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。」

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