In this part of his talk, Gary discusses the Five Ps of peace and how these principles will help us have a different perspective in our lives and will help our healing journey. He encourages us to always seek the Holy Spirit for guidance and help to keep our relationship with the Lord.
Thank you for watching and participating in this retreat!
Not Registered, yet? Don’t miss the rest of the talks! Register for the Pray More Retreat!
Printable Study Guide PDF
Printable Transcript PDF
Reflective Study Guide Questions
“Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring, the same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”Saint Francis de Sales
- What are actionable steps that you can take to prepare yourself for any worries that you may have about the future? Let these concerns lead you to prepare. Make a list and a plan to take action. There is always something you can do to prepare. As Gary mentioned, Jesus can always perform a miracle in your life, but He also expects you to take the first step and do what you can.
- Do you ever dwell on the past or dwell in the future? As Gary explains, it’s very important to live in the present moment. Don’t play the “What if?” game. Instead, turn to the Lord today and say, “Lord, thank You for giving me this day. Please grant me the grace that I need to deal with the challenges of today.” What can you change about how you face life in order to focus on today, now, the present moment?
- How often do you pray? Do you pray to God for guidance and peace when you are feeling overwhelmed, fearful or anxious? There is no need to panic because the Lord is at hand! You can pray before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. The next time you struggle with anxiety or worry try to focus on the fact that God is with you and pray for peace.
- Do you participate in all that the Church has to offer? The Church offers so much for us to participate in: the sacraments, reading the bible, having sacramental and doing devotions. Participate in the things the Church offers you to help you to break free of worry, to feel peace, and to grow closer to the Lord. Think of one actionable thing that you could do to participate more fully in the life of the Church and do it.
- Do you think about heaven as a goal or a prize to strive for? Heaven is the place that our hearts and souls were made for – to be with the Lord. It is the ultimate prize. There are always problems in life, but this life on Earth was never meant to be perfect. In spite of the fact that we’re going to have problems in life, you can experience a great deal of peace right now as long as you start turning to the Lord every day.
Text: Moving from Fear to Faith, Part III
Welcome back to part 3 of From Fear to Faith. I’m Gary Zimak. So how are you feeling? You feeling a little bit better? Well, we are about to do the 5 Ps of Peace. These 5 steps will have you feeling peaceful. But it might take a little time; it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. But you do these steps on a regular basis and you are going to start feeling peaceful. And they are simple, you can handle these steps. But before we go any further, let’s turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help us.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Dear Holy Spirit, we are so grateful that You dwell inside of us. We are grateful for the fact that, with Your help, we can experience peace. We know that peace is one of the fruits that You exhibit when we let You work in our lives. With that in mind, Holy Spirit, we turn to You and we ask for Your help. You know that these problems we’re facing aren’t a big deal, even if we have to suffer. You know that, looking at the big picture, all things are possible for You. So we ask You to stir up Your gifts inside of us. You are welcome to act in our lives. You are welcome to help us, to guide our thoughts, to guide our actions, to guide our words as we travel on that road to greater union with You, the Father, and Jesus. Holy Spirit, we ask You to help us, and we ask for these things in Jesus’ name. Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Five Ps of Peace
Alright. Well, we’ve talked about a lot of things, and now we are about to do the 5 Ps of Peace. These 5 steps will help you to not only grow closer to the Lord, but to experience peace. And right, let’s face, that’s what this is all about. Not just experiencing peace, but to grow closer to our Lord. Our Lord Jesus, who wants to draw us closer to the Father, He wants to help us enter into a relationship with our Heavenly Father. And also, the Holy Spirit plays a very important role in this process, because it’s through His help that we will get to know Jesus. And that’s something that I was ignorant of for many years. I was trying to do this all on my own. Even when I had my conversion and I started growing closer to the Lord Jesus, I was trying to do it on my own. I was going to get closer to Him, I’m going to read, I’m going to pray, I’m going to do everything I can to grow closer to the Lord. I never thought to ask the Holy Spirit for His help. And that’s what I want to tell you today.
