DAILY CATHOLIC for December 30
COLUMNS
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no. 63

KEYS TO LIVING
GOD'S WILL
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 continues to show the differences of truly knowing that God will answer our prayers and hoping He will in his nineteenth installment: "Loving the Revealer". 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.
Faith:
Key to the Heart of God
Nineteenth installment: Loving the Revealer part one

      The secondary faith is what Jesus revealed. We believe in these things because we believe in the Revealer. We have faith in the resurrection of Christ, the Trinity, the immortality of the soul (and secondary faith teachings) because of our primary faith in Christ. But we adhere to these teachings in proportion to our adherence to primary faith.

      An example by analogy may clarify this. A man calls his wife from work and says, "Honey, Iím going to be late coming home fro work tonight. I have to work until midnight at the office, so donít prepare supper for me." Now sheís a good wife and heís a good husband and they have a good marriage. He has proven himself to be very trustworthy and she has the greatest confidence in him. She does not doubt for a moment that what he says is true. She doe snot think he is going to be running around with his secretary at the local bar or motel. She believes in what he says because she believes in him. She believes in the revealed statement because she believes in the revealer. To the extent that she believes in him, to that extent she believed in what he says.

      The parallel is obvious. To the extent that we believe in Jesus (and there are many degrees of that), we believe and adhere to what He tells us. You really canít have one without the other. If you see how closely they are related, then you have a measuring stick by which to determine how deep our own faith is. You are thereby able to apply what Paul says in Romans 12:3 "Judge yourself by the amount of faith God has given you." We can take a spiritual inventory, as we did with the gift of faith; we can judge ourselves on how much of the virtue of faith we have (cf II Corinthians 13:5).

      A faith inventory will enable us to calibrate our spiritual maturity. If we end up disappointed by this investigation, let it spur us to move higher. Donít become discouraged. You may find you are a mess. Ask the Lord to bless the mess you are, but do not allow it to immobilize you. Allow it instead to refine you in your faith.

      In John 5:39, Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees, "You search the scriptures" - the Word of God, the content of secondary faith -"because you believe they will give you eternal life, but those very scriptures point to Me" - the content of primary faith. There are over a thousand prophecies in the Old testament that point to Christ as the Messiah. The Word of God gives you eternal life only because the Incarnate Word gives you eternal life (I Thessalonians 2:13). The scribes and Pharisees emphasized secondary faith while de-emphasizing primary faith. They had found the doctrine target, but not the person target, of their faith.

Next Week: Loving the Revealer part one


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.

December 30, 1997     volume 8, no. 63
Father John Hampsch Column






December 1997