Monthly Archives: July 2014

20140728 Father Roncalli served selflessly 無私的服務

Father Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (now Pope St. John XXIII) was called to military service in 1915.
On May 23, 1915, he wrote, “Tomorrow I leave to take up my military service in the Medical Corps. Where will they send me? To the front perhaps? Shall I ever return to Bergamo, or has the Lord decreed that my last hour shall be on the battlefield? I know nothing; all I want is the will of God in all things and at all times, and to work for his glory in total self-sacrifice.
“In this way, and in this way only, can I be true to my vocation and show in my actions my real love for my country and the souls of my fellows. My spirit is willing and cheerful. Lord Jesus, keep me always so; Mary, my kind Mother, help me ‘that in all things Christ may be glorified.'”
Father Roncalli served in the hospitals of Bergamo. He was discharged from military service on Dec. 10, 1918.

Spiritual director
From 1918 to 1920, Father Roncalli was the spiritual director of the seminary at Bergamo. In November 1918 he founded the Students’ Hostel.
During a retreat in 1919 he wrote, “To succeed in my apostolate I will recognize no other school than that of the divine Heart of Jesus: ‘Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart.’ Experience also has confirmed the supreme wisdom of this method, which brings real success.”
“I shall love my young students as a mother her sons, but always in the Lord and with the intention of bringing them up as worthy sons of the Church and, if I can, as future generous apostles of truth and goodness; and at the same time I shall be cherishing in them the best hopes of our families and of our country.”

Propaganda Fide
On Jan. 18, 1921, Father Roncalli began to work at Propaganda Fide (the Propagation of the Faith) in Rome.
Three years later he wrote, “Today, 18 January, the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair, it is three years since I began, under obedience, my work as President for Italy of the Propagation of the Faith in the World. You have always been with me, O Lord Jesus, and good and merciful: ‘Thy decrees are very sure.’
“To my sorrow, I left behind in Bergamo what I loved so much: the seminary, where the bishop had appointed my most unworthy self spiritual director, and the students’ hostel, the darling of my heart. I have thrown myself, heart and soul, into my new work.
“Here I must and will stay, without a thought, a glance, or a desire for anything else, especially as the Lord gives me indescribable happiness here.”
Here is the daily routine of Father Roncalli: “I fix the following rules as fundamental for the reorganization of my life: rising at 6 o’clock and saying my prayers in my room; from 7 to 8, work at my desk. From 8 to 9:30, Holy Mass and prayers (meditation, etc.).
“Less time to be spent after dinner and after supper in chatter. A short walk every day, and this to include a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. To bed at 11, never later.”
Father Roncalli’s writing reminds me of the words of Blessed John Henry Newman.
“If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first, do not lie in bed beyond the time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time; and you are already perfect.”

安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利神父(現今的聖若望二十三世)在1915年應召服軍役。在1915年5月23日,他寫道:「明天我會離去履行軍役在醫療旅服務。他們會遣派我到那裡?也許要到前線?我會回到貝爾加莫嗎,也許我主頒令我最後的一刻要在戰場上?我甚麼都不知道,但我所要的只是在所有事情上,所有時間上按天主的旨意,為祂的光榮奉上我一切的自我犧牲。這樣做,就只有這樣做,我能夠忠於我的職守,以我全部的行動,我對我的國家,所有付托給我子民的靈魂顯示我的真愛。我心靈是喜悅和願意的。主人耶穌求祢時時按這樣保守我;瑪利亞,我的慈母,請你幫助我,讓我在所有的事情上都能光榮基督。」

龍嘉利神父在貝爾加莫的醫院服務。1918年10月完結他的軍役離去。

靈修神師

自1918年至1920年,龍嘉利神父是貝爾加莫修院的神師。1918年11月他成立了一青年旅社。在1919年的一個退省中他曾寫道『在我使徒的使命中要能夠成功,沒有任何一所學校比得上耶穌聖心「跟我學習吧,我是良善心謙的」,經驗也証明這方法的卓越智慧,它帶來落實的成功。』

『我會愛護我年青的學生一如母親愛她的兒子,但時常在主內以撫育他們成為教會真正兒子的意願,如果可能的話,作為將來正義和真誠慷慨的門徒們。——同時我將會在他們中為我們的家庭和國家的希望而喜樂。』

傳播信德

1821年1月龍嘉利神父在羅馬開始信德傳播的工作。3年後他寫道『今天1月18日,聖伯多祿宗座瞻禮,由開始,遵循著指引,我在意大利作為世界信德傳播主席至今已經三年了。祢常常與我同在,良善和賦慈悲的主人耶穌:「祢的頒命是肯定的。」我悲痛的是,我把我摯愛的遺留在貝爾加莫:那修道院,在那裡主教派遣這最不堪當的我作為靈修神師和我心最愛的青年旅社。我把我自己,心和靈全數投進我這新的工作。我應該,我將會留在這裡,不會作任何的遐思,小瞥和任何事物的期盼,特別是因為主,在這裡,祢給了我不可言喻的喜樂。』

