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FAITH, Not Fear!

Are you struggling to find peace in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic?

I am thrilled to announce that I have been asked to lead a 2 night online Mini-Conference sponsored by the Women of Grace Benedicta Institute for Women!

Join me on March 25 and March 26, 2020 from 7:30 – 9:00 PM ET as I’ll help you to make the journey from FEAR to FAITH. I will be joined by Fr. Nathan Cromly on the first night and by Fr. Mitch Pacwa on the second night.

Click HERE to register for this Mini-Conference and get ready to move from FEAR to FAITH!

Are You Ready For Lent?

It’s hard to believe, but Lent is upon us! Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we were enjoying the warmth of the summer sun or looking forward to Christmas? Now, it’s suddenly time to head into the desert and walk with Jesus as He prepares to carry His cross, die and rise from the dead!

The first recorded words of Jesus in Mark’s gospel remind us that, ready or not, it’s time to make a decision:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Even if you have already chosen what you will be giving up (or doing) for Lent, I recommend that you take a close look at the above words. There are four important messages contained in this sentence.

Let’s take a look at each of them…

The time is fulfilled – Ready or not, Lent is here. I don’t know about you, but I like the fact that Lent has a concrete starting point. Otherwise, I would be tempted to put off doing all those things I should be doing to grow spiritually. The fact that Ash Wednesday begins on a specific calendar date gives me a sense of urgency about getting my spiritual life in order.

The Kingdom of God is at hand – With all of the craziness going on around us, it’s easy to lose sight of the nearness of God. Our life doesn’t have to be chaotic for us to become distracted. If we’re not careful, daily chores and responsibilities can consume our attention and cause us to lose sight of God’s presence. Jesus is reminding us that we don’t have to travel to a secluded island or an elaborate cathedral to encounter him. He is with us in the messiness of daily life.

Repent – This is an interesting word. Typically, we associate repentance with sin. While that can certainly be true, the Greek word used by Mark in his original manuscript (metanoéō) has a broader meaning. It literally means to “change one’s mind” or “think differently afterwards”. Faced with the knowledge that Lent is beginning and that God’s kingdom is near, Jesus challenges us to a radical conversion. Not only are we instructed to change our deeds (through acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving), but the way we think as well.

Believe in the Gospel – It’s way too easy to dismiss this command as a “no brainer”, but that would be a huge mistake. Once again, the original Greek manuscript gives us some powerful insight. The word rendered in English as “believe” actually means “have faith in, trust in or have confidence in” in Greek. Can you imagine if you went into Lent with the goal of having greater trust in Jesus? It would be absolutely life-changing.

If you haven’t decided what to give up for Lent, I have a suggestion. My latest book, Give Up Worry For Lent, was recently ranked in the Top 100 of all books for sale on Amazon! While I am completely humbled and awestruck by that ranking, it shows that people are looking for the supernatural peace that can only be found in Jesus Christ. As someone who has always struggled with anxiety, I am honored that the Lord has chosen me to share this message with the world.

If you’re someone who tends to worry, I invite you to pick up a copy of the book and let’s walk together through the Lenten season. One day at a time, we’ll surrender control of our lives to the Lord. Instead of worrying about things that are out of our control, we’ll cast our cares on him. In other words, we’ll do our part and let Jesus do his part.

If you’re not a worrier, ask the Holy Spirit for the best way to respond to Jesus during the Lenten season. The time is now. The kingdom is near. Are you willing to allow your thoughts to be guided by the Holy Spirit so that you can think differently? Are you able to express confidence and trust in him?

I have a decision to make and so do you. The Lord clearly lays out what is needed for his followers. Lent gives us a chance to make it happen. What is your decision?

Have a blessed Lent. I’ll be praying for you. Please pray for me too!

Where Can I Buy Give Up Worry For Lent?

Once again this year, we are running into a “good” problem. As the Give Up Worry For Lent movement continues to grow, the book has completely sold out on Amazon! Yesterday, Give Up Worry For Lent was ranked in the Top 100 of ALL books offered for sale by Amazon. All Glory To God!

How To Order The Book

With Lent just a few days away, the lack of availability poses a problem for those of you who want to order the book in time for Ash Wednesday. The good news is that you have multiple options:

  1. You can order the Kindle version of the book HERE.
  2. You can order the book directly from Ave Maria Press (at a 20% discount and free shipping. Use promo code NOWORRY) HERE. (Contiguous US only. Offer expires April 13)
  3. You can order on Amazon HERE and the book will be shipped soon. Contrary to what the website says, a new supply of books was shipped to them last week. They just have to be recorded in their inventory system.

