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」。
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