The podcast you never knew you needed in your life. 🙂
A down-to-earth and chuckle-worthy conversation on everyday topics with a Franciscan friar from Duke University. You can listen to Friar Side Chats on Soundcloud, iTunes, or your favorite podcasting app.
Let us know which episodes are your favorite and what you’d like to hear more of!
After you’ve listened to an episode, you can check back here for any important show notes:
#64 | Why Is This So Hard?
- If you’re new to prayer, don’t worry! There’s tons of resources online, like this article from beginningCatholic.com that debunks most common myths about prayer and gives a how-to guide for jump starting your prayer life.
- It’s not easy to pray, no matter how faithful or committed you are. In this video, Father Mike Schmitz explains that the difficulty comes from prayer being a literal battle–against yourself and against the temptations of the world. For those frustrated or discouraged by their struggles, this video can help offer some perspective and show that you’re not alone.
- Curious about the “postures of prayer” that Emma and Father Mike touch on in the episode? You can find out more here. Understanding more about how we can physically manifest our prayer can help us get more out of it.
- It can be funny to hear your friends praise the benefits of “mindfulness” when you know you practice it every day through prayer. For more about the similarities between the two, check out this article from the Catholic Herald.
#63 | Coach Danowski: Nothing to Lose
- Coach Danowski and Fr. Mike mentioned how transformative small groups can be. If you haven’t been in awhile, consider attending small groups sometimes next week. If you aren’t a part of one, please contact us! We’d love to hear from you!
- Coach Danowski also mentioned developing relationships with priests and other spiritual mentors as important for his spiritual journey. Next time you see Fr. Mike or Fr. Brad, strike up a conversation with them and just get to know them!
- Since you’ve just gotten a taste of someone else’s spiritual journey, read this article, and reflect and pray over what it means to cultivate your “eulogy self” today!
- Consider reading St. Paul in Romans 7:1-6 on being free from sin, but bound to Christ. Pray and reflect on how to be free to have nothing to lose in being a follower of Jesus.
#62 | Everything Happens for a Reason?
- As Fr. Mike mentioned, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is a great place to start when it comes to grappling with suffering and yet finding meaning in the midst of it.
- Or maybe just begin here with this blog post on Man’s Search for Meaning and then consider reading the entire book.
- Maybe you yourself are suffering right now. We would love for you to take a minute with this list of 7 Things to Do When You’re Suffering. Also, never hesitate to email us your prayer intentions!
- And we’d be remiss if we didn’t include something from our favorite philosophical YouTuber Bishop Barron! Watch his response to Stephen Fry and the problem of suffering.
- Following Fr. Mike’s advice, think of things you say in the face of suffering (yours or someone else’s). Then try reading and praying with Psalm 44. Take note and reflect on the power of having rich words to say to God in the midst of suffering.
#61 | Putting the Cart Before the Horse
- To follow Jesus means to have a personal relationship with Him. Hear Bishop Robert Barron’s thoughts on this deep and mysterious truth. Why is having a personal relationship central to evangelization, discipleship, humility, and followership?
- Spend some time praying the litany of humility this coming week. You can read/print it here.
- Take up this episode’s challenge by examining how work/school/extracurriculars specifically teach us what the world thinks about following and leading.
- Reflect on Scripture passages that tackle discipleship, following and leading. Some places to look include Mark 10:42-45 or John 13:13-17. As you read these passages, compare what God is teaching us to what the world tells us about following and leading.
#60 | Coffee, Lady Poverty, & Asking Tough Questions
- As mentioned in this episode, check out episode #58 | Ask Yourself Seven Whys to go a little deeper on what’s really driving you in your actions and decisions.
- For those of us who like practicalities and lists, check out this post on what you can do when someone asks you for money.
- We spoke about letting go — of material things and interior things. Check out this piece tying Marie Kondo to spiritual cleansing.
#59 | Lies I Tell Myself
- Try morning prayer when you wake up or as you eat breakfast.
