20140113 Pray with the Church 與教會一起祈禱

St. Francis de Sales referred to the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the Sun of all spiritual exercises, the centre of the Christian religion, the heart of devotion, and the soul of piety.     He encouraged the faithful to strive to attend Mass daily, and said if one was unavoidably prevented from participating in the Mass, he should at least join in it spiritually.

Spiritual Communion

This prayer of St. Gertrude the Great can be said daily to unite oneself spiritually to all the Masses celebrated throughout the world: “Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.”     If we cannot receive Holy Communion sacramentally, we can made an act of spiritual communion using the favourite prayer of St. Josemaria Escriva: “I wish, Lord, to receive You with the purity, humility, and devotion with which Your most holy mother received You, with the spirit and fervour of the saints.”     He said, “What a source there is in spiritual communion! Practise it frequently and you’ll have greater presence of God and closer union with Him in all your actions.”     St. Josemaria wrote, “Keep struggling, so that the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar really becomes the centre and the root of your interior life, and so your whole day will turn into an act of worship, an extension of the Mass you have attended and a preparation for the next.     “Your whole day will then be an act of worship that overflows in aspirations, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and the offering up of your professional work and your family life.”     Just as having an appetite for food is an indication of physical health, so our desire for Holy Communion is an indication of spiritual health. St. Josemaria wrote, “The Mass is long,’ you say, and I reply: ‘Because your love is short.'”     “Many Christians take their time and have leisure enough in their social life (no hurry here). They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities, at table and recreation (no hurry here either).     “But isn’t it strange how those same Christians find themselves in such a rush and want to hurry the priest, in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Altar?”

Liturgy of the Hours  

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church triumphant (heaven), the Church suffering (purgatory), and the Church militant (earth) are united in prayer, grace, and charity. The spirit of communion is also expressed beautifully in other official prayers and public devotions of the Church.     The praying of the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) helps to sanctify the different seasons of the year, the different days of the month, and the different hours of the day. It is a prayer that units clergy, religious, and faithful in the name of the Church to listen to the Word of God and to intercede for all people.     The daily recitation of Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours is a beautiful practice that I warmly recommend to all the faithful and families.     Regarding the Divine Office, St. Josemaria wrote, “A priest who was saying the Divine Office prepared himself for prayer in this way: ‘I will follow the rule of saying, when I start: “I want to pray as the saints pray,” and then I will invite my Guardian Angel to sing the Lord’s praises with me.'”     Try this in your own vocal prayer, and also as a way of increasing your presence of God in your work.”

聖方濟.沙雷把聖體聖事看做神修的朝陽、基督宗教的中樞、敬禮的中心,和維持熱心生活的靈魂。他極力鼓勵信友參與每天的彌撒聖祭,假如環境不許可,至少可用心靈參與。

 

神領聖體

 

聖大潔如的禱文,可以幫助我們心靈上參與每日普世舉行的聖祭:「永生之父,我把祢至聖之子耶穌的寶血,聯同今天普世舉行的彌撒聖祭,奉獻給祢,為煉獄中的聖靈魂,為世界各地的罪人,為普世教會內的罪人,為我家庭及家族中所有的罪人。亞孟。」

 

假如我們不能親領聖體,至少可以參照聖施禮華建議的禱文來神領聖體:「主,我願以祢至聖母親般的純潔、謙遜及熱切,偕同諸聖的心神與熱誠領受祢。」聖人說:「神領聖體的力量無可比擬。神領聖體多次,你會更覺到天主的臨在,並在一切行為與天主更緊密結合。」

 

聖施禮華神父道:「繼續努力吧,好使祭台上的聖祭,變成你內在生命的中心和根基,讓你整天都變成敬拜的一天——是參與的彌撒的延續和下一台彌撒的準備。你的整天會成為敬拜的行為,並流露出善志、朝拜聖體、並奉獻你的工作和家庭生活。」

 

正如進食的胃口是身體健康的指標,我們對聖體的渴求也是靈魂健康的指標。聖施禮華續寫道:「假如你投訴彌撒太冗長的話,我會說因為你的愛太短。」聖人觀察到「很多基督徒的社交及休閒生活,十分寫意,絕無半點緊迫,他們在工作、聚餐、娛樂時,均從容不迫;但在參與彌撒時,卻又冀望神父快點結束這至聖的祭獻。」

 

日課經

舉行彌撒時,天堂上的勝利教會、煉獄中的受苦教會、旅途間的在世教會,在祈禱、恩寵及愛德中共融;而這美好的相通精神,在教會內的公開祈禱和敬禮,亦表露無遺。「時辰頌禱禮」或「日課經」的祈禱,聖化了年中不同的時令、月中不同的日子、每天不同的時分;這祈禱是以教會之名,把聖職人員、修道者,與及眾信友聯合在一起,聆聽聖言和為所有人祈禱。我極力推薦教友及教友家庭,每天都誦唸「時辰頌禱禮」內的夜禱,那是很美好的習慣。

 

有關「時辰頌禱禮」,聖施禮華寫道:「一位神父,準備誦唸『日課經』時,這樣準備自己:『我開始時會照例說:『我願意想像聖人一樣祈禱』,接着,我會邀請我的護守天使與我一起詠唱讚頌主。』你在作口禱時也這樣作,並會同樣的方法在你的工作中增強對天主臨在的體驗。」

 

 

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