Tuesday, 5 September 2017

给家长的情书 – 信德篇

致亲爱的家长及将成为家长的你··

请记得你是你孩子的父母,因此你不仅要在孩子成长的过程中全责教育他们一切世俗的事, 更重要的是信仰的课题。很多时候你必须用双倍努力及牺牲时间和你的孩子一起分享圣言。 当我们和孩子一起分享圣言时就是最好的机会让孩子看到我们如何爱天主好让孩子效法我们。

为了可以解开你日后会面对的痛苦和烦恼,请容许我先给你一些启示, 让你能够采取适当的措施和预防来避免它们发生在你的身上, 毕竟预防胜于治疗。

每过一段时间, 我都会进行基信团家庭拜访和到其他场合里。当我拜访一些家庭时, 发现年长夫妇或单亲家长有时会被独自留在家中。我会问他们的孩子去了哪里? 往往他们会骄傲的告诉我他们孩子的成就及拥有高尚的地位或收入,他们的孩子住在国外、外地或住在不同的高尚住宅区。

我问他们孩子有回来探望他们吗? 他们回答说有些孩子会一个月回来探望一次, 有些有长假才回来, 有些一年一次,有些不常回来等等; 最常听到的借口是孩子们生活非常忙碌,没有任何空闲时间做其他事(福建语, “Boh Eng” 或忙碌,没有闲暇时间)。 有些年长夫妇会向我抱怨他们的孩子不再学习自己的信仰,或没有到教堂参加弥撒,或更可悲的是已经遗弃了自己的信仰及信从别的信仰尤其是通过婚姻。

我微笑地对他们说你们曾经供给或强迫孩子进行一些自己认为需要或可能需要的活动以便能让孩子将来的生活变得更好(如补习、运动、音乐), 你们的孩子为了精通这些活动花了很多的时间。可是,你和你的孩子用了多少时间去分享圣言认识天主及参与主日弥撒呢?他们常常说他们没有时间和家人一起祈祷或一起分享圣言或参与教会一切活动。 补习班、钢琴、游泳、舞蹈班及其他世俗的活动往往比任何事更重要, 有些家长很怕输(Kiasu), 他们甚至能够把2至3岁很年幼的孩子送去上语文课程、音乐课程或一些脑开发课程,他们希望他们的孩子能够比别人更快学习,超越别的孩子, 因此,关乎信仰的活动就被弃在一旁了。

“一起祈祷的家庭会聚在一起”我告诉他们这个想法很简单。你们都知道孩子不可能用5分钟的时间去精通那些活动,他们需要用很长的时间。如果你只用区区5分钟(或更少) 和你的孩子分享圣言, 你认为可以帮助你和你的孩子认识天主和祂的旨意吗?(例如: 家长对孩子的责任、孩子对家长的责任、对别人的态度及了解违反天主旨意和责任的结果)。 当然不能!俗语说熟能生巧,不只是世俗的事,尤其是信仰相关的事更需要花时间去培育。

很多父母都会承认他们的错误,不过已经太迟了。 国语俗语说:“Nasi sudah jadi bubur。”英语俗语说:“It is no use crying over spilt milk。”我为他们祈祷也叫他们向天主祈求宽恕, 因为他们把他们的孩子推向世俗的事令孩子屈服于世俗的需要,他们的所作所为忽视了他们作为父母对子女的责任,没有把子女教育成为天主的儿女。

因此,家长们。。。你们会怎么做呢? 请记得,“ 我们现在所忽略的一些小事,在未来会是一个很大的挫折,甚至可能会在精神上伤害我们。”让我觉得可笑及困惑的是,有一些家长要求及期望教会里的信仰教育老师必须更专业地去教导他们的孩子认识信仰,很明显的是这些家长根本是把责任推给别人。 为何身为家长的你们不摒弃漠不关心、‘无所谓’或‘我不管’的懒散态度, 开始履行你们身为家长的本分教育你们的孩子呢?

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

Do we realise what is happening when we sin and refuse or neglect to seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of reconciliation? Consider this... when we sin, it seems as if we are forming a chain of filth and venom around us. As we go along in life, the chain would increase in size, weight and length: a result of as we sin, as we neglect to do what we are supposed to do, as we show indifference towards others, as we fail to do what is right, as we allow laziness and "don't care" or "tidak apa" attitude to fester, and much more.

Soon, the chain begins to suffocate us, wrap our soul with "God-repellent" properties, make us numb towards fear of God, causes us to be drunk in our senses which then makes us unable to differentiate what is right and wrong. Then we may find ourselves imprisoned in sin, seemingly difficult to free ourselves as we may be too ashamed or obstinate or not bothered to seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of reconciliation.

Of course, such a chain can be broken. We can free ourselves from its snares. All it takes is to be humble and promptly, regularly and willingly seek forgiveness through the Sacrament of reconciliation. Just as we find it repugnant to take a bath only once a week, we should be finding it equally repugnant to allow our souls to remain stained in sin for too long.

So ultimately, the ball is in our court. God is merciful, compassionate and patient. He is beckoning us and offering us many chances to return to right relationship with Him and with others. We choose to grow closer to God, or to alienate ourselves from Him. May we not, when the end comes, find ourselves in an unfortunate and terrible situation, where "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out."

BO and MO during Confession?

Among the many challenges a padre has to put up with when it comes to confession, one which is just as potent and potentially pengsan-able...