20130317 Chastity leads to charity 潔德導向愛德

A spiritual author wrote, “Chastity is rightly called the angelic virtue, because it likens us to the angels, who are pure by nature. It is an austere virtue, because we do not succeed in practising it unless we subdue the body and the senses by mortification.
“It is a frail virtue, tarnished by the least wilful failing. On this account it is a difficult virtue, since it cannot be observed except by a generous and constant struggle against the most tyrannical of passions.”

Two kinds
There are two kinds of chastity: continence proper to the unmarried, and conjugal chastity proper to persons living in lawful wedlock.
Regarding the first kind of chastity, St. Francis de Sales wrote, “The unmarried need a very simple sensitive purity which will drive away all over-curious thoughts and teach them to despise all merely sensual satisfactions.
“The young are apt to imagine that of which they are ignorant to be wondrous sweet, and as the foolish moth hovers around a light, and, persisting in coming too near, perishes in its inquisitive folly, so they perish through their unwise approach to forbidden pleasures.”
Regarding the second kind, the saint pointed out that conjugal chastity “lies not in total abstinence from carnal pleasures, but in self-control amid pleasures.”
Both kinds of chastity are on the path of love of God. Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote, “God has two kinds of lovers: those who go directly to the ultimate, such as the celibate, and those who go mediately through marriage.”
Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen wrote, “One who embraces the married state becomes a collaborator with God in the transmission of life to others; one who consecrates himself to God by a vow of chastity becomes his collaborator in the transmission of the life of grace to others.
“The person who is consecrated to God sacrifices material fecundity for a far superior, spiritual fecundity, natural paternity or maternity for supernatural paternity or maternity.”

Purity of heart
St. Francis de Sales said, “Chastity of body is common enough even among unbelievers and persons addicted to other vices. But very few can say truthfully, ‘My heart is chaste.'”
The saint defined chastity of heart as a complete renunciation of all illicit affections. The other aspect of chastity of heart consists in the purity of intention of seeing God in all things and all things in God.
Prayer and work help the heart to be pure. St. John Bosco urged young people to avoid idleness. When we are absorbed in study or work, our mind can be filled with wholesome thoughts.
St. Jerome wrote, “Love the knowledge of Scripture, and you will no longer love the sins of the flesh…. Always have some work on hand, that the devil may find you busy.”
Frequent confession, love for the Holy Eucharist, and devotion to Our Lady fill our heart with love and devotion. They are effective means for the preservation of chastity.

Flight from dangers
St. Francis de Sales wrote, “Be exceedingly quick in turning aside from the slightest thing leading to impurity, for it is an evil which approaches stealthily, and in which the very smallest beginnings are apt to grow rapidly. It is always easier to fly from such evils than to cure them.”
“Do not associate with immodest persons…. On the contrary, associate with chaste and virtuous persons.”
Mortification of the senses is a guardian of chastity. Holy Scripture carefully recommends the guarding of the eyes: “Gaze not upon a maiden: lest her beauty be a stumbling block to you…. Turn away your face from a woman dressed up; and gaze not about upon another’s beauty.”
Mortification of the heart is also very important. The saints exhort us to mortify the imagination and to abandon useless day-dreaming.
“In loving you, O Christ, I am chaste; in touching you, I am pure; in possessing you, I am a virgin!” said St. Agnes.

一位靈修作者寫道:「潔德是天神之德,有如天神本性的純潔。這是一種嚴謹自律的德行,沒有自身的克制和克己善功,是很難修成潔德。同時,它是脆弱的德行,小小的歪念,足以沾污它的純潔。它是不容易修成的一種聖潔之德,需要經常適當地抑壓內心的情感。」

 

兩種潔德

 

潔德包含獨身守貞的潔德,和婚姻盟約內貞忠的潔德。

 

聖方濟.沙雷談到獨身守貞的潔德時,他寫道:「獨身守貞只需簡單直接感知的貞潔,擯除一切過份的好奇思想,蔑視所有引致感觀的快感。年青人要意識到,追尋快感、忽視禁慾、過份好奇,猶如燈蛾撲火,自取滅亡。」

 

至於婚姻盟約內貞忠的潔德,聖人指出:「這不在於完全禁止性慾,而是在快感中要自我節制。」

 

兩種潔德同是愛天主的行徑。富頓.施安總主教曾寫道:「天主有兩種愛人:一種是直接去愛天主而守獨身的人,另一種是通過婚姻去愛天主的人。」

 

佳播.德蓮神父認為:「去結婚的人,成為天主的合作者,傳遞生命給別人;去發貞潔聖願獻身於主的人,成為天主傳遞聖寵生命給別人的合作者。獻身於主的人,為了那更高尚的精神豐饒,而犧牲本性的豐饒;為了靈性的父母職,而犧牲本性的父母職。」

 

潔淨的心

 

聖方濟.沙雷說:「其實,身體的貞潔在無信仰及有其他惡習的人當中也相當普遍,但很少人能坦白地說:『我的心靈是貞潔的』。」

 

聖人所說的「內心潔淨」,一方面指棄絕一切不當的情懷,另方面是以純潔的意願,在任何事情上見到天主,也從天主內看世物。

 

祈禱和勤勞有助保守純潔的心。聖若望鮑思高敦促年青人避免賦閑,讓自己的思想忙於學習或工作。聖業樂建議:「當你喜愛聖經的知識,便不愛肉慾的罪…手頭上盡量有工作,好讓魔鬼見到你常在忙碌。」

 

勤辦告解、熱愛聖體及孝敬聖母讓心靈充滿虔敬。它們是保守潔德的有效方法。

 

遠離罪惡的危險

 

聖方濟.沙雷教道我們要盡快遠離一切能引致不潔的東西。因為邪情燃燒得很快。避免比治療容易得多。我們要遠離損友,結識益友。

 

克己是守護潔德的好方法。聖經更提醒我們,要守護好我們的眼目:不要注視女色。

 

內心的克己極其重要,聖人們勸告我們,幻想必要有節制,勿作無用的白日夢。

 

聖雅妮說:「我能遜守潔德,因為我愛祢;我因接觸到祢而變得純潔;因我擁有祢,我是貞女。」

 

 

 

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