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Summary Of Advent Radio Retreat


 

Congratulations! You made it through the Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat. During the busiest time of the year, you set aside one hour each night (or most nights, anyway) to focus on putting Jesus first in your life. Not only is that a great accomplishment, but it’s something that made the Lord very happy. You should feel very good about that. Let’s briefly review what we learned and, more importantly, let’s look at where we go from here.

According to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Lord should come first in our lives and everything else should be second. During the retreat, we focused on several obstacles that keep that from happening. I reviewed each of these obstacles in the last newsletter, so now let’s look at what we can do to live what we learned in the retreat.

1. Trust – We can trust the Lord by patiently accepting everything that happens to us. Although this isn’t easy (especially if we like to be in control), it’s a great way to console the heart of Jesus. A great prayer for this is, “O Jesus, I surrender this to you. You take care of it”.

2. Acts Of Mercy – Every time we do this we console the heart of Jesus. Fr. Gaitley mentioned 3 ways that these acts of mercy can be performed:

Deed – Do kind deeds for others.
Word – Offer kind words to others.
Prayer – Pray for others.

3. Pray Daily – Even if it’s only for a few minutes, we need to get into the habit of speaking to Jesus every day. Obviously, the more you pray, the closer you’ll get to the Lord. Therefore, I recommend that you try to pray as much as possible, but don’t set unrealistic goals. Two hours of daily prayer for a busy person is not realistic. Try to get into the habit of speaking to Jesus throughout the day, especially during the Hour of Mercy (3 – 4 PM).

4. Receive The Sacraments – Make an effort to receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession as frequently as possible. You will not only console the heart of Jesus, but you will receive many graces!

5. Spiritual Reading – We should get into the habit of doing some spiritual reading each day. Be realistic when setting your goals. If you’re not used to this, start out with 15 minutes a day. The Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are a great place to start.

Finally, as a sign of your commitment and a reminder of reminder of what we learned, Fr. Gaitley recommends that you print and sign the following pledge:

I_____________________________, on this day ______________ , choose as my principle and foundation to console the Heart of Jesus. Dear Jesus, relying on your grace and the prayers of Mary and of all the angels and saints, I will strive to keep before my eyes the deep sorrow of your Heart and respond, with Mary, by consoling you in the following two ways: First, I will give you my trust. Jesus, I trust in you. I will try not to be afraid of going to you as I am (ecce), even when my sins and weaknesses weigh heavily upon me. With an open heart, I choose to accept your mercy (fiat), even all that mercy other souls reject. Finally, I will do my best to praise and thank you in all things (magnificat), even when you give me the privilege of sharing in your Cross. Second, I will strive to show mercy to my neighbor through my deeds, words, and prayers, remembering that by consoling others, I am also consoling you. Heavenly Father, for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of your Son, I beg you: Send forth your Holy Spirit to help me fulfill this choice.

It has been a great honor to lead this Advent Radio Retreat and I hope you’ll be able to continue listening to Following The Truth on BlogTalkRadio. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please EMAIL ME. Thank you and may God bless you!

In Christ,
Gary

Advent Is Coming…Get Ready To Get Ready!


 

“We know that there are three comings of the Lord. The third lies between the other two. It is invisible, while the other two are visible. In the first coming he was seen on earth, dwelling among men; he himself testifies that they saw him and hated him. In the final coming all flesh will see the salvation of our God, and they will look on him whom they pierced. The intermediate coming is a hidden one; in it only the elect see the Lord within their own selves, and they are saved. In his first coming our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; in this middle coming he comes in spirit and in power; in the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty.” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

Often times we’re too “busy” for spiritual matters, especially during the Christmas season. We’ve got presents to buy, parties to attend, greeting cards to mail and lots of things to do before Christmas. Although the Church tells us that Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation, we tell ourselves that it’s really a figurative preparation. After all, Jesus was already born two thousand years ago. And while we acknowledge that He will come again in glory at the end of the world, we generally assume that it won’t be for a while.

