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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

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Fr. Mike Schmitz speaks about love in Genesis

The priest who started the popular ‘Bible in a Year’ podcast draws a crowd at the Basilica

Fr. Mike Schmitz stood in front of a packed crowd in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart this Saturday to give a keynote address on “Life After the Apple: How to Love After the Fall.”

This was his first time back on campus since 2020. Schmitz also presided over mass at the Basilica the previous day. Students lined up outside over an hour before the event was scheduled to begin to secure a seat.

“I’ve watched his videos on YouTube for years, probably at this point. Those videos have helped me a lot in my faith life,” senior Nick Daniel said. “Honestly, when I’ve gotten through tougher times, I think they’ve been a source of comfort ... this is a really cool opportunity to see him and hear him speak in person.”

To secure the position at the front of the line, Daniel and his friends arrived at the Basilica a little before 11 a.m. although the event did not begin until noon.

Schmitz gained recognition for his podcast “The Bible in the Year,” which attained the top position on the Apple charts for podcasts following its launch in January 2021. Additionally, he hosts “The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)” podcast, leading listeners through the entirety of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Ruth Beier ’90 drove from Fort Wayne, Indiana, last night to see Schmitz’s address.

“I did the ‘Bible in a Year’ and the ‘Catechism in a Year’ last year,” Beier said. “He’s been such a big inspiration. When I heard he was coming. I was like, ‘Let’s go.’”

The premise of Schmitz’s talk was how to love one another following the fall of man in Genesis. The fall is the part of the Bible when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, causing them to leave a state of innocence.

He started off his speech by explaining what life was like before the fall. He went on to read from Mathew 19, which is about Jesus’ teachings on marriage and divorce.

Schmitz said, “You have a hard heart right now, a broken heart right now, every one of us, we are living and loving after the apple, after the fall. But Jesus says … ‘All you and I know, all you and I have actually experienced is love after the fall.’” 

Schmitz then explained how Pope John Paul II chose to look at this and see what life was like by going back to the beginning, back to Genesis.

His talk then discussed how to approach the conversation of not being able to trust the Bible because it is not scientific. He said the Bible is not supposed to be read like a chemistry textbook.

“It communicates truth but [not] necessarily biological truth. Not necessarily chemistry truth. But truth,” he continued. “What we are reading in Genesis is this true story, through the eyes of a poet, through the eyes of a lover.”

He also discussed the cultural impact of Genesis in promoting the ideology that all people are created equal.

“No matter who you are, where you come from … no matter if you’re male or female, no matter your ethnicity or race, no matter anything. You’ve been created on purpose, good, and in God’s very image,” Schmitz said. 

From there, his talk focused on the creation of Eve and the relationship between Adam and Eve. He quoted Matthew Henry, a Bible commentator.

“When God created Eve, he did not take her from Adam’s head to lord it over him, nor from his feet to be walked upon by him, but he took her from his side to walk with him, from near his heart to be loved by him, from beneath his arm to be guarded by him,” Schmitz quoted Henry. “There they are side-by-side, made for love.”

Schmitz then went on to talk about what he described as the main lies men and women have in their hearts since the fall.

“The lie that has infected every man’s heart is, to one degree or another this: You are not enough. The lie that says you’re not a man. The lie that says you’re not competent,” said Schmitz. “The lie that has affected every single woman since this moment, since the apple, since the fall, is the lie that says: You’re not worth loving as you are right now.”

Schmitz said two people can help silence this lie in a man’s heart: his wife and his father. For women, Schmitz said a husband or a father could speak and kill the lie in her heart.

“[If you think,] I don’t have a dad who spoke over me. I don’t have a partner who speaks into my life, that’s fine because God has already spoken. And he gets the final word,” Schmitz said.