Friday, August 21, 2009

Pax Sinica Article (August 24th Issue)

Here is my 2nd article for The B.C. Catholic

Mother Teresa’s order continues to light a path

仁愛修會的靈修之道

By Father Anthony Ho

兩天前,八月二十二日,仁愛女修會慶祝每年的聖母無玷聖心瞻禮。

如果你不知道誰是仁愛會的修女,那麼,她們眾所週知的會衣, 或德蘭修女的名字,一定會對你有所提示。德蘭修女為自己於一九五零年創辦的女修會而親自設計的會衣是白色印度婦女莎麗式的裝束並配上三條藍帶。

藍色是聖母瑪利亞的色標,三條帶則代表天主的三位一體。在聖母無玷聖心瞻禮, 這些標誌提醒我們仁愛女修會的精神 —— 效法耶穌和聖母的生活,活在愛的信賴、全然的付託和喜樂中。

愛的信賴:我們應該信賴天主聖父的愛護,天主聖子的訓誨,以及天主聖神聖寵的教化。通過祈禱,我們表達對天主的信賴。我們應該相信祈禱的效能,聖母、天使及諸聖有力的轉禱。我們委信於聖教會,也是對天主表達信賴。

仁愛會的修女,每天按時祈禱,培育對天主的信賴。每天清晨起床後,她們都祈禱、閱讀聖書和默想。她們均以每日的彌撒和聖時祈禱,環繞著聖體,作為她們的生活中心。工作時,她們都兩人一組出發,路上恭唸玫瑰經。

全然的付託:耶穌捨棄自己,屈降世上,為承行天父的旨意。在領報之時,聖母捨棄自己,接受天主的聖意。我們捨棄自己,好讓天主聖寵的傾注。我們向天主奉獻自身和擁有的一切,更完全接受天主的安排。

仁愛會的修女們,捨棄自己,渡極為簡樸的生活:每人只可擁有三套會衣(彼此替換),一對涼鞋,兩套互換的內衣,一串玫瑰唸珠,一個小苦像,一匙,一碟,一個帆布袋和一本祈禱手冊。她們不穿襪子,坐在小聖堂的地板上,手洗衣服,和睡在薄薄的床褥上。

喜樂:喜樂是聖神的果實,祂的淨配、我們的聖母,是我們喜樂的緣由。愛和祈禱帶來喜樂。一個喜樂的人,像以艶陽無言地傳佈天主的愛。仁愛女修會要求修女們以喜樂活出她們的聖願。她們的憲章規定:以喜樂接受事物去表達對天主和別人的感激。

仁愛會的修女在每日團體散心時互相分享喜樂。在不同場合,她們以歌聲和聖詠表達喜樂。真福德蘭修女指出,她修會的修女常以笑容示人,因為她們不只是社會福利工作者,而是世界心中的默觀者。作仁愛會修女就是要傳遞天主的愛。

讓我們以感激之心,為我們教區內的仁愛女修會修女們祈禱,並追隨真福德蘭修女的芳表,以簡樸和愛去祈禱。

若對此專欄提供意見請電郵 fatheranthonyho@yahoo.ca . 如欲得更多資料請溜覽網頁www.fatheranthonyho.com


The Society of the Missionaries of Charity (MC) celebrated their annual Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Aug. 22.

If you don’t know who the Missionaries of Charity are, then their signature habit, or the name Mother Teresa, will surely remind you. Mother Teresa designed the now iconic white sari-like habit with three blue stripes for the religious order she established in 1950.

Blue is the colour of Mary, and the three stripes represent the Holy Trinity. On the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, these symbols remind us of the spirit of MC as stated in their constitution. It reads, “The spirit of our society is one of loving trust, total surrender, and cheerfulness, as lived by Jesus and His mother.”

Loving trust

We should trust in the loving care of God the Father, the teaching of God the Son, and the transforming grace of God the Holy Spirit. Trust is expressed in prayer. We should believe in the power of prayer and the intercessory power of Mary, the angels, and the saints. Submission to the authority of the Church is also an expression of our trust in God.

MC sisters nurture this trust in God by spending time in prayer, daily and punctually. They wake up early in the morning for prayer, spiritual reading, and meditation. The sisters centre their lives on the Holy Eucharist, daily Mass, and a holy hour. The sisters always set out to their work in pairs and say the Rosary as they go.

Total surrender

Jesus came into the world to do the will of the Father by emptying Himself, and Mary emptied herself by saying “yes” to God at the Annunciation. We empty ourselves in order to be filled with God’s grace. We offer all that we are and all that we have to God. We accept everything from God with resignation.

The MC sisters empty themselves by living a life of utmost simplicity. Each sister has only three saris (one to wear, one to wash, and one to mend), a pair of sandals, two sets of underclothes, a rosary, a small crucifix, a metal spoon, a rimmed plate, a canvas bag, and a prayer book. They never wear socks. They sit on chapel floors, wash their clothes by hand, and sleep on thin mattresses.

Cheerfulness

Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. His Spouse, Our Lady, is “the cause of our joy.” Joy is the result of love and prayer. A joyful person preaches without preaching and is like the sunshine of God’s love. MC sisters are asked to live out their vows joyfully. In their constitution, it states, “The best way to show our gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy.”

MC sisters share their joy with one another during their daily recreation. They express their joy through songs and hymns on different occasions. Mother Teresa pointed out that the reason why the sisters are always smiling is that they are not just social workers, but contemplatives in the heart of the world. To be an MC sister is to be a carrier of God’s love.

Let us gratefully pray for the Missionaries of Charity in our archdiocese, and follow the example of Mother Teresa in prayer, simplicity, and love.

Suggestions and comments about this column may be sent to fatheranthonyho@yahoo.ca. Additional information: www.fatheranthonyho.com.