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Doing God’s Will Doesn’t Have To Feel Good!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses the fact that it doesn't always feel good to do God's will

“Father, if you are willing, remove this chalice from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

In the course of my travels, I have met many people who genuinely desire to follow God’s will. Many of those same individuals, however, are concerned that they aren’t doing a good job with the task. Do you know why they are concerned? It’s primarily because they don’t “feel” like doing what God wants. Let’s be honest, my friends…enduring suffering, reaching out to those in need, stepping out of our comfort zone and forgiving people who have hurt is generally doesn’t “feel” good. What we need to remember, however, is that a desire to do God’s will has nothing to do with feelings. Rather, it is a conscious decision.

When Jesus asked His Father to let the suffering pass Him by, He was expressing natural human feelings. The Lord could have suppressed these feelings, but He chose not to. By doing so, He reminds us that it’s perfectly acceptable to dislike suffering and to ask God to remove it from our lives. In spite of that aversion to suffering, however, Jesus chose to consciously submit to His Father’s will. Instantly, a feeling of fear was transformed into an act of obedience and love.

Back in the days when our twins were babies, my wife and I didn’t exactly plead with one another for the chance to feed them when they woke up in the night. Even though we loved Mary and Elizabeth, neither one of us “felt” like waking up to comfort them. While it didn’t “feel” good, we did it because we loved them and it was God’s will that we tend to the needs of our children. Despite what we may hear or believe, love isn’t necessarily a feeling. While there are often emotional feelings associated with love, it is primarily a decision. We can choose to love someone, even if we don’t “feel” like it. Submitting to God’s will when we don’t “feel” like it is a great way of expressing our love for Him.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t always enjoy doing God’s will. Sometimes it’s not fun for me either and it certainly wasn’t always fun for Jesus. Doing God’s will isn’t about feelings…

It’s about LOVE!

Lent Doesn’t Have To Be Painful


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak explains the meaning of Lent

I used to cringe every time Lent rolled around. Actually, I should qualify that statement. Once I started trying to become a better Catholic, I used to cringe every time Lent rolled around. Before that, I just ignored it. Sure, I gave up candy when I was a child, but I stopped doing that when I “grew up”. Eventually I realized my mistake and I learned to “pick up my cross” each Lent. I would generally give up my beloved desserts and it was PAINFUL! And that pain increased as the Lenten season progressed. It wouldn’t be unusual to find me at a convenience store drooling over the pastry display, counting the days until Easter! I know it sounds silly, but it’s a realistic look at my typical Lenten practice. I suspect you may be like me and have a similar story to share. Fortunately, I have good news for you. Lent doesn’t have to be painful!

Our main objective during Lent should be growing closer to Jesus. If we keep that in mind, any suffering that we endure will be outweighed by the sweetness of a close personal relationship with Christ. While there is always some pain involved when we give up something that we enjoy, that pain can be wiped away by the joy experienced when we are close to the Lord. During Lent, the Church encourages us to turn over a new leaf and to become better Christians. We are urged to repent, fast, pray and give alms. As a result, we move away from our sinful ways and grow closer to the Lord. I know that it sounds painful, but that’s the paradox of Christianity. If we are close to Jesus and cooperate with the grace that He gives us, our pain and suffering can be transformed into peace. That’s the effect of a personal encounter with the Lord!

I invite you to join me in the Lenten Radio Retreat that I am leading on my nightly Internet Radio Show. Every Monday thru Friday for the duration of Lent, I’ll read an excerpt from Fr. Larry Richard’s book, “Surrender: The Life Changing Power Of Doing God’s Will“, read and discuss the daily Mass readings and share a series of short (but POWERFUL) meditations entitled “Lenten Lollipops” (from the book of the same name by Fr. Francis Boylan).

Make no mistake about the fact that it won’t be all fun and games. We’ll look at our sinfulness, repent and fast. More importantly, however, we’ll work on growing closer to Jesus during this Lenten season. And that, my friends, will take the sting out of the process. None of us are guaranteed to have another Lent. Let’s make this one count. Together, we can take advantage of this opportunity to grow in holiness. Why not tune in to our Lenten Radio Retreat and give it a try?

“Make this Lent as if it were your first Lent, your last Lent; as if it were to be the only Lent in your lives.” (Fr. Francis Boylan, Lenten Lollipops)