DAILY CATHOLIC for February 9
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no. 28


How to Pray with the Heart
column twenty

by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.
INTRODUCTION: "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 will be a regular column in each on-line issue. 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 twentieth column, his thirteenth in the DAILY CATHOLIC he continues his series on Unity and how man puts too much emphasis on the mind and not enough on the heart which causes disunity and weakness for only in unity is there strength.    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.
How to
Pray with the Heart
Unity is not a state of mind!
      The unity of Heaven is reflected in all of terrestrial creation. All of the forces of nature, all of what we know as wild animals, were tame. Peace reigned on earth. All of creation was in oneness within itself and in absolute oneness with its Creator.

     From all that has been said, it becomes evident that unity existed from all eternity, and that division came into existence with lucifer's rebellion, and that division entered upon earth when lucifer, now satan, tricked Adam and Eve out of obedience into a life that was to be based on logic. Division appeared on the scene when lucifer, making use of his 'angelic mind,' discovered for himself, his beauty, his power and the fact that he could act separately from God. Division found its way onto the earth when Adam and Eve ceased using their hearts as a base from which to maintain an ongoing life in union with God and chose instead to make use of their minds in order to plot their own course by doing what made sense to them. Rather than remain in unity with God by a life emanating from the heart, they chose to disunite themselves by leading an independent life from God, their independence being declared by a report they received from the mind that they could live very well without God, without having to bend to Him, without having to live a life dependent upon Him.

     Satan is the one who is responsible for all division. As he made use of trickery to get Adam and Eve to operate in life essentially and basically with the use of the mind, it follows that division is caused essentially and basically when the mind, at the expense of the heart, is given prime importance and made to be the principal thrust in maintaining life on a moment to moment, day to day basis.

     Jesus is the One Who has introduced unity once again into the world. He came obeying His Father in all things. He came to put all things back into order, into unity. As Adam and Eve brought division into the world, Jesus came to bring unity. To do this, He came leading with His Heart. His thrust into life on this earth was a hearty thrust.

     It should be quite clear that no one can obey God with one's mind. The mind was given to humans by the Creator primarily that they micht make use of it precisely to find out just what it was that God wished of each to do, so that with the heart, each person might readily and freely do just that. God had given mankind the mind in order that He could, at His will, communicate with it and impress upon it just what it was that He wished each to do at any given moment.

In my next installment I will continue this thread on Unity - and how our Catholic Faith fosters this.

To review Father Valenta's previous columns in this series, go to Archives beginning with the August 18, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 16.

February 9, 1998     volume 9, no. 28
Father Stephen Valenta Column

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