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20130225 Faithful Friends of Christ 基督忠誠的朋友

During the sixteenth century, holy men and women helped to bring about genuine reform within the Church.

Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491. He was a knight who led a worldly life. On May 20, 1521 one of his legs was shattered by a cannon ball. In the long convalescence, he could find nothing to read except the life of Christ and a collection of the lives of the saints. Ignatius was deeply impressed by what he read and determined to devote himself entirely to the service of God.

Ignatius had a vision of Our Lady with the Child Jesus. This vision helped him to detest his past sins, especially sins of the flesh. Ignatius vowed chastity and made general confession for his sins. He led a life of prayer and penance, and started to jotted down spiritual insights which would became The Spiritual Exercises, a handbook for making a permanent choice for Christ during the course of a month’s retreat.
At the age of thirty-two, Ignatius began to study for the priesthood. He started with the rudiments of Latin, and lived a life of great poverty.

After eleven years of studies, on the Feast of Assumption in 1534, Ignatius and six companions made vows of poverty and chastity and promised to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land or, failing this, to put themselves at the service of the Holy Father. Pope Paul III permitted some of them to become priests. After ordination, Ignatius postponed his first Mass for over a year.

Eventually the group formed into a religious order—- the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. They labored unceasingly for the preservation of the Faith, and went to wherever the pope would send them. When Ignatius died on July 31, 1556, the Society had nearly one thousand members.

One of the six companions of Ignatius was St. Francis Xavier. Francis was influenced by Ignatius while sharing a room with him at the University of Paris.

Francis left Europe in 1541 and reached India in 1542. With no ability for languages and knew nothing of native peoples, Francis relied solely on God, and successfully evangelized many people in India, Indonesia, and Japan.

Francis died on December 3, 1552 at the island of Sancian near Hong Kong while waiting to enter mainland China.

Teresa of Avila

In 1562, St. Teresa of Avila founded the Discalced Carmelites. Teresa was born in 1515 and entered a Carmelite convent in 1535.

For years, frivolous conversations prevented the spiritual progress of Teresa. A vision showed her the very place in hell to which her own faults would have led her. Teresa’s biggest fault was her attachment to her friends. One day, God told her “No longer do I want you to converse with human beings but with angels.”
Teresa detached herself from the world, but not all her friends accepted her new way of life. She was surrounded by hostility and gossip. Sometimes Teresa complained to Christ about her sufferings. When Jesus told her, “Teresa, that’s how I treat my friends”, she responded, “No wonder you have so few friends!”
At the age of forty-three, this faithful friend of Christ decided to found a new convent that went back to the basics of a contemplative order—-a simple life of poverty devoted to prayer. Despite great oppositions, Teresa founded the first Discalced Carmelite convent. During her life time, Teresa personally founded fifteen convents, and reformed the friars with St. John of the Cross.

Teresa shared her teachings on prayer with others through her writings. The Way of Perfection, the Interior Castle, and her Life are part of the patrimony of the Church’s spirituality.


十六世紀的教會,有眾多的聖人切實地發起及推行了改革。

聖依納爵.羅耀拉

1491年,聖依納爵出生於羅耀拉,原是一位武士; 1521年五月二十日的戰役中,他右腿被砲彈打斷,經歷痛苦的治療。養傷期間,以閱讀消磨時間。他讀了「耶穌傳」和「聖人言行」兩本書,受到感動,決意投身侍奉天主的生活。

因神視中見到聖母手抱嬰孩耶穌,遂感過往肉慾罪孽的深重,矢志渡聖潔的生活。妥善辦了總告解後,依納爵開始渡祈禱及補贖的生活,並把靈修的經驗和當中的啟發筆錄下來,彙編了後來著名「神操」一書,以饗作三十天退省的眾靈,俱以基督為生命的恆選。

年屆三十二,依納爵為晉鐸而努力進修拉丁文,過著極度清貧的生活。

十一年苦讀不同的學科後,1534年聖母升天瞻禮日,依納爵與六名志同道合的朋友,一起發了神貧和貞潔願,有意到巴勒斯坦勸外教人皈化;假如此願不成,就共赴羅馬,請求教宗指派任務。當時航運因戰爭而停頓,依納爵一行人到羅馬覲是教宗。教宗保祿三世批准當中數人晉鐸,而依納爵晉鐸後首祭,以一年善備時間後才舉行。

依納爵的小團體終於組成一個修會,取名「耶穌會」,全體發神貧、貞潔和服從聖願,且確守對教宗特別的聽命,蓋以信德要理教育眾人。

1556年七月三十一日,聖依納爵逝世時,「耶穌會」已有近千名會士。

聖方濟各.沙勿略在巴黎大學與聖依納爵為同窗,受聖依納爵影響。1541年,聖方濟各離開歐洲,翌年抵達印度。聖人毋慮於言語隔膜,一心依賴天主傳揚福音。大批印度、印尼和日本的人,在聖方濟各的傳教薰陶下,都信奉了真理。

1552年十二月三日,聖方濟各在距離香港僅一百哩的上川島,等待渡海進入中國時病逝。

聖大德蘭

1515年,聖女大德蘭出生於西班牙亞維拉,二十歲加入聖衣女隱修會,在1562年創辦了加爾默羅赤足女修會。

當初,德蘭因喜愛閑聊而使神修裹足不前,甚至在神視中得悉,這習慣會令她走向地獄。後來天主給她指示,要她「少與凡人傾談,心內多與天使溝通。」同伴們對德蘭突然脫離世俗的改變,一時很難接受,對她指指點點、竊竊私語,她甚感苦惱,向基督訴說她所受的痛苦;耶穌讓德蘭明白祂的追隨者應接受痛苦,對她說:「我就是這樣對待我的朋友。」她卻答說:「怪不得祢朋友不多!」

德蘭四十三歲時,決定著手改革聖衣女隱修會,並在四十七歲時創辦了加爾默羅赤足女修會,堅守樸素清貧的默禱生活。餘下的歲月,她一共創建了十五座修院,並協助聖十字若望改革聖衣男修會。

聖女大德蘭喜與人分享她的祈禱和靈修神益。她所寫的「純全的路」、「內心的堡壘」、「生命」,是教會的靈修巨箸。