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peace

A New Podcast Created Just For Worriers!

 

Gary Zimak hosts a podcast just for worriers

If you’re tired of worrying and want to experience the peace that only the Lord can give, I have GREAT news for you. I have created a podcast specifically for those who want to break free from worry! For as little as 16 cents a day, you will have exclusive access to the only podcast created for worriers by a recovering worrier (that’s me!). Through Bible verses, suggestions and easy to implement steps you WILL finally be able to Stop Worrying and Start Living!

Thank you in advance for partnering with me. Not only will YOU be able to experience the Lord’s peace, but you can help OTHERS to experience it as well! Please share this post with all of the worriers in your life.

Are you ready to give up worrying and begin living the life God has planned for you? Click on the above image (or visit Patreon.com/garyz) to find out more. It’s time to Stop Worrying And Start Living!

The Secret To Happiness

 

Register today for the Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat led by Catholic speaker Gary Zimak at the Malvern Retreat House

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak reveals the secret to happiness

What is the secret to happiness?

Although it may surprise you, the answer to this question is very simple. The only way that we will ever be happy is to surrender to God’s will. That’s it! Although it may sound simplistic, that is the ultimate answer. If we are constantly doing what God wants us to do, we will be happy.

But how does suffering fit into the picture? Obviously we can’t be happy while we are suffering, can we? Believe it or not, we can. While it won’t be the giddy type of happiness that we feel when things are going great, we can experience a deep peace or joy even while our world seems to be falling apart.

Here are 5 things to consider which will help you make it through even the greatest suffering:

1. It is God’s will – Nothing can happen to us without God’s approval. Anything that happens in our lives is God’s will. While it might not take away all of the pain, this knowledge can definitely help us to cope.

2. It is good for you – In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul makes it clear that God can bring good out of all things (Romans 8:28) including pain and suffering. We may never fully understand the details, but the difficulties we experience are designed to help us get to Heaven.

3. A chance to trust God – Anytime you experience suffering, you are given a chance to trust the Lord. Over time, these opportunities can result in an increased faith. If everything is going smoothly in your life, why would you need to trust God?

4. It is temporary – All earthly suffering is temporary. It will either be gone in this life or in the next. When you die, your problems die with you. The very fact that you know it won’t last will make your cross a little lighter.

5. It can unite you to Christ – When we suffer, we have the chance to participate in Christ’s redemptive mission (Colossians 1:24). Uniting our suffering with the suffering of Jesus allows us to put it to use. On the other hand, complaining about it causes us to waste a great opportunity.

If we think that happiness can only be found in the absence of problems, we will never be happy. It is impossible to get through even one day without some degree of suffering or inconvenience. True happiness can only be found by embracing God’s will…

even when it involves suffering!

“Suffering passes; to have suffered willingly remains eternally.” (St. Therese of Lisieux)

Gary Zimak is the author of “Faith, Hope & Clarity: How To Know God’s Will”, “A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible”, “Listen To Your Blessed Mother”, and “From Fear To Faith”. 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.

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.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Future – God Is There!

 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak will offer advice for dealing with fear of the future on the next episode of Following The Truth on Holy Spirit Radio

Do you find yourself being afraid of the future? Is the uncertainty just too much to bear?

Make it a point to listen to the next episode of Following The Truth on Holy Spirit Radio – “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Future”! The program airs on Wednesday (May 27) at 10 AM Eastern with an encore broadcast at 4 PM Eastern. If you’re not in the Philadelphia area, you can listen online HERE.

I’ll be offering many Bible verses that will help you to relax and live in the present moment and share songs by the Isaacs, Casting Crowns, David Haas and Steven Curtis Chapman. Here’s a sample…

If God is with us, there is no need to be afraid. The future may be unknown to us, but it’s not unknown to God. He is already there!

(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.)

Finally…A Catholic Retreat For Worriers!

 

Catholic speaker and retreat leader Gary Zimak will be leading a Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA on August 14-16,2015

Are you tired of worrying?

Would you like to feel greater peace in your life?

Do you sometimes wish you could get to know Jesus better?

Does the idea of getting away for a few days of peaceful reflection and relaxation sound good to you?

