DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 10-19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 135-139


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 completes his series on Meekness of Heart in honor of the Sacred Heart and the upcoming month of July - dedicated to the Precious Blood.    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.

Learn from Me for I am Meek and Humble of Heart part four

          The further implication of what we talked about last week regarding the diminishing of the Sacrifice is that the faithful in some parishes, in being given the "Body of Christ" at that part which is normally Communion time, are made to respond "I am"", rather than "Amen." Those priests, who advocate that this is merely unleavened bread and a symbol of unity with Christ and with each other, stand in opposition to the meek and humble Jesus by elbowing their way into a stance that is in direct opposition to what the Church teaches and what the Church wants. The faithful, being unaware of what is taking place, are put into the position of simply making a spiritual communion, for without a valid consecration this is all that is left. What of the unconsecrated host/s in the tabernacle?

          How could this have happened and how is it that it had not been nipped in the bud? I don't know, but I feel that it is part of the work of our Lady's adversary in trying to fragment the Church by moving even some of its leaders away from bending to authority and, by working through some form of democratic process, strive to establish what would be looked upon as the "American Catholic Church." It is an attempt to establish independence from Rome, from the Vicar of Christ. Pride, now, as in the garden of Eden, is bringing attention to the "self" within this "me" generation in which we are living, and blinding those who have slipped out of faith into the state of a hardened heart.

          Out of fear and/or out of a sense of respect for the priesthood and for their bishop, the faithful who are being deceived feel incapable of doing anything. When those of courage come forward to correct the abuses, their complaints are quickly brushed aside by such remarks as, "We have to follow Vatican II." In short, almost nothing is being done. I can assure you, despite the problems of Vatican II, Church doctrine and traditions have not been changed; the Sacraments have not been changed. The Mass is still the unbloody sacrifice of the re-enactment of Calvary. Yet, because the faithful have been confused, thousands wander about aimlessly with a sense of futility.

          Satan's smoke screen is so insidiously camouflaged that even some of the bishops are unaware of what is going on in some of their parishes. There are bishops who, not being obedient to the Holy Father, cannot hope to receive obedience from their own priests. The bishops, as chosen shepherds, bear the responsibility before God.

          There is a desperate need in our day for many to take the journey from pride to humility, from being self-assertive to bending by way of a liberating obedience. There needs to be a plunge in faith back to a life of the Gospel, making one's way to the meek and humble Jesus. Then, and only then, can He touch one's heart. Then, and only then, can one absorb His words in Matthew 11:29, "Learn from Me for I am Meek and Humble of Heart."

July 10-19, 1998       volume 9, no. 135-139
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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