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人的自私与贪婪破坏了天主创造的美丽宇宙——来自Larry的信
来源:个人圣诞贺信 作者:Larry 日期:2010年12月26日 访问次数:

亲爱的兄弟姐妹:今天是12月5日,降临期的第二个主日。今天下午我去了位于墨西哥坎昆的Cristo Resucitado天主教堂参与弥撒。我到墨西哥来是为了参加第16界联合国气候变化峰会。在弥撒的圣餐礼仪中,神父给我们呈上了三件东西;一棵树,一棵剑麻,还有一陶罐的水。那棵树象征着天主创造的并给予我们享受的宇宙万物,—喂饱我们的食物,给我们遮蔽风雨的房屋,使我们免于风寒的衣服,这些宇宙万物也同样需要我们的关爱。

天主说“要有……, 然后这天地万物就因着主的圣言而创造了出来。主看这一切都是好的。生于公元三世纪的圣盎博罗削曾向我们宣讲:天主造的万物是他给我们的第一个,也是最重要的启示。天主藉着这些有形的,各不相同的宇宙万物来向我们彰显主的伟大以及他给予我们的无尽的爱!至于剑麻,古代人从大自然中把它们采集起来,来手工生产一些剑麻制品,所以它代表着我们人类的劳动。墨西哥的特基拉酒也是以剑麻植物为原料酿造出来的,我们喝着美味的特基拉酒来庆祝我们的成功和喜庆。但是如果我们滥用这些美味的酒,那么它也会变成一个祸根。最后,那罐水,它有着太多的涵义,比如它象征着生命和净化,我们可以在世界不同的文化和信仰中发现它的这一涵义。但是不幸的是,今天我们看到的更多的是它代表着我们人类的贪婪;攫取以及对自然的亵渎。              

     将临期是分离的时期;是反省我们自己的时期;也是让我们真心悔改,并准备我们自己,以喜悦的心情迎接基督的再次来临的时期。我们人类确实犯了很多的错误。比如此刻,我们正在以提供更多的能源为由排放出大量的二氧化碳来污染我们赖以生存的大气层。今天大气中二氧化碳的含量是百万分之390(工业时代前二氧化碳的含量大约是百万分之280)这也是几百万年前上新世时代时二氧化碳所达到的含量。这种大气中二氧化碳含量的升高导致了气候的变化—即气候变得更热,更潮湿。这已经被世界各地的科学研究所证实。气温升高2.5度或许地球还能忍受,尽管一些岛国已经开始在为大规模的移民做准备工作。但是我们知道气温如果升高4度的话,这个世界将会改变。以今天的含量水平,二氧化碳正在溶解于海洋中,并导致了地球上海洋的酸性升高。而且自工业革命以来,海洋的酸性已经升高了30%. 并且越来越多的迹象表明如果大气中二氧化碳的含量达到百万分之450,那么它带给气候和海洋的变化将会是灾难性的。大量的减少二氧化碳的排放量势在必行。—而且我们知道二氧化碳排放量将于2015年达到顶峰。那么面对这些事实我们应该做些什么呢?
       有一种选择,那就是我们选择放弃,我们可以像往常一样继续忙碌于我们自己的事,继续沉溺于自私的,崇尚享乐的生活。或者我们选择花一些时间(但不是太长)来审视,反省我们自己。我们将看到希望依然存在!将临期和四旬期就是教会给予我们悔改,反省的时间,反省我们的良心和我们的生活方式。我认为现在整个世界都处于将临期。有一天我的一个中国学生说:“ 整个世界都知道我们处于危险之中,但是我们的自私和一些意志薄弱的国家领导人却阻止我们改变。” 一次坦诚;谦卑;真诚的自我反省会把我们带入到更深层的神圣的体验之中并使我们彻底的转变。现在我们要以个人的立场来反省自己,并藉着耶稣的降生来感受主与我们同在。同样我们也要以人类的立场来自我反省,使我们重新找回我们对天主创造的万物所应持有的虔诚的敬畏之心,并且内心得享平安。
        整个世界都在以喜悦和希望来迎接一个婴孩的诞生。耶稣的诞生完满了天主的创造。天主的圣言—耶稣,藉着降生成为尘世一个真正的受造物,而变成了天主最完满的表达也预示了天主创造的完成。藉着耶稣,天主不再仅仅是万能的造物主,也成为了被创造的宇宙万物本身。天主所给予我们的爱是多么的伟大,他赐予了我们宇宙万物,更为宝贵的是他藉着耶稣把他自己作为一个礼物也赐给了我们!
我会为你们祈祷,祈求天主赐予你们一个神圣的降临节,在这圣诞之际,主基督会以一种全新的,令人振奋的方式降临到你们的心中。
May you have a Blessed Christmas!
祝圣诞快乐!
爱与祈祷,   Larry

