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Son Rise Morning Show

Suffering Doesn’t Last, But Heaven Does!

 

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:

“So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” (John 16:22)

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses the fact that all suffering is temporary on The Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio

There’s no doubt that suffering is a painful experience. What can make it even more painful, however, is the thought that it may not come to an end. We have all experienced the pain that comes from traffic jams, bad weather, stomach bugs and boring meetings. While none of these situations are fun, we can deal with them because we know that they are temporary. Jesus suffered tremendously on the cross. He also knew that His followers would be sorrowful as the events of His passion unfolded. As a result, He spoke these words as a reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you are suffering, always remember that it is a temporary situation. Your pain will either go away in this life or when you die. There is no suffering in Heaven. In the meantime, although it may be difficult, make it a point to offer up your suffering. When united with the suffering of Christ, your pain can produce an abundance of fruit. The Lord will take all of the suffering that you give Him and use it to save souls. That thought alone can ease your agony as it gives meaning to your pain.

Suffering doesn’t last, but Heaven does. Keep your eye on the prize and always stay close to the Lord. One day you’ll know what it’s like to live with Him forever in a place where there is no suffering!

(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.)

Proof That God Never Lets Us Suffer Alone…

 

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:

And as they led Him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak discusses suffering on the EWTN Son Rise Morning Show

Suffering can be a great source of anxiety. An even greater source of anxiety can be the fear of suffering. This generally happens because we don’t think that we’ll be able to handle the pain involved. As we can see in the above Bible verse, God will provide a way for us to get through any situation that we can ever face.

Jesus had an extremely difficult and painful task to accomplish on Calvary, but He had to get there first. After being scourged and losing much blood, it wasn’t easy for Him to carry a heavy cross. Fearing that He would die before they had the chance to crucify Him, the authorities forced Simon of Cyrene to assist Him in carrying the cross. As a result, Jesus reached His destination and was able to redeem us.

If you are suffering, rest assured that there is a Simon of Cyrene headed your way. It may be in the form of a person, it may be the grace you need to keep going, or it may be a combination of both. It’s also possible that you are being called to be the Simon of Cyrene for someone else. The bottom line is that the Lord never gives anyone a cross that’s too heavy to carry.

Lord, help me to carry the crosses in my life and please use me as the Simon of Cyrene in the lives of others. Amen.

(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.)

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.)

Do You Worry? Jesus Has A Question For You…

 

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 Gary Zimak discusses a question posed by Jesus which reminds us that worry is useless

“And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?” (Luke 12:25)

Good question, isn’t it? The words of Jesus remind us that worry is useless. It doesn’t help us at all. Instead of choosing to worry, doesn’t it make sense to say a prayer instead, or to do what we can to fix the problem? Although it can be difficult, we can train ourselves to break the worrying habit.

Today, let’s do our best to remember Jesus’ question and turn to prayer instead of worrying. Even though you still might feel anxious, you’ll be on your way to achieving greater peace in your life and you’ll be following the Lord’s instructions.

Give it a try and let me know what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

(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.)

Change Is A Part Of Life, But One Thing Never Changes…

 

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 Gary Zimak shares his weekly Bible verse on The Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio.

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my mercy shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

It’s very easy for us to forget just how much the Lord loves us, especially when we’re faced with many problems. As we struggle to deal with change and suffering in our lives, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that Jesus is right with us. This verse acknowledges a few important facts:

1. Change is a part of life.

2. The Lord cares about us.

3. He wants us to turn to Him daily and He will share the gift of peace with us.

4. His offer will never expire or be revoked.

Today, as you struggle to deal with the difficulties in your life, make it a point to turn to Jesus and ask for help. I guarantee that He won’t let you down!

Catholic speaker and retreat leader Gary Zimak announces the annual Lenten Radio Retreat which begins on February 18 on Blogtalkradio

Guess What God Wants Us To Do When We’re Anxious Or Worried?

 

Catholic Speaker and Author Gary Zimak appears each Wednesday on EWTN Radio's The Son Rise Morning Show with his series Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Here’s the verse I shared on my weekly “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” segment on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show today…

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7)

When we’re anxious or feeling like we’re not in control, we sometimes think that worrying is our only option. Not true! In this powerful verse, St. Peter reminds us to give our anxieties to the Lord because He cares about us. Wow! No matter what you’re going through today, make it a point to give it to the Lord. He doesn’t want you to be anxious. He wants you to turn to Him because He loves you.

Give it a try and see what happens!

Here’s Proof That When We Ask, God Answers!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses how God answers our requests

Earlier today on my weekly “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled” segment on EWTN Radio’s Son Rise Morning Show, I discussed a powerful Bible verse. What I love about this verse is that it’s very simple, but contains an incredibly important message:

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Don’t make the mistake of dismissing the Lord’s words as fluff or just something addressed to a particular person in a specific situation thousands of years ago. These words are addressed to you! God is assuring you that if you ask Him a question, you will receive an answer. Every day I’m faced with a series of decisions that I have to make. Some are trivial, but some are important – especially in God’s eyes. How do I know what He wants me to do? These words are proof that if I ask for help, He will respond. But what about those times when He seems to be silent? You know as well as I do that there are times when the Lord doesn’t seem to respond to our cries for help. Is He really ignoring us or are we not listening?

