20130415 Sacred Heart loves mankind 聖心愛世人

The seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries were difficult and tumultuous times for the Church in Europe. Prideful leaders announced that faith would not govern them but only reason. Freethinkers refused to accept any authority in intellectual matters.
Within the Church there were the heresies of Jansenism and Quietism in France. According to Jansenism, Christ did not die for all people, and most of the people were predestined to damnation. Only a small number of people were granted salvific grace, and only the “just” or predestined should receive Holy Communion. Jansenism was condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1653. God wills all to be saved and gives sufficient grace to all. Holy Communion cleanses the soul from venial sin and strengths it against mortal sin.
Quietism advocated total passivity in spiritual life. According to Quietism, a person only need to immerse oneself in God, and should be indifferent to everything, including temptation. Pope Blessed Innocent XI condemned Quietism in 1687.
During these difficult times, God raised up saintly teachers on the spiritual life in France—–St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), St. John Eudes (1601-1680), and St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)—-who directed people to the love of God.
Divine Heart
At a very young age, Margaret felt herself continually persuaded to say these words: “O my God, I dedicate to you my purity and I make you a vow of perpetual chastity”. For four years Margaret was sick and not able to walk. But at fourteen she was instantly cured when, at her mother’s suggestion, she vowed herself to Our Lady.
In June, 1671, Margaret entered a convent of the Visitation order, and on December 27, 1673 she received her first revelations. Margaret heard Christ inviting her to take the place which St. John had occupied at the Last Supper. Christ told her that the love of His heart must be spread and manifested to mankind by means of her. “My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind … that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.”
Margaret described that the Sacred Heart was on fire and surrounded by a crown of thorns. The flames represented his love for mankind, and the thorns represented man’s sinfulness and ingratitude. It was as though Christ took her heart and out it within His own, returning it burning with divine love into her breast.
Reparation for sins
Margaret had three more visions over the next eighteen months in which Jesus instructed her to make reparation for sins by frequent Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by making holy hour on Thursday night. In the final revelation, the Christ asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be instituted.
Regarding the First Friday devotion Our Lord said, “The all-powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.”
Patient witness
Margaret suffered a great deal for her revelations. She was opposed by some of the nuns and the theologians who examined her did not believe in her.
By the providence of God, St. Claude de la Colombiere, a Jesuit priest, became the spiritual director of Margaret. He assured Margaret that her visions regarding the Sacred Heart were genuine.
The revelations of the Sacred Heart were eventually accepted by Margaret’s community. Before her death Margaret said, “I will not live much longer, for I no longer suffer.”

十七及十八世紀的歐洲教會,處於困難的局面;她要面對那些自以為是的政治領袖,他們擯棄固有信德的理念,卻吹噓以人性的理解尺度管治國民,而大批自詡為自由思想主義者,與既有的教會思想方向抗衡,甚至背道而馳。

教會本身亦出現如「楊森學派」和「寂靜主義」等異端。

「楊森學派」倡導原罪徹底破壞了人之本性,人已經沒有自由意志,基督救世只限於預定者,並非整個人類,而只有那些預定被救贖者,才可以領聖體。1653年,教宗諾森十世懲罰倡導的楊森主教,明言天主旨在救贖全人類,會賜予所有人得救的聖寵,領聖體可得小罪的赦免,且能抵抗大罪的誘惑。

「寂靜主義」推崇靜觀的神秘思想,認為一個人只沉浸於天主,無視其它一切事物,甚至對於誘惑,都可以不屑一顧。1687年,教宗真福諾森十一世譴責此異端。

幸好,此時的教會,在法國出現了三位聖者導師,他們極力誘導信眾,重蹈愛天主的正軌:聖瑪加利大.亞拉高(1647-1690)、聖若望.歐德(1601-1680),和聖類斯.蒙福(1673-1716) 。

耶穌聖心

瑪加利大幼小時已經被感召祈禱說:「噢,我主!我把我的貞潔付託於祢,我要向祢許下終身貞潔之願。」瑪加利大曾因生病而不良於行,時歷四載;十四歲那一年,遵母親建議,把自己奉獻給聖母,頑病霍然痊癒。

1671年六月,瑪加利大入「聖母往見修院」;1673年十二月二十七日,瑪加利大首獲神視,聽得耶穌邀請她坐在聖若望宗徒「最後晚餐」時的座位,同時要宣揚聖心對世人的愛:「我這聖心燃燒著愛人的烘烘烈火,不應自困囹圄,要藉妳得到廣傳。」

瑪加利大憶述燃燒著烈火的耶穌聖心,緊緊地被荊棘環綑著 —— 燃火代表愛人的熱火,但世人的罪衍和忘恩負義之心,傷透了耶穌的聖心,就如祂的聖心,緊緊地被荊棘環綑著一樣。耶穌好像把瑪加利大的心,放入自己的聖心,使聖女即時也感到那烘烈的愛火。

補贖罪過

之後,聖瑪加利大在十八個月內,再有三次神視。耶穌敦促她勤領聖體,以補贖諸罪,特別在每個月首星期五如此,在每星期四晚上守聖時敬禮,並要建立特敬「聖心瞻禮」。

耶穌親自應允,凡連續九個月首星期五為特敬耶穌聖心,而熱心領聖體的人:「將在臨終時得賞悔改的聖寵,得領受臨終聖事,更會得到聖心的鍾悅,在彌留時得聖心的庇蔭。」

含忍的見証

因著神視,瑪加利大忍受著無比的痛苦;她遭到修院修女們的反對和責難,神學家們也不相信她。後來,天主指派一位耶穌會會士、聖高隆汴神父,力陳聖女的神視是獨特和真確!

聖心神視最終得到確認。聖瑪加利大死前說:「我將不久於人世,因為我已不再受苦了。」

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