20130121 Monastic ideals lived out 隱修理想的活現

A number of great religious orders were founded during the eleventh and the twelfth centuries. These orders are still influencing the spirituality of Catholics today.
The Cistercians
Sts. Robert, Alberic, and Stephen Harding founded the monastery at Citeaux in 1098. The monks of Citeaux followed a more literal observance of the rule of St. Benedict with special emphasis on simplicity, manual labor, and silence atmosphere for personal prayer.
The monks of Citeaux were known as the Cistercians. They wore white habit as sign of poverty and simplicity. The Cistercians had special devotion to Our Lady.
At the beginning, this austere community attracted very few members and was on the point of dying out. But in 1112 a twenty-two years old nobleman, St. Bernard, decided to join Citeaux. He persuaded thirty of his relatives and friends to come with him. They all came to the door of the monastery and asked for admission.
The good example of Bernard soon attracted many others to the monastery, and there was a need to erect a new monastery. In three years, Bernard became the head of a new community at Clairvaux (The Valley of Light).
At first, Bernard was very severe and expected too much of his monks, who became disheartened. Later he perceived his error, and led others with sweetness and mildness. Bernard personally founded sixty-eight monasteries and still had seven hundred monks in his own monastery.
Bernard was both contemplative and active. He was a mystic who had great devotion to Our Lady and promoted the “Memorare” prayer. He wrote warmly about the divine love of God, and his writings were recommended by Pope Pius XI as particularly suitable novitiate reading.
Bernard also made journeys defending the Catholic faith, and assisted popes, bishops and kings in public affairs.
Died in 1153, Bernard was canonized twenty-one after his death. He was declared Doctor of the Church in 1830.
The Norbertines
The community of the Premonstratensians or Nobertines was founded by St. Norbert. As a subdeacon in his early thirties, Norbert was leading a worldly life. One day, he was thrown from a horse in a lightning storm. He was unconscious for more than an hour. When he awoke, his first words were, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” In response, Norbert heard in his heart, “Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.” He became a priest and obtained permission from the pope to become a wandering preacher.
He tried to reform the secular clergy, but his efforts failed. In 1120, Norbert retired to the valley of Premontre in northern France to prepare himself, by prayer and fasting, for the foundation of a new religious order. In a matter of months, Norbert had forty companions, and formed a new community. Members of this community combined a monastic form of life with the active ministry. They made religious profession on Christmas, 1121.
As a preacher, Norbert successfully combated a heretic, Tanchelm, who denied the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. In 1126, Norbert became Archbishop of Magdeburg. He started to reform his diocese, and several assassination attempts were made against him.
Norbert died on June 6, 1134 and was canonized in 1582.
The Carthusians
St. Bruno was head of the Cathedral school at Rheims and chancellor of the diocese. In 1080, Bruno and six companions retired to the Chartreuse forest for a life of contemplative prayer and penance.
In 1084 the Carthusian order was founded. The monks lived as individual hermits in a monastic community.
In 1090, Bruno was brought to Rome by his former student, Pope Urban II, as Papal Adviser in the reform of the clergy.
Before his death in 1101, Bruno founded several Carthusian monasteries in southern Italy.
The motto of the Carthusians is, “While the world changes, the cross stands firm”.

十一及十二世紀數個大修會的創立,至今仍影響著天主教教徒的靈修。

熙篤會會士

公元1098年,聖樂伯、聖亞伯列和聖斯德望.赫定,在法國的西篤建立了修道院,院士們嚴格遵守聖本篤會規的規條,著重淳樸、勞動和靜默,以專注個人祈禱。

西篤修道院院士,被稱為熙篤會會士,穿著白色會衣象徵神貧和淳樸,且特別恭敬聖母。

這樸素的小團體人數極小,有萎靡之危。公元1112年,二十二歲的貴族青年聖伯爾納鐸,率領三十位親友參加了西篤修道院內的團體。

聖伯爾納鐸的善表,吸引了很多人效法,西篤修道院頓時熱鬧起來,當然需要另建修院應付。三年後,聖伯爾納鐸成了格萊福(明谷)新修院的院長。

由於聖伯爾納鐸的嚴格,院士們感到困惑。聖伯爾納鐸洞悉己過,改以溫和的態度相待,他更多建六十八座修院收容新院士,而他自己所在的修院,仍有七百之眾。

聖伯爾納鐸動靜皆宜,他是熱敬聖母的隱修士,傳揚向聖母祈求的「求爾記憶」經文,其它寫作又論及天主感人的慈愛。教宗庇護十一世向初學修生們,推薦閱讀他所寫的文章。

聖伯爾納鐸為了衛道,不惜攀山涉水,長途旅行,到處奔走,幫助教宗、主教和各地元首,處理事務。

公元1153年,聖伯爾納鐸病逝,二十一年後被封聖品;公元1830年,他被教會尊為聖師。

諾貝多會士

聖諾貝多創立了波利榮拉登修會,亦被稱為諾貝多修會。約三十歲的諾貝多雖已是神職人員,但生活卻非常世俗化。一日,他被一道強光打下馬來,昏迷了個多時辰,醒來第一句說話,問道:「主,祢要我做什麼?」他在心內聽到聲音答道:「改過遷善。尋求平安,追求平安。」諾貝多後來晉鐸,得教宗恩准,周遊宣道傳教。

諾貝多曾嘗試轉化在俗的神職人員,不甚有成果。公元1120年,聖諾貝多退隱到法國南部的波利榮拉登山谷,以祈禱齋戒,準備日後創立一個新修會。不久,有四十人甘與聖人作伴;於是,諾貝多著手成立修會,渡隱修兼牧民的工作。公元1121年的聖誕節,眾人都發了聖願。

聖諾貝多作為傳道者,力駁猛斥當時相反基督臨在聖體聖事的異端。公元1120年,聖諾貝多被擢昇為馬德堡總主教,他隨即改革他的教區,導致有人多次企圖暗殺他。

聖人在公元1134年六月六日去世,公元1582年被教會立為聖品。

嘉都西會會士

聖布魯諾原在萊斯的主教座堂學校任教,並在教區任總務。公元1080年,布魯諾和六位志同道合的朋友,隱居格理諾森林,渡靜禱及補贖的生活。

公元1084年,聖布魯諾一眾成立了嘉都西修會,會士渡獨居斗室的隱修生活。

公元1090年,被曾為他學生的教宗吳爾班二世召到羅馬,為改革神職人員作教宗的顧問。

聖布魯諾在意大利南部多建了幾座嘉都西會的隱修院。他於公元1101年逝世。
嘉都西修會的座右銘是:「世界越益變化,十字架更見堅穩。」

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