Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pax Sinica Article (March 22): 痛苦三端:耶穌受茨冠之苦辱 The Crowning with Thorns

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思攷過耶穌在山園祈禱和受鞭打之後,本週,我們想想玫瑰經痛苦奧蹟第三端——耶穌受茨冠的苦辱:羅馬兵士們以荊棘編冠,梗戴在耶穌的頭上,用紫袍披在祂的身上,要祂右手執持蘆葦作權杖,戲弄祂說:「猶太人的君王,萬歲!」隨後向祂吐唾沬,拿蘆葦打祂的頭——耶穌默忍這一切的恥辱,為的是消除我們的驕傲狂妄之罪。

 

驕傲和克服驕傲的方法

驕傲就是鍾愛自己的優越,乃諸罪之源,墮落的天使和原祖,就是最佳印証。

驕傲衍生妄望、野心和自負。妄望使我們不自量力;野心令我們過份追求榮譽和地位;自負引致我們浮誇,喜愛別人的讚譽;而自負又會導致不服從、自吹自擂、偽善、挑惹事端和紛爭、固執等罪惡。

教宗聖額我畧一世St. Gregory指出驕傲會由四種方式表現出來: 第一, 人認為善是由他自己, 而不是由天主而來; 第二, 人雖然承認善是由天主而來, 但認為這是為報答他自己的義德; 第三, 人吹虛說自己擁有一些他自己根本沒有的東西; 第四, 人自視優越並視自己是財物的獨有者。相反,真理與謙遜息息相連,認清「虛無」和「恩寵」的道理可以克制驕傲。道明會會士雷其諾Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange神父說:「謙遜源於承認我們是自虛無中被天主創造,也承認要依賴天主的寵祐始能到達得救之路。」

在自然的本性上,我們是被造物主創造、被造物主恩恤才可活存;而天主聖寵是我們的靈魂,在超性上滋養和增長的支柱,否則便一無所能。罪比「虛無」更可惡,但偏偏我們又常常犯罪;故此,坦承自己是個罪人,可幫助我們常常謙遜。

 

大聖若瑟是謙遜者的模範

我們在三月十九日紀念的大聖若瑟,他忍耐沉默,只顧聽命於天主,是謙遜的表表者。十九世紀的聖若瑟.馬力勞St. Joseph Marello (1844-1895),奉大聖若瑟為他生活的典範。聖馬力勞自小喜愛幫助別人,常在家中接濟貧困的人,並經常到聖堂幫神父輔彌撒,因而發規自己有司鐸聖召。晉鐸後,聖人助人熱誠不减,為了扶貧,他特別創立聖若瑟會,更鼓勵會員效法大聖若瑟。

聖人非常敬佩大聖若瑟對侍奉耶穌的那份專注和忘我的精神,亦喜愛談論大聖的沉默及卑隱生活,敦促追隨者「隱於人前,活在主前;陌待眾人,親愛天主」。

強調大聖若瑟的謙遜沉默,聖馬力勞指出,大聖雖為聖家之長,具嚴父之權,福音卻未曾記載他的言詞——唯一估計他為耶穌命名時曾發言。

讓我們忠實忘我,謹守謙遜之德。

 

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In the past two weeks, we reflected on the first two Sorrowful Mysteries. This week, we are going to reflect on the Third Sorrowful Mystery--- the Crowning with Thorns. Jesus was humiliated by the Roman soldiers. They crowned Him with thorns, clothed Him in purple cloak, and put a reed in His right hand. They mocked Jesus saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and they spat upon Him and struck His head with the reed. Jesus suffered humiliations in order to atone for our sin of pride.

 

Pride and its remedy

Pride is an excessive love of our own superiority. It is the beginning of all sin. Both the fallen angels and our first parents sinned through pride.

The vices begotten of pride are presumption, ambition, and vainglory. Presumption is a vice that leads us to undertake tasks beyond our capacity. Ambition is an inordinate longing for positions of dignity and honor. Vainglory consists in an inordinate love of human praise. Vainglory, in its turn, begets other vices, such as: disobedience, boastfulness, hypocrisy, controversies, discord, and stubbornness.

St. Gregory the Great gave us indications of pride. He wrote, “There are four marks by which every kind of pride of the arrogant betrays itself: either when they think that their good is from themselves, or if they believe it to be from above yet they think that it is due to their own merits, or when they boast of having what they have not, or despise others and wish to appear the exclusive possessors of what they have.”

Humility is nothing but the truth. Therefore, reflection on the reality of “nothing” and “grace” is a great remedy against pride. According to Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., humility “presupposes the knowledge of two dogmas: that of creation ex nihilo, and that of the necessity of actual grace for taking the slightest step forward in the way of salvation.”

In the natural order, we came from nothing and are now sustained by our Creator for our very existence. In the supernatural order, we can do nothing without the grace of God. And without the help of God we cannot perseverance and growth in the life of grace. Sin is worse than nothing. How many times we have committed sin! The realization that we are sinners should keep us very humble.

 

St. Joseph, model of humility

On March 19, we celebrated the Solemnity of St. Joseph, who is a model of humility. He was a man of few words who obeyed God promptly and humbly.

There is a 19th century saint who took St. Joseph as his model. He is St. Joseph Marello (1844-1895). As a young boy, he was eager to help others. He would give away his own possessions to the poor and invite the homeless and the hungry to his family table. He willingly helped his parish priest by serving at Mass, and realized his own vocation to the priesthood. As a priest, he was just as eager to help others. Eventually he formed the Oblates of St. Joseph to serve the poor. He invited his followers to imitate St. Joseph. What Marello most admired about Saint Joseph was his sole desire to serve Jesus and to do so in a way that attracted no attention whatsoever to himself.

Marello loved to talk about the hidden life and the silence of St. Joseph. He exhorted his followers to "be hidden from men, but under the eyes of God; unknown to men, yet dear and beloved to God." Regarding the silence of St. Joseph, Marello pointed out that the Evangelists “do not tell us one word he ever said, even though he was the head of the Holy Family and possessed the authority of the father. The only word he says in the Holy Gospels is 'Jesus', the name he gave the Holy Child, a word straight from heaven.”

Let us be truthful and yet be forgetful about oneself, so to practice humility.