DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY, November 17, 1997    volume 8, no. 32

How to Pray with the Heart

Part Eight: The Journey from the Head to the Heart

by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

      God, being just and merciful, chose to re-instate man unto Himself by sending His Incarnate Son into the world to bring man back into the heart. Jesus came into our midst leading with the heart. Jesus came into our midst leading with the heart. He led His entire life to the degree that He chose to die obeying rather than making use of His Mind in order to escape death. He could have run circles around Pilate intellectually and won from him His freedom. He remained still, putting up no defense. By His Word and Deed He taught man that he was to conduct his life by obedience rather than by logic.

     In everyone's life there is the constant, at times, agonizing battle between the head and the heart. Following a path of ease, we find it easier to live in the head. Aided by grace, allowing ourselves to be lead through life by the Holy Spirit living within us since Baptism, we are now in the position, if we so choose, to live by grace, to live a life of obedience to God rather than remain in rebellion against Him by living for ourselves, choosing to govern our lives by what makes sense to us rather than by living within the Divine Will. This is the on-going battle within each one of us. It comes down to a choice that each one of us must continously make, either I live for God or I live for myself; either I put God first in my life or I put myself first.

     Is it possible then for anyone of us to make this journey from leading a life governed by the mind to a life governed by the heart? Yes, it is. This is the hopeful condition in which we, the once fallen creatures, can regain what was lost in the Garden of Eden. It is as if each one of us now is in that Garden and we are given our own individual and personal opportunity to make a choice either to live as God in His creation of us intended and thus be happy with Him for all eternity, or go the way of satan's original promptings and suffer loss of that eternal happiness with God.

     Jesus made and makes it possible for each one of not only to make the journey from the head to the heart, but to choose to remain in the heart and posit every action with the heart.

   Next week, I will continue this trend of thought, delving deeper into how we can balance the scales in favor of heart over mind.

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.

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