Monday, October 26, 2009

Pax Sinica Article: 盡忠職守、熱衷祈禱的聖人 Saint of duties and prayer

盡忠職守、熱衷祈禱的聖人

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。

盡忠職守

馬偉昂修士出生於一八四一年,十五歲進入訓蒙會(喇沙修會)Christian Brothers。十八歲的那一年,他被長上指派教導一群不覊、年約九歲的兒童。可能因他的溫良,馬修士的課室是最混亂失控的,亦因此他被認為不適合留在訓蒙會。快要被修會飭令離開之際,具慧眼的會士麥森廷Maixenties挺身維護馬偉昂,要求把他留下,幫助教授美術和音樂。

馬偉昂修士雖然沒有這方面的興趣和天份,但他絕對聽命長上的吩咐,努力學習繪畫和音律。他一絲不苟地依從麥森廷修士的規定,按時練習簧風琴及其它樂器。聖人貫徹始終,五十年後仍每天早上九時,到音樂室操練簧風琴,將死方休。

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。

熱衷祈禱

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」。

聖人特別恭敬聖母。他寫道:「要找到能與吾主親密地結合的捷徑,到聖母那裏罷。你越愛聖母,便會越愛她的聖子。」

馬偉昂修士的生活喚醒我意識到耶穌和聖母的退隱生活。耶穌三十年寂寂無聞的退隱生活,教訓我們:人在天主眼中的價值,不在乎他們的豐功偉績,而在他們心中的愛和聖德。

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。」

其實,「每件按天主聖意所做的日常事,都可為人類帶來聖寵。」讓我們向聖梅瑟.馬偉昂修士學習:盡忠職守、熱衷祈禱!

 


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