In the above excerpt from one of his sermons, St. Bernard of Clairvaux reminds us of another coming of Christ. It is one that lies between the other two and it’s every bit as real. Unlike the other two comings, however, it is one that we can reject. It is the coming of Christ into our hearts. Are you prepared to welcome him into your heart? That’s what Advent is all about!

Back by popular demand, the annual Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat will begin on Monday, December 2nd! As in years past, we’ll journey together as we prepare to welcome Christ into our hearts. Each night on my BlogTalkRadio program, I’ll offer meditations designed to help you grow closer to the Lord. In addition, I’ll read and discuss the daily Mass Readings. If you would like to participate in the retreat and receive the weekly email summaries, enter your email address in the following form. Once you register, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your registration. Do not skip this step, as it’s necessary if you wish to receive the email updates.

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This year, we’ll be using the popular book by Fr. Michael Gaitley, Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat- Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
. You can order the book by going to the following link:

Advent is almost upon us. It is a time of preparing to welcome Jesus more deeply into our lives. He is knocking on the door of your heart. Will you answer?

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

(You can listen to the 2013 Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat HERE.)

Following The Truth Advent Retreat To Begin On December 2nd!


 

It’s that time again!

Back by popular demand, the annual Following The Truth Advent Radio Retreat will begin on Monday, December 2nd! As in years past, we’ll journey together as we prepare to welcome Christ into our hearts. Each night on my BlogTalkRadio program, I’ll offer meditations designed to help you grow closer to the Lord. In addition, I’ll read and discuss the daily Mass Readings.

This year, we’ll be using the popular book by Fr. Michael Gaitley, Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat- Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
. You can order the book by going to the link at the bottom of this post.

Get ready…it’s going to be GREAT!

An Unlikely Bible Verse To Calm Your Nerves


 

This week on my Son Rise Morning Show feature, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” (You can listen to the podcast HERE), I discussed a very popular Bible verse:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16)

Who doesn’t know that verse, right? We see it on greeting cards and on signs at football games and hear it proclaimed by televangelists. And while it may be the most familiar verse in the Bible, however, you may wonder what it has to do with anxiety. In reality, it is a GREAT verse for calming our nerves and helping us to remember that God is in charge. Here are a few reasons why…

1. If God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to redeem you, don’t you think that He loves you enough to care about your personal problems?

2. Looking at the big picture (which is sometimes difficult), Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection makes it possible for each one of us to live forever in Heaven with NO PROBLEMS OR SUFFERING. What a sweet deal!

3. All we have to do is BELIEVE in Him and OBEY His commandments (don’t forget this part) and that possibility (of eternal life) will become a reality!

I recommend that you spend some time meditating on this verse, especially if you’re worried or suffering. Remember that God loves you and He knows what you’re going through. If He’s allowing you to suffer, know that some good will come out of that suffering. Remind yourself that He’s right there with you. Recall the fact that one day your earthly problems will be gone and that you’ll have the chance to live with Him in Heaven…FOREVER!

That should be enough to get you through even the most difficult struggles!

Listen to Gary Zimak’s “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” segment every Wednesday at 6:35 AM Eastern on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show. Based on his book, A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible, each week Gary presents a verse that will help you to break free from worrying!

Good News For All You “Worriers”


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak will appear each week on EWTN Radio to discuss how to overcome anxiety

Beginning on Wednesday, September 25th, I’ll be joining Brian Patrick for a new weekly series on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show:

“Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”

Each Wednesday at 6:35 AM Eastern, Brian and I will discuss a Bible verse designed to help you overcome the worrying habit. If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that God doesn’t want us to worry. Tune in each week for some Biblical “medicine” designed to help you to experience His peace. If you know any other “worriers”, please spread the word. Be sure to tune in this Wednesday for the initial segment. The only thing you have to lose is…

your anxiety!

Print Version

Kindle Version

New Format For Following The Truth Radio Show


 

As the Lenten Radio Retreat draws to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes to announce the NEW daily themes for Following The Truth on BlogTalkRadio. The show will still air Monday – Friday at 8 PM Eastern, but the daily themes will be changing. Starting on April 2nd, here’s what you can expect when you tune into the show. Please let your friends know about the program. It’s an easy way to get to know Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church without leaving your home!