這裡是龍嘉利神父每日的作息:『我固定以下的基本法則去重整我的生命:早上6時起床,在睡房內祈禱;由7時到8時去桌上工作。8時至9時30分,彌撒聖祭,祈禱(默想等)。晚餐後不多作閒聊。每日一小散步,包括探訪聖體。11時上床休息,永不延遲。』

龍嘉利讓我記起真福廖文:『如果你問我做甚麼才是完美,我說,首先,要起床的時候不要躺在床上;把你第一個思念歸於上主;好好地拜訪聖體;誦念三鐘經;吃和喝天主的光榮;好好誦念玫瑰經;多作省察;躲避壞的思想,晚上做個好好的默想,每日省察自己;按时上床,你己经是完美的了。』

 

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20140721Priest seeks peace through obedience 聽命中獲得平安

The newly ordained Father Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (now Pope St. John XXIII) made these resolutions in November 1904:
* Throughout the morning, from the first moment I awaken until some time after Mass, I will apply myself exclusively to spiritual thoughts and occupations: vocal prayers, spiritual reading, meditation, the recital of the Divine Office, and so on.
* My most important duty will be to pay my daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, with the greatest fervour. I owe everything to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so I will have a most loving devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Bishop’s secretary
On Jan. 8, 1905, St. John Vianney was beatified. That afternoon it was announced that the Vatican Canon, Msgr. Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi, would become the bishop of Bergamo.
Father Roncalli was appointed secretary to the new bishop, and held the post from 1905 to 1914. Bishop Radini died of cancer Aug. 22, 1914, during the early days of World War I. His last words to Father Roncalli were, “Angelo, pray for peace.”
During his years as secretary, Father Roncalli was involved in the academic works of teaching and editing. In October 1906 he began to teach Church history in the seminary. Later on he would also teach apologetics and patristics. In 1908 he began to edit in five volumes the acts of St. Charles Borromeo’s visitation during 1575 of the diocese of Bergamo.
Father Roncalli obediently carried out the numerous tasked entrusted to him. He was on the editorial staff of the official periodical of the Bishop and Diocesan Curia. He was the secretary of the 33rd Synod of the diocese in 1910. He became the president of the fifth division of Catholic Action. At the request of his bishop, Father Roncalli edited the collective letter of the Lombard episcopate in 1912.
In October 1912, during a retreat, Father Roncalli wrote, “I must not try to find or follow new ways of doing good. I live under obedience, and obedience has already overburdened me with so many occupations that my shoulders are sagging under the weight. But I am willing to bear this and other burdens, if the Lord so desires. My rest will be in heaven.
“These are the years for hard work. My bishop sets me an example, since he does more than I. I will be most careful never to waste a single moment.”
Father Roncalli also wrote, “I find it humiliating, but it is my duty to insist again on the resolutions already made about being absolutely faithful to my rule of life.
“Getting up at half past five, then meditation, the Bishop’s Mass, my Mass, thanksgiving, the hours; brief but frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Vespers after my brief siesta, a very devout recital of the rosary; after supper Matins and Lauds, without fail, and a rather longer visit to the Blessed Sacrament; some spiritual reading before falling asleep: these are the fundamental points: they are my lifeline.”

Tenth anniversary
On the 10th anniversary of his priestly ordination (Aug. 10, 1914), Father Roncalli wrote, “My dominant thought, in my joy at having accomplished 10 years as a priest, is this: I do not belong to myself, or to others; I belong to my God, for life and death.”
“I mean to preserve my peace of mind, which is my liberty. So I shall always remember those four things which Thomas a Kempis says bring great peace and true freedom:
* “Seek to do another’s will, rather than your own.
* “Choose always to have less rather than more.
* “Always take the lowest place, so as to be inferior to everyone.
* “Always desire and pray that the will of God may be wholly fulfilled in you.”

剛晉鐸的安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利神父(後來的教宗聖若望二十三世),於1904年11月寫下他的決志:

 

  • 每天清晨,自一覺醒來開始到舉行彌撒後,我要完全投入我的靈修與靈功之中:朗誦經文、閱讀聖書、默想、唸大日課經等。
  • 我每天最重要的本份是以最大熱誠朝拜聖體。我虧欠聖體及耶穌聖心實在太多了,我要以最大的愛情敬禮聖體。

 

主教的秘書

 

1905年1月8日若翰.維雅納被宣為真福,同日下午,雅格.泰戴斯基蒙席被任命為貝加莫主教。龍嘉利神父被委任作新主教的秘書直至1914年。1914年第一次世界大戰爆發, 8月22日泰戴斯基主教因癌病去世,臨終前對龍嘉利神父說:「安哲路,為和平祈禱。」

 

任主教秘書時,龍嘉利神父亦參與教學和編寫的學術性工作。1906年10月,龍嘉利神父在修院教授教會歷史,後來也教授護教學及教父學。1908年開始編寫五冊書籍,記敘聖嘉祿.鮑榮茂於1575年訪問貝加莫教區的實錄。

 

