DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     May 11, 1998     vol. 9, no. 91


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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 Shortcuts to the Heart in focusing on opening our hearts and abandoning our will totally to God's Will.    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.


          Most personal problems of whatever kind, and so whatever kind of problems we find in the world at large, are brought upon us because of our failure to recognize just who we are and what it is that we are to be about in the life that we find ourselves in. The fact that we had many times heard such things as, God created each one of us out of nothing, created each one of us to be most unique, created each one of us to His Own Image and Likeness, created each one of us to get to know, love and serve Him and thus find eternal bliss, has by and large made very little impact on any of us. These truths, lodged in the mind, have not found themselves, and perhaps have not even been given the opportunity to find themselves, making their way to become an integral part of our everyday life. In so many cases, they have received a mere mental assent, a mental nod, and allowed to remain without fertilizing one's life, bearing no productive fruit, having absolutely no effect on one's everyday behavior.

          It is not the scope of this article to delve into reasons for the above condition which most everyone finds themselves in. I do wish to shout, scream in the quietest, gentlest of voice, the kind that Jesus used and still uses and the voice of our pleading Heavenly Mother. The need to slow down is in favor of coming to our senses to that we can take stock of our life, get a bearing, and freely, with a depth of conviction, make a choice of living that life which the Father had designed for each one of us from all eternity, a life which would bring with it peace of mind, peace of heart and peace of soul. We can never come to our senses while on the run. To make use of anything, and everything at our disposal, the aid - coming from God Himself, aids coming forth from men of good will, we must, must SLOW DOWN. The need to slow down is absolutely essential in order that each one of us might take possession of our senses, of ourselves. There are many pearls of great price. This is one that surpasses most.

          Once the soul is in a state of quiet, the Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, can do something which we cannot do ourselves. We have been told by Jesus that "if you obey the commandments, you will discover who you are." We cannot obey the commandments unless the Spirit is given the opportunity to teach them to the heart so that the heart can abide by them. The Spirit will also make it crystal clear that each one of us is a PERSON. God the Father is a PERSON, God the Son is a PERSON, God the Holy Spirit is a PERSON. He makes it clear to ME that I am a PERSON, that I have dignity and worth and that I have been given as a life far above any and every other earthly creature. As a PERSON, I am able to carry on a person to PERSON relationship with my very Maker. Once realized, this little bit of truth has enough power to blow my mind right into my heart.

         In the next installment I will continue to impart valuable tips on "Shortcuts to the Heart."

May 11, 1998       volume 9, no. 91
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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