20140127 Sacraments sanctify souls 聖事聖化人靈

Frequent Confession and frequent Communion were recommended by St. Francis de Sales.

Frequent Confession

Regarding frequent Confession, the saint wrote, “Make your confession humbly and devoutly every week, and always, if you can, before receiving Holy Communion, even although your conscience is not burdened with mortal sin; for in confession you do not only receive absolution for your venial sins, but you also receive great strength to help you in avoiding them henceforth, clearer light to discover your failings, and abundant grace to make up whatever loss you have incurred through those faults. You exercise the virtues of humility, obedience, simplicity and love, and by this one act of confession you practice more virtue than in any other.”

Penance is the Sacrament of Christ’s Precious Blood. Our Lord said to St. Faustina  “Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of my mercy, the blood and water which came forth from my heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it…Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to my generosity.”

The remission of sin and the imparting of grace are the fruits of the Sacrament of Penance. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen wrote, “The Blood of Christ is, in this sense, not only a remedy for the past, but also a preservative and a strengthening help for the future. The soul which plunges into it, as into a healthful bath, draws from it new vigor and sees the strength of its passions extinguished little by little”

Father Gabriel pointed out that if a person has only venial sins to confess, it is profitable to pay attention to deliberate faults first, then on those which are semi-deliberate. It is a good practice to tell the priest not only the sins themselves, but also the motives behind them. Although confession of motives is not required for the validity of the Sacrament of Penance, it is very beneficial to spiritual growth. For it exposes the root of the sin and enables the soul to exercise humility.

In Confession, we should strive to be sorry for our sins out of love for God. Father Gabriel wrote, “The more perfect the contrition, the more effectively will the absolution erase not only the sin but also the temporal punishment which it has incurred. The Blood of Jesus will purify, renew, and enrich the heart of the penitent with fortitude, charity, and grace, in the measure of his contrition.”

Frequent Communion

Frequent Confession prepares us to derive abundant fruits from frequent Communion. Regarding frequent Communion, St. Francis de Sales pointed out that we receive Communion often in order to learn to love God, to be cleansed from imperfections, to be set free from trouble, to be comforted in affliction, and to be strengthened in weakness. We receive the Blessed Sacrament that we may learn to receive it better.

When we receive Holy Communion, we receive the whole Jesus. This physical union with Christ is directed to our spiritual union with him. Father Gabriel wrote, “In addition to the physical presence of Jesus, and because of this presence, each Communion brings me a new increase of grace and charity, but even this increase will be in proportion to my capacity for receiving it. If my heart is closed by selfishness and pride, if it is bound by attachment to creatures, or is too much engrossed by worldly affections and affairs, it will be unable to make room for an increase of divine love, and Jesus will be, so to speak, forced to lessen the outpouring of his charity and to diminish his gifts.”

聖方濟.沙雷主張,要勤辦告解和勤領聖體。

 

勤辦告解

 

對於勤辦告解聖事,聖人寫道:「要每星期熱心地、謙遜地辦告解。即使你感到靈魂沒有大罪,仍嘗試在領聖體前向神父告罪,因為這樣除了連小罪也被赦免外,自己可以細察自己的弱點,洞悉跌倒的原因,並能從聖事中得到聖寵的力量,徹底改過自新;兼且同時遜守謙遜之德,實踐聽命、真樸及愛德。可見從辦告解中,比其他善行,我們在同一時間內,修守著多種德行。」

 

告解是基督寶血的聖事;祂對聖傅天娜說:「我的女兒,當你辦告解聖事的時候,從我聖心湧出的血和水,變作洗濯和提昇你靈恩寵的泉源… 告訴人靈們,從這慈悲的泉源,靈魂只有用信賴的器皿取得恩寵;若他們信賴強大,我的慷慨也是無界限的。」

 

赦罪及蒙恩是告解聖事的善果。佳播.達連神父曾這樣寫著:「此刻,基督寶血不止於治療過往的罪,亦為保持和未來而給予堅強的助力。就如一個人的靈魂,沐浴在基督的寶血內,靈魂變得健康,充滿活力,並見到情慾的力量續漸退減。」

 

佳播.達連神父又指出,若只有小罪要告明,我們應先注意那些故意犯的小罪,然後才注意那些是不全是故意犯的。我們告罪時可把犯罪的動機也清楚告明;雖然教會並沒有規定我們這樣做,但這能讓神父聽罪的同時,也看清楚這些罪的罪根,好能給予我們合宜的神修指導,幫助我們靈修的增進。告明犯罪的動機對修謙德也大有裨益。

 

辦告解聖事時,我們要因愛天主而真心懺悔己罪。佳播.達連神父指出:「懺悔愈完善,罪之暫罰的赦免也愈大。按照懺悔的程度,耶穌寶血會以剛毅、愛德和聖寵,把悔罪者的心靈淨化、更新與及充盈。」

 

勤領聖體

 

勤辦告解聖事幫助我們從勤領聖體,獲得豐盛的恩寵。聖方濟.沙雷說明,善領聖體促使我們學習如何去愛天主,嫉惡向善,內心平安,在憂苦中得到慰藉,在軟弱中得到力量。勤領聖體幫助我們練習更妥善地領聖體。

 

我們領聖體時,實在是領受整個的耶穌。這個身體的結合引向我們與祂心靈的結合;佳播.達連神父指出:藉著耶穌聖體在我們身體內的臨在,每一次的領聖體都為我們帶來新增的恩寵和愛德;不過,這增加是依照我們接受的能力。如果我們的心被傲慢自私所關閉、被對俗物的繫戀所朿縛、或被世事俗愛所占有,心靈便不能有空間來讓聖愛有所增加,主耶穌便被迫減少傾注的愛和恩惠。

 

 

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