One of the most inspiring people in my life is Father Mike Schmitz. For you that may not heard of him, he is a Catholic Priest and speaker who leads the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is prevalent on social media and speaks often at youth conferences and for Ascension Press. His two podcasts (one for UMD and one for Ascension Press) have often inspired me and believe it or not have been critical to my weight loss! During my exercise routines, I often listen to a Father Mike playlist. His podcasts for UMD range from 20 to 25 minutes and those for Ascension Press shorter. You can read some more on my Fr. Mike exercise practice (item 9) and other weight loss essentials in this blog. What’s AP? A Digital Guide to Weight Loss
If I have a good day at the gym, I report to my wife that I did 3 Father Mike’s (the UMD variety) on the treadmill. I think people in the gym may think that I am a little crazy during Fr. Mike’s talks. I have listened to some when he speaks about being Minnesotan and laughed so loud the guy on the treadmill nearly fell off! Equally, I often listened with tears streaming down my face moved by his words of faith, inspiration, and love.
This latter reaction is what happened yesterday at 5 AM during my Saturday exercise routine. I listened to Fr. Mike’s podcast “It takes Courage” and was immediately overwhelmed with his simple message that so much of life just takes courage. He gives some simple everyday examples that at first may not leap out at you but later resonate deeply. Parents going to work on a Monday after a hectic weekend to take care of their family. Children in their first swim meet when they climb up in the blocks. Parents who are getting on in life and are willing to let go and prepare to meet their next chapter. The infertile couple who desire a kid so badly but are not sure if they will ever conceive. And those couples that do ultimately conceive. In Fr. Mike’s words, “It takes courage to bring a life in this world and say I am going to lay down my life for whoever this child is.” You can hear the full podcast from Father Mike here. Life Demands Courage – Fr. Mike Schmitz
This message – It takes courage to face a world full of everyday unknowns – moved and inspired me to develop my next blog series which will unfold over the next few weeks. Ideas kept popping into my head – not of the famous – but of my friends and family that everyday wake up to face the world with courage when so much of their future is unknown. A cousin as he faces a world that he sometimes does not understand to bring God’s smile into the world. An uncle that walks up the daunting stairs of Eisenhower Hall on two wooden legs. A friend with the courage to be himself and not whom other thought that he should be. These friends and family inspire me with their faith, love and courage to face everyday challenges and to bring their light and that of God into the world.