阿彌陀佛

 

我把神父你的回應告訴我媽媽了,因為有些東西我並不十分清楚,所以我是印下來給我媽媽看的,我先把我的想法和問題寫上來,再把我媽媽的問題寫上來。

 

我的問題是,為什麼你們會把慈悲解釋成「慈悲是幫助那些相對於你而言,較為弱勢者的一種善行,例如:生病…等。」這樣子的定義,用中國話來說,應該是「同情」這個字,也許是你們把慈悲翻成了「compassion」了吧,「慈」的意思是施予他人快樂,「悲」的意思是拔除他人的痛苦,一個覺悟的人,會感覺到一切眾生就好像和自己是一體的一樣,就好像自己的手和腳一樣,很自然的就會想要給他們快樂,拔除他們的痛苦。然而,要達到這個境界,則是需要去除自己的私慾和執著,擁有無上的智慧才有辦法達到。我不清楚這和你們所說的「愛」是否相同?另外,你問我媽媽說:「為什麼信仰阿彌陀佛。對她來說,阿彌陀佛是什麼?是上帝嗎?」我覺得你的問題有一點奇怪,我不知道什麼是上帝,我只知道阿彌陀佛的正確意思是「無量覺」,也就是指無法估量的智慧,而這種智慧的光明普照一切萬物,所以阿彌陀佛又稱無量光佛。我不知道這和你們說的上帝一不一樣。

 

 

那麼,我來告訴你我媽媽的回答好了,他說他聽了你的話,覺得很高興,她說會找機會去參加教會的,她說,他信阿彌陀佛,那種感覺就好像阿彌陀佛是他的父親一樣,至於上帝,那不是你們基督教的神嗎?阿彌陀佛是阿彌陀佛,耶穌是耶穌,他說他還沒有胡塗到會把某甲當成某乙,但是,現在的她也有一項新的問題,那就是,每次去教會,都要不斷求耶穌憐憫,也常常有人要求他跟著這麼做,這種感覺讓他覺得很不習慣,為何她必須要求一個不認識的人來憐憫自己?她無法這樣子做,他之所以想去教會,完全是因為教會的人很善良,他想接近善良的人,因為善良的人會互相影響,這樣子他才有可能成為更善良的人。

 

答覆:

 

謝謝你的回應,這是一個非常深奧,又非常重要的一個議題。

 

在這裡,我想要繼續我們的對話,先把那些神學的論文放一邊。(在這裡,我想要先把「愛」這個議題,放到下一篇文章再來回覆。)
由於禮貌上的考量,請容許我用「朋友」一詞來取來「母親」一詞,因為我覺得,如果對象是「母親」這樣的長輩,我又不斷對她提出異議或是見解,會有一點失禮,不過,如果角色改為「朋友」的話,我就可以放心的對談了。

 

首先,我想把「你的朋友」的問題和「你」的闡述分開,因為在你短短的幾行文字裡,包含了非常多重要的議題,我希望能夠和你展開另一個有趣而且有益的對話。然而,請容許我這樣說,我對於你竟然無法理解我的回答,感到十分驚訝(你說:有些東西我並不十分清楚,所以我是印下來給我媽媽看的),因為,這些文句都是很簡單易懂的中文,你還告訴我,你的朋友一看就能解理它的意思,並因此感到快樂。

 

1、你的朋友相信阿彌陀佛就是上帝嗎?我之前的文章之所以會問這樣子的問題,是因為就我所知,佛陀本人從來沒有說過自己是「上帝」,他說的那些「神」,指的是「某些行善的眾生,因為自己的善行而成為神」。但是,如果他們不小心,他們依然有可能會墮落。他們從佛陀的教導中,得到了很大的利益。佛陀的教導,對他們來說,就好像是獅子吼叫一樣,振聾發聵。佛陀說,就算是成了神,他們仍然受到業力在支配,這是原始的巴利文佛經上所記載(相應部/samyutta nikaya 22)。另外,佛說《本生經》裡面,記載了阿彌陀佛過去世以及他最後成為阿彌陀佛的許多故事。所以,他並不是永恆的「神」,而是後來才成為「神」。依我對佛教粗淺的了解,以及這本我正在研究的佛教書籍,都說佛教並不是一個宗教,在佛教裡沒有上帝,而佛教的教導只是使人成為更加完美的人。而且,事實上,有許多佛教徒以這樣子的觀點為榮。那麼問題來了,你的朋友真的了解佛教嗎?或者只是像一般人一樣,對佛教只有粗略的概念?

