Rotating Header Image

suffering

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.

A Catholic Retreat For Those Who Worry!

 

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.

This retreat will allow you to encounter Jesus in a deep and personal way. We will meet Him in the Sacraments and Sacred Scripture. We’ll grow closer to the Blessed Mother. I will share simple and practical ways which have allowed me to break free from worrying. Here is the schedule for the weekend:

FRIDAY NIGHT
5:00 Registration
6:45 Dinner
7:30 Welcome
8:15 Conference #1 Getting Personal With Jesus
9:00 Celebration of the Eucharist: Priest provided

SATURDAY
7:00 Rise
7:40 Morning Prayer
8:00 Breakfast.
9:15 Conference #2 From Fear To Faith
10:15 Reconciliation Service Leader & Confessors are provided for individual confessions
11:30 Way of the Cross (Private – Using the outside Stations provided along the pathways)
12:15 Lunch
1:30 Conference #3 What If Mary Said, “No”?
2:30 Small Group Discussion
3:15 Break
3:45 Questions and Comments
4:30 Break
4:45 Celebration of the Eucharist: Priest provided
5:45 Dinner
7:30 Conference #4 You Can’t Walk On Water If You’re Sitting In The Boat!
8:30 TBD
9:30 Coffee & Danish

SUNDAY MORNING
7:00 Rise
7:30 Morning Prayer
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Conference #5 What Does God Want Me To Do?
10:30 Faith Sharing
11:00 Celebration of the Eucharist (Rector of Malvern as celebrant)

My presentations will include:

1. 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.

2. From Fear To Faith – Are you tired of worrying? After struggling to overcome anxiety for many years, Gary Zimak has learned that Jesus Christ can help us to win this battle. In this talk, based on his best-selling books A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible and From Fear To Faith, Gary will share his step by step approach for breaking free from worry by encountering Christ in His Church.

3. What If Mary Said “No”? – We often assume that Mary had to say “yes” when asked to become the Mother of the Savior. In reality, the Blessed Mother’s assent was a conscious choice on her part. In this talk, based on Gary’s book, Listen To Your Blessed Mother, we’ll look closely at Mary’s life and learn how to imitate her constant “yes” to the Lord. You’ll also discover how Mary can lead you closer to Jesus than you ever thought possible.

4. 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!

5. What Does God Want Me To Do? – As someone who went from a secure career as a project analyst to an uncertain future as a Catholic lay evangelist, Gary knows what it takes to discern God’s will. How do I know what the Lord is calling me to do? How can I learn to hear Him speak in a noisy world? How can I learn to trust in His providence? All these questions (and more) will be answered in this talk, based on Gary’s own personal journey and detailed in his book Faith, Hope, And Clarity: How To Know God’s Will. You’ll learn that it is possible to hear God speak and experience peace in the midst of uncertainty. This peace can be experienced only by surrendering to the Lord’s will.

This retreat is open to both men and women and is designed to help you to finally break away from worrying by growing closer to the Lord. We will be staying in the beautiful Family Life Center (A one-story facility with 50 air-conditioned rooms with private baths for individuals, couples and family members. Each room has a double bed and a single bed and a private bath. Four rooms are fitted for wheelchair accommodation, and contain one double bed).The cost for the weekend retreat (including meals and lodging) is only $225. 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 VERY limited (100 people), 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

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.

Jesus Suffered For You. Here’s How You Can Comfort Him

 

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

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak discusses how we can help Jesus in His agony in the garden

Today is the anniversary of a sad episode in the life of Christ:

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:36-46)

While the worst was certainly yet to come, Jesus was deserted by His closest friends when He needed them the most. Sad, isn’t it? All He asked them to do was to keep Him company in His agony. We all know that feeling. The companionship of a close friend when we are suffering can make the difference between hope and despair. Those of us who have lost loved ones know this feeling well. The fact that our friends are with us is more important than what they say.

You have an advantage over the sleeping apostles in that you know what would happen to Jesus the next day. They didn’t fully understand what would be taking place over the next few days. Maybe if they did they would have stayed awake. Don’t you wish you could go back in time and comfort the Lord in His hour of need?