Your Comments About The Lenten Radio Retreat


 

I thought you might enjoy hearing what people have been saying about the Following The Truth Lenten Radio Retreat. When you read these comments, it’s obvious that the Holy Spirit is at work!

I originally signed up for your retreat because I do fear so many things and have for several years. But I love your retreat because the things you focus on seem to go so much deeper than that, although I realize that this is exactly how you overcome the fears. Gotta get on with my day but know that I have gotten so much out of your retreat.

Listening to your retreat talks has opened a new way of looking at the “what if’s” in my life, especially at this time with my husband’s cancer. Every day the devil uses tools on me like: I should be doing more to help him or you are going to be so lonesome if something happens to him. I listened to a short talk today on your archives of a show on the 5 ways to help the troubled heart. You’re so right that during this Lenten retreat (and after) we will get to know God in such a way as never before. I feel like i have a new friend that I can talk to. Thank you for being who you are and sharing with us your love for God.

I have to say thank you again so very much for the work you do and especially this retreat. I have to admit, I feel God more these days; I suppose I am more aware of His presence and my need to rely on Him when I am in need.I also have to thank you once again for the examination of conscience. I am still feeling the graces of confession (almost a whole week later!) By the grace of God, I am more aware of my failings but find myself relying on His grace more to get through the difficult moments when all I want to do is give up. I’ll admit I’ve fallen in the last week since confession but through prayer and God’s grace, I am able to focus again on the Lord and drown out the voice of the evil one who delights in my failures.

I’ve been following the retreat from day 1. Thanks to your encouragement. I went to reconciliation last week. It had been over a year since my last one. The retreat has been a great tool for this Lenten season. When I get paid, I plan on making a donation. God Bless!

Thank you for your work, especially your show!

I am Indonesian now living in China. I just start listen to your podcast. Please subscribe me to the mailing list as u mentioned in your podcasts. Thank you for all what you do. God bless u.

My negative comment was going to be “I just listened to your show on root sins and realized that I’m a horrible person!” but maybe it could be a positive instead, so let me try again: I just listened to your show on root sins, and I’m going to take all that to my next confession and hopefully dig up some of the smaller rocks (to use the analogy of the farmer moving rocks so he could sow the soil). Really, that was a tough show. I had a suspicion about my root sin but when I found myself tearfully saying “yes, yes, yes” to every single question in that category, I knew it for sure. I have had a hard time making a clear examination of conscience and lately I have felt like there is a hard shell around my innermost sins and I can’t quite get to them. (I do hope that makes sense, it’s hard to put into words.) If I could just break through that hard shell – caused by ignorance of my root sin and the snares I’ve fallen into because of it – I could make a very clear examination of conscience and a great confession. I rarely leave the confessional with that “whew, what a load off” feeling that I used to get and maybe now I know why. I know you said that show would be difficult, but maybe I didn’t completely believe you! It really was rough, but I am extremely grateful that I heard it, and even more grateful that I can listen to it again if I need to in order to help it really sink in. I added the book you were using to my Amazon wish list. I need to set up my keyboard so when I push a single button, it will type out “thanks again for a great show,” because I think I might be saying it a lot more! 🙂

I just want to say, thank you once again for your show. Although today’s show was painful not because I didn’t know I am a sinner but because it breaks my heart to know that I have failed him who I profess to love above all, so much. Please keep me in your prayers as I struggle each day to ignore the devil and open my heart more and more to the Lord (I feel the devil has really been on my tail lately for some reason).

Your show on Day 7 was fascinating. I have heard a lot about finding your predominate fault, or as I’ve heard it called, your “root sin,” and I honestly couldn’t figure out if it was a real Catholic thing or if it was just another thing to be scrupulous about. The way you described it FINALLY made it click for me after learning about it last year. Thank you!

Pretty powerful, isn’t it? I’d like to thank all of you for participating in this effort. Hang in there, because the best is yet to come! This week we’ve started to look at how to conquer our bad habits. If you haven’t joined in yet, it’s still not too late. Just tune in to Following The Truth on BlogTalkRadio at 8 PM Eastern to get started. You can also listen to current or previously aired podcasts at your convenience. There’s still time to make this Lent a VERY productive one!

