Monday, November 30, 2009

Pax Sinica: 新的禮儀年 The advent of a new year

新的禮儀年

昨天(十一月二十九日)是將臨期第一主日,標誌着聖教會一個新的禮儀年開始。今年為「丙年」,主日福音主要取材自「聖路加福音」。

主題

聖路加福音內容主題是表達福音喜訊的普世性,亦談及聖神、祈禱和天主的慈悲。

聖路加在其福音,十七次說及聖神(在「宗徒大事錄」中則共五十七次),在路加福音, 聖母領報時因聖神受孕,而成為天主之母;在宗徒大事錄, 五旬節時聖神降臨,聖母成為教會之母;在福音末段,聖史更引述耶穌稱聖神是「我父所恩許的(24:49)」。

聖路加特別提到耶穌,每遇重要時刻都祈禱(3:21; 5:16; 6:?12; 9:18,28; 11:1; 22:32,41; 23:46);他又記載了匝加利亞的讚主曲(1:68-79)、瑪利亞的謝主曲(1:46-55),與及西默盎的讚美詩(2:29-32)。所有這些頌詞,均用作我們「每日頌禱」內的早禱、晚禱和夜禱的經文。福音最後以記載耶穌門徒們「常在聖殿裏稱謝天主」作結束。

聖路加強調耶穌對罪人的關愛 —— 罪婦親吻耶穌的腳(23:39-43)、稅吏長匝凱的皈化(19:1-10)、加爾瓦畧山上右盜的悔改(23:39-43)、亡羊的比喻(15:1-7)、失錢的比喻(15:8-10)和浪子回頭的比喻(15:11-32)。

講故事的人

路加是出色講故事的人,或是善於敍述的人。他運用了總論、言詞、旅程和比對的方式,來精采他福音的內容。

在福音中、不同時段內,路加採用總論方式,清淅分段(1:80; 2:52; 13:22; 19:47),讓讀者感受到時間的流過;例如他在終結耶穌童年的時段,寫下「耶穌在智慧和身量上,並在天主和人前的恩愛上,漸漸地增長。(2:52)」

首八章的路加福音,記下九篇言詞,佔了不同章篇的一半內容,當中的讚美詩章,為人津津樂道。

聖路加福音的中段,描述耶穌前往耶路撒冷(第9章-第19章)的旅程。聖史多次提醒讀者: 先知耶穌在向耶城進發(13:22; 13:33; 17:11; 18:31; 19:11; 19:28);敍述到期間祂所給眾人的訓導,則可概分三部份:基督徒應有的精神(第9章-弟14章)、天主的仁慈(第15章),和門徒面對的困難和挑戰(第16章-第19章)。

在不同的記載中,路加喜歡把一些人物和事端作比對。例如,他把匝加利亞和聖母兩人的領報比對、把洗者若翰的誕生與耶穌聖誕作比對。如果我們把他的福音和他所寫的宗徒大事錄并閱,不難發覺更多的比對:聖神降孕於聖母和聖神降臨於初生的聖教會;耶穌、伯多祿和保祿施行治病及復活死人的奇蹟;與及耶穌聖死和斯德望的致命等等。

聖路加為「德敖斐羅Theophilus」—— 意即「愛主之人」—— 而寫下他的福音。聖師安博St. Ambrose說:「如果你愛主,聖路加福音是為你而寫的。」



The advent of a new year

Yesterday, Nov. 29, was the First Sunday of Advent; we have just begun a new liturgical year! This is Year C for the Sunday Readings, and the Gospel readings will mainly be taken from St. Luke.

Spirit, prayer, and mercy

The major theme of St. Luke's Gospel is the universality of the Gospel message. Other subthemes are the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the mercy of God.

St. Luke mentions the Holy Spirit 17 times in his Gospel. At the end of it Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as "the Promise of My Father" (24:49). St. Luke mentions the Holy Spirit 57 times in the Acts of the Apostles. At the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit came to Mary, and she became the Mother of God. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit again came to Mary, and she became the Mother of the Church.

St. Luke was careful to show that Jesus prayed before every important step (3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18,28; 11:1; 22:32, 41; 23:46). The Canticles of Zechariah (1:68-79), of Mary (1:46-55), and of Simeon (2:29-32) are from the infancy narratives.

