Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pax Sinica: 富頓.殊恩主教 Bishop Fulton Sheen

Bishop Fulton Sheen

富頓.殊恩Fulton Sheen主教

十二月九日(星期三)是富頓.殊恩主教三十週年冥辰。殊恩主教是「傳媒福傳」的先驅;他熱愛聖體、熱愛人靈。

熱愛聖體

富頓.殊恩晉鐸之日,矢志每天在聖體前作「聖時祈禱」,他好不容易地持之有恆,直至他生命的終結。

有一次,他在「聖時祈禱」時瞌睡了,猛醒之恃,恰好是一個小時;心中正盤算自己究竟算是完成了聖時祈禱否,恍惚天使向他說:「耶穌山園祈禱時,宗徒們恰像你剛才一樣,做了他們首次的聖時祈禱。但你以後要避免這樣。」

有時候,殊恩在聖堂邊來回踱步,邊做「聖時祈禱」,以免打瞌睡。晉牧後工作實在太忙,殊恩主教便在清晨睡醒後,彌撤前作每天的「聖時祈禱」。他說:「就像普通人一樣,神父有兩種——有些像公雞,早上清醒,有些像貓頭鷹,夜間才活躍。」

殊恩主教認為「聖時祈禱」能加深我們與基督的接觸;他寫道:「除非能與基督曾有個別的私下接觸,否則,所擁有的神學知識,或在日常的社會工作中,不能使我們更愛祂。」的確,「聖時祈禱」強化了殊恩主教貞忠地完成聖召之路。他繼而指出,開始忽視聖體的神父,也會開始忽視善盡鐸職。

早在一九五零年,教宗碧岳十二世Pius XII明言,從「貞潔」和「敬禮聖體」,才找到良好的年青聖召。殊恩主教主持司鐸退省時,常集中鼓勵堅守「聖時祈禱」。

熱愛人靈

富頓.殊恩主教對人的靈魂抱有很大的愛情,他藉傳媒向很多的人作福傳。他運用「直接」和「間接」的福傳方法:在電台廣播中,以簡易的語句,「直接」向大眾介紹天主教教義;在電視媒體,他「間接」地藉討論公眾關心的話題,漸次導入教會的言論。他高談闊論,涵括文藝、科學、戰爭、幽默及不同的主題,吸引美國廣大的電視觀眾。超過三千萬人觀賞過他箸名「值得存活Life is worth living」的節目。

殊恩主教的「傳媒福傳」確實起到皈化的作用,很多人寫信給他,尋求指引,主教亦為他們特別舉辦相關慕道課程。

從接觸人靈的經驗中,殊恩主教作了以下的觀察結論:

1. 從前,人們因宇宙的秩序而信仰天主; 但今天,人們因生活的混亂,而尋求並相信天主。

2. 在國家內,不足十個人是憎恨天主教教會,卻有過百萬人因誤解而憎恨天主教教會的形象。

3. 很多時,人們對教會信理上的反對,事實上是對教會道德觀的反對。

4. 我們寧願研究別人言論的因由,而不去執着針對那些言論;便不難察覺到他們自圓其說或自作合理化的生活方式。

在這「司鐸年」,讓我們求主恩賜所有司鐸都具有富頓.殊恩主教一樣愛主愛靈的心!

 


Bishop Fulton Sheen pioneered evangelization

This Wednesday, Dec. 9, will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Bishop Fulton Sheen. He was a pioneer of evangelization through social communication. Bishop Sheen was a man of prayer who had tremendous love for the Holy Eucharist and for immortal souls.

Man of the Holy Eucharist

On the day of his priestly ordination, Father Fulton Sheen resolved to make a Holy Hour every day before the Blessed Sacrament. It was a resolution he kept until the day of his death, but it was not always easy for him to keep his resolution.

Bishop Sheen once began the Holy Hour and fell asleep. He woke up in exactly one hour and thought, “Have I made a Holy Hour?” Then an angel told him, “That’s the way the apostles made their first Holy Hour in the garden, but don’t do it again.”

In order to keep himself awake during the Holy Hour, Bishop Sheen would sometimes pace up and down the aisle. As he got busier in life, he preferred to make his Holy Hour early in the morning. He wrote, “Priests, like everybody else, are divided into two classes: roosters and owls. Some work better in the morning, others at night.”

Bishop Sheen pointed out that the purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage a deep personal encounter with Christ. He wrote, “Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are preceded by a personal encounter with Him.”

The Holy Hour helped Bishop Sheen tremendously in preserving his priestly vocation. He pointed out that a priest begins to fail his priesthood when he fails in his love of the Eucharist.

In 1950 Pope Pius XII wrote about two points that priests should look for in every young man seriously desirous of becoming a good priest: chastity and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. When Bishop Sheen was giving retreats to priests, he always focused on one general resolution, daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.

Lover of souls

Bishop Sheen had a great love for souls. He reached out to many people through social communication using one of two approaches: direct and indirect. He used the direct approach on radio by presenting Catholic doctrine in plain and simple language and he used the indirect approach on television by starting with topics common to the audience and gradually proceeding to Christian topics.

He talked about art, science, war, humour, and many other themes on television, trying to reach out to the vast television audience of America. His best-known television series was called Life is Worth Living. It had over 30 million viewers.

Bishop Sheen’s usage of social communication attracted converts. Many people wrote to him asking for instruction, and he held classes for them. He made the following observations about souls:

Years ago souls were brought to a belief in God by the order of the universe. Today souls are brought to God by disorder within themselves.

There are not 10 people in the country (the U.S.) who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate the image of the Catholic Church that they have created out of misunderstanding.

Often what appears to be a doctrinal objection to faith turns out to be a moral objection.

It is always well never to pay attention to what people say, but rather why they say it; so often it is a rationalization of the way they live.

In this Year for Priests, let us pray that all priests have the same love for God and for souls as Bishop Fulton Sheen.

My Other Pax Sinica Articles: http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html