You can!

Because Jesus is God, He is aware of all past and future events. As a result, while He was in Gethsemane, He knew everything that you would ever do. Unfortunately, this means that all of our sins contributed to His agony. On the other hand, He was also able to see all of our good acts as well. Although it can be difficult to grasp this concept, any act of kindness you direct to Jesus today was foreseen by Him as He suffered in the garden two thousand years ago. How’s that for powerful?

Today, you have the opportunity to comfort Jesus. You can spend time with Him in prayer, sit with Him in Eucharistic adoration, accept your suffering patiently, be kind to others or read Scripture. We aren’t being asked to change the course of history, but simply to spend time with Him. Peter, James and John fell asleep and missed their chance…

Will you fall asleep too?

(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.)

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.)

Here’s The Secret To Get You Through Any Problem Imaginable…

 

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

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak discusses the joy of heaven on his Be Not Afraid segment on Catholic Community radio in Louisiana

Here’s the Bible verse that I shared on my weekly Be Not Afraid segment on Catholic Community Radio‘s Wake Up! program this morning:

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)

There’s no doubt that we will encounter problems and suffering in this life. Some of our suffering will be big and some will be small. No matter how hard we try to escape, it’s inevitable that we will face some form of suffering every day. Even minor problems such as traffic jams, cold weather (it’s currently 3 degrees as I write this) and tiredness are all forms of suffering. There is something that every form of suffering has in common, however…

It will not last forever!

When we die, our earthly problems die with us. No matter how bad you are suffering, your pain will end one day. It may be in this life or it may be in the next life.

In the above Bible verse, Saint Paul reminds us of the importance of thinking about Heaven. What awaits us is so good, that it’s not even worth comparing to what we face in this life! That’s an amazing statement and something to think about as go about your daily business today. Try thinking about Heaven as you deal with your earthly struggles today. While you’re at it, ask the Lord to help you get there. He won’t let you down!

(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.)

Some Saintly Advice That Can Help You To Stop Worrying

 

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 verse I discussed on The Son Rise Morning Show today on EWTN Radio:

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)

One of the biggest sources of anxiety in our lives is worrying about earthly “things” (people, possessions, events, etc.). In this verse, Saint Paul reminds us of the importance of focusing on heavenly things. When we start thinking about the “things that are above”, we are reminded that this life (and it’s problems and difficulties) won’t last forever. When we ask the Lord for spiritual gifts (instead of only earthly ones), He gives us the grace to cope with the difficulties that are causing us to worry.

Today, let’s take St. Paul’s advice and concentrate on the “things that are above”. I have a feeling that we’re all going to be more peaceful as a result!

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

Are You Worried That The World Is Falling Apart? Here Are 5 Bible Verses You Should Know…


 

Catholic Speaker and author Gary Zimak discusses 5 Bible verses for those who are worried about the world

Let’s be honest…there are some frightening things going on in the world. Every day we are bombarded with news about Ebola, Isis, financial uncertainty, data breaches and many other threats. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, advanced technology now makes it possible for weather forecasters to alert us to the possibility of tornadoes and hurricanes. In the same way, the popularity of the Internet makes it difficult to escape from “bad news”. It often seems like there is no place to hide. As soon as we wake up in the morning, we are deluged with troublesome news. When we couple that with our family, job and personal concerns it’s easy to see why worrying has become an epidemic.

As someone who has always tended to be anxious and the author of A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible and From Fear To Faith, I get it…I really do. It’s understandable that so many people worry. Fortunately, I’ve discovered that with the Lord’s help and a little effort on our part, we can experience peace even as the world around us seems to be falling apart. The good news is that God is still in charge and that nothing that happens surprises Him. If you’re worried about the state of the world, here are 5 Bible verses that you need to know. While the messages contained in these verses may seem simple, remember that they aren’t being expressed by “just another person”. These are God’s words and they are addressed to you. Take them seriously!

