Print in TEXT ONLY format

To print this page, we recommend you CLICK HERE to go to TEXT ONLY. vol, 9
no. 83

INTRODUCTION: "Keys for Living God's Will" by the respected religious Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. is a regular feature of each issue. Fr. Hampsch continues with excerpts from his book, co-authored by Clint Kelly, entitled "Faith: Key to the Heart of God" in which we see Fr. John's teachings put into succinct stories that all can relate to and which will unlock the door to understanding how faith can come alive in our own daily experience. Father has made available, through God's Living Word, how to capture Heaven's fire in our soul and how to blaze a victory trail both here on earth and in Heaven. Fr. John illustrates how Jesus exudes faith in and for us and only by loving Him unconditionally can we truly demonstrate our love for Him through nurturing our faith as he illustrates in his thirty-seventh installment: Vertical Growth: Our Cooperation. Fr. John's column along with columns by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto and Father Stephen Valenta, O.F.M. Conv. promise simple, but effective and vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. We invite you to visit his website at http://members.aol.com/HampschCTM/ctm/home.html or you can reach him at HampschCTM@aol.com or John Hampsch@WebTV.com by e-mail.
Key to the Heart of God
Thirty-Seventh Installment: Vertical Growth:Our Cooperation part five

      As we experience each of these many, many realities of divine revelation, we have opportunities for faith-building reactions. They all are sustained by familiarity with Godís Word. If these tremendous truths are neglected, they grow dim and fade through disuse. But through reading Godís Word and dwelling on His Word, these truths remain fresh and activated in our minds. Turning the diamond of His truth around daily and studying its many facets, its iridescence, opalescence and variations of color, our faith is fortified.

      Take, for instance, the gift of praying in tongues (one of the four biblically-support ways of using that gift). You canít receive the gift of tongues without faith. When it first begins, it usually is not a language, only prayerful babbling. It is an articulated vehicle for mental prayer of praise (I Corinthians 14:14); it takes faith to develop it into a prayer language. After it does develop, it becomes more beautiful, more yielding, far more enriching. And its prayerful use builds more faith (Romans 8:26 and 27). The same is true in the more ordinary areas of our lives, where faith is needed. Consider, for instance, the problem of fear-control. God usually doesnít want us to be afraid. Jesus tells Jairus not to fear but to trust Him to raise his daughter from death (Mark 5:36). On more than a few occasions He tells His apostles to "fear not." "Do not worry (hae anxiety or fear) about what you are going to eat and wear," Jesus commands. Heathens, He says, worry about material things; authentic Christians do not (Matthew 6:32). Try giving yourself a "faith score" on the basis of your freedom from worry, anxiety or fear.

      It is important to remember not to try to "work up" your feelings of faith but to look to the Lord to do it for you. The harder you try to create faith, the less you will succeed. It is important also to watch your focus of faith. For instance, trying to develop faith to believe your prayers will be answered, you might be developing faith in your faith, but not in Jesus Christ; only in that focus will faith "restore the soul" (Hebrews 10:39).

      There was a little leaflet anonymously written back in the thirties called "The Golden Key", and translated into hundreds of languages. The whole idea of this very successful little booklet was: donít look at the waves, look at Jesus on the waves. Donít focus on your faith or on solving the problem, focus on Jesus, excepting Him to solve it. Our faith must become person-oriented, not problem-oriented.

      Many people are problem-oriented individuals. When they are doing nothing, problems occupy their minds. While washing dishes or cooking a meal, their thoughts may turn to worrying about a sick husband or a financial problem or an alcoholic family member. This automatically sets limits to the depth of oneís faith, since it is problem-oriented thinking. Such thinking may not only stop the growth of faith; it may even diminish faith, and "those who shrink back in their faith give no pleasure to the Lord" (Hebrews 10:38).

Next Installment: Vertical Growth:Our Cooperation - part six

To review Father Hampsch's previous columns in this series, go to Archives beginning with the May 12, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 10.

April 29, 1998     volume 9, no. 83
Father John Hampsch Column