也是凡人|划到深处:期望中国教会深深扎根

2018-09-09 09:42:04     阅读量:8851
文/戎利娜 
译/陈爱洁

2013年10月4日至6日,在芝加哥洛约拉大学举行的美国天主教中国分会大会上,戎丽娜修女作为中国神父和修女小组的成员发表了这篇论文。
 
当笔者于二零零零年首次离开中国前往菲律宾接受神学训练时,中国是一个急速转变的国家。当时,她正在努力摆脱贫穷、肮脏和耻辱,以崭新和充满活力的形象踏上国际舞台。经过十多年的努力,中国终于在二零零一年加入世界贸易组织;在二零零一年,大多数中国人不再忍饥挨饿或居无定所,中国已准备过渡到经济发展的第二阶段。

当时,中国天主教会几乎在各方面都有殷切需求:为圣职人员、修女和平信徒提供良好的培育和神学训练,把信仰和日常生活整合,在社会层面表达和生活出信仰,以及与非基督徒沟通和对话。

笔者于二零一二年八月回国时,中国天主教会的需要仍是巨大和急切的,但笔者也注意到在过去十年间出现了颇多转变:首先,神学训练大致上已改善了很多,还有,修道团体和教区修院的候选人现在可以跨越教区和各省的边界,而过去并非如此。

第二,教友在教会的角色已变得越来越不可或缺,而且也是公认的。教友大致上也需要在教理层面以外研读圣经和神学;他们努力找时间读神学,参加带领退省,并组织基督徒团体。

第三,人们普遍意识到应该在中国的环境下加深我们的基督徒信仰,同时携手合作;因为这是在中国的天主教会能够影响社会的唯一方法。

在社会层面,人民的生活在某程度上已改善,所以,他们不再仅仅满足于解决日常的基本需要,而是要过优质的生活。现时在中国最常见和引人注目的,就是每逢黄昏和周末,在每个公园和公众空间,包括乡间的农村,都有群众在唱歌、跳舞和做运动。中国的步伐看来已慢 下来,而且是时候更加扎根。

雷立柏(Leopold Leeb, SVD)博士自一九九五年一直研究中国哲学,现时在北京教授古代语言。他说,中国现正经历新的文艺复兴时期。他认为每个中国人不但要更熟悉古代中国文化,也要熟悉西方文化,才能欣赏二者和整合它们。笔者由衷地赞同他的见解。如果中国要健康地成长和成熟,就必须更加植根于中西方文化和真正的价值观,例如:诚实、信任、慷慨、怜悯、灵活、包容等。

笔者相信中国天主教会能够在这过程中作出贡献,而基督徒价值观必须真正融入中国文化。笔者将在本文提出在中国的天主教会所应该集中的,并且是息息相关的五项要点:合作的呼吁、辨别的重要性、基督徒价值观本位化的必要性、对话的方法、教会成为祈祷之所。

合作的呼吁

笔者想用一个形象来描述中国天主教会:我们好像一个由不同长度的竹板制成的桶;这个竹桶能够载多少水, 并非视乎最长的竹板,而是最短的竹板。组织较完善的修道团体、修院和教区必须帮助较不完善的团体,这不仅是义务,也是我们的使命,是“必须做的事”,是作为天主教徒的本质。

 “合作”在此并非纯粹意味着“一起工作”,例如:有较多司铎的教区派遣一些人到司铎人数短缺的地方服务;或者,组织较完善的修道团体协助那些需要认识如何筹组大会的团体,如何在作为教区修道团体(因为中国的大部份修道团体都是属于教区)和独立自主之间保持微妙的平衡,或聚在一起分享他们的培育计划和管理技巧。这些都是重要的,而且我们已经实行了好几年。我们现在需要在更深入的层次合作。