- Fr. Mike doesn’t use an examen app, but MyLan does! Download Reimagining the Examen to walk you through the ways God has spoken to you throughout the day.
- If you are looking for a short meditation on the daily scripture readings, check out Pray As You Go. These meditations are perfect to listen to in the morning, during your commute, or to start off your lunch break.
- Find support in your prayer life by joining a small group this semester.
- Watch the greatest pirate movie of all time: The Pirates of the Caribbean.
#58 | Ask Yourself Seven Whys
- We love these great tips for battling perfectionism!
- If academic achievement isn’t your worth-proving enemy, maybe this piece on forming authentic identity will hit closer to home.
- This post, drawing from a few great men in history, offers an excellent take on the fine art of trying your hardest but not getting sidetracked by the world’s ideas of success.
#57 | A Saint for Our Difficult Time
- If you are interested in reading some of St. Maximillian Kolbe’s writings, you can find them here.
- Want to meet another amazing Conventual Franciscan who knew St. Maximillian Kolbe (besides Fr. Mike)? Read this article about an incredible 100 year old friar from Poland.
- Read Luke’s gospel narrative for the account of Mary spreading the gospel to her cousin: Luke 1:39-56. You can also read John’s gospel narrative for the account of Mary standing at the cross with Jesus: John 19:25-27.
- Pray with Pope Francis for Peace.
#56 | Breaking A Few Eggs
- If you liked the challenges from this episode, but forget what they were, have no fear! This week, work on replaying a difficult moment from the past and looking at it from their perspective, and/or give your parents a call and tell them why you are thankful for them! Notice if you see things differently after trying either of these!
- If you want to pray with some scripture showcasing parts of Jesus’s relationship with his parents, check out Luke 2:41-52 for the story of Jesus in the temple.
- You could also check out John 2:1-12 for the story of the Wedding at Cana!
- Struggling with to be patient with your folks? Check out these 5 ways to increase your patience!
- Check out this Lifeteen article written about honoring your father and mother.
#55 | “Martha, Martha”
- If you want to check out or pray with the story of Mary and Martha, the passage can be found in Luke 10:38-42.
- Struggling to fit God in your schedule? Here are some useful tips to make more time for God.
- Maybe you already have God in your schedule but you feel distracted during your prayer time. If so, here is some great advice from Mother Angelica!
- Stressed like Martha? Here are 8 Effective Ways to Deal with Stress from Dynamic Catholic! Also check out these 5 Ways to Worry Less.
- PS—In case you were wondering, Emma was right! 3 of the interns have in fact seen the original Star Wars. 🙂 What should we make Fr. Mike do for losing the bet? All recommendations should be sent to Emma!
#54 | God Went Wild
- There are some great scripture verses that can help us reflect on the beauty of God’s creation. Check out, Genesis 1, Psalms 19:2-7, Psalms 96:11-13, Psalms 148, or Job 12:7-10!
- Pope Francis has a had a lot to say about caring for the earth, here are some of his most popular quotes on creation.
- If you liked those quotes and are looking for something more in depth from Pope Francis, here is a link to his encyclical letter on caring for creation, Laudato si’.
- Here we have a fun article that gives us the top 5 Reasons that Catholics should care for creation.
- Head outside and take a walk! Take some time to just listen to the sounds of nature and be surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.
- If you want to listen to some music on your walk, check out one of the playlists on our Duke Catholic Center app!
#53 | More Than A Building
- If you are interested in reading more on the significance of the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral, here is a great article from Ascension Press.
- Check out the five of the most beautiful churches in America; maybe you’ll be near one this summer!
- If The New York Times is more your style, check out this opinion piece by Ross Douthat.
- Here’s an interesting article from Word on Fire talking about renowned architect Frank Gehry and his quest for Transcendence.
- Lastly, this article from Word of Fire, speaks further on what the great architecture of the Catholic Church reveals about her values through the story of St. Lawrence.
