Tuesday, December 23, 2008

They divide my garments 他们阄分我的衣服

Received a call at about 9:30 am from a fellow parishioner. He informed me he was at Fr. Leo Chang's residence with a priest and a nun from India. They were interested in Fr. Leo's collection of books and asked may they have them. I informed him that I have no time to check on all items left behind by Fr. Leo Chang. Father may have promised to give them (or part of ) to someone. Give me sometime to sort out first. He persisted as if there was no reason to keep the books there, after all they were priest and religious who wanted them..... At the end I have to be firm and said "NO".

I was very sad and annoyed. It reminded me the scene of Jesus' death. "When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, 'Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it.' In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes. That is what the soldiers did. "(John 19:23-24)

Why so hurry? why so cold? Did they care about feeling of others? Couldn't they wait to keep the place in order in memory of the deceased for a little longer?

I recalled another incident upon the death of our Catechist Lucy Leong more than ten years ago. There were few Religious Sisters staying upstairs of her in an apartment owned by the church. Few days after Lucy's death, the Sisters were impatient to move into Lucy's apartment on ground floor. They called me many times even willing to assist if I was not free to do so (clearing of Lucy's belongings). The same passage of Jesus' death appeared in my mind then. I had to tell them curtly: "Please wait. I will inform you once it is ready. "

In a parish or a community, there are many good people who are very good to the priests, taking good care of their meals, material needs and other chores. I always appreciate such people in the community. However, some of these good people sometimes may be over zealous and overdoing. They behaved as if they "own" the priests. They are not hesitate to use their influence, to show off their close friendship and some even take advantage on the close relationship with the priests to influence decisions.... I have seen them all !

I am not keeper of Fr. Leo Chang. As the Chairperson of Parish Pastoral Council serving Fr. Leo Chang in Kajang until his retirement, I continue to maintain contact with him when he was staying in Montfort Boys Town and later at Sri Seronok Retirement Home. He was well looked after by the Archdiocese. Together with many other former parishioners, we visited him regularly and attended to his other needs whenever we can.

I would prefer clearing and sorting out Fr. Leo Chang's belongs slowly (within a month), and cherish, reminisce his presence at his former residence before his death. This is our respect to him.


今早约九时半,接到一个教友的来电。他告诉我他正在张神父的故居,随同来的还有一位来自印度的神父及一位修女。他们对张神父的藏书很有兴趣,问我是否给给他们。我告诉他说,我还没时间过去查看张神父的遗物,包括这些藏书。张神父可能有答应这些书,或部分的书赠送给某一些人,是否能够给我一点时间出询问及查看,才决定。他好像坚持的要那神父得到那些他看中的书。。。最后,我只好斩钉截铁的说:不能拿。

我当时是非常的伤心及气恼。我脑子想起耶稣受难的情景。 “兵士将耶稣钉在十字架后,拿了他的衣服,分成四份,每人一份;又拿了长衣,因那长衣无缝的,由上到下浑然织成,所以他们彼此说:『我们不要把它撕开,我们掷骰,看是谁拿到』。这就应验了经上的话:『他们瓜分了我的衣服,为我的长衣占阄』。士兵果然这样作了。”(若19:23-24)

为什么这样急?为什么这样冷酷?有否顾及他人的感受?为什么不能等久些,让张神父的故居保持原状,以对亡者的一种凭吊!

这让我也忆起十多年前加影的传道员梁姑逝世后的情景。梁姑是住在教会的公寓底层,楼上则住着几位修女。梁姑逝世后的数天,楼上的修女们就迫不及待的要搬进去住。她们数次来电话催促我早点清理梁姑故居,假如我没时间,她们愿意帮忙。最后我还是直接的告诉她们:“请等,好了我自然会通知你们”。

在一个堂区或团体里,有很多好心信友,对神父们细心照顾。除了关怀他们的起居饮食,还常常关心神父们的其他物质及日常需要。我非常感激团体里有这样的一群人。但是,这些好人中,一时会有小部分太过热衷及过度的“好”,他们好像“拥有”这些神父。他们毫不犹豫的去利用他们的影响力,或展示与神父们的”友谊“,更甚者,利用他们的“力量”来影响决策。。。这些,我都看过了!

我不是张神父的看护人。我是在张神父从加影堂区退休前,担任堂区议会主席职 。他退休后,搬进蒙福城及后来到了教会的退休居处,我们还保持联系。他受到总教区的照顾,但连同许多堂区教友,我们都会尽能力照顾张神父的其他需要。

我要用些时间,慢慢清理张神父的遗物及其他的一些后事(一个月时间),以便能够在此同时,回忆张神父在世时的生活点滴。这也是一种尊敬。

4 comments:

溪水信女 said...

Thank you for looking after Fr. Leo Chang so well, even after his death. YES! You did a very good and right thing by being firm to them. In fact, they have no right at all to do so. really sadenned by the behaviour......

Ngu said...

这件事使我想起我们华人一些习俗(或是迷信?),当长辈过世,子女或至亲,争着要他(她)的遗物,如衣服(听说能保活者平安,小孩子生病时穿上它,会好起来等),还有很多很多。有时候,亲戚多时,还争出不愉快的场面来,何苦!?我想兵士以占阄的方式(比较高明的方法?)瓜分了耶稣的衣服,也有一点这样的意思,他们(兵士)也认为死人的衣服是吉祥物吧!

我希望你所提的那位神父和修女是爱书的人,而且真的喜欢那些书而是没得买,所以才会急着要。看样子,你要费一番心思了。

祖厚

Simon Phun said...

Thanks 信女及祖厚。。。我的确有“尸骨未寒”就分家产的感觉。

张神父为本地教会服务五十多年,我相信他也希望留下的东西能够留给本地及造福本地。我将和圣家堂本堂谈谈,就放在圣家堂供教友参考,特别是慕道及主日学。里面有很多是神学及教理书籍。

我愿意宽恕及忘怀这些行为,同样也要求仁慈天主宽怀我的过错。

祝大家圣诞快乐。

溪水信女 said...

很好的意见!想必神父亦是爱书人,如果本堂有图书馆或资料室,可把它们收集到那里去。好书难得,好书人更是难寻呀!