I am thrilled to announce that on Aug 14 – Aug 16, 2015, I will be leading the first ever Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA! Located in the Philadelphia suburbs, the Malvern Retreat House is the oldest and largest Catholic retreat center in the United States. I have a great deal of respect for the work that Msgr. Marino and his staff do and I am honored to be working with them on this retreat.

So what will we do on the retreat? Simply put, we’ll get to know Jesus and Mary better and ask them to help us to stop worrying. We’ll have Confession, Mass, Eucharistic adoration, quiet time and lots of great food! I’ll also be giving several presentations and will be available for questions or consultation. We’ll begin on Friday evening with registration, dinner, a talk and night prayer. On Saturday, I’ll be giving several talks and we’ll have confession, adoration and time for meditation. On Sunday, we’ll conclude with breakfast, followed by a short talk and Mass. The event will wrap up at approximately 11 AM.

Open to both men and women, this retreat will help you to finally break away from worrying by growing closer to the Lord. The cost for the weekend retreat (including meals and lodging) is $240. Please email me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Click on the following image to register for the Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry retreat. Space is limited, so make it a point to register today!

Register today for the Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat led by Catholic speaker Gary Zimak at the Malvern Retreat House

(NOTE: Be sure to watch Msgr. Joseph Marino, Duane McCarthy and Jacqueline Delaney on EWTN Live on Wednesday, Feb 11 at 8 PM Eastern as they discuss the programs offered at the Malvern Retreat House.)

Learning The Difference Between Our Needs And Our Wants

 

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:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

In an especially comforting part of His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:25-34) for those of us who tend to be anxious, Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t be anxious about our material needs. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need and will provide. Do you believe Him?

In the above Bible verse, we’re once again encouraged to trust that the Lord will provide for our needs. We’re also told to be “content with what we have” for it’s often what we don’t have that causes us to be anxious. That sounds good, but let’s be honest…we all have material needs. Even Jesus acknowledged that. Furthermore, He told us to ask for what we need. How can we ask God for our needs if we’re supposed to be content with what we have?

Basically, this verse is warning us of the danger of greed. It’s the same message delivered by St. Paul when he wrote that “the love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Timothy 6:10). Very often, we confuse our needs with our wants and we dwell on what we don’t have rather than what we have. By doing this, we often become sad and anxious. So, what’s the solution?

I believe that incorporating thanksgiving into our prayers is a step in the right direction. While the Lord wants us to ask Him for what we need, it’s always a good idea to begin our prayers by thanking Him for the blessings that we already have. In your prayers, do you ever thank Him for giving you another day? Do you thank Him for loving you unconditionally? Do you thank Him for redeeming you? Do you thank Him for the many blessings in your life? If you’re like me, you probably forget sometimes and start right in with all of your needs. In the words of EWTN’s Mother Angelica, “God wants to hear us, but He wants to hear something more than ‘Gimme'”!

Today, let’s all try to be thankful for our blessings and make it a point to ask Jesus to help us to avoid greed. When we do this, we’re bound to be much more grateful…

and peaceful!

(Gary Zimak is a Catholic speaker and author who travels throughout the US and Canada proclaiming the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. In addition to being the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety, Gary is the author of the soon to be released book – Faith, Hope, & Clarity: How To Know God’s Will.)

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

From Fear To Faith On Catholic Answers Live!


 

Catholic Speaker and Author Gary Zimak on Catholic Answers Live with Patrick Coffin

While on a speaking tour in Southern California last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the headquarters of Catholic Answers Live. In addition to meeting many of the staff members, I got to appear on an episode of Catholic Answers Live with Patrick Coffin. Although I have appeared on the program several times in the past, this was the first time that I was able to do the show live in the studio. We discussed how to move From Fear To Faith and you can listen to the podcast at the following link:

Catholic Answers Live with guest Gary Zimak – September 12, 2014 (From Fear To Faith)

Sandy Hook – A Time For Mourning, Not Lecturing!