Also, don’t forget to “like” the Give Up Worry For Lent Facebook page for daily updates and comments from yours truly. In addition, you can listen to the weekly Give Up Worry For Lent segments on EWTN Radio’s The Son Rise Morning Show every Wednesday at 6:35 AM ET and each week on The Gary Zimak Show podcast.

As we walk together through the upcoming forty days, let’s decide to make 2020 the year when we finally Give Up Worry For Lent!

Get Ready For Give Up Worry For Lent 2020!

Give Up Worry For Lent 2020 Son Rise Morning Show

Are you ready to give up worry for Lent?

I am thrilled to announce that Give Up Worry For Lent 2020 will officially kick off on Ash Wednesday (Feb 26) at 6:35 AM ET on EWTN Radio’s The Son Rise Morning Show!

In addition to reading the book, you can hear me provide additional information every Wednesday at 6:35 AM ET on The Son Rise Morning Show and you can like the interactive Give Up Worry For Lent Facebook page.

Let’s get ready to walk through Lent 2020 together as we focus on Jesus and Give Up Worry For Lent. Let’s Do This!

How Do I Know God’s Will?

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God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. (Saint John Henry Newman)

If you?re like me, you?ve probably prayed the Lord?s Prayer thousands of times. You have spoken the words ?Thy will be done? at least that many times. But even though we express that sentiment, do we really mean it? And if we mean it, how do we know what God wants us to do?

For many of us, trying to figure out what God wants us to do can be very intimidating. If you feel that way, relax! The Lord doesn?t want us to be in the dark. If He wants us to do something, He will let us know. Unfortunately, we often fail to listen, don?t know how to listen, or can?t believe what He is asking us to do.?Although it may take time, determining what God wants us to do isn?t impossible or even extremely difficult. It simply takes a combination of common sense, willingness to seek Him out, and desire to listen to what He is saying.

If the Lord wants you to do something, He will let you know. Let?s look at some ways to hear His voice more clearly and put His plan for your life into action:

1.?Resolve to do what God wants even if it’s not what you want. Tell Him that you earnestly want to do His will more than anything else. Often overlooked, this step is very important and sets the stage for the remaining steps.

2. Ask God what He wants you to do. Here’s another step that is simple, but important. Furthermore, expect God to answer when you ask.

3. Listen for His answer. It can come in many ways – through Church teachings, the Bible, prayer, thoughts, circumstances or other people. It’s not impossible, but it is very rare that the Lord will speak audibly to you. That’s why it’s so important to learn to “hear” His voice. The most important thing to remember here is to be patient. Don’t force God’s hand. If He’s not giving you the next step, be patient. He will let you know when it’s time to act.

4. Decide what you should do. At some point, you’ll need to reach a decision. Once you reach an initial decision (it doesn’t have to be final), run it by the Lord and see if it brings you peace. Once again, don’t rush unless it’s necessary. If you are at peace, it’s time to move to the next step.

5. Act on your decision. This is often the most difficult step of the entire process. Once you have a reasonable idea of what God wants you to do, try it out and see what happens. After discerning that Jesus was really calling Him to walk on the water, Peter eventually had to get out of the boat. Don’t let fear stop you. Even if you make the “wrong” decision, the Lord can still bring good out of it. Trust Him!

Want to learn more about discovering God’s will for your life? Check out my book – Faith, Hope and Clarity (How To Know God’s Will)!

PAPERBACK EDITION

 

KINDLE EDITION

O Come Let Us Adore Him!

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This week on The Gary Zimak Show, we’ll reflect on the Mass readings for the Epiphany of the Lord. Who were the wise men and what can we learn from them? Why are we sometimes like King Herod? What gifts can we offer to Jesus? We’ll answer these questions and many more on this episode of The Gary Zimak Show!

Jesus Is Born – A Reason To Hope!

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Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.?The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.?The angel said to them, ?Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.?For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. (Luke 2:8-11)

No matter how hopeless you may feel or how dark your future may look, never forget that special night that changed everything. Appearing to a group of lowly shepherds over 2,000 years ago, an angel announced that the long awaited Savior of the world had been born. No medical diagnosis, death of a family member, job loss, relationship difficulty or serious sin can ever change that reality. He is YOUR personal Savior and He wants to become intimately involved in your life. With Jesus, there is ALWAYS hope!

Today would be a great day to admit that you’re a sinner (we all are and that’s why we need a Savior) and surrender your life to Him. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a believer, non-believer, regular churchgoer or someone who goes every now and then. We all have to acknowledge the truth about our sinfulness and invite the Lord to act in our lives. When we do, He will respond.