龍嘉利神父以服從的心態善盡被委予不同的工作:他參與主教及教區公署定期刊物出版的工作;1910年他是第三十三屆教區會議的秘書;他是公教進行會第五分會的主席;1912年,他被主教授命出版林博主教團的信。

 

1912年10月,龍嘉利神父在退省時寫道:「我絕對不要尋覓或跟隨新的行善方法。我活在服從下,而服從已讓我負上很多工作,以致我的肩博在重擔中下垂。我願意按天主的旨意肩負此及別的擔子。我的休息將在天堂。」「無疑這些是勞苦的年頭,但我的主教給我立了榜樣,因他比我做得更多,我不要浪費任何光陰。」

 

龍嘉利續寫道:「我感到謙卑,但這是我的責任再去堅持忠於生活規律所定的志向。清晨五時半起床,默想,主教的彌撒,舉行自己的彌撒,謝恩,時辰誦禱,多次短暫朝拜聖體,小休午睡後唸晚課,熱心誦唸玫瑰經,晚餐後誦讀及晨禱,較長的朝拜聖體,睡覺前閱讀聖書。這些是要點 –––– 是我的命脈。」

 

晉鐸十周年

 

1914年8月10日是龍嘉利晉鐸十周年。他筆錄著:「這十年喜悅的鐸職,主要是因為我不屬於自己,我的生死全屬於天主。」

 

「我能悉意地保持內心的平安,全賴常緊記多默耿稗思(師主篇)所建議帶來極大平安和自由的那四種方法:

  1. 尋找實行他人的意願,而非自己的。
  2. 滿於少、拒受多。
  3. 在人前甘於低下。
  4. 祈求並渴望天主的旨意完全在你內承行。」

 

20140714 ‘A priest forever’ 永恆司祭

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope St. John XXIII) was ordained a priest Aug. 10, 1904.
During his retreat in preparation, he reflected on detachment. He wrote that the saints “practised holy detachment: they were willing to listen to the voice of God, Who spoke to them as He speaks to me; they did not measure what they had to do by considering their pride, but cast themselves blindly into all that God wanted them to do.”
“Above all else, there was at that time ripening in my mind a lively desire and determination to annihilate the self completely in the presence of the Heart of Jesus, in order that when I had become quite stripped of all that was myself, my divine Master would find me more obedient to his commands and a worthier tool for doing some good, some great good in the Church, not in places and ways chosen by my pride, but in simple, blind abandonment to the will of my superiors.”

Day of ordination
During his ordination ceremony, Deacon Roncalli experienced the maternal love of Our Lady. He wrote, “When all was over and I raised my eyes, having sworn the oath of eternal fidelity to my superior, the bishop, I saw the blessed image of Our Lady to which I confess I had paid no attention before.
“She seemed to smile at me from the altar, and her look gave me a feeling of sweet peace in my soul and a generous and confident spirit, as if she were telling me she was pleased, and that she would always watch over me. In short she sent a gentle calm and peace into my soul which I shall never forget.”

His ordination day was very prayerful: “In the afternoon I was alone, alone with my God, Who had raised me so high, alone with my thoughts, my resolves, and the joys of my priesthood.
“I went out. Utterly absorbed in my Lord, as if there were no one else in Rome, I visited the churches to which I was most devoted, the altars of my most familiar saints, the images of Our Lady. They were very short visits. It seemed that evening as if I had something to say to all those holy ones, and as if every one of them had something to say to me. And indeed it was so.”

First Mass
The next day, Father Roncalli celebrated his first Mass, in St. Peter’s Basilica. He wrote, “I said the votive Mass of St. Peter and St. Paul. Ah, the joys of that Mass!
“I remember that among the feelings with which my heart was overflowing the most powerful of all was a great love for the Church, for the cause of Christ, for the Pope, and a sense of total dedication to the service of Jesus and of the Church, and of an intention, indeed a sacred oath, of allegiance to the Chair of St. Peter and of unwearying work for souls.”
That same day, Father Roncalli was received in special audience by Pope St. Pius X. Father Roncalli told the Pope briefly of the intentions which he had offered during his first Mass over the tomb of St. Peter.
St. Pius X said, “Well done, well done, my boy…. This is what I like to hear, and I will ask the good Lord to grant a special blessing on these good intentions of yours, so that you may really be a priest after His own heart. I bless all your other intentions too, and all the people who are rejoicing at this time for your sake.”
On Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption, Father Roncalli celebrated Mass in his home town, Sotto il Monte. He counted that day among the happiest of his life.

