DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 9, 1998     vol. 9, no. 219


Weekly Column by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

          "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 continues a three part series on the Church and Vatican II and how, despite the aberrations that came from enemies of the Church within the Church, she retains her oneness, unity, universality and apostolicity for Jesus promised He would be with her until the consummation of the world.    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.

Let us clutch to our FAITH and move on part two

          What has surfaced now is that the implementation of some of the decrees of the Council fell into the hands of its enemies and, instead of the Church entering into the secular world to do its best, the secular world entered into the the Church to do its worst.

          Jesus, while on earth, spoke words which will give light to the above. I quote the passages to bring forth immediate clarity: "The kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest, then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn'" (Matthew 13: 24-30).

          A few verses later in Matthew 13: 36-43 we find, "His disciples approached Him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of weeds in the field.' He said in reply, 'He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send His angels and they will collect out of His kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them in the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."

          Surely the above, in part, could fit into the entire history of the Church, nonetheless, Jesus made reference to the END OF THE AGE. Making every effort to read the signs of the times as Jesus, Himself, had encouraged, in fact, in a way, commanded us, we have many evidences that we presently are in that frame of time. Jesus makes it clear as to what has happened in the Church.

          It would seem that each one of the faithful in our present condition, must first identify himself/herself to establish within one's own heart as to whether he/she is a weed or a blade of wheat. The clearest distinction comes froth by attesting to myself that I am either indeed obedient to the Holy Father and the bishops faithful to him, or that I am knowingly following the drum beat of a leader not faithful to him. The distinction between the weed and the wheat has become even more manifest since the new Catechism and the encyclical Veritas Splendor ("The Splendor of Truth") have become available to the public. Both laity and clergy have had the opportunity to study these and react to their content. Now the Holy Father has released his most recent encyclical Fides et Ratio ("Faith and Reason") which further delineates the sides.

          There is still something else that Jesus said in Luke 18: 8 which should be seriously pondered: "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?". He also goes into more detail in Matthew 24: 21-22 when Christ says: "For thaen there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened."

          In the final installment of this short I will outline the conclusions that we are truly in that period Our Lord refers to as END OF THE AGE and how confusion blinds us to the truths His Church teaches.

November 9, 1998       volume 9, no. 219
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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