PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH

2/28/2021 7:16:48 PM
March 2021
 

04.jpg

INTENTION: We pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.

Pope Benedict to Clergy: The New Evangelisation Begins in the Confessional

The new evangelisation begins in the confessional. The Sacraments and the proclamation of the Word must never be conceived as separate.

The celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is itself a proclamation and a path that must be travelled in the work of the new evangelisation.

First of all, the New Evangelisation draws its lifeblood from the holiness of the Church's children, from the daily journey of personal and community conversion to be ever more closely conformed to Christ.

Then there is a close connection between holiness and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, witnessed by all the saints of history.

The real conversion of our hearts, which means opening ourselves to God's transforming and renewing action, is the "driving force" of every reform and is expressed in a real evangelising effort.

In Confession, through the freely bestowed action of Divine Mercy, repentant sinners are justified, pardoned and sanctified. They abandon their former selves to be reclothed in the new.

The consciousness of one's own sinful condition helps one realise the need for "openness of heart" to God who is close to the sinner. "In His mercy, He awaits the human person involved in sin, to heal his weakness with the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which is always a ray of hope for the world.

The people who come to Confession do so precisely as sinners who realise their need to change and their need for God's mercy. And the priests who hear people's confessions and administer the Sacrament will be involved in as many 'new beginnings' as there are penitents.

For this reason the New Evangelisation begins in the confessional! In the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the faithful have a real experience of that Mercy which Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ has given to us. The faithful themselves will become credible witnesses of that holiness which is the aim of New Evangelisation.

"This is my hope for each one of you, priests may the newness of Christ always be the centre and reason for your priestly existence, so that those who meet you through your ministry may exclaim as did Andrew and John' we have found the Messiah' (John 1:41).

In this way, every Confession, from which each Christian will emerge renewed, will be a step ahead in the New Evangelization.

May Mary, Mother of Mercy, Refuge for us sinners and Star of the New Evangelisation, accompany us on our way.

Pope Benedict XVI
L'Ossevatore Romano
(21 March 2012)

Pope Francis' memorable quotes about why Catholics should go to Confession:

There's been lots of anecdotal evidence of a boom in people going to Confession because of what Pope Francis has been saying about it.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, said he repeatedly hears reports from priests that "a lot of people have been going to confession and many have said that while they hadn't gone in a long time, they felt touched by the words of Pope Francis."

Msgr Krzysztof Nykiel the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary said that the four papal basilicas and churches around the Vatican are "full of people who are asking for confession and for dedicating time for prayer," particularly on a Wednesday general audience day and the day of the Sunday Angelus.

"They are coming to confession with greater confidence and a sincere spirit of repentance," the Msgr said.

The Pope has been emphasising the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation because "God's mercy is at the heart of the Gospel message," the Monsignor said.

Jesus came to save those who are lost," and the Pope wants all men and women to know that conversion and salvation are always possible at any time in life.

Pope Francis' top ten reasons to go to Confession - The Sacrament of Reconciliation

1. Confession helps people feel shame for the wrong they have done and embraces them with God's love so that they know they are forgiven and can go out strengthened in the battle to avoid sin in the future.

2. But if a person, whether a layperson, priest or sister, goes to Confession and converts, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, he forgets. This is important.

3. The confessional is not a dry cleaning place, a business of sorts that washes out the stain of sin.

4. When the door of our hearts starts to close a bit because of our weakness and sins, confession reopens it.

5. I can't be baptised two or three or four times, but I can go to confession, and when I go to confession, I renew that grace of baptism.

6. The confessional is not a torture chamber where you'll be raked over the coals.

7. Confession is an encounter with Jesus, whose 'mercy motivates us to do better.'

8. It's not a psychiatric session that neglects the question of sin or a mental email to God that avoids the face-to-face encounter with the Lord through the priest.

9. The open and humble admission of one's weaknesses, of having sinned shows that the power of salvation comes from God, not of oneself.

10. Confession is my going to praise God because I - a sinner - has been saved by Him. God always waits, always forgives 'with tenderness'.


-------
 

二零二一年 三月  第三百五十二期

和 平之 聲 嘉理陵神父


願我們能以更新的精神體驗和好聖事, 品嘗天主無限的仁慈。


宗若望二十三世召開的會議,即後來被稱為梵蒂岡第二次的大公會議,其中一個意向,也許是指導性的意向,就是教會時刻需要改革。該次會議有否達到這個目的,眾說紛紜,然而,教宗的洞見,毋庸置疑。

們每次慶祝感恩聖祭,都是以懺悔禮開始。悔罪經提醒我們:在日常生活中,我們帶著自己的缺點和過失,來到天主跟前,明認我們需要寬恕、赦免、平安,需要修和與更新。我們是永遠都需要改革更新的受造物。雖然教會是個神聖的組織,但披著的,往往是陳舊,有時甚至是破爛的人性外衣。教會需要不時更新,同樣,教會生活的個別元素也需要更新,比如本月教宗祈禱意向所談及的主題 ─ 修和聖事。這裏的焦點,不是修和聖事的儀式,而是恭領聖事的信友,以更新的精神,透過聖事,更深入地去體驗天主藉著這件聖事給我們傳達的愛。


二零二一年 三月《和平》

事實勝於雄辯

聖經學者一度傾向認為,若望福音第五章的耶穌治好無助癱子的故事,純屬虛構,只含象徵性意義,沒有歷史基礎:因為很難想像會有一個有五個走廊圍繞的水池,所謂「五個走廊」純粹寓意舊約的梅瑟五書,而這個象徵性意義決定了故事的後續發展:舊約為這個癱子沒有療治,使他康復的,是耶穌。

唯理論學派始料不及的,是考古學家按照若望福音描述的細節,「作考古發掘,證實池是長方形:一百二十公尺長,六十公尺寬,中間有一道牆,將水池平分為二。沿中間牆壁有走廊,再加上四邊的走廊,正符合聖經上所說的五個走廊(若5:20)。」(參閱《聖經辭典》,750號)。

那個地方叫貝特匝達,意謂「慈悲之家」或「聖寵之家」。雖然耶穌所遇見的癱子,已經病了差不多四十年,但因為沒有人在水動的時候,把他放入池中,故一直得不到醫治。所以,實際上,對他來說,那個地方並不是慈悲或恩寵的地方,直到耶穌來到:舊約為他沒有療效,是耶穌的臨在,使那個地方真正地成為他的「慈悲之家」。

當耶穌在聖殿裏再次遇見他時,耶穌對他說:「看,你已痊愈了,不要再犯罪」(5:14)。從字面上看,耶穌似乎是指那人之所以癱瘓,是由於他的罪過。但我們要小心,不要故弄玄虛,尤其是當我們讀的是聖經翻譯本。無論一個譯本翻譯得有多準確,每個語言之間都有著細微的差別。將視野擴闊,耶穌的用意,很可能是在提醒那人,他得痊愈,是天賜的恩寵,而每一份恩賜,都是一個召叫,召叫人皈依 — 對於我們每一個人來說,也是一個提醒:聽從天主召叫我們成聖的呼喚。

正如過往《和平》的反省文章提到的,福音的許多奇蹟故事,都可以當作比喻來瞭解。所以,為探索這個故事的更深層啟示價值,我們可以利用象徵,以抽取神益。不過,我們永遠不可以否定耶穌的生命的真實性及歷史性,永遠不可以嘗試用一種否定現實的方式,去解釋耶穌所行的神蹟。

耶穌會士
嘉理陵神父

HOW TO PRAY WITH SHALOM
theology.org.hk

Lên đầu trang