DAILY CATHOLIC for January 13
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no. 9

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 the Revealer with "secondary" and "primary" faith in his twentieth 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.
Key to the Heart of God
Twenty-First Installment: Steak and Potatoes Faith stage one - the pablum menu for believing

     There are atheists who believe that Jesus died on the cross. There are pagans who might believe Jesus actually died as a martyr to save the world, but it doesn't necessarily mean they accept it. For that matter, there are so-called Christians who believe that Jesus died to save mankind but they have not accepted that fact personally. I John 5:1 says that if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, that He is God's Son and the Savior, then you are a child of God.

      Hebrews 10:39 says our faith in Him (primary faith) assures our salvation. I Corinthinans 15: 1-3, I John 5: 13, and many other Scriptures affirm the same thing. That is the basic level.

      You may say you've done that. You've watched Christian television and prayed the sinner's prayer ("All you people out there in television land get down on your knees now and take Jesus for your personal Savior"). You've done that, perhaps many times. That's beautiful, and it's good to have it renewed. The problem, however, is this: a person who makes that act of faith often thinks that is all there is to faith - getting saved. "Saved" is a relative term because Paul in Ephesians 4:30 implies a second level of salvation. He says, in effect, that our salvation is not completed here, it is completed when we get to Heaven. And again in Philippians 2:12 he says to work out one's salvation in fear and trembling, implying that we have not fully arrived yet. We have security because Jesus said, "Those the Father has given Me, no one will snatch from My hands." And I John 3:9 says no one who has become part of God's family makes a practice of sinning because Christ, God's Son, holds him securely "-saved-" and the devil cannot get his hands on him. Such a one is saved in the sense that he is locked into a path to Heaven, and that's beautiful.

      But to think that is all there is to faith is to cultivate what I call kindergarten spirituality. Hebrews 6:1 says not to stop there: "Stop going over the same old ground again and again, always teaching those first lessons about Christ. But let us go instead to the other things and become mature in our understanding as strong Christians ought to be." Let's stop eating the baby pablum of Christian spirituality, as important as that is to get started. In the next column I'll talk about the second stage as we graduate to more substantial food for thought and faith.

Next Week: Steak and Potatoes Faith stage two - a more substantial diet of faith

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.

January 13, 1998     volume 9, no. 9
Father John Hampsch Column

January 1998