Dear Folks,
Today is Sunday, December 5th and the second Sunday of Advent.  This afternoon I went to mass at Cristo Resucitado here in Cancun, Mexico.  I am here attending the 16th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.  During the Offertory of the Mass, there were three things brought forward and offered; a tree, a sisal plant (agave plant), and an earthen jar filled with water.  The tree is a symbol of God’s beautiful creation, given to us to enjoy, to feed, shelter and clothe us and of creation itself, given to us to care for (Gn 2:15). God said, “Let there be”, and the universe became through the Word.  And God saw that it was good! St Ambrose (3rd Century) taught that creation is God’s first and principle revelation of Godself to us. Creation in its diverseness is a multifold tangible expression of God’s greatness and love for us! From the agave plant, which ancient man took from nature, we can produce sisal, a work of human hands, a symbol of all our human labors.  From it too comes tequila, by which we can celebrate our joys and successes or a curse if abused.  And finally there was the water, a symbol of so many things, such as life and cleansing.  Water, a symbol found in cultures and religions around the word. But sadly, a symbol now too often of human avarice, consumption, and a desecration of nature. 
                                 The Ark:  Mexican art celebrating the                 diversity of creation
Advent is a time apart, a time to take stock of ourselves, a time to turn away from our faults and a time to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  There are mistakes we have made.  We are polluting our atmosphere with CO2, produced mostly to supply energy.  CO2 is now measured at 390 ppm CO2 is now measured at 390 parts per million (up from the pre-industrial level of approximately 280 ppm), a level last seen during the Pliocene millions of years ago.  This increase in atmospheric CO2 is causing climate change –a warmer wetter climate – documented by scientific work from every part of the world.  A rise in temperature of +2.5 degrees may be bearable, although some of the Island Nations are already making arrangements for mass immigration. A rise of +4 degrees will change the world as we know it.  At current levels the CO2 is being dissolved into the ocean causing it to become increasingly acidic.  Already the ocean acidity has increased 30% since the industrial revolution.  There is increasing indication that if we reach 450 ppm of atmospheric CO2 the changes in climate and the ocean will be catastrophic.  Substantial reductions in CO2 emissions need to be made – peaking in 2015. What do we do with this information? 

One option is that we just give up. We can let ourselves go on with business as usual, giving ourselves over to a selfish and hedonistic life.  Or we can take some time (but not too long!) to examine ourselves.  There is hope!  Advent and lent are times given to us by the church to pull back, take stock, examine our consciences and lifestyles.  It seems to me that the whole world is in an Advent Time.  The other day one of my Chinese students wrote saying, “The whole world knows we are in trouble. But selfishness and weak-willed leaders are preventing us from making changes.” A good honest humble sincere examination of conscience can lead us to a deep experience of the sacred and to a conversion.  We need to do this now personally so that we can experience Jesus’ birth as God being with us.  This is also what we need to do as a race so that we can regain the holy awe of God’s creation and live in peace. 
All over the world the birth of a child is welcomed with joy and hope. The birth of Jesus completes the circle if you will; the Word taking on the very matter of creation to become God’s fullest expression and completion of creation. In Jesus God is no long only creator, but becomes the cosmic material of creation itself. What wonderful love God has for us, giving us the gifts of creation and most especially the gift of Godself in Jesus.
I pray that you have a holy Advent and that Christ be born into your heart this Christmas in a new and exciting way.
May you have a Blessed Christmas!
Love and prayers,
Larry

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