DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     June 8, 1998     vol. 9, no. 110


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

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 a treatment on Endurance - something we all need in the long haul in our journey to Heaven.    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.


          During the course of this series, "How to Pray With the Heart," in this HEARTS TO HEART TALKwe have traveled a long distance. We have taken a journey from the head to the heart. We have seen that the thrust into life has to be surrender, not thought. We have set forth that there are certain obstacles, like pride and fear that must be dealt with before prayer with the heart can become effective. There now comes the question, can a person who prays with the heart endure in it and make it an integral part of his/her everyday life? The answer is an unequivocal, yes.

          With God, all things are possible and, conversely, without Him, one can do nothing. As the earth cannot continue to rotate on its axis year in and year out with a refined stability without divine power, as the sun needs divine power in order to keep it giving light and heat, so does prayer with the heart need God's divine intervention. It cannot be sustained with human effort alone.

          Let us consider how it is with Our Blessed Mother. Certainly, her prayer for us is with her heart, in fact, with her whole heart. She ha sprayed with her heart from her earliest days. Her "fiat" came from the depth of her heart. She prayed in this manner all through the life of her Son, from conception to His return to His Father. Her time on earth before her assumption into heaven was spent in deep prayer with the heart for the apostles, for the Church, for all God's people. She carried on this form of prayer during the entire span of centuries to this present moment, adoring the Most High, expressing gratitude to Him and pleading for her children on earth.

          After years and years of pleading for us, begging from us, crying over us, she goes on and on and on without ceasing. If it were not for God's power sustaining her, she could not possibly continue her praying so heartily. Her motherly heart, given power, given endurance by the Holy Spirit, her Spouse, brings hope to all of us on earth. Without this assistance, she, no doubt as any earthly mother, would have thrown in the towel long time ago, her energy, and love having burnt out.

          We are entering into the twelfth year of Mary's appearances at Medjugorje. Never in all of her other apparitions such as LaSalette, Lourdes, Fatima, had she spent so much time instructing, forming, guiding, and encouraging visionaries as she has done with the six young people in this town. Why? Why would she be so persistent in staying in our midst day after day, year after year? God only knows. It is His designs and His wishes that Mary is carrying out. The entire Trinity has a part in this. There must indeed be an urgency. Never has anything like this been experienced on the face of the earth. Jesus led a public life, which lasted under three years. His principal geographical location was limited to the land of the Jewish people. Mary's twelve years in our midst has had an effect on an entire world. Here we are not even considering the fact that she is said to be appearing in many, many countries, in various places within individual countries.

          When a mother senses danger to her children, instinctively she comes to their assistance. She stays with them as long as the danger exists, doing all within her power to separate potential harm from them. If the danger lasts an entire day, she is there for the entire day; if it lasts for an entire year, she is there for the entire year and so on. Mary is a true mother and if she has been with us all these years and nonetheless, continues the danger must still exist.

June 8, 1998       volume 9, no. 110
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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