DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     September 14, 1998     vol. 9, no. 179


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 short series on how our times need to tap into the Divine Power or suffer the fate of so many before us in succumbing to the wiles and snares of the devil.    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.

Our Times Need a Tap Into Divine Power part one

          One of the most hopeful messages that Jesus has given to mankind is that each human being is invited to tap into and live on a plane far above the human level. He had come into and remains in our midst to share with us His Heart in Its continuos and vibrant giving of itself to all who have a desire to receive it.

          As in all of life, nothing is for nothing; everything has its price. In order for one to have an implant of the Divine Heart, one must pay the price of giving over to Jesus one's own heart. That this is quite an unfair exchange is evident; that it is quite a bargain is exciting.

          We cannot help but be touched by Jesus' generosity when He makes it clear by word and deed that He has come to give each of us a fullness of life. He came to redeem, that is, to unslave, to unleash us from the bonds of darkness and weakness. Each one of us has come into life, bonded to self, at the moment of conception. The Father Creator had brought mankind into being to share a happiness in Him, with Him, through Him. He did the same for the angels. Lucifer, choosing to take His glance away from God, looked at himself and fell in love with himself, thus enslaving himself to the love of himself. Adam and Eve fell victim to lucifer, and by turning themselves upon themselves, they too became enslaved to the love of themselves. Jesus came to help us to take our attentions from ourselves and put it on Him and through Him, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to put it back upon the Father, thus finding for ourselves that which we, through our first parents, had lost.

          In truth, Jesus did much more than that. He opened the floodgates of Love so that there continues to flow into mankind a new source of power, love power. In exchange for the limitations of the human heart, we are now in the position to have Divine Love flow into the human heart and raise it up to a level wherein it can produce acts far above its human capacity. It has as a result become possible for the human heart, giving itself over to the divine Heart, to receive in exchange the Love power of the Divine Heart to the degree of being able to love one's enemies.

          Nor is this all. It has become possible because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the human heart to make it possible for that heart to produce actions of a meritorious quality, meaning that, now it can act in such a way as to be continuously pleasing to the Father, which actions are deserving of additional reward in eternity.

          It should not be understood that now that Divine Love has taken up its abode within my human heart that my human heart no longer exists. It means that the love and power that emanate from the Divine Heart has so inflamed my human heart that it takes on the qualities of the Divine Heart in a similar way as the piece of steel held within the fires of the steel mill furnace becomes so inflamed by the fire that it is not easy to separate it from the fire, but that it almost takes on the characteristics of fire itself and yet without losing its identity as a piece of steel. The human heart can become so inflamed with the Love of the Divine Heart that it takes on the qualities of that Divine Heart without itself losing its own identity.

          There are times when we hear or read such statements as "My son, My daughter, give Me your heart." We may have heard it said that, at Communion time, I am to give my heart to Jesus and in turn He will give me His. We are not to understand by this that in doing this there is an exchange of hearts and now my heart is a divine heart.

          Not so. What it means is that as I give my heart to Jesus, He is able to transform it so that the life and love that is within the Heart of Jesus can now flow into my heart.

    Next week: Part Two - how the human heart can overcome humanism.

September 14, 1998       volume 9, no. 179
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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