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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!

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!

I’m Praying For You!


 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak offers to pray for your needs

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1)

Recently, I have been receiving many requests for prayers. Through social media, email and verbal communication I’ve been hearing of sick children, unexpected trips to the ER, cancer diagnoses, anxiety and every other ailment imaginable. Whenever I discover that someone is suffering or in need of prayer, I immediately say a prayer and add long term requests to my official prayer list (a book that I carry to daily Mass and adoration). Even though I know that every prayer is effective in some way, I’ve been feeling that I want to do something more. I want you to know that I’m praying so that when you’re sitting in the ER, a doctor’s office or your house, you realize that you’re not alone and that you are being prayed for. In addition, I want to give you a chance to ask for my prayers.

Every day at daily Mass and in my rosary, I remember all those who have asked for my prayers. In addition, each Saturday and Sunday , I pray for these individuals before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do you need prayers? Would you like to be added to my list? Email me and let me know your needs and I will add you to my official list. In addition, always feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter and request prayers.

Please remember that no matter how hopeless a situation looks or how helpless you feel, you can always pray and it will always be effective. Even you might not get exactly what you want or get it as fast as you like, God hears and responds to every prayer. In addition, take comfort in the fact that I’m always willing to pray for you…

You are not alone!

Easing The Suffering Of Jesus…Today!


 

Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak reveals some practical ways that we can ease the suffering of Jesus

On this holy and sad day known as Good Friday, we will have many opportunities to reflect on the suffering of Christ. While this is a great idea and something that we all should do, we need to be careful. We often have the tendency to treat Our Lord’s suffering as something that happened two thousand years ago and something that was caused by some really nasty people who are no longer alive. While this line of thinking is partially true, it ignores two very important facts:

1. Ultimately, all sinners are responsible for Jesus’ suffering. That means that we share in the blame.

2. Even though Jesus’ Passion took place two thousand years ago, there is something that we can do to ease His suffering TODAY.

On the night before He died, Jesus spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane. Scripture tells us that “He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground” (Luke 22:44). Why was He suffering so greatly? In his book, Life of Christ, Archbishop Fulton Sheen expressed the opinion that Jesus was in agony because He saw all of the sins that were committed in the past and will be committed until the end of time. This means that when we hear of Our Lord’s suffering on the night before He died, we should realize that our sins were a contributing factor to his distress.

On the other hand, since He was God, it follows that Jesus would also be able to see all of the good things that would be performed over the years. Therefore, while He was in the garden, Jesus would have known every time that we turned away from sin or performed an act of kindness. Therefore, we still have the ability to ease His suffering in the Garden.

So what can we do about this? For one thing we can recognize that our sins caused Jesus a great deal of mental and physical pain. This should result in some degree of sorrow and a desire to do better in the future. Secondly, we can do something to ease the Lord’s pain. Here are some steps that we can take:

1. Pray - What did Jesus ask Peter, James and John to do while He was suffering in the garden? He asked them to stay awake and be with Him as He suffered. By praying every day, we do just that.

2. Turn Away From Sin - We should ask the Lord each day for the grace to resist temptation and turn away from sin.

3. Trust - Jesus told St. Faustina, “You will give me great pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of my grace”. Do you trust Him enough to let Him handle your problems?

4. Surrender - The most basic way to surrender to the Lord’s will is to accept everything that happens to you today and not complain. When was the last time you tried this?

5. Show Mercy To Others - “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). In her diary, St. Faustina wrote of three ways that we can show mercy to others:

a. By Deed (Anything we do to alleviate the suffering of another)
b. By Word (Anything we say to alleviate the suffering of another)
c. By Prayer (Praying for one another)

Jesus suffered and died so that you could go to Heaven. By doing some simple things today and in the future, we have the ability to lessen the intense suffering that Jesus experienced because of our sins. Don’t waste the opportunity!

How Can I Be Sure I’m Following Jesus?


 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak offers suggestions for how we can be sure that we are followers of Jesus

After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him. (Luke 5:27-28)

In today’s gospel, Jesus invites Levi (also known as Matthew) to follow Him. The tax collector then left everything behind and followed the Lord. Lent is a great time to assess just how serious we are about following Jesus. While I certainly claim to be His follower, do my actions support that statement? How can I be sure? Fortunately, Jesus gives us the answer:

Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

I guess that means that, if I want to be His follower, I should do what He did. I probably should surrender to the Father’s Will, stop complaining so much about the annoyances of daily life and begin putting the needs of others before my own.

I’ve got some work to do. How about you? Let’s pray for one another.