For many years, I went to Mass every Sunday but made no effort to know Jesus or surrender my life to Him. I was miserable. Eventually I hit rock bottom, acknowledged that I needed Him and invited Him to help me. It has been an ongoing process, but I continue to see Him work miracles in my life. The more I let go and turn my life over to Him, the more peaceful I feel and the more He does. Jesus is real and He will transform your life if you let Him.

As we celebrate His birth, I can think of no better birthday gift you can give Him!

Lord Jesus – Happy Birthday! I acknowledge the fact that I am a sinner and need you as my Savior. Your birth shows how much you love me and expresses your desire to get involved in my life. I want that too. Therefore, I surrender my life to you and give you control over my life. Please grant me the grace I need to follow you and do your will. With you by my side, I know that I can do all things and feel your peace at all times. I pray this in your powerful name. Amen!

Merry Christmas from the Zimak Family!

(Gary, Eileen, Elizabeth and Mary)

The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Here!

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In the Mass Readings for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we’re reminded that the Kingdom of Heaven is here! Are you ready? Join me as I offer suggestions for drawing closer to the Lord each day of the Advent season. Before you know it, Advent will be over. Don’t waste the opportunity to get ready today!

When Life Seems Hopeless…

 

Invite Gary Zimak to lead your parish mission or retreat today!

This Week On The Gary Zimak Show…

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

Let’s go back to the empty tomb and look at how Mary Magdalene reacted to the evidence that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. Just like her, we often spend so much time weeping over the problems in our lives that we fail to recognize the risen Lord in our midst. We’ll discuss what finally enabled her to see Jesus and what you can do to see Him too!

Listen to the show here…

Who Is The Patron Saint Of Worriers?

 

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

Is There A Patron Saint For Worriers?

I get asked this question frequently and it’s a good one. Several years ago, I came up with a list of “10 Saints Every Worrier Should Know” and blogged about them. Some are well known, others are not. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, I thought you would benefit if I republished the post. Take some time and get to know these folks. Their stories will help you to understand how powerfully God can work in our lives if we let Him.

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Although we’d rather not admit it, many of us worry (or are tempted to worry) each day of our lives. One of the reasons that we worry is that we sometimes feel we are facing our problems alone. Once we meet others who are dealing with similar problems, we usually feel better. Even more comforting is when we encounter someone who has survived the issue that is troubling us. As Catholics, much can be gained by studying the lives of the saints. Far from living easy lives, these men and women have struggled with many of the same anxiety producing problems experienced by you and I. Furthermore, we know that they’ve ended up we all want to go – Heaven!

Are you anxious or worried? Do you have serious problems in your life? Here are 10 saints that you should get to know. We can learn A LOT from their lives.

1. Saint Dymphna – Many Catholics who are anxious are familiar with Saint Dymphna, the patroness of those afflicted with nervous disorders and anxiety. According to tradition, she was born in Ireland (in the 7th century) to a pagan father and a Christian mother. When Dymphna’s mother died, her distraught father traveled in vain searching for a new wife. Eventually he reached the unimaginable conclusion that he would take Dymphna as his wife! At the urging of a priest, she took flight and was ultimately located and murdered by her father. It’s easy to see the kind of emotional stress that this young girl was under and equally understandable to see why she became known as the patron saint of those who suffer from anxiety. Many miracles are reported to have taken place at her shrine in Belgium, located near the place of her death.

2. Saint Jude Thaddeus – If there’s one saint that Catholics turn to when all looks bleak, it’s Saint Jude Thaddeus. One of the twelve Apostles, he is known as the patron of hopeless cases. Although many are aware of Saint Jude’s reputation for providing assistance when all else fails, there is some confusion as to how he was chosen for that role. One of the most popular theories is that, due to the similarity of his name with that of fellow Apostle Judas, the faithful steered clear of devotion to him. As a result, devotion to him became something of a “lost cause”. He is available and willing to intercede for our most desperate intentions.

3. Saint Rita of Cascia – Born in 1381 in Italy, Saint Rita is known as the patroness of impossible cases. She was married to a man with a violent temper who abused and mistreated her. After eighteen years of marriage, her husband was murdered. One day Rita overheard her two sons plotting to avenge the death of their father. Fearing the loss of their souls, she prayed that her sons would avoid taking revenge on their father’s murderer. Suddenly, both of them took sick and died before any retaliation could take place. Although her prayers were answered in an unlikely manner, they were indeed answered and her sons were prevented from carrying out a grave offense.

4. Saint Padre Pio – With a motto such as “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”, it’s easy to see why I included Saint Pio in this list. He was a firm believer in God’s providence and understood that worry was useless. Any time that we waste on worrying could be more productively spent in prayer. What should we pray for? One thing could be an increase in the theological virtue of hope, which allows us to believe that “all things work for the good” (Romans 8:28) and that the problems of this life are temporary. One day, along with Saint Pio, it will be possible for us to live in the problem-free paradise known as Heaven!

