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Need Hope? Book Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak Today!

 

Need Hope? Book Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak for your next parish mission or conference!

After being tempted in the desert, Jesus began His ministry in Galilee by quoting the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)

My friends, there is no need to be afraid or to remain in the darkness. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is with us! For close to four years, I have been delivering that message to parishes and conferences throughout the United States and Canada and lives are being changed. By presenting the Lord’s message (as contained in Scripture and through the teachings of His Church) and sharing how He has helped me to overcome severe anxiety, I have been blessed to bring thousands of individuals closer to Jesus Christ. But I want to do more…

I want to bring the life changing message of Jesus Christ to your parish or conference!

I am currently booking speaking engagements for 2016 (and beyond), but I still have some openings for Fall and Winter of 2015. In addition to my regular speaking topics, I have developed 3 new topics that I know will help draw people closer to the Lord:

You Can’t Walk On Water If You’re Sitting In The Boat! – Did you ever feel like God is asking you to do something, but you’re afraid? That’s perfectly normal. Whenever the Lord asks us to do anything, there is always some element of fear involved. There’s no reason to let fear stop you from letting God work great miracles in your life, however. In this talk, Gary will give you practical advice for conquering even your greatest fears and teach you how to surrender control of your life to the Lord!

How To Live One Day At A Time – Regretting the past and worrying about the future can make us very anxious. And, while it sounds simple, living “one day at a time” is often easier said than done. In this talk, you will learn how it is possible to live joyfully in the present moment. Using the “1-2-3″ method that has worked in his life, Gary will show you how to live one day at a time!

Getting Personal With Jesus – Many people go through life knowing about Jesus, but never get to know him personally. Sadly, many Catholics don’t even know that it’s possible to have a close, personal relationship with Christ. Using some of the techniques featured in his soon to be released book on the topic, Gary will give you practical suggestions for becoming close friends with the Lord. In addition, you’ll discover why it’s critical that you share Jesus with others and learn simple ways to do so.

As with all of my topics, these titles can be presented as a 3 day parish mission, a single day retreat or a 1 hour talk. Please visit my Speaking page or email me to find out more information, check my availability for a particular date or book an engagement.

Don’t be content to walk in the darkness and think that there is no hope. With Jesus Christ in your life, you can walk in the light and remain hopeful. Skeptical? Let me help you. Contact me today and let me deliver the “Good News” in person!

Gary Zimak is the author of “A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible”, “Listen To Your Blessed Mother”, “From Fear To Faith” and “Faith, Hope and Clarity.” He is a frequent speaker at parishes and conferences across the United States and Canada, has an international radio following and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. In addition to hosting his own daily radio show on BlogTalkRadio, Gary is a regular guest on EWTN television and radio.

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed And Discouraged? You Need To Read These Words…

 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak is available to speak at your parish or conference

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak offers advice from Saint Teresa of Avila for anyone feeling overwhelmed and discouraged

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to working out? Are you worried about an uncertain future or overwhelmed with suffering? Do you just feel like giving up? Believe me, I know what you’re going through. Over the course of my life, I’ve had many days when I just felt like crawling back into bed and hiding from the world. The good news is that feelings are neither right or wrong. They are nothing more than emotions. What matters is what you do with those feelings.

Rather than give in to feelings of discouragement and hopelessness, try reading these amazing words from St. Teresa of Avila. They have helped me many times. Her words remind me that no matter how bad things “feel”, God loves me and is totally in charge. That doesn’t change, no matter how overwhelmed or discouraged I “feel”. He is greater than any problem or want we could ever have. As long as we have Him, we have all we could ever need.

Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything passes.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all.
Whoever has God wants for nothing.
God alone is enough.

Hang in there and read these words as many times as necessary. Then, turn to the Lord, tell Him just how much you’re struggling and ask Him to help you. I bet you’ll feel a little more peaceful. If the peace doesn’t last, keep asking Him for help. He loves it when we do that!

We’re going to have days when we feel good and days that we feel bad, but one thing remains constant…

God is ALWAYS there for us. That fact alone can make us feel a whole lot better!

Feeling Depressed and Hopeless? Turn To Saint Jude!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses his devotion to Saint Jude

One of the blessings granted to me by the Lord is the opportunity to encounter many people who are suffering. While this hardly sounds like a blessing, I consider it an honor because I’m able to share His “Good News” and bring some peace into their lives. Jesus told us repeatedly that we can experience His peace even in the midst of extreme suffering and trials. We often get so battered and worn, however, that we lose sight of this message. When this happens, it’s important to reach out to others and ask them to carry us in prayer. As Catholics, we are blessed by our belief in the Communion of Saints. As a result we can also turn to the saints in heaven and ask them to intercede for us. Throughout the years, St. Jude the Apostle has become known as the patron saint of hopeless causes. Many of you will read this and immediately reply, “that’s me”! If you are tired, weary, depressed and feeling hopeless, I invite you to pray the following prayer. I found it in a Saint Jude prayer booklet and thought it may prove helpful. If you are reading this post, rest assured that you will be in my daily prayers as well. Don’t give up…things WILL get better!