在此,“合作”的意义就是我们“团队工作”;换句话说,我们不但一起做事,而是为了天主教会和中国社会的福祉,大家团结一致,努力把基督徒信仰跟社会生活整合。

我们需要计划未来,聚集我们的资源。这是难于达成的,因为中国没有一个类似天主教主教团的组织在国家层面制订策略。但是,这并非意味着是不可能的。我们需要一个包括他人的愿景和真正的慷慨精神,即真正传教士的精神,为人设想。

我们不要只顾自己团体的利益,却要考虑处于困境的本地团体的利益,视之为我们优先的使命。我们慷慨施予,才得以领受,而不是先领受才施予。这要求我们作为个人和团体,思想要超越自己。然而,我们仍处于学习阶段。我们还需要找出有效的方法,实行“团队工作”,并“聚集我们的资源”。笔者就如何实践而提出第二点:辨别的重要性。

辨别的重要性

对于中国天主教会而言,辨别是极为重要的,这包括在个人和团体的层面的辨别。这一点是笔者最想强调的。中国天主教会需要在以下几方面成长。

第一,现时仍有很多教友认为信仰是获得东西的途径;这些东西不一定是物质的,可能是灵性的收获,例如平安和宁静;不过,焦点放在收获和自我,而不是与天主建立关系,把自己的生命交托给天主。辨别是培育真正负责任的信徒所必要的。

第二,有些虔诚的教友有优越感和“教义安全感”,某种比别人更好的感觉;这使我们难于建立有信任、怜悯 和包容的团体。多玛斯·格林(Thomas Green)神父在其有关分辨的书里清楚表示,谦逊和爱德是真正具有辨别能力的人的基本质素,“真正向上主开放的灵魂从不愤怒和自以为是,或者焦燥不安和 不耐烦。”我们需要建立乐于助人和振奋人心的团体,让所有人都感到受欢迎和接纳。

第三,我们容易倾向于“为天主工作”,而不是“实行天主的工作”。必须作真正的祈祷的人,敏于辨认天主的旨意,才能分辨上述二者。分辨使之成为可能。

第四,在作出个人和团体决定时,往往集中于解决遇到的问题,而不是找出我们的内在力量引导我们往哪里去,所以,这样的决定不像在作好的分辨一样,以力量为基础,却是以软弱为基础。同时,团体在作出决定时,往往跟随大多数人的意见,“‘大多数暴政’,就是把天主的名附加在团体最想的东西,或相信他必定这样想……是一种操控天主的方法,要他同意我们自己的行动及决策的信念。”

为使中国天主教会成为一个具辨别能力的团体,我们首先需要具有辨别能力的个体,即植根于祈祷,并与天主行动配合的个体。

(身穿儒服的利马窦(左)与徐光启讲道 )
基督徒价值观本位化的必要性

在十六世纪,利玛窦神父终于把基督宗教带到中国。他强调基督宗教与中国文化之间的内在联系。他没有把基督宗教介绍为完全外国或新的宗教,却肯定中华民族常常相信天主,而基督宗教是他们信仰的完成。

他采纳中国儒士的生活方式,也适应中国的祭祖仪式。这方法证实是有效的;然而,它不容易为整个天主教会接纳。中国礼仪之争产生了长期的负面影响,持续了几个世纪。其中一个负面影响,就是时至今日,基督宗教在中国依然被视为一个外来宗教。中国天主教会没有本身的神学;要把基督徒和中国的价值观完全整合,仍须走漫长的路。

在中国,“文化基督徒”一直尝试在知识层面上缩短基督宗教和中国文化之间的差距,却回避基督宗教最重要的一面:信德。然而,中国的天主教徒仍旧从西方的观点接触天主教,因为他们的圣经及神学培育主要是西方的。在“文化基督徒”和信徒之间存有隔阂。

笔者认为,为使天主教更加植根于中国,我们中国教友必须采纳利玛窦的方法,肯定中国文化的价值,与中国 知识分子对话,使基督徒信仰完全属于我们。我们现时教授神学和圣经的方法,是在天主教或基督徒的圈子里;我们实在应更加开放,寻找新方法,以中国的方式来 研究神学和做神学,使天主教信仰更为中国文化所充实,让中国的普罗大众更容易接触和理解。