 

Before I begin this post, I want to make a few things clear. I am 100 percent pro-life and have written about the evils of abortion many times. In addition, I pray the rosary with a group of people each week outside of an abortion clinic. I believe, as the Catholic Church teaches, that abortion is murder. No exceptions…it is ALWAYS murder! I also believe that most people who support abortion are unaware of what takes place as unborn children are pulled from their mothers wombs. I feel that there is a great need to educate the world as to what really takes places under the guise of “the right to choose”. All things considered, however, I think it is WAY too early to compare the murders that happen legally in this country every day with the horrible crime that took place on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Twenty children (between the ages of 6-7) were gunned down at close range, 6 adults unexpectedly lost their lives and faced their judgment (quite possibly unprepared to do so), the lives of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy were shattered at a time of year when peace and joy should be the prevailing message. A community, a country and the entire world is devastated and confused, perplexed as to how God could allow this to happen.

I have been seeing way too many comments on Facebook and other social media sites that are using this tragedy as an argument for many different agendas. In my opinion, this is not the time for Planned Parenthood comparisons, statements about the need for gun control laws or criticism of President Obama for expressing outrage and sorrow for what transpired. Rather, it is a time to pray for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives. It’s a time to mourn along with those who were affected in any way by the tragedy. It’s a time to do what we can to live out our Christian faith every day, which includes loving one another. It’s also a time to remember that there is evil in the world, but that the Prince of Peace, who we are preparing to welcome can and will bring good out of that evil.

There will come a time when we should point out the need to mourn for the many children who are legally murdered every day, but it’s too soon. There will be a time to discuss gun control laws or the need to return God to public schools. However, the victims from the Sandy Hook massacre have not even been buried yet. Let’s first show some respect and compassion for those souls who passed away and for their families, many of whose lives will never be the same.

Discerning God’s Will In 3 Steps!


 

What does God want me to do?

This is a question that many of us wrestle with frequently. When I was trying to discern whether to go full time as a Catholic Evangelist, I was very happy to discover that St. Ignatius of Loyola had devised a set of guidelines for making decisions. Unfortunately, I found his recommendations to be a bit complicated. With some careful reading and the help of some other books, however, I was able to come up with a simplified version of St. Ignatius’ 3 Modes of Discernment. If you’re trying to make a decision and you truly want to do God’s Will, try these 3 steps in order. If the first one works for you, there’s no need to move on to the second. If the second one works, there’s no need to go on to the third. If you get to the third mode, keep trying…it WILL work!

Before beginning, you have to commit to three things:

1. You must be willing to choose the option that God wants, even if it’s not what you want.

2. You must desire above all to please God and your choice should reflect that desire.

3. You must immediately rule out any options which are immoral (go against Church teachings).

Now let’s look at the 3 Modes of Discernment as developed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

1. No Doubt – You positively know that one of the options is God’s Will and that you have no doubts at all. This one is hard to explain, but you understand it when it happens. It occurs when you feel completely drawn to an option and you KNOW that it’s God’s Will.

2. Heart’s Desire – Slightly more complex, this mode of discernment involves consolations (spiritual joy, love, hope in things of above) and desolations (sadness, lack of love, spiritual dryness). St Ignatius recommends that if we don’t receive clarity in the first mode (clarity beyond doubting), that we dwell on the second mode. According to St. Ignatius, the person should attentively observe “when he finds himself in consolation, to which part (which option in the choice) God moves him, and likewise when he finds himself in desolation.”

For example, if you are trying to decide between keeping your current job or accepting a new job offer, determine which job attracts you during periods of consolation. If you repeatedly feel called to keep your current job during periods of consolation, there’s a good chance that this is what God wants you to do. Additionally, during periods of desolation, you should expect to feel a call to accept the new job offer (the opposite choice). The key is to be patient (this mode of discernment could take months or even years) and look for a reoccurring pattern. Consolations and desolations are a normal part of the spiritual life and can be very useful in discerning God’s Will.

3. Pros and Cons – If the first two methods don’t reveal God’s Will, it’s time to move on to the 3rd Mode of Discernment. It’s recommended by St. Ignatius that this mode be used during periods of tranquility (when the soul is at peace and free from passions which may influence your decision).

This method involves making a list of the pros and cons of each option. These pros and cons should be spiritually based and not be based on personal preferences such as financial considerations or level of comfort. Once you create this list, the following two ways can be used to arrive at a decision:

First Way
1. Place before myself the options.
2. Without any attachments, say “whatever you want, Lord”.
3. Ask the Lord to move you toward the option that will bring Him greater glory.
4. Consider the spiritual pros and cons of each choice.
5. Make your choice.
6. Turn to the Lord and place your choice before Him, asking Him to confirm it by granting you peace.

