PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH

7/31/2020 8:15:48 PM
August 2020

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INTENTION: We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.

Caring for the People of the Sea

 

 Seafarers and fishers are of every nationality and language. Though they go to sea for many different reasons, many go out of sheer economic desperation, often supporting extended families. They are away from their homes, their families and friends, for months perhaps years on end.

 

 Their whole existence is strenuous often frightening, and a very lonely one. They are family men and women with simple stories to tell. Sometimes the stories are of hope but often they are tales of solitude and despair.

 

 Those who practice charity in the Church's name will never seek to impose the Church's faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak, (cf. Deus Caritas Est, Para 31).

 

Ship Visiting

 

 The Apostleship of the Sea chaplains and pastoral workers visit crews onboard ships in port. For seafarers it is a sign of our interest in them. The Apostleship of the Sea ship visitors report that, with very few exceptions, they are warmly welcomed on board, and their visits are highly appreciated. Ship visitors listen to seafarers. If seafarers have problems, ship visitors offer any assistance possible.

 

 Ship visitors may give other practical help, for example: distributing maps of local services; offering books, videos and DVDs to the crew, and providing transport to shops or seafarers' centres.

 

 For ships which have groups of Catholics among the crew, ship visitors may arrange for a Chaplain to come onboard for confessions and Holy Mass.

 

Spiritual Care of Seafarers, Fishers & their Families

 

 Sustaining faith, nurturing spirituality and working for the dignity of all seafarers All People of the Sea have spiritual needs whatever their cultural and religious background. The Apostleship of the Sea promotes the moral and cultural values inherited from home communities. Harsh living and working conditions sometimes challenge these values.

 

 The Apostleship of the Sea takes a holistic approach, treating seafarers as whole persons with needs in both body and soul. The Apostleship of the Sea is committed to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. However, ICMA does not support churches or sects which have aggressive recruitment policies and wish to gain access to seafarers for conversion purposes.

 

 The Apostleship of the Sea works for unity, peace and tolerance. We respect and value other religious beliefs. Chaplains and ship visitors approach seafarers as friends offering spiritual support on the seafarers' own terms. Around the world, the Apostleship of the Sea assists visiting seafarers to fulfil their spiritual needs. Typically, this includes: making contact with priests or ministers of religion; transport to places of worship; and distributing spiritual literature suitable for interreligious use.

 

Prayers

 

 Our Lady Stella Maris

 

 Stella Maris, is an ancient title for Our Lady, used by seafarers and others associated with the sea.

 

 The Apostleship of the Sea has established many Stella Maris seafarer's centres and hostels around the world in honour of our patron Our Lady Star of the Sea. Many seafarers have come to know the Apostleship of the Sea as Stella Maris.

 

 The idea of Mary our Mother being a guiding star for People of the Sea has led to special devotion to Our Lady, Star of the Sea in many coastal and fishing communities. Local churches and schools have been dedicated to Our Lady Star of the Sea.

 

 Just as seafarers have traditionally depended on the stars for navigation, so they trust in the protection and guidance of Our Lady Star of the Sea.

 

Stella Maris' Prayer

 

 O Mary, Star of the Sea,

 light of every ocean, guide seafarers

 across all dark and stormy seas

 that they may reach the haven of peace

 and light prepared in Him who calmed the sea.

 As we set forth upon the oceans of the world

 and cross the deserts of our time,

 show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb,

 for without your Son we are lost.

 Pray that we will never fail on life's journey,

 that in heart and mind, in word and deed,

 in days of turmoil and in days of calm,

 we will always look to Christ and say,

 "Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?"