#52 | Not School
- As mentioned in the podcast, pick out 2-3 (or 8-10!) small things you can add to your summer routine to really press into your faith this summer. We’ve got some particular recommendations below:
- Weekly Sunday Mass. It sounds basic, but it has to be said. Find Mass wherever you are with MassTimes.org.
- Use MassTimes.org to also find adoration at a parish near you and schedule in a visit each week to just sit with Jesus.
- READ. Read one of these three books: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, My Life with the Saints by Fr. James Martin, or The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn.
- Learn more about what we believe as Catholics through the summer video series that 42 Duke Students loved this past semester: tinyurl.com/DCCRosettaStone.
- Download the Pray As You Go app and find 12 minutes each day to pray the simple guided prayer. (Hint: Even when you’re exhausted at night, I guarantee you can last 12 more minutes.)
- Start getting to know Jesus by reading the upcoming Sunday Gospel on your own. Spend a couple minutes reflecting afterwards. You can even find helpful questions and reflections on the DCC app!
- Also on the DCC app, you can find some awesome curated playlists. Maybe swap out the pop tunes for some praise music on your way to and from work or school?
#51 | Awkward Silence
- If this topic captured your imagination and you’d like to learn more, this article on the power of silent prayer is perfect for you!
- Feel like you’re constantly surrounded by noise? Need to take a break and recenter? Unplugging from social media can be a great way to get back to God.
- One of the best places to find silence is in nature. If you’re looking for a spot to be alone with God, Eno River State Park or the Duke Gardens are great options near Duke for peaceful reflection.
#50 | Forgiveness Without Reservation
- If you are interested in receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you can find more information about the DCC’s times here. We highly recommend it! (And bonus: The priests will always help walk you through it if it’s been a while!)
- Struggling with forgiveness? This chaplet is a great prayer to use if you are trying to find the strength to forgive someone who has hurt you.
- This article lays out seven steps we can take to forgive—perfect if you’re working to become a more forgiving person
#49 | Back to Basics
- As Rob mentioned, Matthew Kelly has been key for him when it comes to getting back to the basics. You can get any of his books for free! (And can even snag an extra for a friend or family member, too!)
- We recommend a few in particular: The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, Rediscovering Catholicism, and Resisting Happiness.
- If the pressure at Duke or your job is wearing you down, Xavier University compiled an incredible list of prayers for calm that you can use to recenter yourself and cool off.
- For those who don’t know what they want do, are feeling overwhelmed by the job search, or otherwise need some guidance, Duke offers career counseling. They have resources for alumni and grad students, too!
- If you would like to come on the show, or know someone who might be a great guest, let us know! You can contact the team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
#48 | Don’t Just Check the Box
- It can be all too easy to allow ourselves to neglect our prayer life and relationship with God over the break when there’s no longer a routine to our days and we feel like we deserve our break from responsibility. Here’s a helpful way to stay on track with your prayer over the break.
- Or for those of us who worry about making everything perfect or making sure things run smoothly amongst your family, we really like this FOCUS post on Christmas perfection.
- And if you feel like you’re burnt out on Christmas tunes, try this curated Catholic Christmas playlist for some fresh feels.
#47 | Bomb-Sniffing Dogs & The Eucharist
- If you’re interested in a more in-depth theological examination of the Eucharist, this article does a great job explaining a complicated topic in simple terms.
- Father Mike mentioned Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of stages of moral development. It has broad applications to our lives, so if you’d like to learn more, click here.
- This episode was suggested by a listener! If you’d like to hear more about a topic, send in a suggestion to email@example.com.
#46 | #selfcare
- The video that started it all! What if we applied that same energy and eagerness to our relationship with Jesus? Self care on the highest level!
- Find the Litany of Humility here! It’s one of our favorites and always a great prayer to work into your life regularly.
- We also like this blog post. It’s got a lot of similar messages but is still an encouraging read!
#45 | Spiritual Bootcamp
- Not convinced retreats are for you? We’ve got ten reasons why you’re probably wrong.
