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Lent

It’s Time For The Lenten Radio Retreat!

 

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

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak announces his 2016 Lenten radio retreat

Are you ready for Lent?

For the 6th consecutive year, I will be leading a Lenten Radio Retreat each night on The Gary Zimak Show. In the following video message, I reveal the book that we will be using this year.

If you would like to participate in our Lenten Radio Retreat, you can get a free copy of Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly HERE. We begin on February 10, 2016. You can download my 30 minute podcast each night (beginning at 8 PM Eastern) from my BlogTalkRadio page, from iTunes or from the radio page on my website.

Get ready to encounter Jesus in a big way this Lent. I know you won’t be disappointed. Order your book today and stay tuned for more information!

Listen To The Gary Zimak Show every Monday – Friday on BlogTalkRadio!

Before You Label Yourself A Hopeless Sinner, Consider This…

 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak appears each Wednesday on The Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio with his series "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"

Here’s the Bible verse I discussed on EWTN Radio’s The Son Rise Morning Show today:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak reminds EWTN listeners on The Son Rise Morning Show that Jesus came to call sinners

With all of the emphasis on self-examination and turning away from sin, sometimes Lent can get a little depressing. Due to the fact that we have a natural tendency to overlook and excuse our less than perfect behavior, the sudden realization that we are sinners can be disturbing. It can even make us feel hopeless. But, just as pain or discomfort lets us know we may be ill, the knowledge that we are sinners can help us to understand that we are in need of spiritual healing. In other words…

It’s a good thing!

In the above Bible verse, Jesus makes it clear that He has come to save sinners – like us. Instead of letting your sinfulness make you feel hopeless and defeated, allow it to motivate you to seek the Lord’s forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession. Not only will you receive absolution for your sins, but you’ll receive the grace to help you sin less in the future.

While there is no doubt that we are all sinners, there is no such thing as “hopeless” when it comes to the Lord. He’s waiting for you in the confessional. Make it a point to visit Him soon!

(Gary Zimak is a Catholic speaker and author who travels throughout the United States and Canada giving inspirational talks and leading parish missions and retreats. Click HERE to invite Gary to speak at your parish or conference or to inquire about his availability.)

It’s Never Too Late To Turn Back The Lord

 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak appears each Wednesday on The Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio with his series "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"

Here’s the Bible verse I discussed on EWTN Radio’s The Son Rise Morning Show today:

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak discusses forgiveness on his weekly segment on The Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18)

No matter what sin you have committed, Jesus still loves you. There is nothing you can do to ever change that. When we sin we turn away from the Lord and reject His love. We feel isolated and alone, sometimes incorrectly believing that our sins are too great to be forgiven. NOT TRUE!

Jesus misses you and wants you back!

As we begin the holy season of Lent, why not make it a point to take Him up on that generous offer? There is no sin so great that will place you outside of the Lord’s mercy. Jesus is waiting for you in the confessional. He wants to forgive you and give you a great big hug. As long as you’re still alive, it’s not too late. No matter how many years it’s been since your last Confession, make the decision to return during this Lenten season. Jesus is waiting to welcome you home!

I promise you that’s it’s the best decision you’ll ever make!

(Gary Zimak is a Catholic speaker and author who travels throughout the United States and Canada giving inspirational talks and leading parish missions and retreats. Click HERE to invite Gary to speak at your parish or conference or to inquire about his availability.)

A Simple Way To Make This Lent Your Best EVER!

 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak announces the start of his annual Lenten radio retreat which begins on Ash Wednesday on The Gary Zimak Show

It’s hard to believe, but Lent is once again upon us. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and so it begins. Unfortunately, many people view the season in a negative light and try to grit their teeth and muscle through the next forty days. Here’s a little secret – that’s the way I viewed Lent for most of my life. Over the past few years, however, I began to see it differently. I now look at Lent as a tremendous opportunity for growing closer to Christ. With that in mind, I’d like to help you view Lent in the same way.

