DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 23, 1998     vol. 9, no. 229

HEARTS TO HEART TALK

Weekly Column by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

    INTRODUCTION
          "Hearts-to-heart Talk" is a compendium of talks & writings on "How to Pray with the Heart" by the popular Franciscan from upstate New York - Father Stephen Valenta, O.F.M. Conv. and is a regular column each week on Mondays. This quiet, sincere priest, with over 45 years in pastoral care and in the radio/television ministry, will touch your heart as he pinpoints the "how to's" of praying with and from the heart. In his column today in the DAILY CATHOLIC he begins a crucial series on the foundation of his talks - "How to pray with the HEART" which will lead up to Christmas and properly prepare us during Advent.    Fr. Stephen's column along with columns by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto and Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F. promise simple, but effective and vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can reach Fr. Valenta at Hearts to heart Center at P.O. Box 212, Rensselaer, New York, 12144 or you can reach him at (518) 434-1723.

How to Pray with the Heart part two

          I could title this "Just What Does It Mean To Be A Person?" because over the next few installments I am going to be dealing with the essence of personhood in our relationship with God. A person is a living entity which has self determination. It is a living being capable of generating thought while at the same time capable of executing a free action based upon various options presented. A person can be either created or un-created.

    There are three Un-created Persons - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Created persons are either angels or human beings. The essence or nature of the Un-created Person cannot possibly be defined or described by the human mind. One can simply extend the qualities of the created person into the realm of infinity, into a realm which has no limits, to come up with only a faint notion of what the Un-created Person might be like. The human mind can scarcely have a vague notion of even what the angelic person might be like.

          There is, between the human person and the angelic person, a great distinction of quality. The human person operates through a composite of body and spirit; the angelic person operates through that which is pure spirit. Man, taken generically, is a rational animal; the angel is purely spiritual. There is among the angelic persons a gradation of perfection which in itself is beyond the comprehension of the human mind.

          Amongst all of the terrestrial creatures, only human beings are persons. The Divine Creator, making use of His Infinite Intelligence and Power, chose to create a species which brings the animal nature and the angelic nature into a composition resulting in what is known as human nature. The human person operates through this human nature. Correspondingly, the angelic person operates or functions through the angelic nature. It is the Creator of all things Who has defined and brought into existence the qualities of each, the human and the angelic natures. It is the same Creator Who creates a distinct and unique person and, so to speak, sets it into operation either within the human or angelic nature.

          In the next installment I shall continue in this same vein, delving more into the human nature of man.


November 30, 1998       volume 9, no. 232
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

DAILY CATHOLIC

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