In a spirited seminar held in Plymouth, Father Mike Schmitz, widely recognized for his successful podcasts, including “The Bible in a Year” and “The Catechism in a Year,” rallied over 1,000 Catholics, urging them to focus on the ultimate goal of their faith. Father Schmitz passionately compared the pursuit of holiness to playing basketball, stressing that the greatest saints weren’t sinless, but they played to win in their spiritual journey.
Father Schmitz, hailing from the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, underscored how Christians often become fixated on their faults and fears, losing sight of their ultimate purpose. He encouraged believers to adopt a mindset of playing to win, driven by the desire to fulfill God’s intended purpose for their lives.
He articulated that life’s purpose lies not in perfection but in realizing God’s intended meaning for each person. Father Schmitz challenged his audience with a poignant question: “When we stand before the gates of heaven, why should we be admitted?” He emphasized that the correct response should be either “Jesus” or “Because Jesus died for me, and now I live for Him,” highlighting that salvation is a divine gift that cannot be earned through human efforts.
Father Schmitz also outlined a path to harnessing God’s gifts by cultivating the cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. He explained how these virtues are integral to leading a proper Christian life, and they guide believers towards a life that aligns with God’s plan.
The virtue of justice involves giving to others what they are owed, with religion being a fundamental component of justice, as humans owe their obedience to God. Temperance calls for using God’s gifts wisely, without making them idols. Prudence revolves around setting priorities in line with one’s life goal, which, according to Father Schmitz, is reaching heaven. Finally, fortitude, as the fourth virtue, is the strength to do what’s right and just, even in challenging circumstances. It is the underpinning virtue for the others and vital for every aspect of Christian life.
While Father Schmitz stressed that these virtues are not the means of salvation, he highlighted that they enable people to properly receive the gift of grace that Christ has offered. Ultimately, he left his audience with the message that failure doesn’t have to be final; with divine help, they can start anew on their spiritual journey.
This inspiring seminar, delivered by Father Mike Schmitz, is part of his ongoing mission to inspire and guide Catholics towards a more profound relationship with their faith.
Source: OSV News