These canticles have the place of honour in the Divine Office at Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. The Gospel concludes with the disciples "continually in the temple praising and blessing God" (24:53).

St. Luke reports Jesus's deep concern for sinners. He includes the incidents of the sinful woman kissing Christ's feet (7:36-50), of the conversion of Zacchaeus (19:1-10), and of the repentance of the good thief (23:39-43). Luke records the parables of the lost sheep (15:1-7), the lost coin (15:8-10), and the prodigal son (15:11-32).

Storytelling

Luke was a wonderful storyteller, or narrator. He employed narrative devices such as summary, speech, journey, and parallelism.

Luke uses summaries (1:80; 2:52; 13:22; 19:47), which provide critical spacing for the narrative and give the reader a sense of elapsed time. For example, Luke summarizes the childhood of Christ in the words, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men" (2:52).

In the first eight chapters of St. Luke's Gospel there are nine speeches. The length of these speeches constitutes about half of the narrative in these chapters. The most famous of these speeches are the Gospel canticles.

The central portion of St. Luke's Gospel is Jesus's journey to Jerusalem (Chapters 9 to 19). From time to time Luke reminds his readers that Jesus, the Prophet, is on His way to Jerusalem (13:22, 13:33, 17:11, 18:31, 19:11, 19:28). The teachings of Jesus during this journey can be divided into three parts: the qualities of discipleship (Ch. 9-14), God seeks out the lost (Ch. 15), and the difficulties and challenges of discipleship (Ch. 16-19).

Luke draws parallels between persons and events in different parts of his writing. Some examples are the annunciation to Zacharias and the annunciation to Mary, as well as the birth of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus.

Putting the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles together we can see more parallels: the coming of the Holy Spirit to Mary and to the Church, miracles of healing and of raising the dead by Jesus, Peter, and Paul, and the deaths of Jesus and of Stephen.

St. Luke wrote the Gospel for Theophilus. His name means lover of God. St. Ambrose wrote, "If you love God, it was written for you."

Link to my other Pax Sinica articles:

http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html

生命恩泉 Trip to Toronto Nov. 27 -30

November 28

生命恩泉 FLL Montreal Radio Team Meeting:

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Mass for FLL volunteers, with special individual blessings after Mass:

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Dinner with volunteers and spiritual director of FLL:

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November 29

Mass at Chinese Martyrs Church:

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FLL 5th Anniversary Gala Dinner:

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Cutting the cake:

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November 30

Private Mass with FLL Volunteers (in the presence of 2 of my new relics: cloth stained with blood of St. John Vianney & bone of St. Philomena) 

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Visited Salt & Light TV:

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Interviewed by Salt & Light TV:

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Last Lunch in Toronto:

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First Dinner in Calgary:

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beautiful Gift Received

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Holy Spirit Seminary in Hong Kong 香港聖神修院

 A first year seminarian from Vancouver, who joined the Hong Kong Diocese sent me these photos of Holy Spirit Seminary in Hong Kong. The seminary is very Chinese, isn’t it?

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Let’s say a prayer for the seminarian who sent me the photos and for all the seminarians at Holy Spirit Seminary.

Here is a Vocation Blog from Hong Kong. I found this beautiful song at the blog about the graces or gifts of God:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

H1N1 Flu Scare

This is an interesting article about H1N1 Flu Scare by Dr. Jackie Rogers. She hopes that the contents of the article help you to weather the storm, and allow you to relax a bit and NOT react to the fear that is being fanned by the media.

Please click HERE to read the article at the Little Flower Family Apostolate Website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saintly Quote of the Day Completed

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Last year on November 21, I started the Saintly Quote of the Day using the “Thoughts and Counsels” session of an antique book.

A year has passed, and I have put all the quotes up already. Of course, I will continue to post good quotations from time to time.

Thank you for your attentions in the past year.

I am spending less time in blogging now, because pastoral life has been keeping me busy. Beside, I have committed myself to write a weekly column (Pax Sinica) for the BC Catholic newspaper, and to help out Vancouver FLL in Chinese radio & TV. But I will continue to post good materials to this blog from time to from (hopefully can do so at least 2 to 3 times a week). I pray that this blog can be helpful for your spiritual life. 

Here are couple quotes from AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT ON PURGATORY:

Q: Do you know each other in Purgatory?