Starting on Ash Wednesday (February 18), I will once again be leading my annual Lenten Radio Retreat every Monday – Friday on The Gary Zimak Show. I would be honored to have you join me for 30 minutes each night as we journey together through the Lenten season. We’ll read and discuss the daily Mass readings and I’ll share some other tidbits that will help you to grow closer to Jesus. By popular demand, I’ll also lead you in my “super duper” examination of conscience. The theme for this year’s retreat is, “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30) and that’s exactly what we’ll do. There is no cost, no book to purchase, no hidden costs or obligations – just an invitation from me to have a seat at my table as we discuss the “Good News” of Jesus Christ each night.

Interested? Here’s how it works:

Every Mon-Fri at 8 PM Eastern , the podcast will be available on the radio page of my website. You can listen to it directly from the Blogtalkradio player at the top of the page. You can also go to The Gary Zimak Show page on Blogtalkradio and download or listen to the show there. Finally, the podcast will appear in iTunes on the day after the show airs. You can download it free of charge.

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern on The Gary Zimak Show, I’ll talk more about the retreat and Lent. I’ll save a chair for you and I hope to see you then. As always, feel free to email me with any questions you may have. Get ready, my friends…

this is gonna be powerful!

(Gary Zimak is a Catholic speaker and author who travels throughout the United States and Canada giving inspirational talks and leading parish missions and retreats. Click HERE to invite Gary to speak at your parish or conference or to inquire about his availability.)

40 New Ways To Get The Most Out Of Lent

 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak will host his annual Lenten Radio Retreat beginning on Feb 18

I have to admit that for many years, I was stuck in a rut for Lent. On those occasions when I did try to do something (not all that many), I generally gave up sweets. While there’s no doubt that it was a sacrifice (those who know me will realize just how big of a sacrifice!), I found myself focusing more on what I was giving than the one for whom I was giving it up. As Lent progressed, I could sometimes be seen drooling (I would like to say that I’m not speaking literally, but I’m not sure I can) over supermarket displays of donuts and pastries. As the season drew to a close, I was so happy to be able to indulge in sweets that I often forgot about my relationship with the Lord!

In recent years, I’ve modified my Lenten practices and now try to include some spiritual practices. I try to do things which will lead me closer to the Lord. I’m happy to report that it has worked out well. This year, I’ll once be leading my annual Lenten Radio Retreat nightly on The Gary Zimak Show and will make it a point to include some of these concepts in my discussion. Sometimes, however, I’m not the most creative person in the world and could use some help in coming up with new ways to get the most out of Lent…

In an answer to a prayer, I was contacted by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio who offered to send me a complimentary copy of his book, 40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent.

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak reviews a great book for Lent - 40 Days 40 Ways by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

Well, the book came in the mail yesterday and I honestly haven’t been able to put it down. This is just what I was looking for! D’Ambrosio offers 40 Lenten practices, many of which would never have occurred to me. Some of his suggestions are committing to daily prayer, examining your media consumption, praying the Our Father slowly and thoughtfully, initiating a family rosary, reaching out to the least popular person you know, spending time with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration or devoting the first 10 minutes of your day to thanking God for the blessings He has given you. Each of the recommended practices is supplemented with a brief meditation and explanation. Every one of his suggestions is not only spiritually beneficial, but very doable.

If you’re looking for a great book to help you get the most out of Lent, check out 40 Days, 40 Ways – A New Look At Lent by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio. I plan to use some of his suggestions over the next several weeks – possibly on my nightly radio show!

You can order the book from Amazon by clicking on the following image:

Easing The Suffering Of Jesus…Today!


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak reveals some practical ways that we can ease the suffering of Jesus

On this holy and sad day known as Good Friday, we will have many opportunities to reflect on the suffering of Christ. While this is a great idea and something that we all should do, we need to be careful. We often have the tendency to treat Our Lord’s suffering as something that happened two thousand years ago and something that was caused by some really nasty people who are no longer alive. While this line of thinking is partially true, it ignores two very important facts:

1. Ultimately, all sinners are responsible for Jesus’ suffering. That means that we share in the blame.

2. Even though Jesus’ Passion took place two thousand years ago, there is something that we can do to ease His suffering TODAY.