对话的方法

对话是一种生活态度;它要求开放、诚实,以及对谦虚的领悟,就是我不是掌握全部真理。真正的对话只能够 在平等的伙伴之间发生。现时在中国,教友需要在生活中具有对话的态度。传统的福传方式强调唯有领洗的天主教徒才得救,这在神学上已不再是正确的,而它当然不能够培养对话。

中国社会大致上还不了解天主教,一方面因为中国的社会及政治形势,另一方面因为天主教徒不习惯向公众介绍他们的信仰。天主教处于中国社会的边缘,但很多教友仍以为别人要来天主教会领洗,才能获得永生。他们企图说服别人,却没有首先聆听对方的问题和困难。当教宗方济各接受日纳.斯卡尔法里(Eugenio Scalfari)访问时说,诱劝别人改信宗教是荒谬可笑的;你必须与人相遇和聆听他们。这应该是在中国传播福音的意义,“与人相遇并聆听他们”,与别人对话。

成为祈祷之所

撒慕尔·巴伦汀(Samuel Balentine)说,对教会而言,没有一个召叫比实现成为祈祷之所更为崇高。祈祷本身是传教行动,把天主与人类连系在一起。他说,祈祷“不仅是履行真正职务前的准备礼节。它是其中一个主要途径,教会藉此具体地成为天主的合作者,实现天主对世界的旨意。”

教会作为祈祷之所的角色,对于中国社会极为重要。一方面,教会借着宣讲一个贯穿人生经历的超越现实,使团体和世界存留在天主内。藉此,教会促进天主与人类之间的对话,并使之成为可能,也帮助人离开自我,不管是痛苦或喜乐,总以天主为中心。另一方面,投身于祈祷使天主教团体能够在世上保持忠信,在不同的境况中生活出天主的公义。

中国天主教会必须继续被天主的现实塑造,然后转过来可以塑造中国的现实。

附上英文原版:

Journeying Deep: A Call for the Catholic Church in China to Be More Rooted in Society

Lina Rong

Sr. Lina delivered this paper as part of a panel of Chinese Priests and Sisters at the U.S. Catholic China Bureau Convention, October 4-6, 2013, at Loyola University, Chicago

When I first left China in the year 2000 to take up theological training in the Philippines, China was in the midst of rapid change. She was trying to leave poverty, filth and shame behind, to take a place on the international stage with a new image, an image full of energy and force. China finally joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 after fifteen years of applying for membership. In 2002, most people in China were no longer living in hunger or without shelter. China was ready to move to the next stage of economic growth.

The Catholic Church in China then was in desperate need of almost everything: good formation and theological training for the clergy, religious Sisters and lay people, the integration of belief and daily life, the call to express and live out their faith on a social level, and to communicate and dialogue with non-Christians.

When I returned to China in August, 2012, the needs of the Catholic Church in China were still vast and urgent. But I also noticed that quite a number of differences had emerged in the last ten years. First, theological training in general had improved quite a lot. Moreover, candidates of religious communities and seminarians were now crossing diocesan and provincial borders, which was not the case previously.

Secondly, the role of the laity in the Church had become more and more indispensable, and was recognized as such. Lay people also feel a general need to study the Bible and theology, beyond the catechism level. They make an effort to find time to study their faith more deeply, to take guided retreats, and to form Christian communities.

Thirdly, there is a general awareness that we should deepen our Christian faith within the Chinese context, and together. This is the only way that the Catholic Church in China can have some social impact.

On the social level, people’s lives have improved to the extent that they are no longer satisfied with just being capable of meeting their basic daily needs, but rather they want to live quality lives. A most common, noticeable phenomenon now in China is that in every park and open space, even in villages in the country side, groups of people are singing, dancing, and exercising, in the evenings and on the weekends. It seems that China's pace has slowed down and now is the time to get more rooted.

