Prayer (http://bit.ly/2fEBTaB).
Rank #11: Episode 53: Mastering Love and Relationships
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 deserve. Fr. Mike shows us how to fix that and master our love relationships.
Rank #12: Episode 131: 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 to do God’s will.
Rank #13: Episode 76: Ways to Read the Bible
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 because it became too hard to follow. If so, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers several reasons for you to pick up your Bible again, see it with new eyes, and allow it to transform your life.
Rank #14: Episode 30: Tips for Praying
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 intentional in our prayer lives, asking these four simple questions: When should I pray, where should I pray, what should I pray, and why should I pray?
Rank #15: Episode 130: 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 from Ascension:
Belonging: Baptism in the Family of God (http://bit.ly/2rdOFy7)
Chosen: This is Your Catholic Faith (http://bit.ly/2r32vUK)
Altaration: The Mystery of the Mass Revealed (http://bit.ly/2rIYjfE)
YOU: Life, Love and the Theology of the Body (http://bit.ly/2nKLug5)
Get 18 of Fr. Mike’s best Ascension Presents videos in this exclusive DVD from Ascension:
Ascension Presents … Fr. Mike Schmitz (http://bit.ly/2sKUnJN)
Fr. Mike spoke at the Ascension Cafe during the World Meeting of Families. Watch him and other speakers get fired up over the gospel in the Ascension Cafe DVD (http://bit.ly/2sYtQaW).
MORE FROM ASCENSION:
Rank #16: Episode 143: The Culture of Netflix and Chill
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” lifestyle, borrowing some ideas from Boston College professor Kerry Cronin, who appears in a new documentary called The Dating Project, which addresses the problems inherent in a hookup culture.
Rank #17: Episode 124: 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.
Rank #18: Episode 144: Is It OK To Stay The Night?
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 you’ve ever wondered why the Church advises unmarried couples to avoid living together or spending the night together, listen to this episode to find out.
Rank #19: Episode 133: 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.
Rank #20: Episode 84: What Defines You?
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 one part of our identity that matters. Find out what part that is in this video, in which Fr. Mike uses his beard to make a razor-sharp point. Yes ... his beard.