The prophet Jeremiah did not have it easy. In fact, when the Lord spoke the above words to Jeremiah, he was sitting in prison! King Zedekiah didn’t like one of the prophet’s previous messages (given to him directly by the Lord) and decided to throw him in jail. While that appears to be a nasty outcome for Jeremiah, it actually made it easier for him to hear God speak. When you’re in jail, you have a lot more time to hear the Lord’s voice and you’re anxious to do so! What’s the lesson for us? If you want to hear God speak to you, make sure you spend time listening. As Fr. Larry Richard’s so “eloquently” puts it, “Shut up and listen!” We’re never going to hear the Lord speak unless we give Him a chance.

While there’s much more that I can say about this topic (and I will soon…see below), here’s the message we can take away from the Lord’s words to Jeremiah (and to us):

1. If you want to know what God wants you to do in a given situation, ask Him. He will answer!

2. Give Him a chance to respond by spending time in silent prayer (in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, if possible).

3. If you don’t hear anything, be patient. He may not want you to do anything right now.

4. Keep asking Him for direction. The Lord likes us to stay in contact with Him and often helps us to remain engaged.

5. If God wants you to do something, He will eventually let you know what it is. Don’t get frustrated. As much as it drives us crazy, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

I’ll have much more advice about this topic in my new book Faith, Hope and Clarity: How To Know God’s Will (coming in May, 2015). Click HERE for more information or to pre-order.

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!

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!

Listening To Mary’s Voice – Part 6 (The Wedding At Cana)

 

“They have no wine.” (John 2:3)

As I continue with Part of 6 of my 7-part series on Mary’s words in Scripture, the scene shifts to the wedding at Cana. Previously we’ve been looking at Mary’s words as recorded by Saint Luke, but now we’ll focus on Saint John’s writing. When the wine ran out at the wedding, Mary’s four words leave us with a powerful message. More importantly, it was her words that led to Jesus performing His first miracle!

Do you really think Jesus needed to be told of the wine shortage? Since He was omniscient, wouldn’t He already know? There must be a reason that Mary is featured so prominently in this story. In fact, her prominence can be seen at the very start of this story. In what seems like an oddity, Mary is actually listed BEFORE Jesus in the list of guests!

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. (John 2:1-2)

St. John’s detail oriented nature leads us to believe that his ordering of guests is designed to call attention to Mary’s presence at the feast. He wants us to realize that she was present for a reason and that her actions and words are important. That said, why was she there and what could be the purpose of her pointing out the obvious?

An insight into the importance of Mary’s role can be derived by looking at the format of St. John’s Gospel. Immediately, one can observe a strong parallel with the Book of Genesis. Just as in Genesis, John’s Gospel starts with “in the beginning” (Jn 1:1). We then see a series of three “the next day’s” followed by the announcement of the wedding at Cana “on the 3rd day” (Jn 2:1). Some simple arithmetic allow us to deduce that the wedding feast took place on the seventh day, which calls to mind the end of the creation narrative referred to in the Book of Genesis. As our minds are focused on the first book of the Bible (most likely intentionally, as John didn’t include extraneous details), we can’t help but recall the story of the first woman (Eve) who led the first man (Adam) to sin by offering him the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:6). Interestingly enough, in the wedding at Cana, we see a strong parallel IN REVERSE! Unlike Eve, who led Adam to sin thus causing the gates of Heaven to be closed, we see Mary (sometimes referred to as the new Eve) leading Jesus (the new Adam) to perform His first miracle and inaugurate the NEW creation story. Jesus’ mission was to OPEN the gates of Heaven, previously locked by man’s disobedience. If the above parallels are not enough, the fact that Jesus called His mother “woman” (Jn 2:4), solidifies the comparison to Eve and the Book of Genesis.

Another thing that stands out is Mary’s awareness of the situation and her willingness to help. She was obviously paying attention to the happenings at the wedding and, by doing so, noticed the problem (quite possibly, even before the bride and groom). Once she saw that there was an issue, Mary didn’t try to solve it by herself or dispatch one of the disciples to obtain more wine. Instead, she went to Jesus and pointed out the problem. She didn’t demand anything, she didn’t give Him any extraneous details, she simply pointed out that the wine had run dry. In the same way, Mary is watching each of our lives and guess what happens when she notices a problem? You bet…she goes to her Son! In his only Marian encyclical, Blessed Pope John Paul II reflected on the importance of Mary’s role at Cana and in each of our lives:

At Cana in Galilee there is shown only one concrete aspect of human need, apparently a small one of little importance (“They have no wine”). But it has a symbolic value: this coming to the aid of human needs means, at the same time, bringing those needs within the radius of Christ’s messianic mission and salvific power. Thus there is a mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of their wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle,” that is to say she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as mother. She knows that as such she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she “has the right” to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary “intercedes” for mankind. (Blessed Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater)

Next week I’ll look at Mary’s final words in Sacred Scripture, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).