- If you’re a current student, check out the DCC’s retreats! They’re a great way to get to know fellow Catholics at Duke.
- We also love this prayer of Thomas Merton’s for anyone going on a retreat, coming back from a retreat, or even just considering whether to attend!
#44 | Franciscan Response to Crisis
- If you’re interested in hearing another insightful opinion on this topic, Father Mike Schmitz has an incredible video on how he has chosen to respond to the scandal in Pennsylvania.
- Bishop Barron is another of our favorites here at the DCC, and this Q&A with him is very helpfully practical, too.
- If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse within the Church or elsewhere, there is a wide variety of resources available to you. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a page with steps you can take, the completely confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline can be found here, and Duke itself has plenty of resources that exist for students.
#43 | Scripture: A How To Guide
- If you’re trying to choose which Bible to buy–there are so many choices!–this website has an excellent guide for finding which translation best suits your needs.
- Unsure of how to start engaging with scripture? Join a Small Group, where you will learn how to pray with scripture and just generally improve your prayer life.
- As promised, here are some of our favorite Bible passages. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share some of your own!
- The passage Emma talked about in the podcast is, as Father Mike pointed out, from John. It’s a powerful reminder of the peace we can find in our love for God:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
- Psalms is a complete goldmine for great passages, but one of our favorites is this reminder to remain devoted to God:
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalms 27:4)
- And of course, one of our favorites passages comes from Acts, one of our favorite books! It is a clear statement of the duty that each Christian takes up when they enter into the faith, but also the strength that God gives us to carry it out:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
- The passage Emma talked about in the podcast is, as Father Mike pointed out, from John. It’s a powerful reminder of the peace we can find in our love for God:
- Lastly, just wanted to share some of the resources we each mentioned as helpful for us when praying with Scripture: Fr. Mike’s favorite Bible, Emma’s favorite book for praying with the Gospels, and our favorite podcast/app/website for guided prayer on Scripture.
#42 | Spiritual Strategy with CEO Fr. Mike
- We love this runner’s perspective on having a plan to reach your goals — and what you need to keep in mind along the way.
- Sometimes we also need to do an honest assessment of how we spend our time before we can come up with some of the building blocks of our plan. Fr. Mike (and now Emma, too) is a big fan of this classic four quadrant tool. (Yep, bringing business tools to the spiritual life!)
- We also talked about better appreciating and engaging with the sacraments. There are definitely links below for Mass and Reconciliation, but this video with Bishop Barron gives a great deeper perspective on our baptism.
- And what about retreats? Do we really need them? Here’s a case for why we do need that spiritual reboot.
- Lastly, we can’t leave you without this downloadable PDF of our Strategic Plan! Pin it on your desktop or somewhere you can be reminded of these important components of life as a disciple.
#41 | Papal Pep Talk
- This whole episode is about the newest apostolic xxhortation or “Papal pep talk” as Fr. Mike put it. If you’re interested in reading up on it, we’ve got the hook up straight from the Vatican herself!
- One thing we tend to hear when striving towards holiness is to look to the saints. They are an excellent example of holiness, and we should emulate their lives. We think to ourselves that being like the saints is nearly impossible, but it honestly isn’t! Great saints like St. Augustine have much more in common with us than we think!
- One of the beautiful parts of the exhortation and main topics in this episode is on living out the Beatitudes. If you’re looking for a more in-depth take on the Beatitudes check out this analysis by Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine of Hippo!
#40 | Expressing the Inexpressible
- It’s true: sometimes we lean on emojis because we can’t express ourselves well enough. Without nixing emojis completely, we can still take some steps to improve our daily communication with one another.
- Fr. Mike shared his desire to invent an emoji that communicates the mercy and love of Jesus. Check out this homily given Bishop Robert Barron at World Youth Day 2016’s Night of Mercy. What do you think might adequately represent that message of mercy?
- The use of emojis allows us to be creative with our words and how we communicate with one another. Sure, writing a message in all emojis isn’t the work of the next Picasso, but it’s worth thinking about the many ways we can bridge faith and art in our everyday life.
