DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     September 21, 1998     vol. 9, no. 184


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 finishes up with the second part of 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 two

How the human heart can overcome humanism

          Much of the world is presently engulfed in humanism. It takes to itself what belongs to God; it makes the human the source of all power. This philosophy, this way of life, is bound to effect each one of us unless we are deeply rooted in faith. There is within many a tremendous amount of pride of what human intelligence, human power has been able to accomplish in our modern world, stating especially, the fruits of modern technology. Any humanist can easily gloss over the limitations of this system when it comes to the millions of poor, a failing economy, the overflowing prisons, the increasing number of mental hospitals and the like.

          What comes to surface is that if the human hearts of the world would allow themselves to be transformed into the Divine Heart, if the Divine Heart would be permitted to inflame all human hearts, it would be a different world, perhaps something like the world that we would have had, had it not been for the fall of our first parents.

          This now presents a challenge to every single human being, that of giving up control of one's human heart in favor of allowing the Divine Heart to transform it so that it would be completely under its influence. The human heart would thus be able to act under the influence of the Divine Heart and would thus produce fruits far above its own ability, one of which would be an increase of love power within each person for every other person on the face of the earth.

          The human heart, transformed by the Divine Heart, would also begin to enjoy qualities other than love. There would come wisdom, understanding, and knowledge far above human capabilities. Human beings would be able to endure forces, pressures, pains far beyond what the human element could possibly endure on its own. The Divine Heart brings with it Divine Energy and Divine Creativity, in addition to a tremendous intensification of true freedom, the experience of a Divine Peace and a Divine Joy.

          The question can now be asked, what about us, about you and me, who have been baptized, who are of the faith, who have received Jesus in Holy Communion year after year. How is it that this transformation of the heart has not taken place, how is it that there are even those of us who have slipped into a humanistic way of life, who profess the Faith of Jesus and still bear grudges, hostility and unforgiveness? What about those of us who have made use of whatever the Church puts at our disposal and still do not reflect the qualities of the Divine Heart? We have been confirmed, have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and yet we don't live in a way which would reflect the operation of these gifts in our daily living.

          We might come to our defense by presenting St. Paul's, "those things which I wish to do, I do not and those that I do not wish, those are the things that I do." (Romans 7, vs. 19). I think that it is a valid defense, but I think too that it is somewhat of a cop out. It would seem to me that what I need to do, as well as everyone else, is to take on the responsibility of my limitations and failures by admitting to myself first that there is still too much human in me and not enough of the divine or that I have not truly given my heart over to Jesus generously and completely enough for Him to transform my heart into His Own. Jesus' loving Mother and ours is asking each of us, among other things, to PRAY WITH THE HEART. Mary is one who truly knows what our world needs, what we of the Faith need and what you and I need. What is so sad is that she seems to be pleading in these days with what might be an agonizing voice. Her plea seems to be so unheeded. Even those of us who are in leadership roles, those of us in administrative positions in our peace groups and centers seem not to be able to reflect the peace that would give evidence to that "prayer with the heart." so many of us may feel that we are May's children and yet by our behavior there is something missing, something quite not right.

          As I see it, it boils down to a lack of Love Power. If only each one of us would but increase a desire for an outpouring of that Divine Love into our tired, anxious and weakened hearts, we would do Our Lady a great favor, not to mention what we could contribute to our own life, the life of our family, the life of our Faith com-munity. What a fine prayer it would be if I asked the Lord Jesus to help me first to live in my heart, to allow my heart to be transformed by His and then to be able to truly pray with the heart.

          In our times, difficult as they are, we need to tap into Divine Love Power to be able to surmount the mountains of difficulties that stand in the way of our own personal peace. When I can personally be transformed by the Loving Heart of Jesus and live daily inflamed by His Love, I can personally contribute assistance to Our Blessed Mother's crusade in her battle over Satan.

September 21, 1998       volume 9, no. 184
HEARTS TO HEART TALK by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.


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