Some Info About Our Lenten Retreat


 

I promised that I would provide those of you who are taking part in the Lenten Retreat with some info so here you are…

Dan Burke’s excellent book, Navigating The Interior Life

Here’s a link to the Examination of Conscience used on Friday’s show:

http://www.catholicparents.org/oxcart/Examination%20of%20Conscience.pdf

The opening theme song for Following The Truth is “Jesus Christ Is Lord” by Renee Bondi. Her website is:

https://www.reneebondi.com/

The Facebook group Lenten Retreat created by our friend Monica can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/154617231359643/?ref=ts&fref=ts

My Daily Bread (the book that I’m using for the retreat) can be purchased from the following sites. While I have no affiliation with any of these sites, I have personally ordered from each of them and experienced no problems. It’s not necessary that you purchase the book, but you will definitely benefit from it (either now or after the retreat is over).


http://www.ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com/MY+DAILY+BREAD/shop.axd/ProductDetails?x=0&y=0&keywords=my+daily+bread&edp_no=1469

http://www.catholicfreeshipping.com/gensym-152.html

http://www.confraternitypb.org/books.html

Hope this helps!

New Themes For The Following The Truth Radio Show!


 

As we prepare to welcome the new year, there are some changes in the works for the Following The Truth radio program. Designed to help you get the most out of the Year of Faith, these new themes will help set you on fire for your Catholic Faith!

For those who are not familiar with the show, Following The Truth (with Gary Zimak) airs each Monday – Friday at 8 PM Eastern on BlogTalkRadio. Once the show airs, all podcasts are available (free of charge) in the BlogTalkRadio On Demand Archives and on iTunes. Adhering to the “2 S’s” (Simple and Substantial), Gary strives to present the AUTHENTIC teachings of the Catholic Church in an entertaining and understandable way.

Before discussing the changes, one thing that will not change is the reading and discussion of the daily Mass readings. This is an important feature of the show and will remain as is. The new themes for each day are as follows:

Monday (What Catholics Really Believe) – A basic discussion of the teachings of the Catholic Faith, direct from the Catechism, Vatican documents and other reliable sources.

Tuesday (The People of the Gospels) – The Gospels are filled with many interesting people. Each week, we’ll look at a different one. John the Baptist, Nicodemus, the Rich Young Man, the Ten Lepers, and many more individuals will be discussed in depth.

Wednesday (Imitating Christ) – One of the most important things that the Holy Father wants us to do in this Year of Faith is to LIVE the Faith. There is no better way to do this than to imitate Christ. Every Wednesday, Gary will reflect on a passage from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. If you’re not familiar with this book, you’ll be astonished by its clear and profound teaching. Be prepared to be challenged!

Thursday (Listen To Your Mother) – Mary is the model Christian and has a message that she’d like to share with us. Each week, Gary will discuss a different APPROVED Marian apparition. By listening to Our Lady’s message, we’ll be able to better live our Catholic Faith!

Friday (Double Header) – Fridays are BIG days on Following The Truth. In the first half of the show, we’ll look at the “Greatest Stories Ever Told” – the parables of Jesus. These simple stories were designed to help us better understand Our Lord’s teaching and we’ll discuss a different one each week. In the second half, the Mass Readings for the upcoming Sunday will be read and discussed. God speaks directly to us through the Bible and this feature will help you better prepare to receive His message.

2013 promises to be an exciting year for Following The Truth. The new format begins on Wednesday, January 2nd. Be sure to tune in and let your friends know!

What Is God Calling YOU To Do?


 

“I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God’s counsels, in God’s world, which no one else has…God knows me and calls me by name.” (Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman)

Do you believe this? You should, because it’s true. Each one of us has been given unique gifts and called by the Lord to play a specific role in the world. What does God want YOU to accomplish? What are YOUR gifts?

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern on Following The Truth on BlogTalkRadio, I’ll continue my discussion on this important topic. I hope you can tune in. If you neglect to discern your special mission, the world will be missing something!