- Have you ever considered that some of the OG Catholic emojis may just be the mosaics and stained glass windows around the world?
#39 | Olé, Olé, Olé
- Did you know that the foundation of FIFA has its basis in the Catholic faith? Check out this article that shines a light on one of the founders and longest standing president of FIFA.
- We found this cool article from the Odyssey about a college girl who shares the reasons why she is proud to be Catholic.
- And we’ve got some recommended reading for those wanting to dive a bit deeper: God’s Not Boring by Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P.. Fr. Cedric digs into prayer, the Holy Spirit, healthy self-image, and more — all to shed light on how we can take ownership of and get excited about our faith!
#38 | The Nine-to-Five Grind
- It may not seem easy to live out your faith at work when you might be the only Catholic in your workplace. But we love this helpful list that provides some concrete ways to live out your faith at work!
- Discernment doesn’t have to be word that is connected to choosing religious life or getting married. You can discern your career path with the same intensity! Check out this cool article on how you can discern your career path.
- This is an awesome prayer if you have questions or concerns about where you should go next in your career path.
#37 | Bon Voyage!
- This video on how one Franciscan friar always wears his habit while traveling can empower each of us to be more open to evangelization on the road.Here is a list of some scripture quotes that you can keep in mind when traveling
- We found this awesome list of scripture quotes that would make awesome prayers for your journey. A prayer you can repeat at the start, on each day, and at the end of a vacation!
- Draw inspiration from this Yale student who leans on her rosary for comfort during her travels. What religious imagery, prayers, or other reminders will help keep you grounded in your faith no matter where you find yourself?
#36 | Go Buy that Cupcake
- If you find yourself having a difficult time staying engaged in the Mass, here article from Catholic Company that contains 9 tips that can help curb mass distractions.
- We noticed this video by Fr. Mike Schmitz about motivation to go to Mass. We LOVE his videos, it’s like spiritual direction on demand!
#35 | The Mom Factor
- A relationship with Mary can really help bring us closer to Christ. Here’s one college student’s story on getting to know Mary and how you can, too.
- Don’t yet know how to pray the rosary? No problem! Here’s a how-to guide with a little more explanation, or you can print out this straight-forward PDF.
- No matter what gender you may be, how old you are, or what your relationship status is, everyone can learn something from this great piece, “What I wish College Students Knew about Motherhood.”
#34 | Got Post-Lent Guilt?
- Emma and Fr. Mike talked about the “Prayer for Anyone” by Thomas Merton. Check it out, it’s one of our favorites!
- Did you do your Alleluia homework? Just in case you haven’t yet… here you go.
- If you want to keep your Lenten penance going after Lent, great idea! The pope agrees with you that we should carry forth our Lenten attitudes to our entire life.
#33 | Walking that Last Day
- Interested in walking the Stations of the Cross? Join the Duke Catholic Center Friday, March 22, 2018 at 6 PM beginning on the Duke Chapel Quad!
- Gary Jansen wrote a great book on he Stations of the Cross called Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross. Check out an interview with him here!
- Here’s a little something if you are interested in how walking the Stations of the Cross began – it’s a fascinating story of persistence in the face of adversity!
- Not sure you can attend a communal Stations of the Cross? Find the prayers here! Even alone in the quiet of your home, a chapel, or nature, praying the Stations is an incredibly powerful experience.
#32 | Drinking the Cameron Crazy Kool-Aid
- For the record, Emma did, indeed, win the DCC’s staff bracket challenge in 2017. We’ll see what 2018 has in store for the staff…
#31 | That Third Pillar
- For a great perspective on the effort we need to put into almsgiving, look no further than this article about the importance of giving to others.
- Enjoy the podcast format of Friar Side Chats? Here’s another podcast by Bishop Robert Barron (one of our favorites!) that takes a close look at the three pillars of Lent and how to incorporate them into our lives.
