- Apr 23 Mon 2007 23:14
- Apr 17 Tue 2007 16:42
- Apr 12 Thu 2007 19:54
- Apr 12 Thu 2007 19:15
在這於聖枝主日慶祝的第二十二屆世界青年日之際，我願推薦你們默想耶穌聖言：「就如我愛了你們，你們應當彼此相愛」（若十三 34 ）。
第一階段談的就是真愛之源。這源頭只有一個，就是天主。聖若望明白的宣示了「天主是愛」（若壹四 8-16 ）。他不僅僅說天主愛我們，更說明天主的本質就是愛。在此我們正身處於愛之源最炫目的揭示，天主聖三的奧秘：在天主內，唯一和三位一體的天主，在天父與聖子二位之間有著從不間斷的愛的交換，這愛不是一股能量或一種感受，而是另一位，就是天主聖神。
天主的愛如何顯露給我們？我們來到了這旅程的第二階段。雖然神聖之愛的記號已經清楚的在創造之中呈現了，但隱祕的天主的完全揭露是透過天主降生為人的道成肉身。在真天主亦真人的基督身上，我們認識了愛的偉大全貌。事實上，正如我在「天主是愛」通諭中所寫的：「新約真正的新意並不在於新的觀念，而是在於基督的形象，他賦予了那些概念血肉：他是一個空前的實在論者。」神聖之愛完全且完美的展現在十字架上，聖保祿告訴我們：「但是，基督在我們還是罪人的時候，就為我們死了，這證明了天主怎樣愛我們」（羅五 8 ）。因此，我們每個人都可以篤定的說「基督愛了我們，且為我們把自己交出」（弗五 2 ）。 因祂的寶血救贖，沒有一個人的生命是無用或沒什麼價值的，因為我們每個人都單單被祂所愛，一份熱情且忠信的愛，一份沒有限制的愛。十字架為世界來說是愚妄的，對許多信徒來說是個醜聞，但事實上對那些願意自己被碰觸到生命本質的最深處的人來說卻是「天主的智慧」，「因為天主的愚妄總比人明智，天主的懦弱也總比人強」（格前一 25 ）。 再者，十字苦架在耶穌復活後還是永遠帶著祂苦難的記號，揭穿那些藏著暴力、報復與排擠，關於天主的扭曲與謊言。基督是天主羔羊，祂犧牲自己除免世罪，要拔除人類心中的仇恨。這是祂所帶來的真正「革命」：就是愛。
現在來到了我們反省的第三階段。基督在十字架上喊出「我渴」（若十九 28 ） 。這顯示出祂如火般渴求要愛我們，也要被我們每人所愛。唯有去理解如此奧跡的深度與強度，我們才能明瞭如同祂愛了我們一樣，我們也要去愛祂的那份需要與迫切。這也包括了必要時，我們得為了我們兄弟姐妹獻出生命的承諾，他們靠著對祂的愛而活。天主在舊約中曾說「 應愛人如己」（肋十九18），但基督帶來了新的詮釋，也就是如 祂愛我們般地去愛，這意味著沒有差別心地愛著每個人，甚至是我們的敵人，「 愛他們到底」（若十三1）
我親愛的青年朋友們，我還想多花些時間分享有關你們在三個日常生活的情境中，特別蒙召來彰顯天主的愛。第一個地方是教會，我們屬靈的家庭，由基督所有的門徒所組成。注意祂的聖言「 如果你們之間彼此相親相愛，世人因此就可認出你們是我的門徒」（若十三35）。你們應該用熱忱和愛德去激勵堂區的活動、修會團體、教會活動，以及你們所屬的青年團體。注意留心別人的福祉，忠實於你 們 所作的承諾。不要遲疑，要喜樂地去戒絕某些娛樂；歡樂地接受必要的犧牲；藉由宣揚祂的福音，證明你們對耶穌忠實的愛，特別是在同齡的年輕人中。
第二個你們蒙召去表達你們的愛，並在其中成長的地方，是對正等著你們的未來所做的準備。如果你決定要結婚，那麼天主對你的未來懷有的愛的計劃是夫婦和家庭生活。因此，很重要的是你們要藉著教會的協助來發現它，不要受那些成見所影響，認為基督宗教的誡命與限制阻礙了愛的喜樂，並妨礙你們完全享受那份男人與女人在互愛中尋求的快樂。男女之愛是人類家庭的源頭，一男一女結合為夫婦是在天主原本的計劃中所建立的（創二18-25）。在夫婦關係中學習彼此相愛是種美好的旅程，但它也需要一段要求很高的「見習時期」。訂婚期對於組成夫婦關係是很必要的，這是段期待與準備的時間，需要用純潔的言行來生活。這將使你 們 在彼此的愛中、關懷中、呵護中成熟，這幫助你們練習自制與發展對彼此的尊重。這些都是真愛的特質，而不是將重點擺在尋求自身的滿足或好處。在你們的祈禱中，祈求天主看顧並增進你們的愛，並且淨化當中的所有自私。不要猶豫去慷慨地回應天主的召叫，因為基督徒的婚姻在教會裡真真確確、完完全全是個召叫。同樣地，親愛的青年男女，如果天主召叫你走上司鐸聖召或獻身生活之路，準備好說「我願意」吧！對你許多尋求真正幸福的同伴們來說，你的榜樣將是個鼓勵。
- Apr 07 Sat 2007 08:40
My dear young friends,
On the occasion of the 22nd World Youth Day that will be celebrated in the dioceses on Palm Sunday, I would like to propose for your meditation the words of Jesus: "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn 13:34).
