Monday, October 19, 2009

Pax Sinica: 眷顧之子,愛德之僕 Son of Providence and Servant of Charity

眷顧之子,愛德之僕

十月二十四日,聖教會紀念「慈祐孝女會The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence」創辦人,真福類斯.冠樂Louis Guanella神父。這女修會修女現正服務於我們的教區:Beth Ann Dillon修女是我們「溫哥華特殊教授要理課程VANSPEC」總監;Rhonda Brown修女則服務於溫哥華聖伯特利爵聖堂St. Patrick’s Parish。

冠樂神父的生平

冠樂神父出生於一八四二年,一八六六年晉鐸。他堅信每個人生命的尊嚴,並特別愛護身罹絕症的病者、遭遺棄的耆老、身心殘疾的人,和孤兒苦雛;他稱智障的人做「好孩子」。在一九一五年離世時,冠樂神父把「好孩子」當作珍貴「遺產」託付給他的追隨者。

仰賴天主的眷顧,冠樂神父幫助了不少病弱的人。他常以極微的收入,充裕地照顧好需要他的人,完成了很多必需的工作,清繳所有印刷書本的費用。有一次,學校修女院長告訴冠樂神父,學校缺糧供膳,他回答說:「現在只是十一時三十分, 天主尚有三十分鐘才供應膳食哩。」修女院長與學生一起祈禱,果然半小時後,不知何人送來米糧。

認識天主的眷顧

天主的眷顧,是指天主對我們的愛護。我們堅信: 天主洞悉一切、引導一切。某宗教課本內有云:「天主的眷顧是細膩而永恆,維護及引導祂那自始創造的宇宙,邁向祂創造的終極目的——天主受光榮、人類享永福。」非附理性的受造物,賴生存之道,不經意地成了天主上智計劃中的一員,而理性的受造物(天神和人類),則可自由選擇與天主永恆的上智計劃合作。

天主的眷顧,是具體、上智、美善和公義的。「具體」是指天主關顧那曾存、現存和將存的所有大小受造物和事宜。「上智」是指所有的事宜,都是在天主所願意或容許之下發生的。「美善」是指出,創造和照顧,均源自天主無限的善和愛。「公義」是說明天主在我們今生或永世,必定以世事、地獄、煉獄和天堂,公正地、滿有義德地賞善罸惡。

我們應該以勇德和信德來回應天主的眷顧。不管生命如何艱困,我們要堅信天主在冥冥中引領着我們。天主教教理教導我們:「天主絕不容許任何惡存在於自己的工程中,除非祂有充分的能力和仁愛,足以從惡中引出善來。」我們當以祈禱,表達對天主眷顧的信任。冠樂神父深信藉信德、祈禱和工作,會賺得天主的眷顧;他訓告會士們說:「祈禱和受苦,是步向成功之道。」

真福類斯.冠樂神父寫道:「明智有兩種:超性的和人性的。有些基督徒故然良善, 但他們只以人性的明智去做人處事, 他們所行的道路和所達到的目標都較遜於那些完全信賴天主的人。信賴天主的人活得更平靜和安穩。」冠樂神父就是藉超性的明智達至成功和聖德。

 


Son of Providence and Servant of Charity

On Oct. 24 the Church commemorates Blessed Louis Guanella, founder of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. The community has one house in Canada and it’s in our archdiocese. Sister Beth Ann Dillon, the Director of VANSPEC (Vancouver Special Catechetical Program), and Sister Rhonda Brown, who assists at St. Patrick’s Parish, are spiritual daughters of Blessed Louis Guanella.

Life of Father Guanella

Father Guanella was born in 1842 and ordained a priest in 1866. He believed in the dignity of each human life. He had special love for the incurable, the abandoned aged, the physically and mentally handicapped, and the orphaned and needy children. Father Guanella would call the mentally deficient men and boys his “good children.” When he died in 1915 he left these “good children” to his followers as his “treasures.”

Father Guanella accomplished much for the poor and the sick by relying on the providence of God. With a small amount of fixed income, he always had money for the poor, the sick, and various works. There was always enough to pay for the printing of numerous books as well.

One time the superior of a school discovered there was no food for lunch. She informed Father Guanella, who replied, “It is only 11:30, providence still has half an hour to provide.” The sister asked the students to pray, and at noon a cart delivered a sack of rice. No one knew where the cart had come from.

Divine providence

Divine providence is God’s loving care for us. It implies two things: God foresees all things, and He directs all things. According to a religion textbook, “Providence is the detailed and eternal plan according to which the entire universe is preserved and directed to the end for which it was created: the glory of God and the eternal happiness of man.”

Irrational creatures participate in the divine plan of God by necessity, and rational creatures (angels and human beings) participate in the divine plan of God by free choice.

The characteristics of the providence of God are universality, wisdom, goodness, and justice.

Universality refers to the fact that God looks after and takes care of all things that exist, or have existed, or will ever exist, even the smallest thing.

Wisdom: everything that occurs is within the all-wise plan of God. Nothing happens unless God wills it or at least permits it.

Goodness: both creation and providence are acts of God’s infinite goodness and love.

Justice: all sin will be punished, either here on earth, in purgatory, or in hell; and all good will be rewarded, either here on earth or in heaven.

Our response to divine providence should be courage and confidence. No matter how difficult life may be, we firmly believe that God is mysteriously guiding us. The Catechism teaches us, “God would not permit evil if He did not cause a good to come from that very evil.”

We express our trust in divine providence through prayer. Blessed Guanella believed faith, prayer, and work merited the help of providence. He taught his religious “to pray and suffer” as the best means of success.

Blessed Louis Guanella wrote, “There are two kinds of prudence, human and divine. There are Christians, otherwise good, who regulate themselves according to human prudence, who undertake a path and come to a goal which, however, is different from the goal of those who, trusting themselves entirely to God, go on with more tranquillity and assurance.”

It was with divine prudence that Father Guanella reached success and perfection.

Here is my other Articles for Pax Sinica column of The BC Catholic newspaper