- Oh, and if you realized you really need to get on your budgeting in order to determine what you can give regularly, we recommend EveryDollar! You have to account for every dollar in and out.
- There’s so much to be learned from other faiths around the world. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and just about every other religion have a traditions of charity just as rich as Christianity’s, and each has a lot to teach us about how to donate to others.
#30 | Ashes to Ashes
- To learn more about the basic pillars of Lent and how you could dive into each of those, check out our Lent 2018 page.
- Looking for new and exciting ways to celebrate Lent? Check out the DCC’s 40 for 40! It’s full of cool ideas for trying new things and cutting out bad habits.
- Great little video by Fr. Mike Schmitz in which he 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.
- If you are interested in a theological and historical look at Jesus’s fast in the desert and Lent in general, Bishop Robert Barron has a brilliant homily on the topic. Lent is the perfect time to go deeper into the theology of the Catholic faith!
- To prepare for Lent, take a look at Pope Francis’s beautiful words on how to properly approach the season and make the most out of it. The purpose of Lent is to grow closer with God, and that should be our number one priority during the 40 days.
#29 | Nourishing Your Brain
- Besides curtailing our social media practices, we can also transform our experience by adding in some positive, life-giving sources. Here are some we recommend across various platforms and media types!
- Did you know the DCC has a playlist of solid (actually good) Christian music to help draw you nearer to God?
- I personally love this Insta account for daily saint quotes to inspire my life.
- Or maybe this Insta account for Catholic women.
- If you’re a podcaster, definitely check out Catholic Stuff You Should Know, The Catholic Feminist, or the Word On Fire Show by Bishop Barron.
- Besides curtailing our social media practices, we can also transform our experience by adding in some positive, life-giving sources. Here are some we recommend across various platforms and media types!
- Some of us may have more issues with social media than others. If that’s the case for you, I recommend checking out this helpful piece on the impact of obsessive social media use and how to take steps to improve.
#28 | On BFFs
- An awesome, closer look into that idea of “virtuous friendship” that Fr. Mike talked about. 10/10 recommend thinking deeply about this!
- Along the (cheesy but true) lines of “Jesus is your friend,” we often actually do forget about the hundreds (thousands!) of men and women who are our very real friends and are rooting for us every day. Here’s how you can tap into the great resource of friendship that our brother and sister saints offer.
- This short post on being Catholic and going Greek is great for all women rushing or already in Greek life.
#27 | One Year Later
- With an episode that pulls from so many past recordings, we encourage you to think about which episodes this year resonated with you and take a look through the show notes below.
#26 | A Mind-Blowing Christmas
- Everyone loves Christmas, but most of us don’t find the lead-up, Advent, as exciting (well, except for all the chocolate in your Advent calendar). In this video, Father Mike Schmitz offers a new way to approach Advent in order to prepare yourself for the beauty of Christmas.
- The narrative of the birth of Christ is one of the most famous stories in the world. Father Bishop Barron’s sermon on this topic gives the necessary historical information to truly understand this story for what it is: the beginning of a revolution.
- As interested by Father Mike’s brief summary of John Duns Scotus’s philosophy as we were? Here’s a quick summary of his life from a Franciscan perspective that gives a good overview of his most revolutionary ideas.
#25 | The Coverup
- Father Mike Schmitz takes a close look at what motivates us to cheat in relationships, and how to respond to those temptations.
- Duke cognitive science professor Dan Ariely wrote a fascinating book (read an excellent review here!) called “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty,” which explores the ways in which we lie to ourselves and others. We definitely recommend checking it out.
- Cheating is everywhere, and Duke is no exception. As recently as two years ago, Duke got national attention for cheating in its CompSci 201 class. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of cheating at a high-pressure school like Duke, but we need to recognize that temptation for what it is: a lie to ourselves and Christ.
- And BTW, confession is a great time to bring any dishonest experiences into the light — don’t fear judgment from the priest! We can’t encourage you enough to seek out forgiveness and absolution through the sacrament.
