Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ABCs of Divine Mercy: B - Be merciful. 「第二部」——實踐慈悲

This article was published at The BC Catholic newspaper (April 19 issue)

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Last week we reflected on the "A" of Divine Mercy: ask for mercy. This week we move on to reflect on the "B" of Divine Mercy: be merciful.

 

Ways of mercy

Jesus explicitly told St. Faustina to be merciful. He said, "My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me.

"You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbour: the first, by deed; the second, by word; the third, by prayer.

"In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy."

In 1937 St. Faustina was assigned as porter of the religious house. There were some poor people who would come to the door more than once on the same day. The saint would treat them with great gentleness and respect. The poor people would open their hearts and speak freely of their troubles and needs. She observed that "sometimes more is given when giving nothing than when giving much in a rude manner."

St. Faustina was very charitable in listening and consoling others. Her heart was always open to the sufferings of others. Because of this, she was nicknamed "dump," for everyone could dump one's pain into her heart.\

 

Pray for others

One of the outstanding ways St. Faustina practised mercy towards others was by prayer. Our Lord told her, "Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least.

"Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moments depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners."

St. Faustina wrote, "We do not know the number of souls that is ours to save through our prayers and sacrifices; therefore, let us always pray for sinners."

Our Lord asked St. Faustina to pray for sinners at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. He said, "At 3 o'clock implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony.

"This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My passion."

 

Apostle of mercy

Blessed Michael Sopocko (1888-1975) was the spiritual director and confessor of St. Faustina. He was the main promoter of the saint's revelations.

Regarding Father Sopocko, Jesus said, "Through him it pleased Me to proclaim the worship of My mercy. And through this work of mercy more souls will come close to Me than otherwise would have, even if he had kept giving absolution day and night for the rest of his life, because by so doing he would have laboured only for as long as he lived; whereas, thanks to this work of mercy, he will be labouring till the end of the world."

Through the efforts of Father Sopocko, the Divine Mercy devotion was made known to many. In 1947 he founded the Congregation of Sisters of Merciful Jesus according to the instructions given by Jesus to St. Faustina.

Its members proclaim the mercy of God to the world and obtain mercy for the world by prayer. Today the members continue to surrender themselves to God and perform works of mercy.

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上週我們談過神聖慈悲敬禮的「第一部——祈求慈悲」,今週,我們談談「第二部——實踐慈悲」。

 

如何實踐慈悲


耶穌清楚地向聖女瑪利亞.傅天娜St. Maria Faustina Kowalska說:「女兒,假如我要藉着妳讓世人尊崇我的慈悲,妳首先要是突顯信賴我的慈悲的第一個人。我要求妳,因愛我之故,在任何光景,妳都要對所有人、表達慈悲之心,絕對不能有半點退縮。我告訴妳三點實踐慈悲的方法:第一、以行動,第二、以言語,第三、以祈禱。這三點均能帶出我豐富的慈悲,亦印證了對我的愛,也等於光榮了、尊崇了我神聖慈悲的心。」

一九三七年,聖女被指派看守修院大門。有些貧苦的人混水摸魚,一日多次卻佯作首次到修院尋求施捨,聖女總是和顏悅色地對待他們,使他們後來亦樂意坦誠向她表達所需和困難。聖女觀察到:「有時候, 不能施予的人, 相比粗暴地多施予的人,所給予的付出其實是更多。」故此,她樂於開放心窩,滿有愛心地去安慰、去聆聽;因而得了「收集箱」的外號——專門收集別人的苦痛。

 

為別人祈禱


聖傅天娜修女經常為罪人祈求慈悲。主耶穌向她說:「要多為臨終的人祈禱,使他們信賴我的慈悲——因為信賴正是他們最需要的, 但也是他們最缺乏的。妳要知道,有一些靈魂在生命最後的未刻是要依靠妳的祈禱才能獲得永生的大恩。妳認識我慈悲的深淵,要從那裏為妳自己和罪人取得慈恩。」聖女自己寫道:「我們不知道我們的祈禱和犧牲能拯救多少靈魂,所以我們要不斷為罪人祈禱。」

耶穌要聖傅天娜每天下午三時為罪人祈禱;祂說:「在下午三時, 把你自己浸入我的苦難中, 尤其在我感到被捨棄的那一刻所受的憂苦中吧。這是對普世廣施慈悲的時刻。凡在下午三時,誰因我苦難的功勞向我祈求恩典, 我必不拒絕。」

 

神聖慈悲的使徒


真福彌額爾.蘇樸梏Bl. Michael Sopocko (1888-1975)神父是聖傅天娜的告解神師,他是主要推動聖女神視的人。耶穌向聖女談及蘇樸梏神父,說:「我喜歡藉着他來宣揚對我慈悲的敬禮。此慈悲工作將能幫助更多的靈魂來接近我, 甚致比較他日以繼夜地給人赦罪還要多。因為他只能在生時給人赦罪, 但藉此慈悲工作, 他將一直工作至世界窮盡。」

真福蘇樸梏神父的努力,使神聖慈悲敬禮得以廣傳。一九四七年,真福遵從聖傅天娜轉達耶穌的吩咐,創立了慈悲耶穌女修會Congregation of Sisters of Merciful Jesus,一方面專務為世界求取神聖慈悲而祈禱,另方面積極宣揚神聖慈悲並實踐神形哀矜,迄今不渝。

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Today (April 21) is the Feast of Conrad of Parzham (1894). Like St. Faustina, he worked as porter in his religious community. This position offered endless opportunities for the excercise of charity, patience, tact and apostolic zeal.

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