On the night before He died, Jesus spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane. Scripture tells us that “He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground” (Luke 22:44). Why was He suffering so greatly? In his book, Life of Christ, Archbishop Fulton Sheen expressed the opinion that Jesus was in agony because He saw all of the sins that were committed in the past and will be committed until the end of time. This means that when we hear of Our Lord’s suffering on the night before He died, we should realize that our sins were a contributing factor to his distress.

On the other hand, since He was God, it follows that Jesus would also be able to see all of the good things that would be performed over the years. Therefore, while He was in the garden, Jesus would have known every time that we turned away from sin or performed an act of kindness. Therefore, we still have the ability to ease His suffering in the Garden.

So what can we do about this? For one thing we can recognize that our sins caused Jesus a great deal of mental and physical pain. This should result in some degree of sorrow and a desire to do better in the future. Secondly, we can do something to ease the Lord’s pain. Here are some steps that we can take:

1. Pray – What did Jesus ask Peter, James and John to do while He was suffering in the garden? He asked them to stay awake and be with Him as He suffered. By praying every day, we do just that.

2. Turn Away From Sin – We should ask the Lord each day for the grace to resist temptation and turn away from sin.

3. Trust – Jesus told St. Faustina, “You will give me great pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of my grace”. Do you trust Him enough to let Him handle your problems?

4. Surrender – The most basic way to surrender to the Lord’s will is to accept everything that happens to you today and not complain. When was the last time you tried this?

5. Show Mercy To Others – “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). In her diary, St. Faustina wrote of three ways that we can show mercy to others:

a. By Deed (Anything we do to alleviate the suffering of another)
b. By Word (Anything we say to alleviate the suffering of another)
c. By Prayer (Praying for one another)

Jesus suffered and died so that you could go to Heaven. By doing some simple things today and in the future, we have the ability to lessen the intense suffering that Jesus experienced because of our sins. Don’t waste the opportunity!

Lent’s Almost Over And I’m Still Not A Nice Person. Thank You, Lord!


 

Catholic Speaker and Evangelist Gary Zimak offers encouragement to those who are struggling with Lent.

I came to a realization over the weekend. Lent’s almost over and I’m still not as nice of a person as I’d like to be. I still spend way too much time thinking about myself and way too little time trying to serve others. What went wrong? Was my Lent a failure? Is there any hope for me?

After spending some time in prayer, I received a comforting answer. First, I now know that I need to work on getting to know Christ better. The fact that I can be very self-centered confirms that I’m lacking in this area. The good news is that it’s something I can work on. Second, if the only fruit that my Lent produced is the realization that I have a LONG way to go before people can look at me and see Jesus, my Lent was VERY successful. Many people never come to this realization. Now that I’m aware that I have a problem, I can continue to work on fixing it.

Those of you who have heard me speak or listen to my radio show know that I don’t pull punches when it comes to our faith. If I think we’re being lazy, I’ll say so. On the other hand, I do believe in offering hope (as does the Lord, who “who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth” – 1 TM 2:4). Therefore, I suggest that we look at the glass as being half-full. We still have another week of Lent to go, so let’s keep pushing. On the other hand, the end of Lent doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our window of opportunity. We shouldn’t try to stop growing closer to Christ as soon as Easter rolls around. This is something that we should be working on for the rest of our lives. Therefore, if we recognize that there’s still work to be done…great! Let’s continue to work.

On my radio show this evening, I offered some suggestions for moving forward and becoming more like Jesus. After the Lenten Radio Retreat is finished I plan on helping all of my listeners (and me!) work on this by adding some new daily themes to my show. I’ll be revealing some more details in next few days. For now, however, I recommend that you listen to tonight’s show and try not to get discouraged. If you’re reading this, you’re still alive and that means it’s not to late to become a saint!

“As long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God’s grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God’s action.” (St Faustina)

It’s “No Complaint Friday” And You’ll Never Guess What Happened To Me So Far…


 

Catholic Speaker, author and evangelist Gary Zimak explains that it's possible to thank God for everything that happens to us - good or bad.