 

安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利(後來的教宗聖若望二十三世),於1904年8月10日晉鐸。

 

晉鐸前的退省,龍嘉利沉思有關「脫俗」。他寫道:「聖人們實踐神聖的脫俗,他們都願意聆聽天主的說話,就如祂對我說話一樣。他們不以驕傲去計較自己要做的,只顧投身於天主要他們做的事情上。」

「在一切以上,我腦海活現一個渴望,但求在耶穌聖心內,完全擊敗自我,徹底聽命於我主,堪當成為祂更具價值的工具去行善,帶給教會更大的裨益,不以我自己因驕傲而選擇的地方與方法,卻純樸和盲目地順從我長上們的意願。」

 

晉鐸日

 

晉鐸聖儀期間,龍嘉利感到聖母對他的慈愛。他記述道:「當一切完成了,我已起誓對我長上主教效忠,我舉目看看聖母像 –––– 坦白說,先前我並沒有注意過 –––– 似乎她從祭台上向我微笑,使我的靈魂感到一陣甘飴,激起我的慷慨與信賴,聖母似乎告訴我她因我而喜樂,答應會看護著我。那陣的祥和,我永不忘記。」

他晉鐸當天,洋溢靈益:「那天下午,我單獨與主同在。祂把我高高提升,讓我的心志,沐浴於聖職的喜悅。我外出,整個羅馬我旁若無人,完全浸在我主內。我走到幾所我喜愛的聖堂,凝視聖母像和我熟悉聖人的聖像。作的是簡短的拜訪。當日黄昏,我感到有話對每一位聖者說,而每一位聖者又有話對我說。事實卻又是如此。」

 

 

首祭

 

翌日,龍嘉利在聖伯多祿大殿舉行晉鐸首祭。他憶錄著:「我為恭敬聖伯多祿和聖保祿宗徒舉行這聖祭。啊!聖祭的喜悅!我還記得,我心澎湃,激起對教會、對基督、對教宗的熱愛,全心全意奉獻給基督和教會。的確,那是一個誓言,我要貞忠於聖座,為所有靈魂不懈地工作。」

 

同日,龍嘉利獲得教宗聖庇約十世的特別接見。他向教宗坦述在聖伯多祿墓上首祭時的意願,聖庇約對他說:「做得好!做得好,我兒!… 我很高興聽到這些話。我會向我主祈求,特別降福你的意願,好讓你能作一個合祂心意的司鐸。我也祝福你其它的意向,和所有此刻因你喜慶的人。」

 

8月15日、聖母升天瞻禮慶日,龍嘉利在他的故鄉、索托.伊爾.蒙泰鎮,舉行彌撒聖祭。他形容那是一生中,其中最快樂的一天。

20140707 Reflections at retreats 避靜的自省

From 1901 to 1903 Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future St. John XXIII) studied at the Roman Seminary of the Apollinare. He did his military service, which he called the Babylonian Captivity, from November 1901 to November 1902.

Lifelong commitment
The year 1903 was an important one for Roncalli. He was ordained a subdeacon on April 11 and a deacon on Dec. 18.
On Jan. 1, 1903, Roncalli consecrated the year to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wrote, “I have seen the first dawn of a new year. I welcome it in the name of the Lord and I consecrate it to the loving Heart of Christ, that for me it may be a year really full of good works, my year of salvation, the year in which I shall at last make myself holy. Jesus, I am yours once more and forever.”
Roncalli had a great love for the Pope. On March 3 he wrote, “A day of triumph! Long live the Holy Father! Today in St. Peter’s my heart was overcome in that immense sea of love for the Pope; the whole world was represented there.
“During the solemn Mass I could only reassert, over the tomb of the apostles, my living, burning faith and my determination to work to the limit of my strength in the service of Jesus Christ, the Church, and the Pope. Holy Father, I am all yours. I present arms! Bless me so that I may become holy, worthy to be your son.”
In those days, lifelong commitments to celibacy and to praying the divine office (Liturgy of the Hours) were made at the subdiaconate ordination.
During the retreat, April 1-10, 1903, before his subdiaconate ordination, Roncalli wrote, “The holiness of the saints does not depend on anything sensational but on little things which seem but trifles in the eyes of the world. In this respect, Jesus Christ, in the first 30 years of His life, offers me a whole series of shining examples.”
“My great book, from which henceforth I must learn with greater care and love the lessons of divine wisdom, is the crucifix. I must make a habit of judging all human concerns and knowledge in the light of the principles of this great book.”

Diaconate ordination
During the preparatory retreat for his ordination to the diaconate, Dec. 9-18, 1903, Roncalli contemplated the possibility of his soul falling into hell. He wrote, “Among the things I find impossible to conceive is this: the possibility of my soul one day falling into hell. I cannot think of this without being struck with terror.
“And yet there is a place there for me too. Were I to become lukewarm I should already be on the verge of the precipice; one sin could push me over, as might happen to any other poor sinner. Oh how wretched I am! This fear alone must keep me humble: I too might fall, and yet I hardly ever give it a thought.”
“My Lord, I say it once again: if only You will save me from that place, I am willing to do anything, even to let myself be trampled on like the dust of the high road. Burn me with the flame of Your love.”
Roncalli had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He desired to do everything in intimate union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
One of the first prayers that Roncalli had learned from his godfather was: “Sweet Heart of my Jesus, make me love You more and more.”