Dr. Leopold Leeb, SVD, who since 1995, has been studying Chinese philosophy and teaching ancient languages in Beijing, said that China is now experiencing a new period of Renaissance. He reckons that every Chinese should get more familiar not only with ancient Chinese culture, but with Western culture as well, to be able to appreciate both and to integrate them. I agree with him wholeheartedly. For China to grow in a healthy and mature way, she has to be more rooted in both Chinese and Western culture, and in traditional values, like honesty, trust, generosity, compassion, flexibility, and tolerance.

I believe that the Catholic Church in China can contribute something to this process, and that Christian values have to be really integrated into Chinese culture. I am going to share five interrelated points in this presentation that I think the Catholic Church in China should focus on: the call to cooperate, the importance of discernment, the necessity to inculturate Christian values into Chinese society, the way of dialogue, and for the Church to become a house of prayer.


The Call to Cooperate

I would like to describe the Catholic Church in China with an image: we are like a bucket made of bamboo clappers of different lengths; how much water this bucket can contain does not depend on the longest bamboo clapper, but on the shortest. The better formed religious communities, seminaries and dioceses have to help the lesser developed ones. This is not simply an obligation, but it is our mission, a “must,” the essence of being Catholic.

“Cooperation” here does not simply mean “working together”, for example, the dioceses with more priests sending a few to the places where priests are scarce, or the better formed religious communities helping those in need, in terms of helping to organize a general chapter. Advice is also needed regarding maintaining a delicate balance between a diocesan religious community (as most of the religious communities in China are) and being independent and autonomous. Religious communities also need to get together and share their formation programs and management skills. We have been doing these important tasks for a number of years. Now we need to cooperate on a deeper level.

By “cooperation” here I mean that we need “to work as a team.” To put it into other words, we are not only doing things together, but we are united in the effort to integrate Christian faith and social life, for the wellbeing of both the Catholic Church and Chinese society. We need to plan our future and put our resources together. This is difficult to achieve since there is no organization in China, like the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, to plan strategies on the national level. But that does not mean it is impossible. We need a vision that is inclusive of others, and a genuine spirit of generosity. That is the spirit of a real missioner, to think on behalf of the other.

We have to consider the benefit of the local community as the priority of our mission, not our own benefit. It is by generous giving that we receive, not to receive first so that we can give later. This requires us to think on a broader plane than ourselves, as individuals and communities. However, we are still in the learning process. We still need to find effective ways to “work as a team,” and to “put our resources together”. How we shall do these things brings me to my second point: the importance of discernment.


The Importance of Discernment

Discernment is vital for the Church in China, on both the personal and the communal levels. This is the point I want to stress the most. The Catholic Church in China needs to grow on several aspects in this regard:

First, there is still a rather high percentage of Catholics who consider faith as a means to gain things. These things may not necessarily mean only material things. They may refer to spiritual gains, like peace and tranquility. Nevertheless, the focus is on gains and on self, rather than on having a relationship with God, on committing one’s life to God. Discernment is essential to form responsible believers with authentic faith.

Second, some devout Catholics have a sense of superiority and “doctrinal security”, a feeling of somehow being better off. This makes it difficult to form communities of trust, compassion and tolerance. Fr. Thomas Green says very well in his book on discernment that humility and charity are essential qualities of truly discerning persons. A soul “truly open to the Lord is never marked by angry self-righteousness or restless intolerance.” We need to form accommodating and encouraging communities where all types of people feel welcomed and accepted.

Third, there is the tendency of “working for God,” rather than “doing God's work.” One has to be a very prayerful person, sensitive to God's will to be able to distinguish between the two. Discernment makes this possible.

