DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     August 10, 1998     vol. 9, no. 155


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR and SECTION FIVE and SECTION SIX

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 his series on the craftiness of the the fallen angels and how they can deceive us all if we are not rooted in love, truth and goodness in the heart.    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.

The subtleties of satan part four

          Let us now turn attentively to the means that Satan uses to bring about the damnation of every human being. Let us remember that satan still has his angelic nature…not that he is angelic. In addition, we are told that he held a very high position in the court of heaven. His intellective qualities were of the highest calibre; the power coming forth from his angelic will was exceedingly great. He is assuredly well equipped to carry out his heinous objective of bringing every human being to an eternal ruin. He is no match for any mere human being. In fact, putting to use the perfection's given to him in his creation, he can readily outsmart and cunningly overpower all human beings put together with the exception of her, who is the Immaculate one. He can neither outsmart her nor has the slightest power over her.

          As the great deceiver, satan is very clever. He can run circles around anyone of us. He can influence our thinking without our knowing it. He is able to manipulate our minds in such a way that we are led to behave in opposition to the Will of God. He can so jam the network of our intellect that the very notion of God can be blotted out. He can - and does - keep our minds so stimulated with new incoming thoughts that there can be not even one thought left of God and goodness in them. As the prince of this world, and, with the angelic powers which are his, satan has easily led mankind to a culture which wholly centers around intellection, to the degree that there is no room for the activities of the will. Not only can he do this, as has been said, but also he has already done it.

          Satan cannot tamper with our wills. This is off limits to him by God's command. God has made the will to act freely and only He can work with it, move it, and yet, it remains free to act. Satan can get to the will, though. H can do it indirectly. How? He can and does enter into the mind. Through the mind he gets into the emotions and through the emotions, when we act emotionally, he enters into our behavior. His power is great over the person who lives by his/her feelings. Satan knows that emotions, by and large, can control our everyday behavior especially in those individuals who are ignorant of the gift of the will and act only by how they feel. One FEELS like or does not FEEL like doing something. When one allows himself/herself to be governed by feelings, it is not the same as positing behavior with a clarity of mind and a freedom of the will. Satan has so worked things in today's lifestyle of people that he pretty well dominates what is done in our present day world.

          One of the other subtleties of satan is that he so cleverly works things that it becomes part of the way we live in our day, to take life EASY. DON'T EXERT, is the order of the day. Well, you may say, what's so bad about that? When we don't exert, we do not have power to resist evil, nor do we have energy to do that which is virtuous. We become like strands of straw in a fast flowing river. When we do not put forth effort into life, we become victims of every force in life. Every fad, every promotion of the media governs our behavior. We do not have the energy to make decisions for ourselves. Because satan has taken the world to be his own, he governs it in the way that serves his purpose; he, together with the demons under his charge, men and women who have given themselves over to him.

          CONFUSE THEM! That is the order that satan gives to his legions. When the mind does not know what to do or what even to think, satan has us in the palm of his hand. We know what it feels like when we are driving along to a destination and we become confused because we either took a wrong turn or missed a road sign. Satan thrives on confusion. Hardly does our world today recognize the darkness it has been put into because of the manipulations of satan in bringing mankind into a state of utter confusion.

    NEXT WEEK: Part Five of the sublteties of satan

August 10, 1998       volume 9, no. 155
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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