1901年至1903年,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利(即後來的教宗聖若望二十三世)在羅馬的亞頗里納修院進修;而在1901年十一月至1902年十一月期間,曾去服兵役;他笑稱這段為自己的「淪陷期(源自舊約巴比倫攻佔期)」。

 

奉獻一生

 

1903年,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利先後被祝聖為五品修士及六品副祭,是他晉升鐸品前重要的一年。

 

1903年一月一日,龍嘉利把這整年奉獻給耶穌聖心。他寫道:「我目睹新年的晨曦,我因主之名迎接它,並奉獻給至愛耶穌聖心,以祈在這一年,充斥著我的善功,成為我救恩之年,最後能使我成聖。耶穌,我一再強調,我永遠屬於祢!」

 

龍嘉利愛護教宗;三月,他曾寫道:「勝利的一天!聖父萬歲!今天,我身處聖伯多祿大殿,愛護教宗的心潮湧現,好像整個世界和我一樣。彌撒中,在聖徒們的墓上,我那心焰意躍的信德,決定要盡最大的努力,侍奉耶穌基督、祂的教會及教宗。聖父,我是你的,我向你展臂擁抱!請祝福我,使我成聖,好堪作你的兒子。」

 

四月十一日,龍嘉利被祝晉為五品修士,矢志終身守貞、服務聖職。在稍前(四月一日至十日)的退省,龍嘉利筆錄著:「茲所謂聖者,非繫於作轟動的事,而是在善作微小的,不為世注重的事。耶穌基督首三十年的謙隱生活,確是給我光輝的模範。」

 

「對我來說,耶穌苦像是最大的課本,我要從此更小心地以愛去學習神聖的智慧。我必定要習慣以這偉大課的原則本來判斷所有人性的顧慮和知識

 

六品副祭

 

十二月十八日,龍嘉利被祝聖為六品副祭。為祝聖前作準備的退省(十二月九日至十八日),他曾沉思下地獄的可能性。他寫道:「其中最不能使我接受的,就是假如有一天,我掉進地獄去。想到這裡,不禁感到陣陣驚慄…如果我冷淡敬主,我等於站立在懸崖峭壁,犯一個罪足使我跌入深淵,其他人情況會是一樣。噢,多麼不幸!這恐懼令我謙卑。我也有可能會跌倒,但我想得太小了。」

 

「我主,我再說一遍:假如祢讓我免陷地獄,我願意為祢做任何事,即使我要變成任人踐踏的塵埃。以祢的愛,燃點我內心的愛吧。」

 

龍嘉利恭敬耶穌聖心,他希望能做任何事,藉聖體聖事與基督聖心緊密結合。

 

龍嘉利從領洗代父學習到的一段經文,是說:「我甘飴的耶穌,讓我對祢的愛,與日俱增。」

20140630 Saintly teenage years 聖善青春年

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope St. John XXIII) studied at the major seminary of Bergamo from 1895 to 1900.

‘Little Rules’
In 1895, the 14-year-old Angelo Roncalli received the confidential “Little Rules” from his spiritual director. In the seminary, spiritual directors discreetly communicated the “Little Rules” to the best seminarians. These seminarians formed the Sodality of the Annunciation of Mary Immaculate.
Roncalli copied the rules out by hand and kept them always by him. He constantly observed them, even when he was Pope.
The “Little Rules” prescribed the following daily exercises: Holy Mass, meditation for at least a quarter of an hour, spiritual reading, visit to the Blessed Sacrament, general examination of conscience in the evening, five decades of the rosary, and raising one’s thoughts to God with devout invocations.
Members of the Sodality fasted on Fridays and Saturdays in honour of the Passion of Christ and of Our Lady. They went to confession weekly and set aside one day each month to prepare themselves for a good death.
The “Little Rules” emphasized the importance of the principal feasts of Our Lady, the month of Mary, devotion to St. Joseph, one’s Guardian Angel, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Here are some excerpts from the “Little Rules”:
— Correct one another’s faults, and let him who is corrected say three Hail Marys for his corrector.
— Evil companions must be shunned like vipers, especially those who criticize virtue, good men, and good examples, subjecting them to ridicule.
— Be very much on your guard against human respect. Do not refrain from doing good, or indulge in evil because of any human respect or consideration.
— To guard the virtue of purity you must have a great love for Mary most holy, and in her honour say three Hail Marys for yourself and your companions, offering them to her and begging her for this virtue.
— Your chief devotion will be to the Blessed Sacrament: therefore great recollection in church, especially when there is exposition. Receive the Blessed Sacrament as often as you can, with the best possible dispositions and devotion, and with a prolonged thanksgiving. Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament frequently, rejoicing to keep Him company.
— Have a right intention in all things.
— Beware of idleness, which is the devil’s bait.