Inviting the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, don’t forget those 3 words. That is such a powerful prayer, because if you invite the Holy Spirit to work in your life, He will. It’s the same thing with Jesus. If you ask Jesus for help, He’s not going to say no. And, again, those of us who tend to be worriers, we forget that. We like to control. “I’m going to get through this on my own.” Well, we’re not going to get very far on our own. So keep that in mind. Remember the words of Saint Paul, “When I am weak, that’s good, because that’s when I recognize that I need the Lord’s help.” And when I turn to Him to ask for help, things are going to happen.
The 5 Ps of Peace is detailed extensively in From Fear to Faith, my book From Fear to Faith. I do a whole chapter on each, but right now I just want to go over them briefly. This will definitely get you started. Now, these are 5 words, they all begin with the letter P. And you start doing these every day and you’re going to start seeing things happen, and you’ll be able to make that journey From Fear to Faith.
The first P of Peace, it’s a simple one, but it’s one that often gets overlooked: Prepare. One of the greatest sources of anxiety for those of us who worry is the fear of the future, right. What might happen. “What if I never find a job and I get evicted from my house, and I’m living on the street?” You know, and we go down that road, so many worries in the future. “What happens if this pain in my side is actually some rare form of cancer?” “What happens if I die suddenly, and my family will have no one to support them?” These are valid concerns that can easily lead us to worry, but that’s not going to do any good. But we want to let these concerns lead us to prepare, so that we can use our natural gifts and abilities given to us by God to take away some of these bad outcomes that are driving us crazy.
You know, let’s give you some examples because, again, this is very simple. God expects us to do something. We don’t want to just kick up our feet and say “Alright Lord, You’re going to handle this. I don’t have anything to do.” No, we are supposed to do what we can. And oftentimes, we as worriers, we forget that. We just start worrying and running around panicking, and we don’t do anything. I mentioned a case of providing for your family if you die unexpectedly. Well, there’s something called life insurance that helps that, right. You see where I’m going with this? The pain in your side? Now, as a hypochondriac, you may or may not be a fellow hypochondriac, but if you are, you’re going to get it when I say “Well, we don’t want to go to the doctor because they might find something.” Right. But what’s that going to cure? What’s that really going to help in the long run? If you have a pain, you go to the doctor. Find out what it is.
If you are worried about losing your job, maybe your company is starting to struggle financially. Well, you update your résumé and you look for another job. If you are concerned about a past sin that you committed, and you’re losing sleep over it, the church offers the sacrament of confession. There’s something you can do. Do you see that? Now, oftentimes we forget that. So the first P of Peace is to Prepare.
And as evidence, if we look at the way Jesus would perform miracles, He would always ask people to do what they can. You remember the man with the withered hand? The man’s hand was withered. And Jesus said to him when he presented himself for healing, “Stretch out your hand.” The man couldn’t use the fingers of his hand, but he could stretch it out, and that’s what Jesus asked him to do. At the wedding at Canaan, the first public miracle of Jesus, the wine ran out. They didn’t have any wine, but they had water. Did Jesus create the wine out of thin air? No. He said “You have water, fill up the jugs with water.” And then Jesus performed the miracle of turning that water into wine.
He did the same thing when He fed 5,000 people. He didn’t just create the food out of nothing. He could have, He’s divine, He certainly could have done that. But instead, He said “Give Me the 5 fish you have, the 2 loaves,” or “the 5 loaves and the 2 fish,” I’m sorry, and He miraculously multiplied those items, so that 5,000 people can be fed. Jesus can always perform a miracle in your life, and He wants to, and He wants you to ask Him, but He also expects you to do what you can first. Prepare, the first P of Peace. Just by doing that one step, it’s going to help take away many of your worries. But we need to do all of the steps, because we want to make sure that we are growing closer to the Lord in this process, not just eliminating worry from our life.