Prayer To St. Jude For The Depressed
St. Jude, friend to those in need, I am weary from grief and anxiety. I am often without joy, without hope, struggling through the dark night of the soul. I turn to you in prayer. Take away this emptiness and the pain of my broken heart. In your compassion, wipe away my tears and carry me to a place of peace. Too long have I been blind to the goodness of God’s world. Help me to take my life one day at a time, one moment at a time, and to be aware of God’s love for me always. Heal me. I yearn to feel, to bathe in light and joy. Envelop me in brightness, and do not hold back. And I promise, if you should see me fit to receive these gifts, I will share them always. Amen.

Want To See An Example Of Pure, Childlike Faith?


 

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Here is one of the most beautiful examples of childlike faith that you will ever see. Sadly, many of lose this kind of unrestrained enthusiasm and trust as we grow older and succumb to the world’s negativity and cynicism. Watch as these joyful Dominican sisters receive the news that a new pope has been chosen. Be prepared for chills, tears and an overall good feeling. This is a powerful example of the joy that results from true faith!

Have You Burned Your Boat?


 

Last week, I was speaking to my good friend, mentor and fellow Catholic Evangelist Richard Lane. As is usually the case when I speak with Richard, I was feeling energized and inspired when I hung up the phone. In particular, he told me a neat story about the importance of “not looking back” once you commit your life to Christ. A few days later, I was listening to the radio and I heard the exact story. Considering that I’ve never heard the saga in my 50+ years, I assumed that there is a reason I heard it two times in a week.

The story involves Spanish con­quis­ta­dor Hernan Cortes and his arrival in Mexico in 1519. Along with 600 men (none of whom had protective armor), Cortes prepared to conquer the land that for the past 600 years had been unconquerable. As they marched inland to battle their enemies, the conquistador uttered 3 shocking words to his soldiers:

“Burn the boats!”

This radical command left this Spanish soldiers with only two choices: emerge victorious or die! The lack of an exit strategy caused these outnumbered warriors to fight as if their lives were at stake…and they were! As a result, Cortes became the first man in 600 years to conquer Mexico.

While it’s a great history lesson, what does it have to do with our faith? In reality, it has EVERYTHING to do with it! One of the costliest mistakes that we make as followers of Christ is failing to “burn our boats”. Although we profess to follow the Lord, we often have a tendency to “look backward” and hold back a bit. We’re afraid that if we get too close to Him, we might have to suffer excessively. We’re nervous about giving too much to charitable causes because we might “need that money one day”. We fail to expect miracles when we pray and often pray for “safe things” in order to avoid disappointment. While we want to be called Christians, we’re sometimes unwilling to speak out and defend our faith when necessary. If we say too much, people might not like us or think we’re strange. By holding back in these ways, we never really FULLY commit our lives to Jesus and always entertain the possibility of reboarding our boats if the Christian life becomes too challenging. What did the Lord say about this?

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)

Once we make the decision to truly follow Christ, there can be no turning back. Even though we’ll be tempted to backslide and “take the easy way out”, we have to remain firm and not look to the past. We all have “boats” or “safety nets” in our lives…those tendencies, possessions or attitudes which hold us back from following the Lord as fully as possible. If we truly expect to be “fit for the Kingdom of God”, we must cease looking at what was left behind and start looking at what lies ahead.

Have you identified your “boat”? Once you do, burn it and remember that when it comes to following Christ and one day living with Him in Heaven, failure CANNOT be an option!

Suffering For The Lord

 

I’m pleased to present a “guest blogger”, Robyn Greco. More than just a friend, Robyn is an inspiration to me and so many others. I know you’ll enjoy the powerful story of how she is offering up her suffering as a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Please keep her in your prayers.

The Goodness of God and the Blessing of the Missionaries of Charity

Most people are aware of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her work. If you are not, I would suggest visiting MotherTeresa.org to learn about her life – it’s truly extraordinary. I’ve had a deep love and devotion to Blessed Mother Teresa for many years and I am in love with the way that she loved others just as Jesus did and admire her deep affection for (and obedience to) the Catholic Church. Mother loved people of all faiths, all races, and all stations in life. Everyone to her was the same, just as Jesus loves us all the same. No one is better, no one is less. Because of her love for Jesus and His Church, she created The Missionaries of Charity. In short, after the enormous response to the work of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa created a group called The Sick and Suffering Co-Workers of the Missionaries of Charity. This branch of the order is for people who are not physically capable of becoming a Missionary of Charity due to illness, but still want to be part of the Work, as Mother Teresa always called it…God’s Work.

