20140512 Walk bravely forward 勇敢向前邁進

In the fourth part of An Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales makes some helpful remarks about ordinary trials and temptations. He first points out the need for courage in the devout life.

Not of the world
Christ said, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (Jn 15:19).
St. Francis points out that the world will not say a word against people who pass the whole night, even several in succession, playing chess or cards. It also will not complain of people spending many nights dancing. But it will not tolerate people give up an hour to meditation, or getting up earlier than usual to prepare for Holy Communion, or keeping watch on Christmas Eve.
The world is an unjust judge; indulgent and kindly to its own children, but harsh and uncharitable to the children of God.
The saint points out that it is impossible to satisfy the world, for it is too exacting. He writes, “The world always thinks evil; and if it cannot find fault with our actions, it will attack our motives.”
The world, he says, is “ever casting its evil eye upon us; nothing we can do will please it. It exaggerates our failings, and publishes them abroad as sins; it represents our venial sins as mortal, and our sins of infirmity as malicious.”
“Let us leave the blind world to make as much noise as it may, like a bat molesting the songbirds of day; let us be firm in our ways and unchangeable in our resolutions, and perseverance will be the test of our self-surrender to God, and our deliberate choice of the devout life.”
“The planets and a wandering comet shine with much the same brightness, but the comet’s is a passing blaze, which does not linger long, while the planets cease not to display their brightness.
“Even so, hypocrisy and real goodness have much outward resemblance; but one is easily known from the other, inasmuch as hypocrisy is short-lived, and disperses like a mist, while real goodness is firm and abiding.
“There is no surer groundwork for the beginnings of a devout life than the endurance of misrepresentation and calumny, since thereby we escape the danger of vainglory and pride.”

Spirit of courage
St. Francis de Sales encourages us to be of good courage. He writes, “My child, your changed life may be attended with some inward discomfort, and you may feel some reaction of discouragement and weariness after you have taken a final farewell of the world and its follies.
“Should it be so, I pray you take it patiently, for it will not last; it is merely the disturbance caused by novelty, and when it is gone by, you will abound in consolations.”
We should not be startled by the heights of Christian perfection, but should patiently let ourselves be fed by the pious instructions of the saints and be formed gradually by holy desires and resolutions.
At the beginning of their spiritual life, the faithful must courageously fight against the kinds of fears that deter them from the fulfillment of duty. There is the fear of effort, the fear of risk, the fear of criticism, and the fear of displeasing friends.
To counter these fears we must nurture holy convictions such as: it is better to please God than men; we must esteem the friendship of Christ above all friendships; the gifts of grace are priceless possessions far better than earthly goods; and the only real evil is sin, which must be avoided at all costs.

 

『熱心入門』的第四部份,聖方濟沙雷提供了對抗試探和誘惑的一些必需的保救方法。他首先指出虔誠的生命是需要勇氣。

 

不屬於世界

 

基督說:「若是你們屬於世界,世界必喜愛你們,有如屬於自己的人;但因你們不屬於世界,而是我從世界中揀選了你們,為此,世界才恨你們。」(若望15:19)

 

聖方濟指出世俗不會為那些花一整晚或連續幾晚去玩象棋或撲克的人而埋怨。它也不會為那些夜夜笙歌的人投訴。但它不會容忍他人花一個小時去默想,也許比一般人早一點起牀去準備領受耶穌聖體,或聖誕前夕守夜。世俗是一個不公平的法官;只會縱容和仁慈地對待自己的兒女,但對天主的兒女卻是苛刻和沒有愛心。

 

聖人更指出這是沒有可能去滿足世俗,因為它是太苛刻的。他寫過:「世俗經常向壞的方面去想;如果在我們行動中它找不到錯處,它會攻擊我們的動機。」

 

「〈世俗〉時常以邪惡的眼光看我們,沒有什麼我們可以做到悅納於它。它誇獎大——我們的過錯,以此為罪過,廣告於世;它把我們的小罪蔑作大罪,我們無心的罪過作為蓄意的。」

 

「讓我們離開世俗,任它盡發它的噪聲,像黑夜的蝙蝠騷擾白天的鳴烏; 讓我們以堅定的路向,不變的決心,和毅力作為向天主全面臣服的考驗, 我們虔誠生命的慎重選擇。」

 

「行星和流星都散發著相似的光輝,但流星只會是一瞬的光芒,它不會維持久長,而行星卻不顯示它的光輝。甚至偽善和真善外展上都有一定的相似;但是它們都是容易區分的,偽善是短暫的,像霞霧般的揮發,真善是確實的、恆久的。開始一個虔誠的生活沒有比忍受誤導和誹謗較穩定的基礎,由此我們可以避開虛榮和驕傲。」

 

勇敢的精神

 

聖方濟沙雷鼓勵我們要有好的勇氣。他的寫道:「孩子們,你們改變的生活,可能附上了一些內向的苦惱,在你向這個世界和它的愚鈍作最後的告別時,你也許會有氣餒和厭煩的反應。如果真的這樣,我求你以多一點耐性接納它,它不會是持久的,這不過是新的事物構成的滋擾;待它過去後,你會得到富足的安慰。」

 

我們不應被基督徒完美的要求所驚嚇。只要能耐心地讓我們自己被聖人們的教誨充實我們,讓我們漸漸地按神聖的願望和決心去形造我們。

 

在神修生活的開始,信徒應該勇敢地挑戰種種阻止我們滿全責任的不同恐懼。他們有對成效的恐懼,危險的恐懼,受批評的恐懼和不被朋友所悅納恐懼。為抗衡這些恐懼,我們要培養神聖的信念,就如:我們寧願悅納於天主多於悅納於人;我們要尊重與天主的友誼高於與人的友誼;聖寵的是無價的禮物遠比世上任何事物重要;真正的邪惡是罪過,我們應該不惜以任何代價去躲避它。

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s