Solemn Promise
In February 1900, Angelo Roncalli made a retreat at the seminary, and on Feb. 27 he made a solemn promise to the Sacred Heart of Jesus not to commit any willful sin. Here is an excerpt from his prayer:
“During the holy Spiritual Exercises of this Year of Grace 1900, the 19th year of my age, and on this last day of the holy retreat (27 Feb.), while I am sacramentally united to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus through Holy Communion; in the presence of my most holy mother, Mary Immaculate; St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse and my chief protector; all the other saints; my special intercessors; my guardian angel; and all the court of heaven, I, the seminarist Angelo Giuseppe, a sinner, promise the most Sacred Heart, with all the solemnity and power this act of mine may have, always, today, and at all times, by the grace of God, to keep myself free from the slightest attachment to any voluntary venial sin.
“And since because of my weakness I cannot guarantee in the future to keep this promise by my own unaided effort, I place it in the hands of the angelic youth St. Aloysius Gonzaga, so pre-eminently free from all stain of sin, so pure in heart and mind.
“Choosing him for this purpose as my special intercessor and patron, I beg and implore him — he is so kind and loving — to deign to accept it, guard it, and by his prayers help me to keep it.”

 

1895年到1900年間,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利(後來的教宗聖若望二十三世),是意大利貝加莫省大修院的修生。

 

「小規誡」

 

1895年,神師給十四歲的安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利「小規誡」。在修院裡,神師會謹慎挑選表現最好的修生,給予他們的「小規誡」,讓他們特別遵守;而這些被特別挑選的修生,一起組織了一個名為「無玷聖母領報善會」。安哲路把這些「小規誡」抄在紙片上,隨身攜帶,常提醒自己遵守;甚至他當上了教宗仍如是。

 

「無玷聖母領報善會」成員逢星期五和星期六守齋,以恭敬基督苦難和聖母。他們每週辦告解,每月一次習練善終。

 

大致上,「小規誡」規定每天要參與彌撒、至少默想十五分鐘、閱讀聖書、朝拜聖體、唸五端玫瑰經、以熱心祈禱接近天主,和在夜晚時分省察。又強調聖母瞻禮日的重要、聖母月、恭敬聖若瑟、護守天神和聖類斯.公撒格。

 

以下簡列「小規誡」一些內容:

 

  • 彼此幫助改正錯犯。能改正者為幫助自己改正的人唸三遍聖母經。
  • 避開那些批評修德、譏諷立善表的壞份子,遠離他們如遠離蛇蠍。
  • 提防過於取悅於人。千萬別因別人的原故而避免行善或沉溺於惡。
  • 依賴聖母保守潔德。為自己和同伴能堅守此貞潔之德,特別每天唸三遍聖母經。
  • 視敬禮聖體為首要敬禮。在聖堂要大大收歛心神,特別在明供聖體前。盡量熱心勤領聖體,並而長時間感謝聖體。多朝拜聖體,常樂於與耶穌聖體相伴。
  • 每事當有正確的意向。
  • 避免空閑時間,它是魔鬼的誘餌。

莊嚴的承諾

 

1900年2月,安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利在修院作避靜。2月27日,他向耶穌聖心作了一個莊嚴的承諾,矢志不明知故犯任何罪。這是他其中的祈禱內容:

 

「1900年恩寵聖年,年十九歲,在退省最後的一天(2月27日),藉領聖體和耶穌聖心緊密結合。在無玷聖母、她的淨配聖若瑟 ––––  也是我的主保、其他聖人們、我的特別代禱者、我的護守天使、及一總天朝神聖面前,我、安哲路.若瑟修生,此時此日,誠心決志向至聖聖心承諾:以後要藉天主聖寵,斷絕對故意犯的小罪最微小的眷戀。我深知單靠自己的軟弱力量,不足徹底履行這承諾;所以,我把自己置於年青天使般的聖者 ––––  聖類斯.公撒格的手中,他是何等身心聖潔無瑕。我特意為此請他作我的中保和主保,祈求他憐愛垂允我、守護我,賴他的轉禱幫助我、保守我的潔德。」

 

 

20140623 Seminarian resolves to be holy 矢志成聖的修生

In the last 28 articles, since December, we have been looking at St. Francis de Sales’s An Introduction to the Devout Life. Those articles can be reviewed on my personal website: http://www.fatheranthonyho.com.
Starting this week, we are going to be looking at the life of a new saint who was greatly influenced by the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. This new saint, canonized on April 27, is Pope Saint John XXIII.
In 1903, the seminarian Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future John XXIII) wrote the following prophetic entry in his diary for the Feast of St. Francis de Sales:
“Today was a perfect feast; I spent it in the company of St. Francis de Sales, my gentlest of saints. What a magnificent figure of a man, priest, and bishop! If I were like him, I would not mind even if they made me Pope!
“I love to let my thoughts dwell on him, on his goodness and on his teaching. I have read his life so many times! His counsels are so acceptable to my heart. By the light of his example I feel more inclined towards humility, gentleness and calm.
“My life, so the Lord tells me, must be a perfect copy of that of St. Francis de Sales if I wish it to bear good fruit. Nothing extraordinary in me or in my behaviour, except my way of doing ordinary things: ‘all ordinary things but done in no ordinary way.’
“A great, a burning love for Jesus Christ and his Church: unalterable serenity of mind, wonderful gentleness with my fellow men, that is all.”