A: Yes, in the manner in which souls know. There are no names in the other world. You cannot compare Purgatory and Earth. When the soul is free and released from its mortal shell, its name is buried in the grave with the body…. we now have no more self-will at all, we know and realize only that which it pleases God to let us know, nothing more.

Q: Do you speak to each other in Purgatory?

A: Souls communicate with each other when God permits it, and after the manner of souls, but without words. Yes it is true I speak to you, but are you a spirit? Would you understand me if I did not pronounce words? But for myself, as God wills it so, I understand you without your pronouncing any words with your lips. There is communication between spirits and souls on earth. Thus when you have a good thought or a holy desire, they have been communicated to you by your Guardian Angel or by some saint, and sometimes by God Himself. That is the language of souls.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Homily for Christ the King

Sermon for the feast of Christ the King

  • Q & A between Jesus & Pilate
  • Raise to a higher level
  • Reasons for today’s Feast (Pius XI 1925)
  • Christ is King as Godman, Redeemer, & by right of the Holy Eucharist (Humble Thrones: Crib, Cross & Altar)
  • Christ should be King in our mind (assent to truth), will (obey Commandments), and heart (detachment from creatures & attachment to God through prayer)
  • God has a plan for each one of us. If we allow Jesus be the One in charge, He will write the history of our personal life, and it will be the most beautiful one.

English:

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中文:

下戴

I am very happy to baptize this baby boy on this Feast of Christ the King. He may always be a good and holy member of the Kingdom of God.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saintly Quote of the Day (2009年11月21、22 日)

The Blessed Virgin is of all the works of the Creator the most excellent, and to find anything in nature more grand one must go to the Author of nature Himself.---ST. PETER DAMIAN.

If we would advance in virtue, we must not neglect little things, for they pave the way to greater.---ST. TERESA.

Do you know what happens on earth?

I only know what happens in so far as God wills it. My knowledge is very limited. I have known a little about the community, but that is all. I know nothing about what goes on in the souls of other people, except in your case. That is because God allows this for your perfection. What I have sometimes told you about certain persons and what I will tell you, I only know from God at the moment.---AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT ON PURGATORY.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Sermon on Heaven & Hell

Here is my Sermon on Heaven & Hell to high school students (delivered on Nov. 13, 2009)

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Pax Sinica: 地獄 Hell

地 獄

本欄今天談到「萬民四末」的第四末,也是最後的題項 —— 地獄。

天主教教理#1035指出:教會訓導聲明地獄的存在和永久性。那些在死罪中過世的靈魂(在私審判後)會立刻下地獄,受地獄的苦痛,就是「永火」。地獄主要的痛苦是與天主永遠的分離,因為人只可從天主那裡得到生命和福樂,人是為此被創造,並不斷地渴求這生命和福樂。

失落和感覺之苦

地獄之苦總概有「失落之苦」和「感覺之苦」。靈魂因在地獄中永遠不能見到美善的天主,且原屬於祂的卻永遠與祂分離,故此感到極度「失落之苦」。路加福音13:28記載耶穌向猶太人論及地獄之苦:『幾時你們望見亞巴郎、依撒格、雅各伯及眾先知在天主的國裏,你們卻被棄在外,那裏要有哀號和切齒。』「感覺之苦」主要是指火燒的懲罰。耶穌會會士若望.赫頓John Hardon神父寫道:「(地獄的)那火使人身心受到極度煎熬、折磨,而卻不被燒毁。」瑪竇福音3:12記載耶穌說過:『... 至於糠秕,卻要用不滅的火焚燒。』

無可置疑,「地獄」是令人感到難解的概念,而「天譴」更是費解的奧秘。我們會質疑:美善的天主為何要懲罰祂的受造物入地獄?赫頓神父認為:「美善的天主尊重和不予干涉祂受造物的自由,包括他們梗要把自己帶進地獄。他們自主地拒絕天主,故此,在天主的公義內,他們的選擇使他們離棄他們所拒絕的天主。」

熙篤會會士安日納.博楠Eugene Boylan邀請我們從天主的愛去看地獄的懲罰:

