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Archive for 2016年6月

It is impossible for a soul who has heard Your voice to ignore You and not love You.
So tender and earnest is Your voice.
Indeed, You are sweet, sweeter than honey.
No sweetness on earth is comparable to Your sweetness.
I did not understand why they called You “Sweet Jesus”
but i have started to understand now…

It is impossible for a soul who has tasted this sweetness of Yours to remain quiet.
You fill up this empty soul of mine.
From Your sweetness I draw this great joy, joy that cannot be adequately described by any words.
How is it possible to keep this joy in silence?

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere~~

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Today’s gospel (Matthew 5: 43-48) is one of my favourites. It is about loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us.

If you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not?

I remember how i felt when i first read this. I was ashamed of my little love and self-righteousness.

From then onwards, I realized what You want from me and what You have made me capable of.

Yes, You have made me in Your image.
You are love and so I am.
You love everyone, including those who persecute You, and so i have been made capable of doing the same.
You are perfect, and so i must, in order to be worthy of that image.

It is easy to hate if we view another person as so-and-so. But, when we view that person as a child of our beloved Father and that child, being blinded by the poison of the serpent, is walking towards the brink of the precipice, it renders us incapable of hating but only worry and sorrow. That child who bears the same image as my beloved Father is going to perish. So, I will stretch out my arms to reach him/her. If my arms are not able to reach him/her, my prayers will.

I was meditating upon the 4th mystery of the sorrowful mysteries this afternoon: the carrying of the cross. Jesus was carrying the burden of our sins on his shoulder. He loved us so much that he was even willing to carry this burden for us, this burden of our sins, not his. If the Lord our God who is sinless has carried the burden of our sins on His shoulder, shouldn’t we do the same for our siblings? By carrying the load of their sins in our hearts, it means to always forgive when somebody hurts us and pray for their conversion.

Bishop Robert Baron shared about this unconditional love of God in his video which i love a lot. [23m:40s onwards]

Script:

Love is not a sentiment or feeling. Love is actively willing the good of the other as other. And this is why enemy love is the surest test of love. If I am good to someone who is sure to repay me, then i might simply be engaging in an act of disguised or indirect self-interest. But if i am generous to someone who is my enemy, who is not the least bit interested in responding to me in kind, then i can be sure that i have truly willed his good and not my own. Jesus wants his followers to aspire to the way that God loves. God loves those who love Him and those who hate Him. He loves His friends and His enemies. He gave good things to those who deserve them and those who don’t deserve them.

爱不是一种感情或感觉,爱是就别人的样子愿意别人的善。所以说哀愁人士对爱最确实的检验。如果一个人给我回报,我就对他好,那我所做的可能仅仅是某种隐蔽的或间接的个人利益行为。但如果我对仇人慷慨,他决不会对我有所回报,那么我就是为了他的益处,而非我自己的。耶稣希望他的追随者们遵循天主爱的方式。天主不仅爱那爱他的人,也爱那恨他的人。他爱他的朋友,也爱他的仇人。他将好东西赐予配得的人,也赐予那些不配的人。

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Behold, your mother

On the cross, You gave Your beloved mother to us as our mother. You gave her to all of us, including those who persecuted You, so that she will always watch over us as a loving mother and intercede for our needs, just as she did at the wedding of Cana.

If our savior, the Lord, the God has done this for us, so must we do the same, let our mothers bring reconciliation and healing to those who have hurt us.

calvary_3

 

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Today, your flower walked into your palace and i was behind her. Thank you, my King, for allowing me to stand behind your flower.

Receive the cross on your forehead. It is Christ himself who now strengthens you with this sign of his love. Learn to know him and follow him.
Receive the sign of the cross on your ears, that you may hear the voice of the Lord.
Receive the sign of the cross on your eyes, that you may see the glory of God.
Receive the sign of the cross on your lips, that you may respond to the word of God.
Receive the sign of the cross over your heart, that Christ may dwell there by faith.
Receive the sign of the cross on your shoulders, that you may bear the gentle yoke of Christ.
Receive the sign of the cross on your hands, that Christ may be known in the work which you do.
Receive the sign of the cross on your feet, that you may walk in the way of Christ.

Here is the hymn that we sang. It is also my prayer for your flower.

 

Will you let me be your servant? Let me be as Christ to you.
Pray that i may have the grace to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey. We are travelers on the road.
We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ light for you in the night-time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping. When you laugh i’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven, we shall find such harmony.
Borne of all we’ve known together of Christ’s love and agony.

Pray that i may have the grace to let you be my servant too.

