DAILY CATHOLIC for January 6
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no. 4

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
Twentieth installment: Loving the Revealer part two

      In John 8: 47, Jesus says, "Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God, and since you don't, it proves you aren't His children." Hence, accepting the Revealer implies accepting the revealed truth He presents. Primary and secondary faith constitute a "package deal."

     The doctrine of the Eucharist shows how this is done. According to Cardinal Neumann, in the last century there have been 157 interpretations of the words, "This is My Body." Of those, 90 interpretations are currently in use by different Christian denominations. Four times in John 6 Jesus gives the promise of the rapture for those who partake of the Eucharist. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood, I will raise him up on the last day; he who does not eat My flesh and drink My blood will not have life in him." 1 Corinthians 11: 29 tells us that anyone who eats the bread and drinks the wine not discerning therein the body and blood of the Lord is guilty of death of the Lord. That makes it very real, very sacred.

     After stressing the importance of this doctrine in John 6, Jesus went on to say we must eat His flesh and drink His blood. It sounded like cannibalism! The Jews were turned off by it. His very disciples, who had believed in Him, watched the miracles and just been been involved in an audience-participation miracle (eating the multiplied bread), said: "That's a hard saying. Who can take it?" and walked away. Jesus did not call them back and try to explain it away. He just turned to His apostles and asked, "Will you also go away?" He was not going to change His doctrine. If He had to lose them, He would. He was not going to compromise the truth He was revealing.

     Peter, speaking up for the apostles as usual, said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life." They had primary faith in Him, therefore they had to have secondary faith in what He was saying. Peter did not understand the doctrine because he accepted Christ; accepting the Revealer, he accepted the truth revealed by that Revealer. If it was explained how it could be done, it would not be faith, it would be knowledge, science. Faith transcends science.

     Faith is believing without evidence but relying on the validity of the testimony of someone who is reliable. It is person-based, not evidence-based. It is person-based, not evidence-based.

     The intensity of adherence to doctrine flows from the intensity of adherence to the revealer who reveals the doctrine. We can reverse the process and ask how strongly we believe a truth that is revealed; that will tell us how much faith we have in Jesus, the Revealer. It will tell us the level of our personal commitment.

     Another example is found in John 11 when Jesus came to raise Lazarus from the dead. Martha went out to meet Him and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died." So Jesus then challenged her to secondary belief. "Don't you believe in the resurrection of the body (the rapture)?" He asked her. She replied, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God." Again the connection is established between secondary and primary faith. She believed in the truth of the resurrection because she believed in Jesus the Messiah, the Revealer.

     In John 5: 24, Jesus says, "Anyone who listens to My message" - secondary faith - ""believes in God Who sent Me" - primary faith.

Next Week: Steak and Potatoes Faith 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.

January 6, 1998     volume 9, no. 4
Father John Hampsch Column

January 1998