Is it possible to love?
Everybody feels the longing to love and to be loved. Yet, how difficult it is to love, and how many mistakes and failures have to be reckoned with in love! There are those who even come to doubt that love is possible. But if emotional delusions or lack of affection can cause us to think that love is utopian, an impossible dream, should we then become resigned? No! Love is possible, and the purpose of my message is to help reawaken in each one of you - you who are the future and hope of humanity-, trust in a love that is true, faithful and strong; a love that generates peace and joy; a love that binds people together and allows them to feel free in respect for one another. Let us now go on a journey together in three stages, as we embark on a "discovery" of love.
God, the source of love
The first stage concerns the source of true love. There is only one source, and that is God. Saint John makes this clear when he declares that "God is love" (1 Jn 4: 8,16). He was not simply saying that God loves us, but that the very being of God is love. Here we find ourselves before the most dazzling revelation of the source of love, the mystery of the Trinity: in God, one and triune, there is an everlasting exchange of love between the persons of the Father and the Son, and this love is not an energy or a sentiment, but it is a person; it is the Holy Spirit.
The Cross of Christ fully reveals the love of God
How is God-Love revealed to us? We have now reached the second stage of our journey. Even though the signs of divine love are already clearly present in creation, the full revelation of the intimate mystery of God came to us through the Incarnation when God himself became man. In Christ, true God and true Man, we have come to know love in all its magnitude. In fact, as I wrote in the Encyclical Deus caritas est, "the real novelty of the New Testament lies not so much in new ideas as in the figure of Christ himself, who gives flesh and blood to those conceptsCan unprecedented realism" (n. 12). The manifestation of divine love is total and perfect in the Cross where, we are told by Saint Paul, "God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us" (Rm 5:8). Therefore, each one of us can truly say: "Christ loved me and gave himself up for me" (cf Eph 5:2). Redeemed by his blood, no human life is useless or of little value, because each of us is loved personally by Him with a passionate and faithful love, a love without limits. The Cross, - for the world a folly, for many believers a scandal-, is in fact the "wisdom of God" for those who allow themselves to be touched right to the innermost depths of their being, "for God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength" (1 Cor 1:25). Moreover, the Crucifix, which after the Resurrection would carry forever the marks of his passion, exposes the "distortions" and lies about God that underlie violence, vengeance and exclusion. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes upon himself the sins of the world and eradicates hatred from the heart of humankind. This is the true "revolution" that He brings about: love.
Loving our neighbour as Christ loves us
Now we have arrived at the third stage of our reflection. Christ cried out from the Cross: "I am thirsty" (Jn 19:28). This shows us his burning thirst to love and to be loved by each one of us. It is only by coming to perceive the depth and intensity of such a mystery that we can realise the need and urgency to love him as He has loved us. This also entails the commitment to even give our lives, if necessary, for our brothers and sisters sustained by love for Him. God had already said in the Old Testament: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Lev 19:18), but the innovation introduced by Christ is the fact that to love as he loves us means loving everyone without distinction, even our enemies, "to the end" (cf Jn 13:1).