 

** Rite of Acceptance:
** 11-June-2016, Church of St. Mary of the Angels, 6.30pm mass

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又是穆斯林的斋戒月了,超市里摆了好多的中东枣。我不是穆斯林,也不是中东人,所以这食物其实跟我无关。但,每一次看到中东枣都有一种想买的欲望。为什么呢?因为中东枣是个能唤起回忆的食物,会让我想起某个很爱吃中东枣的人。这个人给了我他的姓氏,我从他那里取得了我一半的基因,他是我们家李先生,我爸。

这中东枣在我家算是常见的食物,可是基本上只有李先生一个人在吃。可是,独乐乐不如众乐乐,人类是一种需要更其他人类分享快乐才会更快乐的生物。所以呢,李先生在吃中东枣时总是会把我们唤过去,向我们大势推荐他爱的中东枣,要我们也吃一吃。“过来,你看,这个是 dates,很好吃的,吃一下,你吃一下,你 try try 看。吃一下啦,吃了你就懂多好吃了。”其实,我始终没有被中东枣所吸引,可是,李先生的盛情难却,所以我只好意思意思吃一两颗。甜甜的中东枣其实蛮好吃的,可是我没有被征服,因为我一向不喜欢把手弄脏,粘粘的很不舒服,而吃中东枣的话,这就无法避免了。

那么多年了过去了,我只身背井离了家。每次在异乡看到中东枣,便会想起很爱吃中东枣的李先生。光是看着中东枣就感觉很亲切。即使不买,也要去看个半天,摸来摸去才甘心。昨天呢,终于真的买了一盒。拎着的时候,心情非常好。

或许,这就是回忆的力量吧,会让一个人买下一直不怎么爱吃的东西,开始爱上一直不怎么爱吃的食物,而且吃的时候还会感觉很幸福。我吃的不是中东枣的味道,而是回忆。细细的品尝着,啊,原来这是我爱的那位所爱的味道。

 

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昨天,我在医院会诊室的 waiting area 跟一个马来叔叔说话。由于对方不懂英语,所以我只能跟他说马来话。说着说着,突然发现整个 waiting area 变得超级安静,根本就是鸦雀无声,在 waiting area 的其他所有病人和他们的家属都眼睁睁的看着我讲马来话。突然变成众目之焦,整个人变得好紧张,都冒汗了…

一方面,马来叔叔已经用他的表情在告诉我他对我们的研究感到很不耐烦,我知道他没什么耐性听我说话,这已经让我很有压力了。另一方面,大家又眼睁睁的看我“表演讲马来话”… 整个超 stress… 感觉自己像只猴子,在大众面前表演讲马来话…

我是猴子… 呜…

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Beatitude

今天的读经是真福八端(Beatitude)。从小到大听过很多次,可是从来都觉得“反正都是在讲道理”,所以从来没认真去读去体会,于是便没看到 Beatitude 的美。第一次认真理解 Beatitude 是几年前的生日,当天的读经便是 Beatitude。

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;   theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven: this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.
– Matthew 5: 3-12
后来,在一个 video 里听到关于 Beatitude 完美的诠释,然后便爱上了。
[6m:17s]

 

Script(将在另一篇网志里分享中文字幕):

I know you might be thinking – laws, rules, regulations. Weren’t ten enough? Now we have eight more. It seems as though at times, the Catholic Church is obsessed with rules and regulations. But look at the first word that Jesus says from this place. The first word out of His mouth in the Beatitudes is “happy”. He said, “Blessed, happy are the poor in spirit.” Jesus’ life is about joy. He says at the Last Supper, “I’ve come that you might have joy. You might share my joy, then it might be complete.”

How do we relate “joy” to the law? Two things that seem, often, at odds with each other.

Part of the problem is we have a very modern sense of freedom. Freedom means, “I can do what i want. I find joy when I determine my own life. “

But there’s a different view of freedom in the Bible. You might call it freedom for excellence. It means, the disciplining of desire, so as to make the achievement of the good first possible and then effortless.

So i stand before you as a relatively free speaker of English, I can say whatever i want. Is that because i just decided i’ll speak anyway i feel like? No, no, i was disciplined by a whole series of laws and rules, regulations. What’s Jesus telling us here on the Mount of Beatitudes? He’s telling us the laws, rules, if you want, that will place within our bodies and our minds and our spirit, the capacity for joy. That’s why on this place of the law, the new lawgiver, the new Moses is the great place of joy, of “Beatitudo”.