Spiritual journal
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was born on November 25, 1881, in the tiny village of Sotto il Monte in Italy. He was baptized on the same day by the parish priest in the church of Santa Maria.
He received first Communion in 1888 at the young age of 7 and was confirmed the following year. From 1892 to 1895 he was a student at the minor seminary of Bergamo. He studied at the major seminary from 1895 to 1900. His dairy, Journal of a Soul, began in 1896 and finished in 1962, months before his death on June 3, 1963.
Regarding his spiritual diaries, St. John XXIII said to his secretary, “My soul is in these pages…. You may publish them after my death. They will do some good to souls who feel drawn toward the priesthood and more intimate union with God.”

Spiritual resolutions
As a major seminarian at Bergamo, Roncalli made resolutions during spiritual exercises. Here are some of the resolutions he made in 1896:
I resolve and promise never to approach the holy sacraments out of mere habit or with indifference, and never to spend less than a quarter of an hour in my preparation.
My sole object in studying will be to work for the greater glory of God, the honour of the Church, and the salvation of souls, and not for my own honour, not in order to be cleverer than all the others; and I will always remind myself that God will ask me to render an account of that talent also which I have wasted in merely acquiring glory for myself.
I promise and I vow to Our Lady, who will always be my dearest Mother, to guard myself most scrupulously as far as lies in my power from any thought or act to which I might give consent, which might cast so much as a shadow over the heavenly virtue of holy purity.
I will so behave that all my doings may be in accordance with the oft-repeated maxim of St. Ignatius Loyola: “To the greater glory of God.”

去年十二月開始,我們用了二十八次篇幅,引述聖方濟.沙雷神修箸作「熱心引」一些內容,以饗靈益。大家可以到我的網站www.fatheranthonyho.com重溫。

 

由本星期開始,我們探討一位新聖人的一生,他極受聖方濟.沙雷的神修影響,這位就是剛於四月二十七日宣聖的教宗聖若望二十三世。

 

聖人原名安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利。1903年聖方濟.沙雷瞻禮日,還是修生的龍嘉利,在日記中寫下具預言性的字句:「今天是一個美好的慶日,我和溫良的聖方濟.沙雷一起渡過,他是高尚的男性楷模,也是作為神父及主教的典範。如果我能肖似他,我不介意被天主飭令當上教宗!但願我的思緒寄居在他的思緒、他的美好、他的教訓。我閱讀過有關他生平很多次了,而他的輔導又如此牽動我的心!他讓我看到謙遜、溫良、平和的光。我知道天主要我仿效聖方濟.沙雷,才能結出善果。我並非與眾不同,只會做平凡的事,卻要『不平凡地做著平凡的事』。藉對耶穌基督及祂的教會極大的愛火,我要堅定不移保守著內心的平和,溫良地對待別人,於願足矣。」

 

靈修日記

 

安哲路.若瑟.龍嘉利於1881年11月25日,出生在意大利貝加莫省一條名叫索托.伊爾.蒙泰的小村莊。同日,他在聖瑪利亞本堂接受聖洗聖事。七歲時、1888年,初領聖體,翌年領受堅振聖事。

 

1892年至1895年,龍嘉利在貝加莫省的小修院渡過,1895年至1900年在大修院進修,而他的靈修日記涵蓋1896年到1962年、他死前數月。

 

聖人領著教宗若望二十三世的身份,卒於1963年6月3日。臨終時告訴他的秘書說:「我的靈魂活在我的日記字行間 …,我死後你把它公開,估計能夠裨益有聖召和願意與天主親近的眾靈。」

 

靈修決志

 

在貝加莫省的大修院進修時,龍嘉利已有幾項他個人的神修決志。以下是1896年他所定下的:

 

  • 要用不少於十五分鐘來準備領受聖事,亦決不讓領受聖事的神功,變成公式化的習慣。
  • 努力學習的目的,並非在意個人的譽獎或超越別人,只為天主更大的光榮、教會的名聲、眾多靈魂的得救。要常提醒自己,如果稍有任何私譽的意圖,便是浪費天主的恩賜,並將要為此向天主交帳。
  • 答應及向最愛的聖母許諾,要盡最大的努力,謹慎地管束思行,捍衛神聖的貞潔之德。
  • 所有的言行,不斷地重複實現聖依納爵.羅耀拉的格言:「愈顯主榮」。

20140616 Exercises strengthen devotion 神業強化熱心

In the fifth and final part of An Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales recommends spiritual exercises for renewing the soul and strengthening devotion.

Resolutions renewed
The saint wrote, “Our earthly nature easily falls away from its higher tone by reason of the frailty and evil tendency of the flesh, oppressing and dragging down the soul, unless it is constantly rising up by means of a vigorous resolution, just as a bird would speedily fall to the ground if it did not maintain its flight by repeated strokes of its wings.
“In order to do this, my child, you need frequently to reiterate the good resolutions you have made to serve God, for fear that, failing to do so, you fall away, not only to your former condition, but lower still; since it is a characteristic of all spiritual falls that they invariably throw us lower than we were at the beginning.”
We should renew from time to time the following resolutions: “The first is to forsake, reject, detest, and forever renounce all mortal sin. Second, to dedicate and consecrate your soul, heart, and body, with everything appertaining thereto, to the service and love of God. Third, that if you should unhappily fall into any sin, you would forthwith rise up again, with the help of God’s grace.”