#24 | Gratitude & Oyster Stuffing
- If you’re looking for a way to bring your faith to Thanksgiving, look no further than this article on a variety of Catholic traditions that we can incorporate into our celebrations.
- Maybe you’re not the best off-the-cuff pray-er yet. Don’t stress! We have some great prayers of thanksgiving for you to bring to the table this Thanksgiving. Definitely be bold and volunteer to lead your fam in prayer if it’s not currently a tradition — you can do it!
#23 | Epic Failure
- Struggling with fear of failure? This article has plenty of strategies for dealing with perfectionism.
- If you are caught up on some past failure, Father Mike Schmitz has a great video about learning from and moving on from our past mistakes
- We promised prayers in the podcast, and here they are! (Psst: you can download them as pics if you want to save them on your phone!)
- A Prayer for Anyone by Thomas Merton is a heartfelt reminder that failure is perfectly natural, and that we never really fail so long as we continue to seek God
- Prayer During Stress About Success in Academics by Brendan Farmer (Duke ‘13) is a great prayer for overcoming the fear of failure that permeates classes at Duke, and realizing that true success in all things lies in God.
- Prayer for Strength and Courage is an inspiring call to overcome what stands in our way through our faith in God.
#22 | For the Long Haul
- Interested in introducing your family to Duke’s Catholic life over Family Weekend? Come to the Catholic Center’s mass and brunch this Sunday!
- How should we use our faith to inform our family relationships? Dr. Gregory Popcak discusses, in a great two part series, what makes Catholic families different and what Catholic families often look like.
- Check out this article on the Holy Family if you’re looking for a model for your own fam.
#21 | A Man for Our Time
- Check out Formed for an in-depth look at the life and story of St. Francis, told in the very place he grew up!
- Learn more about Franciscan lifestyle, vocations, and history in the Conventual tradition (the same kind as Fr. Mike and Fr. Brad).
- St. Francis set the bar for loving his neighbors, but even moreso for those considered his enemies; see how he was able to preach the Gospel at the height of the Crusades!
#20 | Coach Cutcliffe: What Defines You?
- Curious about other Catholic athletes and how they live their faith? Here’s Chargers QB Philip Rivers talking about his own faith in the public sphere.
- Are you an athlete looking to encounter Christ more regularly? We have an 11:30 a.m. Mass on Thursdays at the Yoh building; all are welcome!
- Calling all football and lacrosse players! There are two bible study groups to fit your schedule: email Terry Lindsay for the lax group and Tim Skapek for the football group!
- Psst, also, here’s a great little piece: Who Decides Who You REALLY Are?
#19 | New Year, New You
- One of Duke Divinity’s best professors (now retired) has a message for all first-years. We love it.
- Freshman year can bring so many exciting new experiences, especially in your spiritual life. But sophomore year can sometimes feel less vibrant, and a spiritual slump can happen, too. Here’s an awesome piece on 5 Things to Remember When God Seems Silent.
- For juniors both abroad and at Duke, diving into the Catholic podcast world is a GREAT way to keep growing in your faith, no matter where you are. Here are our top four recs — besides Friar Side Chats, of course!
- For students of all year, but especially for seniors, the new school year marks the perfect time to begin forming spiritual habits you want to carry with you into the “real world.” Number one recommendation from us? Join a Small Group where you will learn how to pray with scripture and just generally improve your prayer life.
#18 | The Flatfooted Friar
- Check out this trailer for a great documentary (which has been a mainstay must-watch on the staff) on the sugar industry.
- Fr. Barron weighs in on living bread, namely the Eucharist (a highly recommended part of a Catholic diet!)
- Want to pray on the run? Download the Laudate app on your phone from iTunes or Google, and add some prayer to your workout.
#17 | No Place to Rest Your Head
- Big news: since we don’t have a central office, the tabernacle is now present in Memorial Chapel! Check Duke Chapel hours so you can spend more time with the Lord.
