DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 27, 1998     vol. 9, no. 145


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 two

          With all of this said, 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.

    NEXT WEEK: Part Three of the sublteties of satan

July 27, 1998       volume 9, no. 145
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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