Fourth, in personal and communal decision making, the focus is on solving emerging problems, instead of finding out where our inner energy is leading us. So the decision made is not based on strength as in good discernment, but on weakness. Meanwhile, communal decision making becomes following the opinion of the majority. This is “‘the tyranny of the majority,’ a way of attaching God’s name to what most of the group want, or believe He must want… a way of manipulating God to agree with our convictions concerning action and decision making.”

In order to make the Catholic Church in China a discerning community, we need first discerning individuals, individuals that are rooted in prayer and in tune with the way that God works.


The Necessity to Inculturate Christian Values into Society

In the 16th century, Matteo Ricci finally succeeded in sowing the seeds of Christianity in China. He emphasized the inner connections between Christianity and Chinese culture. He did not introduce Christianity as entirely foreign or new, but affirmed that the Chinese people always believed in God, and that Christianity is the completion of their faith. Ricci and his Jesuit confreres adapted the Chinese Confucian scholars' life style and accommodated the Chinese rites of venerating one's ancestors into Christianity. This approach proved effective. However, it was not readily accepted by the Catholic Church as a whole. The Chinese Rites controversy, which had a long negative effect, lasted for several centuries.

One of the negative effects is that Christianity remains a foreign religion in China up to now. The Catholic Church in China does not have her own theology. There is still a long way to go to fully integrate Christian and Chinese values. The “cultural Christians” in China have been trying to bridge Christianity and Chinese culture on the intellectual level. However, they avoid the most important aspect of Christianity, namely, faith. Chinese Catholics, on the other hand, still approach Catholicism from a Western point of view. Biblical and theological formation in the Catholic Church in China remains mainly Western-rooted. Thus there is a gap between “cultural Christians” and Catholic believers.

I think that in order for Catholicism to become more rooted in China, we Chinese Catholics have to adopt the method of Matteo Ricci. We must affirm the values of Chinese culture, dialogue with Chinese intellectuals, and make the Christian faith our very own. Our current way of teaching theology and the Bible is within the Catholic or Christian circle. However, we have to be more open and find new ways to study and do theology in a Chinese way. We must make our Catholic faith more enriched by our Chinese culture, so that it can be more accessible and understandable to the ordinary Chinese.


The Way to Dialogue

Dialogue is an attitude of life; it requires openness, honesty, and a humble realization that I am not holding the whole truth. Real dialogue can only happen between equal partners. At the present time in China, the Chinese Catholics need to have a dialogic attitude in life. The traditional way of evangelization with an emphasis on only baptized Catholics can be saved is not theologically correct, and it definitely cannot foster dialogue.

Chinese society in general still does not understand Catholicism. This is partly due to the social and political situation in China, and partly because Catholics are not used to introducing their faith to the general public. Catholicism exists on the margins of Chinese society, but many Catholics still think that others have to come to the Catholic Church to be baptized in order to have eternal life. They try to convince others of the truth of Catholic faith. They do not listen to their problems and difficulties first. When Eugenio Scalfari interviewed Pope Francis, the Pope said that proselytism is solemn nonsense; you first have to meet people and listen to them. This should be the meaning of evangelization in China, to “meet people and listen to them,” and to be dialogic partners with them.


To Become a House of Prayer

Samuel Balentine wrote that the Church has no higher calling than to realize its commission to become a house of prayer. Prayer is of itself an act of ministry that ties together God and humanity. He says that prayer is not “just a preparatory ritual antecedent to real ministry. It is one of the principle means by which the Church participates concretely as a co-worker with God in accomplishing the divine will for the world.”

The role of the Church as a house of prayer is extremely important for Chinese society. On the one hand, the Church has to keep the community and the world together in God by proclaiming a transcendent reality that pervades all of life's experiences. By doing so, the Church promotes and enables an ongoing dialogue between God and humanity, and helps humanity to turn away from the self and to focus on God, in both pain and joy. On the other hand, being committed in prayer enables the Catholic community to have fidelity on earth, and to live out God's justice and compassion in different situations.

The Catholic Church in China has to be continually shaped by the reality of God; it then can in turn shape the reality of China.