十一月一日的「諸聖瞻禮」將至，提醒我們「成聖」是天主向普世的召叫。「成聖」不需作出轟轟烈烈的事，聖人們大多都是在平凡中成聖的。若我們為天主盡忠職守地工作和專心熱切地祈禱，我們的聖德便會不知不覺地與日漸增 —— 聖梅瑟.馬偉昂Mucisan Marie Wiaux便是表表者。
教宗本篤十四世說：「給我一個在兩整年內，能完全遵守會規的會士，我不需要有証實他轉禱的聖蹟，便可把他宣聖！」 —— 馬偉昂修士就是這方面的聖人。五十五年來，聖人盡忠職守，看顧學生, 並教授初級美術和音樂，雖並未如其他修士那樣教授宗教課程，但卻忠誠、熱誠地監督學生並樹立善表。
每日清晨四時三十分，聖梅瑟.馬偉昂修士便朝拜聖體，上午六時參與彌撒。訓蒙會規定會士們每天需要騰出很多時間祈禱; 聖人在規定的時間以外, 每有空閒便作祈禱。他喜歡在聖體前和聖母岩前祈禱，看顧學生時常唸玫瑰經。學生們都說馬偉昂是「不斷在祈禱的修士」。
歐日納.博罱Eugene Boylan神父寫道：「如果我們記得聖母的生命是最為豐碩的, 而她卻過着平凡、淡泊、辛勞的生活，我們應對日常為天主而做的平凡小事，給予重新的評價。」
Saint of duties and prayer
The Solemnity of All Saints (Nov. 1) is approaching. The feast reminds us of the universal call to holiness. Holiness does not consist in doing extraordinary things. The saints are people who do ordinary things well. If we are faithful to our daily duties and to prayer, we grow in holiness gradually without realizing it. This growth to holiness is exemplified in the life of St. Mutien Marie Wiaux.
Faithful to duties
Born in 1841 in Belgium, Mutien joined the Christian Brothers at 15. At 18 he was assigned to teach a group of unruly 9-year-olds. He was too gentle and his classroom was a shambles. Brother Mutien seemed to be so unfit for teaching the community council was on the verge of sending him home.
An understanding confrere, Brother Maixentis, spoke up for Brother Mutien and asked to have him appointed his assistant in teaching art and music. Brother Mutien was therefore allowed to stay in the community.
Completely obedient, Brother Mutien received training in drawing and music, subjects in which he had no particular interest or talent. Following a timetable drawn up by Brother Maixentis, he began to practise harmonium and other musical instruments.
Near the end of his life Brother Mutien would still religiously go to the music room at 9 each morning to practise the harmonium.
Pope Benedict XIV said, “Find me a religious who has observed his rule perfectly for the space of two years, and I shall canonize him without miracles.”
Exact observance of the rule was the way to holiness for Brother Mutien. For 55 years he taught beginners’ classes in art and music. He never taught religion or exercised the regular teaching apostolate of the Christian Brothers, but he did carry out the apostolate of watchfulness and example faithfully and religiously.
Faithful to prayer
Brother Mutien would begin his day by kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament at 4:30 a.m. and then attending Mass at 6 a.m. The Rule of the Christian Brothers set aside a good amount of time each day for prayer. Brother Mutien would also spend all his spare time in prayer. He loved to pray before the Blessed Sacrament and to visit a grotto.
While supervising the students Brother Mutien carried a rosary in his hand and prayed constantly. Some students referred to Brother Mutien as “the brother who is always praying.”
Brother Mutien had great devotion to Mother Mary. He once wrote, “If you wish to find a short and easy path to intimate union with Our Lord, go through Mary. The more you love the Most Blessed Virgin, the more you will love her divine Son.”
The life of Brother Mutien reminds us of the hidden life of Jesus and the retired life of Mary. By His hidden life of 30 years, Jesus teaches us that man’s worth in God’s eye is measured not by the greatness of his fortune or his works, but by his love and interior perfection.
Dom Eugene Boylan wrote, “If we remember that the most fruitful life of any human being was that lived by Our Lady, and that her life was essentially ordinary, obscure, and laborious, we shall, perhaps, find a new value in the ordinary things in the day’s round when done for God.”
In fact, “Every single thing we do during the day according to the will of God can be used to bring down grace on men.”
Following the example of St. Mutien, let us be faithful to our daily duties and prayer.
Here is my other Articles for Pax Sinica column of The BC Catholic newspaper