DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     August 24, 1998     vol. 9, no. 165


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 six

          When you and I entered the world, we were indeed unaware that we had been born into an arena wherein there is raging a continuous battle between the Woman clothed With the Sun and the Angel submersed in Darkness. Although the opportunity was given to us in Scripture, and, although we may have been told of this ongoing battle, it is not until recent times that anyone of us have had the internal depth experience that there was a war raging, and that each one of us, by the designs of God, is to take an active part in it. It is expected of you and me to make a decision whether to stand with Mary, or with Satan.

          Nor is it so simple as to make one decision once and for all. Angels could do so and have done so, but humans have it otherwise. We struggle day in and day out in our decision making. Satan, as the Great Deceiver, revenging himself against God, wishes to steal us from Him, our Creator. Mary, having been given by Jesus, our Savior, the motherly charge over each one of us, pleads that we remain close to her that she might carry us in her arms to the Father to Whom we really belong. Satan uses subtleties to confuse and trip us up. Mary makes use of her motherly wisdom and love that we might not only clearly understand the ways of Satan, but obtains graces for us that we might have continual power of him.

          In previous installments of this column, we had given some thought to satan's subtleties. Let us now turn our attention to what it is that Mary asks and pleads for in order to give us a helping hand to detect these subtleties and to opt continuously for the directives she offers.

          Foremost, and perhaps the most basic of her directives is that we pray. She emphasizes this often by repeating the word "pray" three times, i.e. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. In addition to this, over and over again she speaks of the necessity to pray with the HEART. She asks that we seek guidance from her Spouse Who is the Source of Wisdom, understanding and knowledge. She makes it clear that if we pray, we will find out what it is that the Father wants of us. She continually requests of us to pray the rosary for in this form of prayer all of the above can be put into practice.

          Mary is the Mother of all children whether these be good, bad or indifferent, whether these be of the True Faith, of other faiths or of no faith at all. It is to all of her children, all without one single exception, that she pleads for prayer from them. Prayer is the umbilical cord that connects each human being with his/her Maker and Owner. This cord may be of different sizes, different textures, different forms, but it must be there if human beings are to be in touch with their Source of Life. Imagine an employee who never touches base with his/her employer. There are many of God's most special creatures on earth who never make contact with Him. Especially for these does Mary weep. She knows well that satan is the chief destroyer of this umbilical cord, thus contributing to a condition that keeps the minds of human on themselves rather than upon their God.

    NEXT WEEK: Part Seven of the sublteties of satan

August 24, 1998       volume 9, no. 165
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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