20140331 Charity grows in communication 愛德在交往中增長

Friendship is an interchange and a mutual communication between two persons. True friendship is a great means of sanctification, but false friendship is a serious obstacle to perfection.

True friendship
St. Francis de Sales wrote, “The more exquisite are the virtues which shall be the matter of your communications, the more perfect shall your friendship also be. If this communication be in the sciences, the friendship is very commendable; but still more so if it be in the moral virtues: in prudence, discretion, fortitude, and justice.
“But should your reciprocal communications relate to charity, devotion, and Christian perfection, good God, how precious will this friendship be! It will be excellent, because it comes from God; excellent, because it tends to God; excellent, because its very bond is God. Good it is to love on earth as they love in heaven; to learn to cherish each other in this world, as we shall do eternally in the next!”
Father Adolphe Tanquerey, author of The Spiritual Life, pointed out that “true friendship is an intercourse between two souls with the purpose of procuring each other’s good. It stays within the limits of moral goodness if the good mutually shared belongs to the natural order.
“Supernatural friendship, however, stands on a far superior plane. It is the intimate intercourse of two souls who love each other in God and for God with a view of aiding each other to attain the perfection of the divine life which they possess. The ultimate end of this friendship is God’s glory, the proximate end is their own spiritual progress, and the bond of union between the two friends is Our Lord.”
Supernatural friendship is marked by calm reserve and mutual trust. “Calm” means self-possessed affection rooted in the love of God. “Reserve”: instead of seeking familiarities and endearments like sentimental friendship, it is full of respect and reserve, for it seeks nothing but spiritual good. “Mutual trust” is confidence raised from mutual esteem and from seeing in the other a reflection of the divine perfections.
Counsel, comfort, and protection are the three important advantages of true friendship.
A friend can act as a sympathetic counsellor who helps to find solutions to life’s difficulties. A friend can comfort us by listening to us and by words of kindness and encouragement. A friend is a protector of virtue by allowing us to open our hearts in times of need and support, and by correcting us.

False friendship
In true friendship one truly loves a person, but in false friendship one mainly loves the pleasure of being with the person. True friendship is based on faith, will, and reason, whereas false friendship is based on feeling and pleasure.
Father Tanquerey wrote, “St. Francis de Sales distinguishes three types of false friendships: carnal friendship, in which one seeks voluptuous pleasure; sentimental friendship, based mainly on the appeal outward qualities make to the emotions, such as the pleasure of beholding a beautiful person, of hearing a sweet voice, of touch, and the like; and foolish friendship, which has no other foundation than those empty accomplishments styled by shallow minds virtues and perfections, such as graceful dancing, clever playing, delightful singing, fashionable dressing, smiling glances, a pleasing appearance, etc.”
False friendship distracts the heart from God and constitutes one of the greatest obstacles to spiritual progress. It can easily cause loss of time, discouragement, and impurity.
Sometimes our friendships may have elements of both true and false friendship. If it is the element of true friendship that predominates, we may continue such friendship while purifying it, but if it is the element of false friendship that predominates, we must renounce all special relations for a considerable period to allow sentiment to cool down.
“A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure” (Sir 6:14).

「友誼」是兩人互動及共同的交往。真正的友誼對成聖有極大的幫助;相反,虛偽的友誼,是成聖的一大障礙。

 

真正的友誼

 

聖方濟.沙雷寫道:「人互相的交往愈是包含著細膩的德行,友誼便愈瑧完美。假如這些交往是與學術有關,那友誼是可稱許的。若交往是在德行的層面: 智德、明辨、勇德和義德,友誼便更值得稱許。又假如這樣的交往與愛德、敬主和成聖融匯一起,這樣的友誼更見珍貴:它是優質的,因為來自天主;它是優質的,因為正邁向天主;它是優質的,因為是在天主內緊密地結合。去愛猶如在天堂上的愛,真有福!學習如何互相珍惜,就如同在天堂上一樣!」

 

《靈修生活》作者鍔道夫.鄧奎利神父指出:「真正友誼的交往,旨在靈魂上互相裨益。分享的善若是本性的,友誼便在道德的範疇內。超性的友誼屬於更上一層樓,藉天主、在天主內,兩靈密切交往,互相幫助,以祈達到成聖的境界。這樣的友誼最終是天主的光榮,兩人在成聖大道中邁進,天主促成他們的聯系。」

超性的友誼有平靜的保留和彼此的信任。「平靜」—–自主的情感建基於天主的愛。「保留」—–不只尋求親密和撫慰的快感,但充滿尊重和保留地專一去尋求靈魂的神益。「彼此的信任」—–因互相尊重而有的信心,並在對方身上見到神聖美善的反映。

 

另外,真正友誼有輔導、安慰和保護的好處。一個真正的朋友,可以提供富同情心的輔導,協助解決生命中的難題,又可以靜聽細訴,報以善言鼓勵和安慰;一個真正的朋友,在道德的守護下,容許我們在需要及要求支持時,敞開心扉傾訴,並糾正我們的錯誤。

 

虛偽的友誼

 

虛偽的友誼缺乏對人真正的愛,卻只是喜愛與人共處時的快感;真正的友誼,建基於信德、意志和理性上,而虛偽的友誼是建基於個人的情感和快感上。

 

鄧奎利神父寫道:「聖方濟.沙雷辨別了三種虛偽的友誼。肉慾的友誼:只尋求驕奢淫樂;觀感的友誼:只追求美麗的外表,或甜美的聲音,或類似的東西;愚蠢的友誼:建基於膚淺的善和成就,例如:善舞、善武、善唱、錦衣、聲色俏俊等等。」

 

虛偽的友誼使我們離棄天主,對成聖搆很大的障礙,浪費光陰,令人有不潔的危險。

 

不過,我們的友誼,有可能會混雜了真正友誼和虛偽友誼的成份。若以真正友誼的成份為主,我們可繼續該友誼,但要不斷淨化彼此的交往;若以虛偽友誼的成份為主,我們要將那特殊的關係擯棄一段時期,好能讓不良的情感冷卻下來。

聖經中的《德訓篇》(6:14)告訴我們:「忠實的朋友,是穩固的保障;誰尋得了他,就是尋得了寶藏。」

 

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