1. “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) – Jesus never said that we wouldn’t have problems, but He did tell us that He is bigger than any catastrophe or threat that could occur in the world. He also assures us that we can experience peace if we stay close to Him. That’s a very nice promise.

2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Psalm 46:1-3) – This is a great prayer for those times when you feel overwhelmed. It might not feel like it, but the Lord is always in control.

3. “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25) – Even though Jesus was in the boat with the disciples during the storm at sea, they panicked because he was asleep. With these words, they woke the Lord up and He calmed the seas. Instead of worrying, try using these words the next time you feel like the world is falling apart. Jesus loves it when we turn to Him when we’re afraid!

4. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) - What makes this passage so amazing is that it was written by St. Paul while he was in prison. Have no anxiety? Pray with thanksgiving? You’ll receive peace? Pretty convincing advice coming from someone who is sitting in a jail cell! Although Paul wrote these words, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is God’s message to you. It’s one that should be read often.

5. “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) – The final verse of Matthew’s gospel assures us that Jesus will never leave us. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to turn to Him when we are anxious and troubled. Even though the world seems crazy, Jesus is right next to you. That makes me feel good. How about you?

So what do you think? After reading these Bible passages, do you feel a little better? I’m guessing that you do. While there are many similar messages contained in the pages of Sacred Scripture, these passages give us a good starting point. Pull out your Bible, highlight them and make it a point to read them the next time you begin to panic about what’s going on in the world. The more you get used to hearing God speak to you through the Bible, the less you’re going to be overcome with fear about Isis, Ebola and financial uncertainty. Instead you’ll be hearing another message, one which we should never forget…

“Do not be afraid!” (Matthew 28:10)

5 Lessons We Can Learn From Jesus’ Calming Of The Storm


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak disusses Jesus calming of the storm at sea

When I speak at parishes and conferences around the country, one of my favorite Bible passages to discuss is “Jesus Calms The Storm At Sea” (Matthew 7:23-27). Basically, the disciples follow Jesus into a boat, a great storm arises, and the Lord calms the sea. Simple, right? Unfortunately, this story is so simple that we often miss some key points. If you’re struggling to stop worrying about Ebola, Isis, the stock market, personal health issues, job loss or many other problems, here are 5 important lessons you can learn from this powerful story:

1. The Disciples Followed Jesus - When Jesus got into the boat, the disciples followed Him. We should do the same thing every day. Following Jesus faithfully will not only help you to stop worrying, but it will get you to heaven!

2. Even Followers Of Jesus Have Problems – Just because we’re followers of Jesus doesn’t mean that we won’t have storms in our lives. On the other hand, following Jesus will give you peace, even in the midst of those storms. (Matthew 11:28)

3. Don’t Panic If Jesus Is Silent - Even though Jesus was asleep in the boat, He was very much in control of the situation. If it seems like He has deserted you, don’t worry…He is right beside you!

4. Cry Out For Help – While it is true that the disciples panicked when the storm arose, they had enough faith to do something very productive – they asked Jesus to help them. Worry is always useless, but prayer is always effective. Although we may not get exactly what we want, we will get what we need.

5. Learn To Look Back - After Jesus calmed the storm, “the men marveled” (Mt. 8:27). Looking back at the many times Jesus has helped you is sure to increase your faith and help you to deal with future problems.

Just as He did 2,000 years ago, Jesus can calm the storms in your life and help you to experience peace. Imitating the disciples at sea is a great idea. Give it a try and see what happens!

Finding Peace In A Crazy World!


 

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak disusses how to stop worrying while living in a crazy world

Are you growing increasingly uneasy about all of the craziness in the world? Do you find yourself worrying about Ebola, Isis, date breaches and the state of the economy? Relax! Jesus Christ is bigger than any of these problems and He doesn’t want you to worry. Beginning tonight at 8 PM Eastern on the Following The Truth radio show, I’ll begin a 3 part series designed to help you to stop worrying about the world’s craziness. The only script I’ll use is my Bible.

Please join me for 30 minutes each night as we hear what God has to say and look for practical ways to stop worrying. Please share the news with your friends. The only thing you have to lose is your anxiety!