The second P of Peace is: Present. What does that mean? It means be in the present moment. Oh man, we hate that one, don’t we? Those of us who worry. Why? Because we like to play the “What if?” game. “What if this doesn’t work?” “What if I never find another job? I’ve been on 100 interviews. What if I never find a job, and I lose my home because I can’t pay my rent?” “What if I get sick and never recover?” “What if my husband dies suddenly?” You know, the “What if?” game, it is very, very dangerous.
Why this is so bad is because we feel. When we start to think of things that might happen and not live in the present moment, worry about the future, we feel the negative emotions. As an example, I start to think “What would happen if my wife died?” “Oh, I’m going to miss her, I’m going to be so lonely. What would I do without her?” You start to feel these negative emotions. But the incident we worry about hasn’t happened about. Well, what does that mean? Why is that so dangerous? It’s because God doesn’t give us grace to deal with imaginary problems. The minute this or any other problem becomes real in your life, God will give you the grace to allow you to feel peace in the midst of that problem. But if you’re worried about something that hasn’t even happened in your life yet, there’s no grace there. It’s only negative feelings.
And see, we want to make sure that we are focused on today, because yesterday’s gone. You can’t do anything about yesterday. You can’t guarantee that you will be here tomorrow. And I know what you’re going to say, “Oh, I can’t believe he’s going there.” Well, it’s the truth. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. And I don’t say that to make you worry more, I say that to motivate you today, to seize the day if you will, to focus on today. Don’t play the “What if?” game. Instead, turn to the Lord today and say “Lord, You got me to this day.” You know, the minute you wake up in the morning, “Lord, thank You for giving me this day. Please grant me the grace that I need to deal with the challenges of today.” Alright. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And these steps are not difficult.
The third P of Peace is: Pray. Well, that sounds like an obvious one, doesn’t it? Yeah, but how many times do we forget to do that? I want to share something from sacred scripture with you. This comes from Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This is one of the greatest examples of how we can pray each day. Philippians chapter 4, beginning in verse 4. Saint Paul said this: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice! Let all men know your forbearance. Now, forbearance is patience, self-control, endurance, right.
Saint Paul saying Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice! Now, one of the reasons I like to look at this passage is because Saint Paul probably knew there would be some character like me who would hear this Rejoice in the Lord always, and I’m going to say “Wait a minute, rejoice? What have I got to rejoice about? I’m having a bad day.” And then he goes on to say: Again I will say, Rejoice! As if to talk to this knucklehead who forgets sometimes that the Lord’s always with me, that He’s in control, and He can handle any situation that I face. Rejoice in the Lord always. Why? Because the Lord is at hand.
I mentioned earlier the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is so important, and never forget this. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of us. He’s there. He’s as close as He can be. He knows to be joyful. He knows that we shouldn’t panic. But I lose sight of that sometimes, so sometimes I need a reminder like this, a reminder that the Lord is at hand, He’s close to us, the Holy Spirit is inside of us, the Holy Spirit wants to lead us to Jesus. We can experience Jesus, not just in a spiritual way, but we can pray before Him in the blessed sacrament and adoration. We can receive Him in the Eucharist. That’s a real present. Body, blood, soul, and divinity.
And certainly, what did Jesus say? If you have seen Me, in scripture, you have seen the Father. So Jesus wants to draw us closer to the Father. He wants us to be part of that relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can do that. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can receive Jesus, the body, blood, soul, and divinity in communion. And guess what? The Father is not far away when we are united with the Spirit and Jesus.
So, Rejoice in the Lord always. That’s the reason. Rejoice in the Lord always because the Lord is at hand. Now he goes into some nitty-gritty reminders for those of us who tend to be worriers. Have no anxiety about anything. He’s pretty clear there, isn’t he? Have no anxiety about anything? That’s what he says. But in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. In other words, don’t worry about your problems. Turn to the Lord and tell Him what you’re worried about. Ask for His help. He cares about you. Remember that message to Saint Faustyna. We don’t ask for help, that’s why we’re discouraged, that’s why we’re anxious. Let your request be made known to God in prayer.