5. Saint Henry II – While at Monte Cassino in 1021, Saint Henry II (emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) became ill. Tradition has it that Saint Benedict then cured him by prayer. How common are miraculous cures? Maybe more common than we realize! We’re always quick to downplay God’s involvement in our lives, often referring to favorable outcomes as “luck”. In 1997, my wife and I were told that our twin girls would probably not be born alive. Today, Mary and Elizabeth are healthy 21 year old young adults. Eileen and I (as well as many of the members of the medical staff) know that their survival was a miracle, the fruit of countless prayers. While they were assisted by numerous doctors and nurses, we believe that the Lord worked through these skilled individuals. God can (and does) still perform miracles…let’s give Him the chance!

6. Blessed Julian of Norwich – Although not technically a saint, Blessed Julian of Norwich is greatly revered by many Catholics. Although very little is known about her life, she is famous for a quote that has provided consolation to many throughout the years. Those of us who tend to be anxious sometimes look at the waves crashing around us and fail to see the Lord’s providence. Blessed Julian helps us to regain our focus and recall that God is ultimately in control. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

7. Saint Vincentia Lopez – Canonized in 1975, Saint Vincentia Lopez was the foundress of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service, a religious congregation dedicated to ministering to working girls. In a letter to her mother, she wrote: “Come and stay with us, and your ills will certainly mend. Imagination plays a large part in them, and here there are so many distractions that you will have no time to think.” I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. One of the best ways to stop worrying is to keep busy. If anxiety motivates you to do something, then it can be productive. If, on the other hand, all you’re doing is mulling over the bad things that could happen in your life, it’s time to take Saint Vincentia’s advice and get busy.

8. Saint Juan Diego – I decided to include Juan Diego in this list not because of anything that he said or did, but because of what was said to him. In December of 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared several times to this poor Aztec Indian in Mexico. His bishop was skeptical and asked for a sign. On December 11, Mary promised Juan that on the following day she would give him a sign that he could take to the bishop. The next day, his uncle became seriously ill and Saint Juan avoided meeting Mary as she had instructed him to do. Mary appeared to him and said, “Listen and be sure, my dear son, that I will protect you; do not be frightened or grieve, or let your heart be dismayed, however great the illness that you speak of. Am I not here? I, who am your Mother, and is not my help a refuge? Am I not of your kind? Do not be concerned about your uncle’s illness, for he is not going to die. Be assured, he is already well. Is there anything else you need?” Instead of worrying, have you discussed your problems with Mary? Why not? Just as she did with Saint Juan Diego, she is waiting to help you.

9. Pope Saint Leo the Great – Attila the Hun was a ruthless and powerful warrior who conquered many lands, including Austria and Germany. In 452, he set his sights on Italy and proceeded to successfully conquer several cities and was heading toward Rome. Attila boasted that conquering Rome would be his greatest victory. Standing firm in the face of enormous odds, Pope Saint Leo the Great met Attila and his army near Mantua and convinced the tyrant to change his plans and turn back. Rome was spared. According to tradition, when Attila was asked why he backed down so easily, he noted that while the Holy Father spoke, he saw a vision of Saint Peter holding a sword in his hand. This frightened the ruthless Hun and caused him to change his plans.

10. Saint Stephen Harding – Born in England in the 11th century, Saint Stephen Harding was educated at the Sherborne Abbey and eventually became a monk at the Abbey of Molesme in Burgundy. Feeling that the Lord was calling him to found a monastery, he did just that. In 1098, along with twenty other monks, St. Stephen founded a monastery at Citeaux. They lived a simple life, in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict. Eventually, Saint Stephen was elected abbot. As the monks began to die off, they were not being replaced by novices and their numbers began to dwindle. Just as it seemed the monastery would be forced to close, guess who showed up at the door? Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, along with 30 companions who were looking to join a monastery! During the next 8 years, a dozen new houses had to be built in order to house the many new monks who joined the order. This story serves as a reminder that God does provide, although he operates according to His own schedule. Sometimes He allows us to walk in the darkness in order to strengthen our faith. God will never give up on us…don’t make the mistake of giving up on Him!

In addition to being inspired by their lives, these saints can help us in another important way. As residents of Heaven, they can intercede on our behalf and help us to obtain the graces we need to deal with our problems. They have all “been there, done that” and know what it’s like to experience difficulties. They also know what it’s like to live in eternal happiness and are more than willing to do what they can to ensure that we too experience that joy. Don’t make the mistake of facing your problems alone. Turn to your heavenly friends and ask for their help today!