20140106 ‘Lift up your heart’ 舉心向上

In Chapter XII of the Second Part of An Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales explained one of the most important means for spiritual growth.     He wrote, “Strive as often as possible through the day to place yourself in God’s presence by some one of the methods already suggested. Consider what God does, and what you are doing; you will see His eyes ever fixed upon you in love incomparable.”     The four methods suggested by the saint for placing oneself in the presence of God are: first, realizing that God’s presence is universal; second, calling to mind that God is very specially present in our heart and mind; third, dwelling upon the thought of Christ looking down upon all people from heaven; fourth, picturing Jesus at our side.

Spiritual retreat

St. Francis wrote, “When St. Catherine of Siena was deprived by her parents of any place or time for prayer and meditation, Our Lord inspired her with the thought of making a little interior oratory in her mind, into which she could retire in heart, and so enjoy a holy solitude amid her outward duties. And henceforward, when the world assaulted her, she was able to be indifferent, because, so she said, she could retire within her secret oratory, and find comfort with her Heavenly Bridegroom.”     Having a spiritual retreat during the day is like having a drink on a journey. “When a pilgrim pauses an instant to take a draught of wine, which refreshes his lips and revives his heart, his onward journey is nowise hindered by the brief delay, but rather it is shortened and lightened, and he brings it all the sooner to a happy end, pausing but to advance the better.”

Ejaculatory prayer

One simple way to pray during the day is with ejaculatory prayer. Pope John Paul II, in addressing the psalms, said that ancient monks used parts of the psalms as brief prayers “to release a special ‘energy’ of the Holy Spirit.”     He added that this use of the psalms is known as “ejaculatory prayer,” which could be “let fly” like flaming arrows against temptations.     Some examples of ejaculatory prayers are: “My God and my all!” “My God, I love you!” “My Jesus, mercy!” “Jesus, I trust in you!” “Mother of God, remember me,” and “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!”     Our Lord taught Sister Consolata Betrone (1903-1946) the beautiful prayer: “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!” Our Lord said to her, “Tell me, what more beautiful prayer do you want to offer Me? ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ Love and souls! What more beautiful prayer could you desire?”     “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ encompasses everything, the souls in purgatory and the souls in the Church Militant; the innocent soul and the guilty soul; the dying, the atheist, etc.”     “Do not lose time; remember that every act of love is a soul. Of all the gifts, the best gift you can offer Me is a day full of love. I desire an uninterrupted ‘Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!’ from when you get up in the morning till when you go to bed at night.”     Our aspirations to God during the day need not be confined to words. Prayer can be raising our mind to God without words. St. Francis encouraged the faithful to pray to God in their own words, and to see God through daily events, things and people.     The Norms for Indulgences states: “A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, while performing their duties and enduring the difficulties of life, raise their minds in humble trust to God and make, at least mentally, some pious invocation.”

聖方濟.沙雷的「導向熱心生活」,當中第二部份的第十二章,解釋使靈修進步其中一個重要的方法。他寫道:「每天設法多次把自己置身於天主面前,思考著此刻天主怎樣做,自己此刻又怎樣做,你會覺到祂那無可比擬的愛的目光,從未離開過。」

 

聖人建議有四種方法把自己置身於天主面前:首先,要明白天主是無所不在的宇宙主宰,其次,提醒自己,天主特別臨在我們的內心,再想到基督每刻都從天堂看守著我們,最後,想著耶穌正在我們的身旁。

 

內心退省

 

聖方濟寫著:「聖女嘉大利納被父母剝奪祈禱和默想的地方與時間。耶穌啟發她,要她在靈魂深處設一個小堂,好讓她盡外在的本份時,內心仍可退居獨處。後來,當她受到世俗的攻擊時,她都處之泰然,因為她可以退入內心隱密的小堂,尋找那天上新郎的安慰。」

 

每天的內心退省,猶如旅途的甘露。聖方濟解釋:當朝聖者稍許停下來,淺酌醇釀,頓時乾唇灼舌得到滋潤,疲心累體為之一振,再能輕鬆前進;雖謂時間上似有延誤,實質輕心快步,卻又能抵上稍誤的時差。小休為的是邁進!

 

熱心短禱

 

為能日間忙裡祈禱,簡短的禱文最是有用。真福教宗若望保祿二世談到有關「聖詠」,他說:「昔日隱修士們以聖詠作口頭簡短的頌禱,祈能釋放『聖神的特別能量』。」他補充說:「這些短禱,就如疾飛的火箭,打退誘惑。」

 

短禱計有:「我的天主!我的所有!」,「我的天主,我愛慕祢!」、「我的耶穌,矜憐我吧!」、「耶穌,我信賴祢!」、「天主之母,請記得我。」、「耶穌、瑪利亞,我愛您!求您拯救眾靈!」等等。

 

耶穌教導高素略.白彤修女短禱「耶穌、瑪利亞,我愛您!求您拯救眾靈!」,並對她說:「告訴我,妳向我誦禱的,有什麼比這經文更美麗?『耶穌、瑪利亞,我愛您!求您拯救眾靈!』內裡包含了『愛』和『靈魂』!還有什麼更美麗的經文妳想要的呢?」

「『耶穌、瑪利亞,我愛您!求您拯救眾靈!』包含了一切:煉獄裡的靈魂、世途中教會的靈魂、潔淨的靈魂和帶罪的靈魂;臨終者、無神論者,等等… 不要費時失事,每一個發的愛德,都能救靈。妳能奉獻給我所有獻禮中,最能鍾悅我者,莫過於充滿愛的一天。我希望妳無間斷地誦唸『耶穌、瑪利亞,我愛您!求您拯救眾靈!』—— 從晨起暮休。」

我們發的善情並不規限於唸經誦文,默默地把心神向天主提昇已是很好的祈禱。聖方濟鼓勵信眾用自己的說話,由衷地與天主交談,並設法從每天的事與人,看到天主。

 

教會有關「大赦」頒令:「信眾克盡己職、承擔生活困難的同時,在謙卑信賴中將思想舉向天主,且至少在心中作熱心祈求,可得限大赦。」

 

 

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One thought on “20140106 ‘Lift up your heart’ 舉心向上

  1. Pingback: 20140106 ‘Lift up your heart’ 舉心向上 | Catholic Canada

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