The responsibility and vow of a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker of the Missionaries of Charity is to pray and offer one’s sickness and daily suffering to the Lord for the good of one specific Missionary of Charity anywhere in the world. Each Sick and Suffering Co-Worker is assigned a sister somewhere in the world and, in turn, that specific sister will pray daily for her Sick and Suffering Co-Worker. Mother Teresa always called her own personal Sick and Suffering Co-Worker, “her other self” because she believed that these people were just as important to the Work (and as much a part of the Missionaries of Charity) as are the professed sisters. She relied heavily on the prayers of her “other self”, as it allowed those too ill to become a professed Missionary of Charity the ability to share in the Work and as Mother would say, “Do something beautiful for God”

I have been ill with a disease called Lyme Disease for almost twenty years. I struggle daily with the inability to swallow most solid foods and experience pain (sometimes severe) in all parts of my body, as well as migraine headaches. I have prayed through the years for the Lord to heal me, but thus far a healing has not come. It took me quite some time, but in the last few years (through the mercy of our Lord), I have come to accept God’s Will for my life. I feel, through lots and lots of prayer, that God is asking me to be patient and to continue in my suffering. I know that will sound insane to some, but I believe and know that God uses all human suffering for good. I accept His Will and know that, although I may not know or understand how the Lord is using my suffering, someone is receiving grace because of it.

I have always wanted to be a Missionary of Charity. For many many years, I have followed, listened to, and learned about Blessed Mother Teresa, the Work, and The Missionaries of Charity. I have longed to be part of this wonderful work and to be able to participate in doing “something beautiful for God”, but how could that be? I am married and not of good health. I thought about donating money, but The Missionaries of Charity do not accept donations and I really do not have much to offer. After much prayer and no real answer I figured it was just impossible, so I put it in the back of my thoughts. To my surprise, about two weeks ago I found myself emailing back and forth with a sister located in India (the location of the mother house of the Missionaries of Charity) about Blessed Mother Teresa, her life, the Work and inquired about obtaining a relic. The conversation somehow turned to me and my illness. I am still not sure how this even happened. After that email I didn’t hear anything back from her.

Last week I received another email from this lovely sister and to my absolute surprise, Sister asked me if I would like to become a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker of the Missionaries of Charity! My heart skipped a few beats and I felt like I had been reborn. In that very moment the sickness and pain I was feeling didn’t seem to matter…It was as if I was out of my own skin. I didn’t feel it! I believe that I experienced pure joy – a joy that can only come from the Lord Himself. For me, becoming a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker is the most important thing that has ever happened to me in my forty two years. There have been many good things that have happened in my years but nothing comes even close to the joy and peace I feel because of this most abundant, pure blessing that God has given to me.

God has given me tangible proof that my years of sufferings have not gone unnoticed by Him, that He has been with me all the time and will continue to be. He is allowing me to use my suffering for something I have longed to be part of, but had no way of making possible. In His mercy and love, the Father has granted me the privilege to share in the suffering of his Son, our Lord Jesus, on the Cross. By willingly uniting my suffering with Christ’s, I can STILL be happy and peaceful through my pain and sickness. I will still pray and ask for a healing, but my new vocation as a Sick and Suffering Co-Worker of the Missionaries of Charity sustains me. If a physical healing never comes, I am already healed in ways that the world will never understand.

One Way To Be Sure You’re Following God’s Will…

 

“Do you really believe God loves you? If you do, you know that everything that happens in your life is for your good. And it isn’t always a peaceful experience.” (Mother Angelica)

How do I know what God wants me to do with my life? How can I be sure that I’m following His will?

While this is a concern for anyone who is sincerely trying to follow the Lord, the answer is simpler than you realize. Although there are decisions that must be made in the course of our lives, there is one sure way to be certain that we’re following the will of God. It is to simply accept everything that happens in your life as being God’s will.

That’s it? You bet! This method of discernment is so simple that it often gets overlooked. In addition, it’s one of the most difficult things that we can ever do. Why? Because it involves our accepting illness, poverty, sorrow, loneliness, humiliation and uncertainty as being part of God’s will… and that isn’t easy!

The Bible tells us that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28), but that is often forgotten when we are faced with unexpected challenges. Just for a minute, imagine how peaceful you’d be if you TRULY believed that everything that God permits to happen in your life is in your best interest. In reality, that’s exactly what the Church teaches. It is God’s will that we all end up in Heaven (1 Thes 4:3) and He sometimes allows “bad” things to happen in order to help us arrive at our eternal destination.

