【恩典之路】澳門是令我對神職熱情增加的地方呂碩基神父

 

呂碩基神父 Luìs Sequeira, S.J.

呂碩基神父(圖源_澳門雜誌).jpg


入會50年

1949-04-20 生於葡萄牙里斯本(Lisbon)

1969-10-06 在葡萄牙布拉加(Braga)進入耶穌會

1982-06-24 在澳門主教座堂領受司鐸聖職

1989-07-31 於澳門矢發末願

 

目前在澳門從事靈修指導工作;為天主教會大學暨高等教會基金會(Catholic Foundation for Higher Studies)成員之一,推動澳門高等教育的發展

 

專訪—澳門是令我對神職熱情增加的地方

《號角報》授權轉載

 

50年前,在人類成功登月創舉的同時,年輕的呂碩基神父決定展開漫長的艱辛之路,在尚未確信自己的信德時,便決定將一生奉獻給天主。呂神父的「登月」軌道就是找尋與信德,而這趟旅程也一步步地領他來到澳門,讓他成長至一名真正司鐸的地方。

 

50年前加入了耶穌會,今天這個慶典為你有何意義?

正如每一次的週年慶典,今年的慶典至少是一個能短暫休息及細想的時刻。我們都會有一個「慶祝的思維」,因為多年來一直在耶穌會內、與這團體一起生活,而這個慶典即是一個機會,讓我能以極大的喜樂與感恩之心,去回顧過往的經歷,同時也期待那將會呈現在我眼前並仍在發掘中的未來。

 

從何時起,加入耶穌會成為一個明顯的選擇?

自三歲起,就於里斯本拉圖堂成為歌詠團的一份子,當時瑪利亞方濟各傳教會在管理禮儀上有新的發展,而當時還是個小男孩的我,對此格外興奮,每當看到這些步驟,甚至從中協助時,就會十分的開心,只是當時並沒有看出自己未來的路,就是對於神父們所做的,都甚喜悅;我很喜歡看方濟會士穿著會衣及涼鞋,但也從來沒有想和他們一樣,但數年後在同個聖堂裡,首次遇見耶穌會士,那時發現自己很想成為和他一樣的人。50年後,我從男孩成長為少年,又從少年變成青年,我的成長之路是一步一步的過程,慢慢地發現要成為耶穌會士是怎樣的,早在作選擇前,就一直對基督徒的信仰生活保持認真的態度,不會缺席主日彌撒,也會努力保持個人的靜默和默想時間,因為這是能讓我成長的時間。1969年,當我離開里斯本的法律學院時,進入耶穌會的路變得更為肯定,即使如此,到了1989年發末願時,才發現我的召叫旅程即是一步步接近天主的結果,所踏出的各種步伐初學院、人文學與哲學,甚至在澳門,都是這趟旅途的過程。總而言之,我回應聖召的旅程是一段漫長的路,並非像他人那些強烈、突然的召叫,而需要一步一步去行走和發現的。

呂碩基神父(圖_澳門雜誌).jpg

 

在澳門所遇到的現實如何說服你,加入耶穌會是最合理的呢?

我們耶穌會士有「第四願」—服從教宗,也等同當使命來到時,我們就要服從這個使命【註】,必須立即服從,不能思考太多,就如眨眼般的速度去服從,那就是我所做的,即使不明白一切,然而,我知道自己要做的是甚麼。我是獨自一人來到澳門,當時很多事還不是如此有條理和系統,我花了一段時間,才明白這就是我的方式,因為從來沒有想過我會來到澳門、來到中國,甚至遠東—我的使命,就如我的聖召般,也同樣慢慢地成熟起來。當然還有其他的興趣陸續呈現眼前,例如:開始在這裡的公教中心提供一些幫助:為報紙撰文,推進一些研究,而作為神父的滿足感開始以根深蒂固的方式展現出來,始終以跨文化的角度來呈現,耶穌會在歷史上廣為人知的,就是這種「前線感」,為不同文化之間建立對話。澳門就是我對神職熱情增加的地方,並且是對此職務更有信心的地方。

 

然而,在某種程度上,你的生命也遇到一些事情,例如:中風……

事實上,這個過程讓我能更深入地了解天主的臨在,以及我個人的脆弱。同時,我也感受到天主透過我的脆弱默默地在工作,若我今天仍健在,我深信我欠一名摰友的代禱—聖德蘭修女,無可避免得忍受這非常深刻的經驗,一股極大的空虛與痛苦,我會說,我們所有人,都必須經歷這種空虛與深度的痛苦,才能更緊密地觸碰天主的臨在。天主容許我走過這段歷程,這絕對不容易,而要熬過空虛並回到天主那裡,是更加困難的,這股很深的空虛通常以「悲痛」一詞來表達,這不僅是人類的痛苦,最重要的也是天主的痛苦,因耶穌基督在十字架上也曾說:「我的天主,我的天主,你為甚麼捨棄了我?」我告訴自己,要接受這樣經歷。踏上60歲的路途,我開始更深刻地、更確切地體驗這天主的臨在,並被祂觸動、被祂深愛;不願與他人多作比較,我相信在這過程中必有天主的恩寵,讓我能更具體、更親密、更個人地去體會,如果我回頭看,我可能也會說類似的話,但我確信絕對無法像現在這樣如此堅定。

呂碩基神父(圖_號角報).png

半世紀的召叫並不容易,但如果能回到過去,你會作別的選擇嗎?