It’s been an interesting “No Complaint Friday” for me so far. Since I woke up, here’s what my day has been like…

It’s cloudy and damp outside.

I’m very tired and could barely get out of bed to go to Mass this morning.

I had a difficult time focusing at Mass.

My sciatica hurts a lot.

I don’t feel especially happy today.

I have a lot of work to do and too little time to do it.

I have to keep standing up because it hurts too much to sit.

I have a wonderful family.

God is available for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jesus makes Himself fully present (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) at every Mass.

Jesus loves me so much that He became man, suffered died and rose from the dead so that I can go to Heaven.

It’s all about learning to focus, my friends. More often than not, it’s the “unimportant” things that bother us the most. And by “unimportant” I mean everything that doesn’t affect our eternal salvation. I complain way too much and I’m going to keep working on it until I get better. The good news is that feelings are neither right nor wrong. Just because I’m feeling down in the dumps doesn’t mean I can’t express gratitude for EVERYTHING that happens in my life. I hope you’ll continue to join me on these “No Complaint Fridays”. Click HERE to find out more.

It’s “No Complaint Friday”…How Are You Doing?


 

Catholic Speaker, Author and Evangelist Gary Zimak announces "No Complaint Friday".

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. (Psalm 118:24)

Earlier this week on my blog and radio show, I announced my 24 Hour Lenten Challenge, also known as “No Complaint Friday”. You can read the details HERE, but essentially the point is to spend an entire day without complaining about anything. And what better day of the week to choose than Friday, the day that Jesus suffered and died on the Cross in order to make it possible for us to go to Heaven? So, how’s it going? It’s difficult isn’t it? Believe me, I’m struggling with it too. On the other hand, doesn’t it give you a sense of accomplishment and peace? Here’s something to think about. If we can learn to thank God for the trials and suffering in our lives, can you imagine how peaceful we will be and what a great witness we will provide for others?

Keep up the good work and let’s pray for one another as we try (remember that it’s okay to fail, as long as we try) to finish the rest of the day without complaining about anything. And if you can do it for one day, you can probably do it for two, or three. You never know, my friends, we just might be trying this again next week 😉

Give Up Worrying For Lent…It’s Easier Than You Think!


 

Catholic Speaker, author and leading anxiety expert Gary Zimak offers a simple suggestion for how to eliminate worry.

As I travel the country speaking about how to overcome anxiety, one question comes up repeatedly…

“How can I stop worrying?”

For many anxious individuals, a life without worry seems like an impossibility. The good news is that eliminating worrying is not only possible, but it is a very achievable goal. And that statement is coming from someone who has been a severe worrier for most of his life. In fact, not only have I suffered from anxiety from when I was a child, but I have been to the emergency room several times suffering from severe panic attacks. Therefore, if I can overcome worry so can you!

Here’s what you need to remember. Worrying is a choice. Unlike fear, it is not an emotion. We can’t control fear, but we can control worrying. Every time that we begin to worry about something, it involves a conscious (although for some of us it can become subconscious) decision on our part. Therefore, instead of choosing to worry (when we’re afraid), we can choose to pray, or read the Bible, or go to Mass, or spend time with Jesus in adoration. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Whenever I’m tempted to start worrying, I can just as easily turn to the Lord instead. It also makes sense from a practical point of view. Worrying accomplishes nothing, but prayer always produces results.

Lent is the perfect time to try putting this into practice. And yes, I did say “try”. For many of us, worrying has become a habit. As a result, it will take some work to eliminate it from our lives and we will probably fail more than we succeed. But don’t give up. With God’s help, it is a winnable battle. Why not try it with the next problem that you encounter? Just one time. Try it and see how you feel. If you succeed then you can try it for the next problem, and the next. Before you know it, you’ll be giving up worrying for Lent. And, by the way, if you’re tempted to feel that it’s impossible to give up worrying, remember the words of the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Mother:

“…for nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)