DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 20, 1998     vol. 9, no. 140


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 begins 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 one

          There is in our very midst a raging battle in progress between the forces of good and the forces of evil. There is an army made up of those whose primary objective in life is to fulfill the wishes of God, the wishes of Him to Whom every creature owes its existence. There is also an army of those who are in opposition to the wishes of the Creator, choosing rather to follow out their own wishes, setting themselves up as gods unto themselves; while the army of those wishing to give their allegiance to God, is being led by Mary, the Mother of God. It is God Himself Who appointed her as the leader of the army, which fights for that which is good and holy. The army of those who choose to turn thei rbacks on God, wishing to live a life totally independent of Him, is being led by a self-appointed leader, satan. In the final analysis, therefore, this very battle between good and evil, narrows itself especially in our day to a raging conflict between the forces of Mary and the forces of satan.

          As leaders of their respective armies, both Mary and satan, have their individual objectives. Originally, satan, as lucifer, mutinied against God. "I refuse to be a servant of Yours," is the paraphrased statement given by him to God. Because lucifer was a top ranking angel, he had many angels under him who followed him in his defection from God. It is not known how many nor what they did once out of the presence of God, but when Adam and Eve were created, they came in on the scene in the person of their leader, now satan.

          There are those theologians who posit a possibility that God created human beings to fill the empty places in Heaven left by the fallen angels. When satan and his angels fell out of the bond of love between God and themselves, they turned to hatred. Hating God, satan sought to gain revenge by deceiving Adam and Eve, causing them to take their allegiance away from God in order to capture them for himself. This same expression of revenge is found in our midst this very day.

          Mary knows what satan is about and works lovingly to protect her children from his trickery and snares. She has received from the Triune God all that is needed to strengthen her children in such a way that satan's power over them is thwarted. As the Mediatrix of all graces, she places at the disposal of each of ther children who turn to her for assistance, whatever it is that they need in order to become aware of satan's deceptive ways, and be able to overpower him.

          It is Mary's wish, as our Mother, as the Mother of Jesus the Redeemer, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and most assuredly, as the beloved Daughter of the Heavenly Father, to carry out the plan that has been set forth by the Father to bring that salvation, merited for mankind by the suffering and death of her Son, to every human being who has the desire to be saved. Her chief objective, therefore, is diametrically opposed to that of satan's. Satan works for the damnation of all human beings, Mary works for their salvation.

    NEXT WEEK: Part Two of the sublteties of satan

July 20, 1998       volume 9, no. 140
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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