Examination of soul
We should examine our soul regularly, especially during retreats. St. Francis de Sales taught that we should examine:
1. The state of our soul towards God: our attitudes towards the Commandments of God, venial sins, and spiritual exercises; our affections towards God.
2. One’s condition with regard to oneself: the nature of our love for self; whether we have boasted or have indulged in recreations which can injure our health.
3. Conduct towards one’s neighbour: whether we love them from our heart and for the love of God, whether we are quick to speak ill of others, and whether we have injured others directly or indirectly.
4. The passions, feelings, and affections of the soul: what attachments hinder our spiritual life, what passions engross it, and what chiefly attracts us.
These examinations should lead to thanksgiving for any spiritual progress and to humility for any shortcoming. We should ask for forgiveness and entreat God to make us truly faithful.

Spiritual reflections
St. Francis de Sales proposed the following subjects for reflection to support the renewal of good resolutions:
1. The excellence of the soul: it has an understanding capable of knowing angels and paradise, it has a noble will which can love God, it also has a heart that can find no repose save in God alone.
2. The excellence of virtue: only virtue and devotion can satisfy our soul in this world; compare virtues with their opposing vices.
3. The example of the saints: the sacrifices of the martyrs, the purity and charity of the holy and blessed women, and the detachment and resolutions of the holy confessors.
4. The love that Jesus Christ bears us: His sufferings on earth; His heart loves and cares for each one of us.
5. God’s eternal love for us: God has always loved us, and from eternity prepared the favours and graces which He has bestowed on us.
Towards the end of the book, the saint wrote, “Look to heaven, and do not lose it for earth; look at hell, and do not plunge therein for the sake of this passing life; look at Jesus Christ, and do not deny Him for the world’s sake; if the devout life sometimes seems hard and dull, join in Saint Francis’s song: ‘So vast the joys that I await, no earthly travails seem great.'”

在「熱心引」第五部份、也是最後的部份,聖方濟.沙雷說到神業可以更新靈魂,同時亦可強化熱切的心。

 

果斷的更新

 

聖人教道:「人性的軟弱和肉慾,把我們的本性降格,使靈性被壓抑、拖累;所以,我們要有充沛的果斷,將自己的靈性提升,就如小鳥要不斷拍翼才能飛行,否則只會墮地。為能將自己的靈性提升,我兒,你要常常回味及珍惜愛主之情,免墮險境。須知道,一旦墮地,不獨回復罪態的醜惡,且會跌得更慘!」

 

屢屢重溫以下方法:「第一、要唾棄、拒絕、痛恨和永遠拋棄大罪。第二、身心常繫事奉及愛天主的事情。第三、當你跌倒,要毫不猶疑地依恃天主,重新站立起來。」

 

檢視靈魂

 

我們要經常檢視(省察)自己的靈魂,特別在避靜之時。聖方濟勸勉我們應檢視:

 

  1. 靈魂與天主的關係 —— 我們對天主十誡的態度;怎樣看小罪;內在的靈修,和我們對天主的愛。
  2. 對自己的關係—— 如何愛護自己;是否愛溺或縱情世娛,有損身心。
  3. 對待別人 —— 是否因愛天主而愛別人;是否慣於以言行直接或間接傷害他人。
  4. 靈魂的情感 —— 超性生活有否被繫戀所阻礙,或被情慾所佔有;心儀於那些東西;什麼事物最能吸引自己。

 

檢視得出的靈修是進步的話,我們殷切感恩,如果有所缺失的話,要謙遜自己,懇請天主的寬恕,祈求祂使我們真正對祂常常忠誠。

 

靈性的反思

 

冀求切實的更新善志,聖方濟建議我們作以下的反思:

 

  1. 靈魂的崇高 —— 有認知天使和天堂的能力;擁有一顆愛天主尊貴的心志;感到只能安頓於天主之內。
  2. 德行的崇高 ——只有聖德與熱心,才可以使靈魂得到富足;嘗試比對聖德和相反的罪惡。
  3. 聖賢的芳表 —— 欽佩殉道者的犧牲、聖女的貞潔和愛德、精修者的脫俗和善志。
  4. 耶穌基督對我們的愛 —— 基督在世的苦難;常感恩於祂聖心對我們的愛和關顧。
  5. 天主對我們永恆的愛 ——天主常愛我們;自永恆已準備賜給我們諸恩寵。

 

在其箸作的結尾部份,聖方濟沙雷寫著:「仰望天堂,不要因世俗而失去永生;瞰視地獄,不要因暫世而陷於罪惡;凝視耶穌基督,不要因俗世而否認祂;如果對熱心生活覺得困難和枯燥,跟聖方濟亞西西詠唱:我所期盼那無邊的喜樂,偌大於任何世間的陣痛。」