Chapter 15 Spirituality


Praise the Lord, Alleluia


It was November 1955, when I was invited to give a talk to the Biology Society in the Science Department of UCD on Precious Stones. I was studying Geology. Rocks and precious stones were part of my study. On this occasion, I invited my mother to be present. She was proud of her young Jesuit son. I remember opening my talk by saying: “What have I that I have not received!”, looking at my mother. Gratitude to parents is often talked about and I hope often expressed!


The way to happiness is gratitude. The more we realize how much we receive, the happier we will be. “Count Your Blessings” is an expression often used and it is worth often repeating as a mantra. Gratitude to parents is fundamental and should extend of other family members and friends. It should include our society and government and even traditions. This is the basis of a true patriotism- the love of our country and our feelings of gratitude to it. Love Hong Kong and Love China.


Gratitude to others should also include those who give us services, like a bus driver, a shop attendant, and even teachers! The boys do not all understand when I make them thank the bus driver for their outing trip. As for friends, the more grateful you are to your friends, the more you will have. It is that simple. It is polite, and it even leads a much fuller life.


In my Christian upbringing, there is constant call to praise the Lord for all we have received. We see life and the entire world as gifts from The Lord and Creator of all! Such is Christian living, which is expressed, in beautiful Chinese in Morning Prayers, translated as:


First, I thank the Lord for my creation and His constant care of me.

Then, I thank Him for becoming one of us and the Salvation He brings

Third, I thank the Lord for His forgiveness and graces He bestows

Fourth, I thank the Lord of leading me into the Church and preparing a place for me in eternity. Lastly, I am grateful for all the graces I have received from my beginning until this present moment.


In the Church, a third of our prayer should be of thanksgiving and praise. This should then make us people who appreciate what we have and are grateful to others. Gratitude to others is a consequence of our faith and worship.


But there is more! I have tried to describe my spiritual experience of the Thirty Day Retreat in 1951. The dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are directed to lead to gratitude which leads us to want to make a return for the gifts we have received – we are encouraged to express this gratitude by making an offering of our lives to the Lord. And this offering and giving of self expresses itself in our desire to serve others. Ignatian Pedagogy leads to form people who are for others, people who want to serve others, because they are so full of gratitude for what they have received. In technical language of spirituality, it leads to unconditional love of others and readiness to serve in any way possible!


Such then is what I ambition to do by teaching in Wah Yan, and such is what I dream ignatian education will eventuate - in selfless service of others.


We all desire to have respect and politeness from others. Education also makes us deeply human and spiritual, being sensitive to beauty and deeper values, which should result in politeness and social graces. In Confucian teaching, the Superior Person has these values of refinement. In Wah Yan education it could be expressed in gentleness!


I have ambitioned to teach such spirituality. Though my mother tried to inculcate such ways to me, my natural inclinations tend to make me a little rough and demanding. This is not a place to make a confession of failings, but just to contrast what I write of some of the realities of my life- which unfortunately many students can recall.


I am known for my outburst of anger and shouting. This is not good and betrays lack of self-control but is the key to success. Where is that self-restraint which is the sign of a virtuous life and marks the bearing of an educated person.


There is still more, too! Christian living is centered on the CROSS. This is the symbol of our salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Our Lord. The Cross is not only the symbol of Christian living, but becomes the centre of Catholic life in the Eucharist. This is first, the act of thanksgiving for the gift of salvation, and then the making present of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Christ loves us with an everlasting love, giving His life for us. No one has greater love than to give one’s life for others. The Mass is the centre of our Catholic life, and it involves the offering of ourselves with Christ on the Cross. The Mass is the celebration of sacrificial love, from which comes our service to others. But it begins with Thanksgiving.


Catholic spirituality finds its ultimate celebration in the Eucharist, the great thanksgiving, in the fullness of Gratitude, and it results in Service to others, in a spirit of sacrifice and love of God. And I have desired that my spirituality be like this, even though I have often failed to show it. (926)


第十五章 靈修


讚美上主,亞利路亞!


在一九五五年十一日, UCD 理科的生物學會邀請我去講「罕有的礦石」,我是主修地質學的,我要研究的範圍包括「罕有礦石」,這次我邀請母親出席,我母親對自己耶穌會士的兒子感到自豪,還記得我開始演講時,看著我的母親說:「我已得到一切,還有甚麼缺少吧!」 我時常表達我對父母感恩(/感激)之情,我希望我時常可以對父母表示這份心意!


感恩是快樂的泉源,我們越明白自己領受了多少,我們越快樂,我們時常說:「您領受了祝福多少」來表達自己的感恩,這是值得當經文不斷重覆,最基本是感激父母之恩,再伸展到周圍的親戚朋友,以至包括社會、政府、甚至傳統,愛我們的祖國,對自己國家有深厚感恩之情,愛香港和愛中國,這是一個愛國者的基本條件。


我們感激別人,替我們服務的人,例如,巴士司機,售貨員,怎至老師們! 當我帶學生出外活動時,學生不明白,為甚麼我要他們向巴士司機致謝,您越能真誠對待朋友,你越會得到更多,這是一個顯淺的道理,這是一種禮貌,這會令我有一個充實的生命。


我自少是一個基督徒,我們時常讚美主給我們的一切,我們視生命,及整個世界是上主創造者給我們的恩賜。這是基督徒的生命,用優美的中文來早禱來表達:


第一 謝天主寵我養我之恩

然後 謝天主降生聖人救世之恩

第三 謝天主寬恕我們的罪過之恩

第四 謝天主領導我入教會給我永生的指引

第五 謝天主始初至終照顧我至今


在教堂堙A我們第三個祈禱是讚美和感恩,這會令我們大家感激別人,感激別人皆因我們有信念和信仰。


但是還有更多呢! 我嘗試說明一下,我在一九五一年三十日靈修的屬神經驗。 聖依納爵的聖靈的動力,引領我們回報我們所領受的恩典,鼓勵我們奉獻我們的生命給天主,來表達我們的感恩。 這種奉獻是自我的奉獻,是自願為他人服務,聖依納爵的教育,是引領人去服務他人,願意服務他人的人,是因為他們領受很多,充滿感恩,用聖依納爵的表達語言來說,聖依納爵聖靈的力量,引領我們對他人無私的愛,任怨任勞為他人服務。


這正是我期望在華仁教書可以達到的,是我理想中,聖依納爵教育的目的,是無私的服務他人。


我們都期望被人愛和尊敬,得到別人禮待,而教育是令我們更人性及更靈性,能敏銳地對待美好的事物,和深厚的價值。這樣便能提升教養水平,和社會恩典。在儒家教導中,指君子是有高尚的品德,在華仁的教育要重視「仁」。


我懷有這種抱負去從事聖靈教育,雖然,我的母親嘗試教育我一些修養,但我天生的性格,令我較粗獷,和要求高,這堣ㄛO用來坦白交代所有的失敗,衹是,與我所寫的自己,和現實生活中的我,形成對照,很可惜相信我很多學生,都記得我這些特點。


天主教的靈修,是在聖餐的最終讚美偉大的感恩,在天主的犧牲精神,和天主的愛,引導我們服務他人,我很渴望我能夠有這樣的靈牲,雖然我未能時常表達出來。