 

 Our Lady Star of the Sea, Pray for us. Amen

二零二零年 八月《和平》

(譯自耶穌會士 Fr Brian Grogan SJ 全書共十二章的 Pedro Arrupe SJ : Mystic with Open Eyes)

第十二章
 要求高的遺產
(續上)

伯多祿在1977年就五位耶穌會士,在數月之間,先後在薩爾瓦多、巴西及津巴布韋,這幾個相距甚遠的地方被殺,寫了一封反省的信:

這些耶穌會士是今日世界及教會所需要的。他們被基督的愛所推動,致力一視同仁,無分種族或階級,為兄弟姐妹服務。他們知道怎樣與受苦的人同苦,怎樣同他們一起生活,甚至乎不惜用自己的生命去幫助他們。他們無畏無懼,知道怎樣去捍衛人權,在有需要的時候,甚至可以犧牲自己的性命。

之後又傳來由政府援助的薩爾瓦多暗殺隊的恐嚇:「如果四十七名耶穌會士不立即離開本國,我們會將他們全部殺死!」對此伯多祿回覆:「他們最終可能要成為殉道者,不過他們不會離開,因為他們與薩爾瓦多人民共同進退」。這是他在得到兄弟們的一致同意,才作出的答覆。

自從耶穌會士承諾委身要將信仰與公義,這兩個密不可分的福音訊息結合在一起來傳揚,五十多位來自二十個國家的耶穌會士慘遭殺害是赤裸裸的事實。所以,阿魯伯的遺產,不是留給膽小之輩。它是留給那些知道自己是軟弱的,但他們,像伯多祿一樣,把自己放在天主手中,讓天主引領。願他繼續啟發,熾熱眾心,作同樣慷慨的犧牲。

他是否應該被冊封為聖?耶穌會士沒有因此而特別興奮。但他確實以一種非比尋常的方式,見證了基督的清新變革。我們可以將巴黎大主教Emmanuel Cardinal Suhard,在二次大戰時說的一句充滿智慧的語,貼在他身上:

做見證人,毋須作宣傳,更毋須挑起群眾情緒,而是做個活著的奧秘。那就是度一種如果天主不存在,生命便毫無意義的生活。

全球各地,數以百萬計的人,視伯多祿為「活著的奧秘」。在全球各地,尤其重要的,是建於其較貧困地區的學校、教育中心、難民設施、露宿者收容所等,都以他命名。耶穌會的難民服務,在短短四十年間,已經在橫跨全球五十個國家,有超過一千五百多名成員。伯多祿的願景,巧妙而貼切地被稱為「歷史中的神秘契合」;這神秘契合關注發生在歷史當中亂七八糟的具體事件。這神秘契合是積極的投身服務,視與受苦者同行為己責,不管是廣島原爆的災民,或是那些漂浮在風高浪急的小船上,在逃離越南的難民。

無理由相信,伯多祿的啟發能力會減退。透過他不辭勞苦去復興原本藏於依納爵靈修的活力,他持續在豐富千千萬萬人的生命。他一生散發的忠誠與熱情,至今猶在。教宗方濟各既是位耶穌會會士,伯多祿應記一功。教宗方濟各分享了伯多祿的視野:世界是我們與天主相遇的地方。我喜歡相信,伯多祿現時居高臨下,可以看見他播的種子,在結出種類繁多的百倍果實。

不像他,我們未必是時代雜誌的封面人物,但無傷大雅。如果我們像他那樣與天主墮入愛河,並在餘下的日子以聖子為伴,且無論給我們顯示的是什麼方式,都照著去給祂的子民服務,那麼,我們的生命同樣可以充滿意義。以下相信是出自伯多祿的字句,非常清晰地道盡這一點:

沒有什麼比尋得天主更實際,
那就是,終歸整個人墮入愛河。
 你愛上的是什麼,
 什麼佔據你的想像力,
會影響一切。

它會決定是什麼在早上叫你起牀,
你會在晚上做什麼,
你會怎樣度你的週末,
你拜讀什麼,你結識什麼人,什麼傷透你的心,
什麼情意,什麼謝忱,令你驚訝。
墮入愛河,留在愛中,一切決定,油然而生!
──── 全書完 ────

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