- Did Fr. Mike get you thinking about complaining? Here’s an article to get you think even more!
- Want to know where to find us? Here’s where we’ll be:
- Fr. Mike will be going to Langford 056
- Evan and Emma will be in the Chapel Basement, Rooms 044B and 040 respectively.
- Our business office with Ruth Anne Kennedy and Michelle Sutton will be in Smith Warehouse Bay 4, second floor.
#16 | Old Friend or Acquaintance
- I LOVE THIS GUY. And this video of his on praying with Scripture is pretty great.
- Maybe you’re more of an infographic person? Well, if that’s the case, here is a more visual breakdown of that same type of prayer, lectio divina.
- Lastly, this article. A serious reality check for me. (And hopefully for you, too!)
#15 | Modern Prophets
- A brief, relatable look at what it means that we are called to be Priest, Prophet, and King.
- The prophets have a TON of wisdom to share, reflect on, and help build up your prayer life. I like this guy’s reflection on his favorite Scripture passage from the prophet Isaiah.
#14 | Fr. Mike’s Secret Passion
- In case you wanted a little more info on that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams friendship-turned-bitter-enmity-turned-friendship-once-again.
- And in this time of political divide, here’s another thoughtful look at what it means to love your enemies and pray for them.
#13 | Summer Fallacies
- Fr. Mike and Emma’s recommended summer spiritual reading books:
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (originally released as informal radio broadcasts; a top ten classic for any Christian)
- Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton (an autobiography of Merton’s conversion; very story-like and easily digestible)
- Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (a masterpiece of satire; both laugh-aloud funny and deadly serious)
- The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (very original and creative look at heaven, hell, and purgatory; incredibly insightful and thought-provoking)
- My Life with the Saints by Fr. James Martin (an enjoyable and very relatable memoir; inspiring and hilarious)
- Pray As You Go
- Literally use this every time we’re in a new city, wherever you are in the world. So easy to find Mass and Reconciliation opportunities. Def wanna bookmark this.
- A few other recommendations…
- The podcast Catholic Stuff You Should Know is great! A lighthearted exploration of both prominent and obscure Catholic topics.
- The FOCUS Blog has tons of great posts geared toward college students (but which we in the office still find very relatable and helpful for our own spiritual lives, too!).
- As the Netflix-for-Catholics, you could really stand to spend some of your summer free time on FORMED.org. We’ve got all the details for you here. (And psst… we’ve already paid your subscription fee.)
#12 | Happy Birthday, Catholics!
- Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, reminds us of our call to carry the Good News out to the world. Check out Fr. Barron’s post “How to Preach Like the Apostles” for some additional thoughts on carrying out that mission.
- Still not sure how to begin praying to the Holy Spirit? Don’t stress! You’re not alone. We like starting out with these simple prayers, and really taking our time meditating through each line.
#11 | A Real World Plan
- Whether you’re a graduate and moving on from Duke, or spending the summer to working/boosting your resume/traveling/spending time with family, we believe that coming up with a game plan for the real world (and the Duke world, too, tbh) requires fear-free decision making! We guarantee, if you really take these three keys to heart and put them into practice, your plans will begin to take shape and you’ll definitely find more peace.
#10 | Sweating Like an Army Mule
- To continue thinking (and praying, hopefully!) through these ideas around examinations large and small, we recommend also reading this short post from our friends at FOCUS: “What If the Real Test Isn’t the Final You’re Preparing For?“
#9 | Party On!
#8 | The Big Dance
#7 | No Regrets… Right?
- Reconciliation during the academic year is so easy to find! Every Wednesday night at 9pm in Goodson Chapel, and every Thursday afternoon from 12:15-12:45pm in the Chapel Basement offices.
- Fr. Mike and Fr. Brad are also happy to make an appointment for reconciliation any time! Simply email them to set it up.
- We also very strongly recommend the Forgiven series on FORMED.org. Enjoy any or all of the three part series, and reconnect to God’s mercy! To find out how to watch the series, we have login instructions for you.