And you might say “Well, how’s that going to make me feel good? I get that I’m supposed to do that, but how is that going to bring peace into my life?” Saint Paul goes on to say And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. My friends, that’s the answer. That’s how we should prayer. Now, remember, this is not just mind over matter, this is not just me being a motivational speaker. This is much more than that. My advice for you today is to get in touch with Jesus, and to tell the Holy Spirit you want Him to come alive inside of you. And to let the Holy Spirit and Jesus bring you closer to your Father in heaven, who loves you with an unconditional love. This is not just me giving advice on how you can stop worrying; my advice is go to the Lord every day. Do these steps, okay.
So that’s prayer, that’s the third P of Peace. And again, it sounds pretty obvious, but we often forget to do it. Prayer is so important though. The very last thing Jesus did before He was taken captive, remember that in the garden? What did He do? He prayed. He prayed to His Father. It really does make a difference.
Participate, the fourth P of Peace. Participate in what? The sacraments, the bible, sacramentals, devotions. Participate in the things the church offers you to help you to break free of worry, and to feel peace, and to grow closer to the Lord, right, and to eventually live with Him forever in heaven. Don’t ignore what the church offers. The sacraments, sources of grace, the Eucharist, confession, you can receive them as often as you would like. Take advantage of that tremendous outpouring of grace.
The bible, a lot of times we as Catholics forget that our church compiled the books of the bible. Scripture. It’s a gift from the Catholic church. Open your bible. Don’t let it collect dust. Read the daily mass readings, that’s a great way to start reading sacred scripture. Also, sacramentals, holy water, scapulars, blessed medals. Very, very effective to bring about peace in your life, as well as devotions. So many great devotions that the church gives us can help us to experience peace in our life.
And the fifth P of Peace, the final one: Prize. What does that mean? It means to keep your eye on the prize. What’s the prize? The prize is life in heaven with no problems. There’s no problems in heaven, no physical aches and pains, no money worries, nothing. Just you and the Lord, united forever in heaven. The fifth P of Peace, focus on heaven. It is so critical that you do that. Some times that you remember, this life has problems, but this life was never meant to be perfect, our Lord said that. Jesus said in this life, you will have problems. In this world you will have problems. But have no fear. Why? Because I have overcome the world. But even in spite of the fact that we’re going to have problems in this life, and that heaven is the ultimate time for happiness, to be happy with the Lord forever, you can still experience a great deal of peace right now as long as you start turning to the Lord every day.
So there you have it, the five Ps of Peace. And again, I go into a lot more detail in my book From Fear to Faith. If you start turning to the Lord every day, putting these steps into practice, your life will be a lot different. I can vouch for that fact. If you have any questions, you can contact me through my website – FollowingTheTruth.com – I would love to hear from you. I have written several books, I am always happy to give talks at parishes, to lead parish missions, and I lead them specifically on overcoming anxiety with the help of the Lord. I have a Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry parish mission, I give talks at conferences and parishes. Whatever you need, I would be happy to come to your parish or your conference and spread some of this good news. Because the Lord really doesn’t want us to work. He really doesn’t. And with His help, it is possible to experience peace.
Words from Saint Francis de Sales
I want to leave you with some words from Saint Francis de Sales. Any time I go out and I give a talk on overcoming anxiety, I like to end with these words. Saint Francis de Sales: “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring, the same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”
I want to thank you for joining me. I will be praying for you, and I would ask you to keep me in your prayers as well. Together, my friends, we can make this journey From Fear to Faith. Just stick with the Lord, and you’ll have the peace you desire. God bless you, and thank you for watching.
About Gary Zimak
Gary Zimak is the author of several books, including A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible, From Fear To Faith and Stop Worrying & Start Living. He is a frequent speaker at parishes and conferences across the country and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. In addition, Gary is the creator and host of Spirit In The Morning on Holy Spirit Radio in Philadelphia, a regular guest on EWTN TV and Radio and the Director of Parish Services for Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church in North Wales, PA. Gary also writes for The National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest and Catholic Exchange. He resides in South Jersey with his wife Eileen and daughters Mary and Elizabeth. You can follow him online at FollowingTheTruth.com.