Witnesses to the love of Christ
I would like to linger for a moment on three areas of daily life where you, my dear young friends, are particularly called to demonstrate the love of God. The first area is the Church, our spiritual family, made up of all the disciples of Christ. Mindful of his words: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35), you should stimulate, with your enthusiasm and charity, the activities of the parishes, the communities, the ecclesial movements and the youth groups to which you belong. Be attentive in your concern for the welfare of others, faithful to the commitments you have made. Do not hesitate to joyfully abstain from some of your entertainments; cheerfully accept the necessary sacrifices; testify to your faithful love for Jesus by proclaiming his Gospel, especially among young people of your age.
Preparing for the future
The second area, where you are called to express your love and grow in it, is your preparation for the future that awaits you. If you are engaged to be married, God has a project of love for your future as a couple and as a family. Therefore, it is essential that you discover it with the help of the Church, free from the common prejudice that says that Christianity with its commandments and prohibitions places obstacles to the joy of love and impedes you from fully enjoying the happiness that a man and woman seek in their reciprocal love. The love of a man and woman is at the origin of the human family and the couple formed by a man and a woman has its foundation in God's original plan (cf Gen 2:18-25). Learning to love each other as a couple is a wonderful journey, yet it requires a demanding "apprenticeship". The period of engagement, very necessary in order to form a couple, is a time of expectation and preparation that needs to be lived in purity of gesture and words. It allows you to mature in love, in concern and in attention for each other; it helps you to practise self-control and to develop your respect for each other. These are the characteristics of true love that does not place emphasis on seeking its own satisfaction or its own welfare. In your prayer together, ask the Lord to watch over and increase your love and to purify it of all selfishness. Do not hesitate to respond generously to the Lord's call, for Christian matrimony is truly and wholly a vocation in the Church. Likewise, dear young men and women, be ready to say "yes" if God should call you to follow the path of ministerial priesthood or the consecrated life. Your example will be one of encouragement for many of your peers who are seeking true happiness.
Growing in love each day
The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to "grow". Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more "competitive" and "productive", but to be "witnesses of charity". In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the "civilisation of love". The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!
"Dare to love" by following the example of the saints
My dear young friends, I want to invite you to "dare to love". Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death forever through love (cf Rev 5:13). Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, by making fruitful the relations between men and women, between rich and poor, between cultures and civilisations. This is shown to us in the lives of the saints. They are true friends of God who channel and reflect this very first love. Try to know them better, entrust yourselves to their intercession, and strive to live as they did. I shall just mention Mother Teresa. In order to respond instantly to the cry of Jesus, "I thirst", a cry that had touched her deeply, she began to take in the people who were dying on the streets of Calcutta in India. From that time onward, the only desire of her life was to quench the thirst of love felt by Jesus, not with words, but with concrete action by recognising his disfigured countenance thirsting for love in the faces of the poorest of the poor. Blessed Teresa put the teachings of the Lord into practice: "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40). The message of this humble witness of divine love has spread around the whole world.
The secret of love
Each one of us, my dear friends, has been given the possibility of reaching this same level of love, but only by having recourse to the indispensable support of divine Grace. Only the Lord's help will allow us to keep away from resignation when faced with the enormity of the task to be undertaken. It instills in us the courage to accomplish that which is humanly inconceivable. Above all, the Eucharist is the great school of love. When we participate regularly and with devotion in Holy Mass, when we spend a sustained time of adoration in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, it is easier to understand the length, breadth, height and depth of his love that goes beyond all knowledge (cf Eph 3:17-18). By sharing the Eucharistic Bread with our brothers and sisters of the Church community, we feel compelled, like Our Lady with Elizabeth, to render "in haste" the love of Christ into generous service towards our brothers and sisters.
Towards the encounter in Sydney
On this subject, the recommendation of the apostle John is illuminating: "Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth" (1 Jn 3: 18-19). Dear young people, it is in this spirit that I invite you to experience the next World Youth Day together with your bishops in your respective dioceses. This will be an important stage on the way to the meeting in Sydney where the theme will be: " You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8). May Mary, the Mother of Christ and of the Church, help you to let that cry ring out everywhere, the cry that has changed the world: "God is love!" I am together with you all in prayer and extend to you my heartfelt blessing.
From the Vatican, 27 January 2007
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
- Mar 01 Thu 2007 12:05
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