「基督深知離開祂就是地獄,與祂在一起就是天堂。祂亦明白,有很多靈魂卻沒有領會,那永久離開祂的痛苦是何等可怕,實際上比感覺上的痛苦更為痛苦、更為可怕;所以,祂給我們強調了地獄內被火燒痛苦的可怕 —— 雖然這會使我們覺得祂是易怒和嚴厲的判官,而非令人嚮往和渴望那位仁愛和慈悲的天主 —— 讓我們因害怕火燒,傾向尋求天堂的永福。」

真福雅仙達.瑪圖Jacinta Marto

一九一七年七月十三日,聖母在花地瑪Fatima給三個小童,一睹地獄的恐佈;八月十九日,她呼籲道:「多祈禱!為罪人多做補贖!很多靈魂失救入地獄,皆因沒有人為他們做補贖、為他們祈禱!」恐佈的地獄景象,深深刻入小雅仙達的腦海,讓她常記掛着那些「可憐的罪人」,他們快要掉進地獄去。她喊叫說:「啊,地獄!地獄!我為要進入地獄的靈魂感到悲哀。他們要活生生地被燒,就像烈焰中的燒木!」有時她喊道:「那麽多人跌進地獄裏去!真是那麽多...!而竟然沒有人聽從,還是繼續重複犯罪。」死前不久,雅仙達說:「引致最多靈魂進入地獄的原因就是情慾的罪。」她經常為罪人回頭而祈禱,為他們做補贖,為他們奉獻自己的病苦及死亡。

讓我們向真福雅仙達學習,為更多靈魂得救而努力,多祈禱、做補贖。

 


To hell in a handbasket

In this article we look into the last of the four things to be ever remembered: hell.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell.

“The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in Whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs” (CCC #1035).

Pain of loss and pain of sense

The above passage from the Catechism reminds us the souls in hell suffer the pain of loss and the pain of sense. The pain of loss consists in the everlasting deprivation of the vision of God for which man was created.

Jesus foretold, “There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside” (Lk. 13:28).

The pain of sense consists principally in punishment by fire. Father John Hardon, SJ, wrote, “It is a fire that causes pain to body and soul without consuming the one in torment.” Jesus Himself said, “The chaff He will burn in fire that will never go out” (Mt. 3:12).

Hell is difficult to conceptualize and damnation is a mystery. Why does an all-good God condemn His creatures to hell? Father Hardon answers, “God, Who is all-good, allows His creatures to condemn themselves to hell because He does not interfere with their freedom. They voluntarily choose to reject Him, and in His justice He permits them to remain separated from the God they rejected.”

Dom Eugene Boylan, OCSO, invited us to view the punishment of hell in light of the love of God. He wrote, “He [Christ] knew that to be without Him would be a grievous hell, to be with Him sweet paradise. He knew too, that many souls would never understand the fearful suffering which eternal separation from Him would cause.

“In showing to them the lesser sufferings of the fires of hell, He hopes to deter them from ruining their eternal happiness, even though He sees the danger that they may regard Him rather as an angry and stern judge than as their ardent and merciful lover, as someone to be dreaded rather than to be desired.”

Blessed Jacinta Marto

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady showed three children in Fatima, Portugal, a terrifying vision of hell. On Aug. 19 she said, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”

The vision made a great impression on Jacinta Marto, and from then on her life was marked by the constant concern over the “poor sinners” in danger of hell. She would exclaim, “Oh, hell! hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell, and the people down there, burning alive, like wood in the fire!”

Sometimes she would cry out, “So many people fall down into hell! so many people! and nobody pays any heed; they continue to commit the same sins.”

Shortly before her death Jacinta said, “More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.” Jacinta prayed a lot, did many acts of penance, and offered up her sufferings of illness and death for the conversion of sinners.

Following the example of Blessed Jacinta, let us pray, suffer, and labour for the salvation of souls.

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Please visit my personal site for other articles

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Talk to Confirmation Parents

This evening, I gave a talk to the parents, whose children will receive Confirmation next year.

I talked about the basis catechetical presentation on the Sacrament of Confirmation, and also the basis responsibilities of Christian parents.  

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Understanding Catholic Funeral

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English:

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中文:

下戴

I preached this sermon last weekend during Masses.

Please visit my personal site for my other sermons/ homilies.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photos from Yesterday Baptism

Blessed to be able to baptize 2 baby boys and 1 baby girl.

May God bless these little ones and their parents.

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