DAILY CATHOLIC -    Tuesday, November 11, 1997   volume 8, no. 28



by Father John Hampsch, C.M.F.

Faith: Key to the Heart of God

Thirteenth installment: High Octane Healing part two

   One of the most remarkable cases I've seen took place in Spokane, Washington. A young man about 19 years of age had been a thalidomide baby. He had no left arm but a hand that grew out of the shoulder like a flipper. His right arm was overdeveloped, huge and muscular, making him unbalanced. A group recalling Jesus' healing of the man with the withered hand (Mark 3: 5) prayed over that man for twenty minutes. That was the time it took for his left arm to grow out, inch by inch, to full normalcy while the right arm was normalized during the same prayer. A twenty-minute miracle! They're still talking about that in Spokane, a truly astonishing miracle!

   Jesus healed the withered arm of the man in the temple. That same Jesus also said, "You who believe in Me can do the same miracles I have done and even greater ones" (John 14: 12). But how many people do you know with the faith to believe in the restoration of an arm that practically didn't exist? The Bible says that Jesus caused limbs to grow that weren't there before. You can do the same thing, He said, if you have faith.

   During a monthly charismatic Mass, the testimonies that people presented were not too exciting - the healing of a common cold, that sort of thing, things that were not really building up the faith of the community. So the core group agreed to come a half an hour early each month and pray in the sacristy that God would really pour out His miraculous healing power to produce faith-building testimonies.

   When it was time for the testimonies at the following meeting, a lady came up to the microphone and thanked everyone for praying. "I told you I was going to the hospital last week for a radical mastectomy because of cancer of the breast. I went in and had the operation. It was very successful and I want to thank you all for praying for me. The doctors are very elated and mystified because the breast was restored and grew back overnight!"

   And that was only our first testimony after praying for miracles! A whole series of such testimonies came forth that night. Faith was exploding through the crowd like popcorn popping. The more miracles you witness or hear of , the more your faith grows. The exceptions are those who scorn all miracles. Such persons have anemic faith, if any at all. Some people have just enough faith to believe minor miracles but not faith to believe in major ones like healing of blindness or resuscitation from the dead. God does not actually allow people who have weak faith to see things like that (cf. Luke 10: 21 and 23). I think it is God's way of controlling sensationalism in the charismatic renewal.

Next week: High Octane Healing - part three

November 11, 1997 volume 8, no. 28         DAILY CATHOLIC - COLUMNS