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Finally…A Catholic Retreat For Worriers!

 

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.

So what will we do on the retreat? Simply put, we’ll get to know Jesus and Mary better and ask them to help us to stop worrying. We’ll have Confession, Mass, Eucharistic adoration, quiet time and lots of great food! I’ll also be giving several presentations and will be available for questions or consultation. We’ll begin on Friday evening with registration, dinner, a talk and night prayer. On Saturday, I’ll be giving several talks and we’ll have confession, adoration and time for meditation. On Sunday, we’ll conclude with breakfast, followed by a short talk and Mass. The event will wrap up at approximately 11 AM.

Open to both men and women, this retreat will help you to finally break away from worrying by growing closer to the Lord. The cost for the weekend retreat (including meals and lodging) is $240. 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 limited, 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

(NOTE: Be sure to watch Msgr. Joseph Marino, Duane McCarthy and Jacqueline Delaney on EWTN Live on Wednesday, Feb 11 at 8 PM Eastern as they discuss the programs offered at the Malvern Retreat House.)

Are You Afraid Of Life’s Big Waves? Jesus Can Help!

 

Catholic speaker and retreat leader Gary Zimak is leading a Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in August 2015

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak giving a high five to his friend and fellow evangelist Bear Woznick

Are you someone who is constantly afraid of the “storms” in your life? Are you especially frightened by the “big waves”? I recently had the chance to visit with my buddy Bear Woznick on his Deep Adventure radio show. Bear is someone who knows all about waves and rough seas, but more importantly knows what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We discussed how worrying is always useless and I shared the story of my lifelong struggle to overcome anxiety. I also offered some secrets that have allowed me to experience peace in my life.

If you’re tired of worrying and looking for peace or if you’d just like to hear two friends and brothers in Christ talk about the Lord, be sure to check out the show. You can listen to the podcast here. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Aloha!

Sometimes Prayer Doesn’t Take Away Our Suffering…Just Ask Jesus!

 

Catholic speaker and retreat leader Gary Zimak is leading a Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in August 2015

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak offers advice for those who are suffering or struggling with worry or anxiety.

This morning on my weekly “Be Not Afraid” segment on Catholic Community Radio in Baton Rouge, LA I discussed a powerful Bible passage that never fails to bring me great comfort. As I mentioned on the show, I turned to this verse last week when I was struggling with some issues that were making me feel anxious. If you are suffering, I strongly believe that this passage will help you.

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this chalice from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:41-44)

When faced with His upcoming death and the cause of that death (all the sins that were ever committed or would be committed), Jesus suffered greatly. Because He was fully human (as well as fully divine), He was able to experience the same agony that you and I feel when we suffer. By His actions, the Lord teaches us the importance of prayer when faced with suffering or anxiety. When He prayed, Jesus asked His Father to remove His suffering, but only if it was the Father’s will (another great lesson for us). Now, here’s where it gets interesting. In response to Jesus’ prayer, an angel was sent “strengthening Him”. The Greek word used here is “enischuó”, which means “to strengthen or invigorate”.

Immediately after telling us about the angel, St. Luke writes that Jesus was in agony (the Greek word used is “agónia”, which means great fear, terror, anxiety or agony) and “prayed more earnestly”. Wait a minute! You mean to tell me that Jesus was still in agony even after the angel was sent to strengthen Him? You better believe He was! But what’s important is that He had the strength to pray “more earnestly”.

Why is this important to us? Because sometimes prayer doesn’t take away our suffering. Sometimes it doesn’t even make us feel any better. What it does do is give us the strength to endure any catastrophe or predicament that we can ever face. It unites us closely with Someone who knows what it’s like to suffer and can help us to get through even the most painful experience. We often think that we’re doing something wrong if we don’t feel better when we pray. We believe that our faith must be lacking. As we can see from looking at Jesus, that’s not always the case.

If you are suffering, make it a point to imitate Jesus and pray for relief. If that relief doesn’t come and you are still in agony, make it a point to imitate Him again by embracing your suffering and praying “more earnestly”. You’ll receive the strength that you need and, one day, you’ll see just how your suffering helped you and many others!

NOTE: I’m excited to announce that I’ll be appearing on EWTN TV’s The Journey Home tonight at 8 PM Eastern. I’ll tell the story of how, as a cradle Catholic who never stopped going to Mass, I really never knew Jesus for many years. I’ll also discuss how He kept reaching out to me over and over, until I finally accepted His offer of friendship. I hope you can tune in!

Dan Burke On Faith, Hope, And Clarity…

 

EWTN's Dan Burke endorses the new book by Catholic speaker Gary Zimak - Faith, Hope, And Clarity: How To Know God's Will

“God cares about you. He cares about the decisions you need to make. He wants to reach you and lead you through the noise and distractions of this life to peace and union with Him. Gary’s book reveals this reality and will help you to gain practical insights into the wisdom of St. Ignatius’ rules of discernment regarding how to better hear and follow the movements of God in your soul.”

Dan Burke, Founder of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation and Executive Director of EWTN’s National Catholic Register

Thank you, Dan, for recommending my new book – Faith, Hope, and Clarity: How to Know God’s Will. You can pre-order it at a discounted price by clicking on the image below. Stay tuned for more endorsements!

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)

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.

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!

Moving From Fear To Faith On EWTN!


 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak visits with Jim and Joy Pinto on At Home With Jim and Joy on EWTN

I recently had the chance to visit my friends Jim and Joy Pinto on their new EWTN TV series, At Home With Jim And Joy. We discussed my battle with anxiety and how the Lord has helped me to stop worrying and experience peace in my life. In addition, we took calls from the viewers and shared our own personal stories about the role our faith plays in combating worry and stress. I hope you enjoy the program and please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. Thank you and God Bless!

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!

Another Great Reason To Go From Fear To Faith!


 

From Fear To Faith, the new book from Catholic speaker and evangelist Gary Zimak is now available at a special discount from Liguori Publications

Great news! From now until September 30, 2014, you can order my new book From Fear To Faith: A Worrier’s Guide To Discovering Peace at a 25 percent discount! Visit Liguori Publications’ website or call 1-800-325-9521 and use special offer code ’15300′.

While you’re at it, consider ordering extra copies for the “worriers” in your life!