DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     May 4, 1998     vol. 9, no. 86


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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 begins 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.


          It is an exciting part of our human nature to look for shortcuts in all that we do. This is true in every facet of our life whether it be in work, play, travel, problem solving, and the like. Once we have realized, perhaps after many years of attempts made, many tears shed, many prayers said, that the better part of life takes place in the heart, we want to find the shortest, the quickest way, to get there.

          The material in this article is based especially on many years that I have personally spent in seeking the shortest way to the heart. What I have found through prayer, hard work, failures, setbacks and sprints ahead, I take courage in sharing with you in the very best of my findings.

          Before we begin, it should be understood that we of today, are a damaged generation, damaged enough, perhaps that we find ourselves a crippled people. So many of us have bee taught that if we would ever hope to achieve success in this, the only life we have, we must cultivate the mind and make the best use of it every inch of the way as we pass through the years from achieving the age of reason till we arrive at death'' gate.

          I have no doubt that Satan has had a great part in convincing those who seem to be in charge of this generation that, that is the only way to go, i.e. live in such a way that the mind, its powers and what it contains, are the chief tools at our disposal as we make our way on our own private journey. He had tricked our First Parents into believing this and down through the centuries, he has made and to this day, makes every effort to trick every human being in the same way. It seems that in our present day, he has won one of the greatest victories. We are indeed a mentally orientated generation, we are a people imprisoned ion our minds.

          It is always a bit dangerous to make things simple. On the one hand, presenting something in its simplest way, may cause many to turn away in favor of that which may be more challenging to the mind. On the other hand, presenting material which is absolutely helpful, presenting it in a way which is not tedious to the mind already drowning in complexities, may be the better way to go. Nonetheless, here it is, here is a formula, simple and sweet, which when made use of, will bring one to a richer and more rewarding life, a life lived in the heart:

          SLOW DOWN
                     ...AND REV UP THE ACTIVITIES OF THE HEART.
    It is just that simple!

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

May 4, 1998       volume 9, no. 86
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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