In his book, Uniformity With God’s Will, Saint Alphonsus Liguori advises, “Whenever anything disagreeable happens, remember it comes from God and say at once, ‘This comes from God’ and be at peace.” While this advice seems simple, just think of how many times we violate it each day! How often do we complain about flat tires, financial problems, poor health, heavy workloads, tiredness and so many other issues?

Today, why not try to follow God’s will by NOT complaining when unpleasant things happen? Instead, make it a point to thank the Lord for making His will known!

“Whatever good or evil befalls you, be confident that God will convert it all to your good.” (Saint Jane Frances de Chantal)

No Greater Love…

 



Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

On this day, approximately 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ suffered and died on a cross so that you and I can one day live in the eternal happiness of His kingdom. He gave everything, holding nothing back. As we look over our lives, what have we done to express our gratitude? Speaking for myself, I have to admit that the answer is “not much”. As a matter of fact, not only haven’t I done too much for the Lord, but I’ve done many things to hurt Him. I’ve repaid His selfless love with indifference, ingratitude and numerous mortal and venial sins. I’ve disobeyed His command to “love one another” (John 13:34) more times than I’d like to admit and often ignored His warning that I’ll be judged for “every careless word” that I speak (Matthew 12:36).

Although we should feel sad that our sins put Him on the cross, we shouldn’t be paralyzed by our grief. We shouldn’t just wish that He didn’t have to suffer. Instead, we should vow to make changes in our lives TODAY. The very first change that each of us should make is to ask Jesus for the grace to lead holier lives. If we rely on our own power we’ll fail miserably, but when we turn to Him, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Thank you, Jesus, for suffering so that I may have eternal life. Help me to turn away from my sinful behavior and become more like you. Amen.

Got A Minute?

 
Can you spare 60 seconds each day for a little spiritual “pep talk”?  Join me each day for a “Moment Of Truth with Gary Zimak” as I share some thoughts with you.  Together, we’ll continue our journey on the road that will one day lead to ETERNAL LIFE!

Moment Of Truth with Gary Zimak 1-24-12 (mp3)

An Unexpected Retreat

I’ve been feeling really burned out lately…mainly caused by too much “burning the candle at both ends”.  Working a full time job, blogging, hosting a radio show and running to the hospital to visit my mother has really taken a toll on me.  The other day, I was telling my wife that I just wished I could take my prayer books and just go spend a few days with the Lord.  Eileen told me that I should “take a retreat” from my evangelization activities and just spend some time in prayer with Jesus.

It sounded like a good idea, but how could I just drop everything?  I need to blog, tweet and post on Facebook or else the world will fall apart!  As He often does, the Lord found a way to make this happen.  Over the weekend, my mother was hospitalized with pneumonia.  Her illness is complicated by the fact that she is 82 years old and has severe Alzheimer’s disease.  She has been fed through a tube for several years, as a result of forgetting how to eat.  She no longer walks, not due to anything physical, but because she doesn’t remember how.  Throughout the weekend, my sister and I took turns visiting Mom in the hospital.  My sister wasn’t able to go today, so I made the decision to cancel my nightly radio show and go to the hospital.  I had no idea of the blessing that awaited me!

One of the tricky things about dealing with my mother is the communication aspect.  She’s hasn’t known who I am (at least she can’t verbalize it) for a long time and her speech is a mixture of random English words, some Polish and a lot of gibberish.  I try my best to carry on a conversation, but I honestly don’t expect too much in return.  I smile at Mom and tell her I love her.  Sometimes she smiles back, sometimes she tells me, ” I love you”.  Often she’ll start laughing and I’ll laugh too, never quite sure of what’s so funny.

For some reason, I was really looking forward to seeing Mom tonight.  When I walked in the room, I was pleased.  Her color was better, the cough was less pronounced and she was in a good mood.  As soon as I saw her, my worries vanished and I was a child again.  I smiled at my mother and she smiled back at me.  She laughed and I laughed.  For a little while, the worry and stress I’d been experiencing disappeared.  I imagined the times that she probably smiled to me when I was a baby and I would respond.  I felt a sense of peace as I stood by Mom’s bedside; a peace that I NEEDED to feel!

I learned about charity when a very compassionate nurse came in to take my mother’s vital signs.  She was obviously a very caring person who treated my mother with respect and dignity even though Mom was giving her a hard time (my mother hasn’t forgotten how to be feisty!). 

At the end of our visit, I kissed Mom and told her I loved her.  I made the sign of the cross on her forehead and asked God to bless her.  Then I walked to the hospital chapel and spent some quiet time with the Lord.  Since this was a Catholic Hospital, they have a beautiful chapel (see picture), complete with the Blessed Sacrament.  As I sat alone with Jesus, I was at peace.

I walked to my car feeling a lot better than when I first arrived.  It then dawned on me that I just had my “retreat” and it was a good one.  Thank you, Jesus, for being a great retreat master!