Monday, September 14, 2009

My article for Pax Sinica 華之安

My 5th article for the Pax Sinica column in The B.C. Catholic newspaper (Sept. 14 issue).

 

親愛的 若望保祿二世

 

九月十八日標誌着已故教宗若望保祿二世訪問溫哥華總教區的二十五週年。

聖女加大利納.栖亞娜稱教宗為「在世可愛的基督」。基督是道路、真理和生命。祂是我們需要跟隨的道路(道德),我們需要相信的真理(教義),和我們需要活出的生命(祈禱)。若望保祿二世非凡地繼續了基督的工作,作為世界道德的倡導者,真理的訓誨者,常活在祈禱中。

道德的倡導者

在其「福音生命」的通諭內,若望保祿二世勇毅地確定,蓄意殺害無辜的人、墮胎和執行安樂死,同樣是嚴重違反道德操守。他在一九七九年至一九八四年期間,逢星期三進行有關人類性慾與婚姻的教導,總共一百二十九講,變成遺留給教會絕倫的寶訓,亦即現今我們所熟悉的「身體神學」。他深敬每一個人的尊嚴,並以言行清楚表達了。

在位其間,教宗若望保祿二世作了四百八十二名宣聖,也宣認一千三百四十人為真福;其中包括聖高比、聖庇奧、聖斯禮華、聖傅天娜、聖十字德蘭,真福包括教宗若望二十三世、德蘭修女、伯鐸.法士庭、方濟和雅仙達。他宣聖宣福的人,來自不同的生活方式,闡釋了「成聖的文化」和申明對普世「成聖的召叫」。

真理的訓誨者

在他的宗座憲章裡,若望保祿二世指出,要把教宗若望二十三世的「梵蒂岡第二次大公會議」落實,主要工作是要把寶貴傳統的基督徒教義,守護和彰顯,好讓基督信徒和有意向善的人,易於接觸及理解。他視貫徹執行大公會議議案為主要任務,其中在一九九二年頒佈「天主教教理」為最顯赫的成果之一。

「天主教教理」把教會教導分為傳統的四部份;信經、聖事、誡命和祈禱。不過,當中內容,會按不同情况,以不同方式表達,切合合時的基督徒生活。二零零三年二月,若望保祿二世决定以簡潔方式闡釋天主教要理。在他逝世後不久,他的繼任人教宗本篤十六世,在二零零五年,正式頒佈「要理概要」。「天主教要理」及「要理概要」都是教授和認識天主教信仰的寶庫。

祈禱生活的人

若望保祿二世曾以 Totus Tuus「全屬於妳」作為宗座格言。此靈感乃來自聖類斯.格利寧對聖母的奉獻。教宗特別敬禮花地瑪聖母,在一九八四年三月二十五日,把全世界敬獻予聖母無玷聖心。他亦推廣神聖慈悲敬禮。我想他在二零零五年四月二日,首瞻禮七和神聖慈悲瞻禮前夕去世,是一個恩典。其中一樣最大的遺產,是他給了教會玫瑰經的光明五端,讓信眾更能默觀基督的肖像。若望保祿二世十分愛聖體,常朝拜聖體和恭唸玫瑰經。

教宗若望保祿二世訪溫二十五週年紀念之際,我們感謝天主賜予教會這位傑出的聖牧,且要效法他的聖善、信德和祈禱。

Beloved John Paul II

 

It’s been 25 years since Pope John Paul II visited the Archdiocese of Vancouver; Sept. 18 will be that silver jubilee.

St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope “the sweet Christ on earth.” Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the way that we must follow (moral), the truth that we must believe (dogma), and the life that we must live (prayer). John Paul II continued the works of Christ marvellously as a moral leader, a teacher of truth, and a man of prayer.

Moral leader

In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), John Paul II courageously confirmed the teachings that direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being, direct abortion, and euthanasia are gravely immoral.

The Holy Father had left the Church wonderful teachings on human sexuality and marriage through the 129 talks he had given during the Wednesday audiences from 1979 to 1984. These talks are known as the “Theology of the Body.” The late Pope had a profound respect for the dignity of each human person, and he expressed this respect both by words and by deeds.

During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II canonized 482 saints. The late Pope also beatified 1,340 people. Of these, some of the popular ones are: St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Blessed John XXIII, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Francisco Marto, and Blessed Jacinta Marto.

By canonizing and beatifying people from all walks of life, Pope John Paul II helped to create the culture of holiness and to affirm the universal call to holiness.

Teacher of truth

In his apostolic constitution Fidei Depositum, John Paul II stated that the principal task entrusted to the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII was to guard and better present the precious deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will.

Pope John Paul sought to implement the teachings of the council, and a significant achievement was the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992. In this catechism the teachings of the Church are arranged into the traditional four parts: the Creed, the sacraments, the commandments, and prayer. However, the contents are often presented in a new way suited to the present life of Christians.

In February 2003 Pope John Paul decided to prepare a compendium as a more concise formulation of the contents of faith than the catechism. The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was promulgated shortly after his death by his successor Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. Both the catechism and the compendium are valuable resources for teachers and students of the Catholic faith.

Man of prayer

The apostolic motto of Pope John Paul was “Totus Tuus” (totally yours). These words were inspired by St. Louis de Montfort’s teachings on total consecration to Mary. The late Pope had a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, and he consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.

The late Pope was also instrumental in the popularization of the Divine Mercy Devotion. I think it was very providential that he died on the first Saturday of April, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, April 2, 2005.

One of the greatest gifts that Pope John Paul gave the Church is the Mysteries of Light of the Rosary, which help the faithful to contemplate the face of Christ. Pope John Paul had a great love for the Holy Eucharist, and loved to spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and time praying the Rosary.

As we remember the 25th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul to our archdiocese, let us thank God for giving the Church such a wonderful saintly leader. May we follow his example of holiness, faith, and prayer.

Here is my other Pax Sinica articles