不會。我會說,過去的已成過去,而今天我就是我,我現在只著重一件事—作為人、作為一名神父和一名耶穌會士,我與天主共融合一,這是我此刻越發希望達成的,我所做的,從最深刻、最親密,甚至與任何外在行為有關的,最切望就是成為天主的見證人。作為一名神父,我渴望盡自己所能奉獻自己給他人。過去?還有何干,已經過去、消逝了。

 

【註】服從教宗的第四個聖願是特殊的耶穌會聖願。德學兼備的耶穌會士,若長上認為合適,會准許他發第四個願,即除了通常的神貧、貞潔、服從這三個願之外的第四願。必須指出,所有聖願只是向天主發的,而不是教宗。對教宗的第四願是為了愈顯主榮及人靈的得救,即傳揚福音,自願隨時候命,任憑教宗派遣到天涯海角。第四願是會士完成卒試後,連同三個聖願,在省會長或總會長的委任人前發的。這第四個願可稱為傳教願,發願人為了福傳,願意教宗派他到世界各處。聖方濟沙勿略在教宗的邀請下,接受聖依納爵的「指派」到遠東。(摘自文章《耶穌會士的服從》)

 

 

Macau was the place where my zest for priesthood grew stronger

The Apollo 11 had barely landed on the Moon when young Luís Sequeira decided to embark on an even harder journey: without being certain of the strength of his convictions, he decided to devote his life to God. His trajectory was one of discovery and faith, an itinerary taken step by step that brought him to Macau, where he grew as man and as a priest.

 

You entered the Society of Jesus fifty years ago. How meaningful is this celebration for you?

I would say that, like every celebration of this kind, it is at least a time of pause and consideration. The normal thing among us is to have a sense of celebration, because many years have been lived with and within the Society of Jesus. Having in mind the experience I had during all these years, it is a chance to look to the past with great joy and great gratitude, but also look at a new future that presents itself and that I am still discovering.


When did the possibility of becoming a member of the Society of Jesus become a tangible option for you?

At the age of three I was called  to help as a choir boy at Rato’s Church, in Lisbon, where the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary developed a way of  conducting the liturgy which I, as a little child, delighted very much in. I loved to see and to be a part of all those procedures, but I was still not aware of what would become of me in the future. The only thing I can say is that I felt pleased with the way certain priests acted. I have always enjoyed seeing the Franciscans, dressing in burel and sandals, but I never felt compelled to say: “I want to be like them.” The first Jesuit I saw, years later, in that same church, I realized that I wanted to be like him. Fifty years later, I grew from boy to teenager and from teenager to youngster. My process of maturation was a step by step process. I slowly discovered how it was like to be like them, the Jesuits. Now I realize that, long before my choice was made, I kept a certain seriousness of Christian life: I wouldn’t skip Mass, I would strive to have my own time of silence and meditation and all of that made me grow. The Society of Jesus appeared in a more affirmative way in 1969, when I left Law School, in Lisbon, to enter the novitiate and the university of the Society of Jesus. Even so, I recognize that my journey until the final moment, which is in 1989, when I solemnly professed my vows, is the result of a step by step approach to God. The various steps I took –  novitiate, the study of Humanities and Philosophy and even Macau – where merely stages on this journey. My maturation took place step by step. I am not one of those who have had a strong, almost sudden call at any given time. No. My journey was a long one, one that I took step by step.

 

How did the reality that you have encountered  in Macau convince you that, in fact, total surrender to the Society of Jesus was what made sense?

We, Jesuits, have a fourth vow, which is a vow of obedience to the Pope, in the sense that we have to obey  our mission when it comes. And we must obey without blinking or thinking too much. That’s what I did, even though I didn’t understand everything. I understood, nevertheless, what I was doing. When I came to Macau, once again, I came alone. My training took place at a time when things were not so structured and therefore, my maturation was always a very intimate process. It took me a while to understand that this is my way. As I was not expecting – I never thought I would be coming to Macau, China or the East – my mission, like my vocation, also matured very slowly. There were other interests that started to manifest themselves. I began, for instance, to help a little in the Diocesan Center here, writing for the newspapers, the studies were advancing and the sense of fulfillment as a priest began to show itself in a more rooted way, always in a perspective of interculturality. The Society of Jesus came to be known in history with this great sense of frontier, for building dialogue between cultures. Macau was the place where my zest for priesthood grew stronger, where it appeared with more conviction.

 

Nevertheless, there is a moment in your life when things changed, in a way. You suffered a stroke …

There was, in fact, in this process a deep understanding of the presence of God and my fragility. At the same time, I felt that God was acting through my fragility. If I am alive today, I am very convinced that I owe it to an intervention, a little privilege, of God through a person of whom I was a very close friend, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I had to endure a very deep experience, through a great emptiness, through a great anguish. I would say that all of us, we need to touch this emptiness and depth to perceive the presence of God more intimately. I was allowed to go through this experience. I won’t claim that the anguish inherent to the emptiness of being is easy to endure. To go through emptiness and return to God is even harder. There is a deep void here, which, I would say, is also expressed by our word “anguish”.  Not only the anguish that we feel as humans, but also, and above all, the anguish of God. We shall not forget that Jesus Christ himself, on the cross, also said: “My God, why have you forsaken me?” What I told myself was that I would undergo that experience. On my way to my sixties I have learned even more deeply this presence of God and, in a certain sense, the privilege of having been touched or favored by him. Without making more of me than the others, but I believe there is a predilection when I make this experience. I came to understand this in a more concrete, more intimate, more personal way. If I look back, I might have said something similar, but I can almost guarantee that it was not as strong as I state it today.

 

Is is not easy to take stock of fifty years, but if you could go back in time would you do anything differently?

No. I would say that what is done is done and I am what I am today. I have only one concern: to be one with God, as a man, as a priest and as a Jesuit. This is what I want more and more. In all my actions, from the deepest and most intimate and even in relation to any external action, my wish is to be a testimony of God. As a priest, I hope that I can dedicate myself to others as much as I can. The past? What happened it’s already gone.

 


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