I would like to suggest a reading of the eight Beatitudes that looks, first, at the more “positive” formulations.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” This stands at the heart of the matter, for mercy, or tender compassion, is God’s most distinctive characteristic. St. John would give this same idea a New Testament expression in saying, “God is love”.  To have the Divine life in you, therefore, is to be conformed to love, to become love. And therefore, when you receive the Divine life as a gift, you must give it as a gift. And then by a kind of spiritual physics, the Divine life increases in you.

We turn now to the closely related Beatitude. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” This means that you will be happy if there is no ambiguity in your heart about what is most important. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said that a saint is someone whose life is about one thing. He didn’t mean that the saint lives a monotonous existence. He meant that a truly holy person has ordered his/her heart toward pleasing God alone. And thus, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ” We want many things, but what most fundamentally do we want? What is the hunger that defines and orders the secondary hungers of your life? What, in Paul Tillich’s language, is your “ultimate concern”? If it’s anything other than the will and purpose of God, anything other than righteousness, you will be unfulfilled. The last of the “positive” Beatitudes is this, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Since God is the creator, He is that power through which all creatures are connected to one another. God is a gathering force, the unifier of all that He has made. Therefore, the one who has fundamentally ordered his life to God becomes necessarily a peacemaker, for he channels the metaphysical energy that links all things and all people. One of the most recognizable signs of sanctity — you can see it in all the saints — is the radiance of just this reconciling power. That’s why a peacemaker becomes, ipso facto, a child of God, and therefore happy.

With these more positive Beatitudes in mind, we can turn with greater understanding to those Beatitudes that might strike us at first as a bit confounding or conterintuitive. We sense within ourselves this infinite longing for God, but we attempt to fill it up with something less than God. Thomas Aquinas named these four classical substitutes as wealth, pleasure, power and honor. We know that we need God, but we try to fill the void with something less than God, some combination of those four things. In point of fact, it’s only the emptying out of the ego in love, that paradoxically fills us up. Now, the classical spiritual tradition refers to this errant desire as “concupiscence”, but i think we could translate the idea very effectively with our more modern term of “addiction”. And here’s why. We’re hungry for God, but we try to fill the hunger with something less than God and so necessarily we are frustrated. In our frustration, we convince ourselves we need more of that finite good, and so we strive and strive and strive, and we get it, and find ourselves necessarily frustrated. At this point, a kind of spiritual panic sets in, and we find ourselves obsessively turning around some finite good that can never in principle make us happy.

The first of the “negative” formulations is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This is neither a romanticizing of economic poverty nor a demonization of wealth, but rather a formula for detachment. Might I suggest a somewhat variant rendition, how blessed are you if you are not attached to material things, if you have not placed the goods that wealth can buy at the center of your concern. When the kingdom of God is your ultimate concern, not only will you not become addicted to materials things, you will, in fact, be able to use them, with great effectiveness, for God’s purposes.

Under this same rubric of detachment, we should consider the Beatitude “How blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. I know this can sound like the worst kind of masochism, but we have to dig deeper. I think a very legitimate translation would be how “lucky” you are, how happy and blessed you are if you are not addicted to good feelings. Good feelings, pleasant sensations – physical, emotional, psychological – are wonderful, but they’re not God. And if we turn them into God, they become in short order the focus of an addiction, which can be seen clearly enough in the prevalence of drug abuse and pornography and conspicuous consumption in our society. Again, this has nothing to do with Puritanism. It has to do with detachment, and therefore, with spiritual freedom.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Earth”. Once more, Jesus is not so much passing judgment on institutions of power as He is showing a path of detachment. How lucky you are if you are not attached to the finite good of worldly power.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, experienced it firsthand, the horrors of the first World War, and witnessed those in the second. It’s no accident that in his great work, he proposed as the most tempting talisman precisely a ring of power. But when you’re detached from worldly power, then you can follow the Will of God even if it means walking a path of extreme powerlessness. Meek, unaddicted to worldly power, you can become a conduit of true divine power to the world.

And the last of the “negative” Beatitude is, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” We must read this once again in light of Thomas Aquinas’s analysis. If the call to poverty holds off the addiction to material things and the summons to mourn counters the addiction to good feelings and the valorization of meekness blocks the addiction to power, this last Beatitude gets in the way of the addicting attachment to honor.

In the late 19th century, Charles Lwanga was the chief of pages in the court of King Mwanga, who governed the region of what is now Uganda. When the king demanded sexual favors from Charles, the young man refused, even at the cost of his life. Charles and many of his companions were burned to death at Namugongo, the site which today is the very focal point of African Christianity. Charles’ radical detachment from worldly honor unleashed the Divine life in an incomparably powerful way.

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