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no. 54

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 twenty-ninth installment: Vertical Growth: Fertilizing Faith. 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
Thirtieth Installment: Vertical Growth: Fertilizing Faith part two

     We sometimes feel as if we should be able to do all kinds of miracles at once, like laying hands on the sick to heal them instantly; and if we donít have 100 percent success in getting our prayers answered, we may feel that there is something wrong with our faith. There probably is a defect or limit, but that is no reason to get discouraged. Some people fret because theyíve never worked a miracle and thus feel that they must have little faith. They are fearful that their faith is actually failing. That is the time to open ourselves humbly to the power of God to develop that faith, as described in I Timothy 3:13: "Develop bold faith in the Lord."

      If your faith is very weak and you lack boldness in using it, your hesitancy is probably rooted in your fear of failure. That fear could prove fatal to the little faith you might have. Very few people would dare to pray over someone to be healed of blindness, or to pray for the suppression of crime in a particular city, or for the salvation of every prostitute in the nation, but theyíll pray for the relief of a headache. They are afraid of becoming discouraged by failing in the big requests, and thus of losing the little faith they have; they then fear they may become unable to obtain even small favors from God that would require less faith.

      Yet the Lord does not expect us to attain to mature, fully formed faith all at once (thatís why Jesus prayed for Peterís growth in faith). What He does expect of us is a readiness and willingness to grow in faith. A cooperative attitude is a minimum requirement to "develop bold faith in the Lord." Without our cooperation, we could become spiritually apathetic, and that can be a real problem. The "donít-rock-the-boat" attitude, or general disinterest in faith-growth, is not merely a mental state of mind, but a disastrous prelude to spiritual deterioration, for "all that is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23).

Next Installment: Vertical Growth: God's Operation

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.

March 17, 1998     volume 9, no. 54
Father John Hampsch Column

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