Monday, September 28, 2009

Pax Sinica Article: 來自天上的好友 Our heavenly friends

 

來自天上的好友print_guardian_angel_watching_over_.gif image by britishgrenadier

本週我們會慶祝兩個與聖天使有關的慶日:明天,九月二十九日,是總領天使們的瞻禮日;十月二日,星期五,是護守天使的瞻禮日。

天主教要理指出:

「人的生命由開始至死亡,常由天使所保護和代禱。每個信徒都有一位天使在他身旁作為保護者和牧者,為引導他達到永生。」聖女吉瑪(Gemma Galgani, 1878-1903)和創辦「主業會」的聖施禮華(Josemaria Escriva, 1902-1975)神父,均對自己的護守天使特別恭敬。事實上,聖施禮華在一九二八年的十月二日,受到啓示而創辦了「主業會」。

天使代禱:聖女吉瑪常見到她的護守天使。有時,護守天使啟發她祈禱,也和她一起祈禱;護守天使的啓發,亦能幫助聖女神魂昇華,讓她的默想更臻完滿。聖施禮華朝拜聖體時,亦不忘向在聖體周圍敬拜的天神致謝。我們應該緊記,我們的護守天使在天主臺前,時刻為我們代禱。

天使是保護者:在經歷一次嚴峻的誘惑後,聖女吉瑪向護守天使投訴,在需要護佑時卻被其忽略了,但天使一再向她强調,無論看得見與否,他總是會守護着她。有一次,聖女害怕魔鬼的襲擊,睡前請求護守天使作伴;她彷彿看到天使用他的雙翅,覆護着她,拂曉不休。聖施禮華則堅信天主給每一個人委派了護守天使,好讓他們都能依賴守護者。一九二八年至一九四零年,聖人的鬧鐘不大管用,省不下錢另購,惟轉向護守天使求助;果然天使未曾失誤,總能準時喚他起床,他稱他的護守天使為「親愛的鐘匠」。若望.赫頓John Hardon神父說:護守天使替我們擋去我們沒能力抵擋的誘惑,教我們如何對付偏情、世俗和邪魔,護衛我們免受危及靈魂的身體創傷。

天使是牧者:護守天使帶給我們天上的啓示,告訴我們取悅天主的事,以及如何付諸實行。聖女吉瑪長期卧病期間,她的護守天經使常好言安慰她;有一次天使說:「假如耶穌容許你肉身受折磨,就等於祂要煉淨你的靈魂。努力吧。」天使對聖女好言告誡,亦會嚴詞責怪,甚至表明因她的罪錯而感羞慚。他曾勸誡聖女多聆聽少說話,並要管好眼目,只看天堂之美。聖施禮華時常向別人的護守天使打招呼。也許,我們在幫助別人之時,可以向那人的護守天使求助。

我們應如何對待我們的護守天使:聖伯爾納鐸論及護守天使說:「我們應該尊敬、愛慕和信賴我們的護守天使。」我們尊敬他們,因為他們確實與我們一起;我們愛慕他們,因為他們對我們表達了關懷;我們信賴他們,為的是他們對我們那全面的呵護。

 


Our heavenly friends

This week we celebrate two feasts in honour of holy angels. Sept. 29 is the feast of three archangels and Oct. 2 is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

According to our Catechism, “Our Guardian Angels help us by praying for us, by protecting us from harm, and by inspiring us to do good.” Both St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) and St. Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975), founder of Opus Dei, had special devotion to their guardian angels. In fact, it was on Oct. 2, 1928, that St. Josemaria was inspired to found Opus Dei.

Praying for us

In her life St. Gemma often saw her guardian angel. Sometimes the angel appeared to St. Gemma to inspire her to pray and to pray with her. When it was time for meditation, the angel inspired her with sublime ideas. He moved her affections so the result of this holy exercise would be perfect.

Whenever St. Josemaria greeted Jesus in the tabernacle, he also thanked the angels present there for their unceasing adoration of God. Let us remember that our guardian angels never cease praying for us and present our petitions before the throne of God.

Protecting us from harm

Once, after she had experienced severe temptations, St. Gemma’s guardian angel appeared. The saint complained to her angel because she wished help in such times. Her guardian angel, however, assured her that whether she saw him or not, he would be always above her head.

Another time, St. Gemma was afraid of an attack by the devil. She begged her guardian angel to be with her while she was sleeping. When she went to bed, her guardian angel spread his wings over her. In the morning, he was still there.

St. Josemaria was convinced God placed a guardian angel beside each human being, so he would have recourse to his guardian angel for both spiritual and material needs.

From 1928 to 1940 St. Josemaria’s alarm clock didn’t work, and the saint had no money to replace it. He asked his guardian angel to wake him up in the morning at the right time. His angel never once failed him. St. Josemaria called his guardian angel “my dear watchmaker.”

According to Father John Hardon, author of the Modern Catholic Dictionary, “Guardian Angels protect us from evil by preserving us from temptation that would be too strong for us; by enlightening us on how to cope with the world, the flesh, and the devil; and by shielding us from physical evil that would bring us spiritual harm.”

Inspiring us to be good

Guardian angels give us heavenly inspirations, telling us what we should do to please God and how are we to carry it into effect.

During her long illness, St. Gemma often received consoling words from her guardian angel. Once, he said, “If Jesus afflicts you in your body, it is always to purify you in your soul. Be good.”

Sometimes the angel counselled her, and occasionally scolded her very severely for her faults, every now and then repeating, “I am ashamed of you.” The angel also taught St. Gemma to speak but little, and only when she was spoken to. The guardian angel reminded St. Gemma to guard her eyes and told her that the eyes that are mortified shall behold the beauties of heaven.

St. Josemaria had the habit of always greeting the guardian angels of the people he met. Perhaps before we help others, we can ask the guardian angels of those for whom we work to lend us their help.

Our duties toward our guardian angel

According to St. Bernard, we should have respect and devotion for as well as confidence in our guardian angel. We should have respect, because of his presence; devotion, because of the solicitude for us that he manifests; confidence, because of the protection with which he surrounds us.

Here is my other Pax Sinica articles

For more information on St. Gemma Galgani, please visit this blog: www.stgemmagalgani.com