Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. DAILY CATHOLIC for April 27
HEARTS TO HEART TALK
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vol, 9
no. 81

Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive
column thirty
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 completes today a series on Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive in focusing on abandoning our will totally to God's Will.    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
by Father Stephen Valenta, O.F.M. Conv.
column thirty
      There is a problem that arises in all of us at one time or another regarding our inconsistence in behavior. If I have been baptized, if I have been confirmed, if the Holy Spirit dwells within me, how come I still experience an ego drive in many actions. How come I find myself resisting grace, resisting the Spirit, and resisting Mary? It is the "old man" hanging on and trying to co-exist with the "new man". It is the fact that we live in the world of which Satan has taken hold. It is that fact that though the mind knows the Truth, the heart has not yet chosen or chosen only half-heartedly, to implement It into its daily life.

      For most of us it is a lifelong task to whittle away at resisting the Holy Spirit and with His help to melt down our ego drive. Some days we gain, some days we lose ground. It is for this reason that Jesus tells us that the "one who persevers to the end will be saved." (Matt. 10:22).

      We could help ourselves in this struggle between the "old and new man" within us if we would allow ourselves to nurture the experience of surrender within our heart. From the start to surrender to things like the weather, the habits of spouses, the wrinkles on our face, and the like. We can then graduate to the experience of surrender to our limitations, to our daily crosses, to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The final and the highest form of surrender is the surrender we experience when we surrender to the Holy Spirit even our need to be in continued surrender to Him in all that He wishes to do in us, with us and through us, that is when we consecrate our life in its entirety to Him, that He and only He would become the source of power within us.

      Impossible? No really. Difficult? Yes. Let us remember that heaven is a reward for work done. Putting forth energy is quite necessary. However, to realize that even the putting forth of energy must in itself be prompted by the Spirit. We are to become totally dependent upon Him even in our prayer to become totally dependent upon Him. It is He Who is the Source of all life, all grace, all energy directed towards spiritual development.

      Our Blessed Mother is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Loving spouses as these two are, always work together. As Maryís little children, we need no ego power to approach Her in our need to surrender more and more willingly and more and more completely to the Holy Spirit. In her request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, she has a deeper request, that we consecrate ourselves to Her Sonís Sacred Heart and still a deeper request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Spouse, the Holy Spirit. Putting ourselves completely into His care, will be reassuring that the day can come and for many, it will come when much of our day and at time, most of our day, will be spent I zero resistance and zero ego power in following through on the wishes of the Holy Spirit and His Spouse, our Mother.

To review Father Valenta's previous columns in this series, go to Archives beginning with the August 18, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 16.

April 27, 1998     volume 9, no. 81    HEARTS TO HEART TALK