Second Way (to be used if the first way doesn’t provide clarity)
1. Do I seek to choose solely out of love for God?
2. How would I advise a person I’ve never met before if they were faced with the same choice?
3. Which option would I choose at the moment of my death?
4. On the day of my judgment, which option do I wish I had chosen?
5. Make your choice.
6. Ask the Lord to confirm your choice.

Please remember that discernment can be a complicated process and can take a long time to unfold. Be patient and make it a point to frequently meditate on the Gospels. In addition, a spiritual director or a trusted friend can be very valuable in the discernment process.

I have tried to simplify the principles of Saint Ignatius so that they can be a little less intimidating. For more information, I suggest reading the following books:

Discerning the Will of God by Fr. Timothy Gallagher

How to Listen When God Is Speaking by Fr. Mitch Pacwa

Dear Lord…Thank You For My Enemies!

 

For the most part, people who read my blog care about becoming more spiritual. If I had to guess, I’d say that the vast majority of my readers are just like me…Catholics who want to learn more about the Church’s teachings and grow closer to Christ. Despite wanting to follow the Lord’s commands, however, some of us tend to struggle with pride and often have a bit of a short fuse. Speaking for myself, there are times when I conveniently overlook (or even ignore) some of the core teachings of Jesus Christ because of my pride. In my opinion, one of the Lord’s most difficult teachings is the following:

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

The words of Christ are clear and there’s really no wiggle room…He’s telling us to love not just those who love us back, not just those who ignore us, not just those who annoy us, but OUR ENEMIES! That means those who threaten us, insult us, curse at us and even want to harm us physically. That’s a really powerful and challenging commandment. It’s also one I fail at (to some degree) every day and I know I’m not alone. If we’re going to get to Heaven, however, this is a command that we’re going to have to understand and follow. Rather than look at this challenge negatively, let’s turn the tables and address it in a more positive way. As crazy as it sounds, I propose that we learn to thank God for our enemies. Once we begin to do so, we’ll find it a lot easier to love them. Why should we be thankful for our enemies?

They Allow Us To Be More Like Christ – As Christians, we should be striving to imitate Jesus at all times. Reading through the Bible will remind us of just how many enemies He had. His teaching was rejected, He was thrown out of towns, He was threatened and challenged, and finally, He was humiliated, tortured and put to death. By experiencing rejection and hatred, we can share in Our Lord’s suffering and understand some of what He experienced. Without enemies, this would not be possible.

They Let Us Love As Jesus Loved – Can you imagine enduring what Jesus went through and still being able to say, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)? To a lesser degree, every time we love someone who offends us, we love as Christ loved. When we forgive those who offend us, we imitate Jesus.

They Help Us Conquer Our Pride – I like to be “right”, especially when someone tells me that I’m “wrong”. When challenged about a variety of issues, I have a tendency to want to win the argument. Often that desire (even when trying to defend the Faith) causes me to fall into sin. By learning to walk away and let someone else “win”, I become a bit more humble. Now, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t proclaim the truth – not at all! We should (especially when it comes to the teachings of the Church), but we must always keep in mind that our words aren’t responsible for converting others. Rather, it’s the work of the Holy Spirit. If we plant some seeds and get rejected, that’s OK. We did our job…God will do the rest.

They Remind Us Of God’s Mercy – When people attack me, I remember all of the times that I attacked others. Throughout my life, I’ve treated many people unfairly. My words and actions have often be hurtful and offensive. I’ve been sarcastic and arrogant. But, in spite of it all, Jesus never stopped loving me and was always ready to forgive me. I should do the same for others.

They Are Often Right – Although it can be sheer torture, the accusations and insults of our enemies often open our eyes to the fact that we’re wrong. We can become so blinded by our sinful habits that we don’t even notice them. Sincerely listening to the words of our enemies, even though they may sting, can make us see that we need to make some changes in our lives. That is an invaluable gift.

Loving our enemies is challenging, but is necessary if we expect to get to Heaven. With God’s grace and by learning to appreciate their presence in our lives, we can better live our Catholic Faith and be an example to those around us. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to have enemies!