 

2、對於「是否應該來教會」的問題,請容許我這樣說:我發現,在你的「問題」和你的「回覆」當中,你的朋友對於「是否應該來教會」抱持著不同的態度,我想要將兩者加以區分。在你的「問題」當中,他是因為「感覺很好」所以想去教會,而在你的「回覆」當中,他「解釋」這個好的感覺,僅僅只是來自於教會的人,而不是教會。

 

首先,我所要說的是,一個人來教會,對於教會正在進行的儀式或事務,應該有最起碼的敬意,即使,這並不是他的信仰。就好像,我常常到你們的寺廟中去參訪、去學習,並且拍一些照片回來,我會靜靜地對這間寺廟表達我的敬意,雖然,我沒有加入他們一起誦經或祈禱,但我也不會打斷他們。所以,如果你的朋友不想說「主,請憐憫我!」(Lord have mercy!),那麼他可以不用說,可是,他卻不能期望教會把這個部份刪除。在祈禱結束後,他可以和教會內的朋友交談,沒有人會要求他祈禱,教會是一個自由的場所,而不是一個俱樂部。

 

可是,我必須要說的是,這種好的感覺,絕非來自於教會裡面的「人」,而是來自於教會中「上帝的恩典」。上帝將恩典賜給所有人,在給予恩典的時候,上帝不會去區分基督徒或是非基督徒。對於每一個來到上帝的家的人,上帝都會很有禮貌、靜靜的、奧秘的在他們的心中對他們說話,以表達歡迎之意,就好像一般人會為家中的訪客送上茶水一樣。

 

在你的「問題」當中,你的朋友說:「阿彌陀佛並不會介意他去的是寺廟或是教會。」然而,在這種情形下,你的朋友覺得他不需要任何「憐憫」或「慈愛」嗎?有誰能夠這麼完美,以致於完全不需要「憐憫」或「慈愛」呢?對我來說,我需要的「憐憫」,不僅僅是從上帝而來,也需要從你或任何其他人身上而來。這樣說起來,你的朋友還會覺得我們不該說「上帝,請憐憫我!」嗎?或者,你的朋友已經被某種神學觀點所限制住,以致於他只能向阿彌陀佛祈求憐憫呢?如果是這樣子的話,我將會非常敬佩他。不過,既然如此,他又為什麼要到教會來呢?

 

而且,當我們說,「主,請憐憫我。」的時候,我們並不是為了自己而說,而是為了所有的人類,所有的受造物而說,同時,我們也了解自己並非完美。我們都是有罪的人,我們的心中沒有愛,所以,我們需要上帝的憐憫,也需要上帝憐憫所有的受造物。

 

不知道對我對你朋友的回答,會不會太失禮呢?教會是一個憐憫一切事物的地方。我們並不會抱著自大的心情去教會,反而,是因為我們的需要而去教會。教會的成員並不是聖人,他們都只是普通的人,而讓他們感覺美好的原因是上帝的恩典,他們也會犯錯,而且,必須不斷的懺悔和得到赦免。今天,也許他們某些行為很好,但明天很有可能就會犯其他的過錯。

 

儘管,教會的成員並不是聖人,但是,教會卻是神聖的,因為上帝之子,耶穌基督是唯一完美的聖人,他是教會的頭以及教會的身體,他是一種肉眼不可見的凝聚力,使人們可以結合在一起,成為一個共同體,也使每個人,成為教會的一員。

 

當然,你的朋友可以和任何的基督徒成為朋友,但是,如果從「好奇心」的角度出發,我認為他至少應該要「嘗試著去學習和瞭解,到底教堂裡面的這些人在做什麼,如何才能成為教會」。教會並不是一個餐廳,也不是一間電影院。你的朋友想要接觸別人的善,但是,卻不想要接觸那個使人善良的泉源,也不想知道這群善良的人所信仰的究竟是怎樣的上帝。這也是為什麼我認為,你的朋友或許需要思考一下,自己究竟要的是什麼?

 

請原諒我這麼說:我想,或許你的朋友大概已經知道有這樣的一個上帝了,但是,我覺得他應該要更進一步了解基督徒的上帝。基督徒的上帝是「聖三位一體」,可以請你的朋友試著多了解一點,因為,我推斷你的朋友並沒有真的用心瞭解基督教的上帝。我是一個神父,但是,我還是必須不斷的學習,連我自己也不敢說我認識上帝,那麼,你的朋友怎麼可能知道基督教的精神呢?更不用說他一定不知道應該讀什麼書、接受什麼樣的教導才能進一步瞭解基督教的上帝。甚至,他有聖經這本書嗎?

 

Answer in English

 

Thank you for your response, which is very deep and serious.

 

I will try to continue our conversation, not to write some theological essay.
(For the other ideas about love i will try to answer separately in the next writing)
To be polite , i would prefer to write instead of ‘mother’ the word ‘friend’ because i do not want to disagree to anything with your mother or another mother, is something
respectful, but with a friend i can.

 

I will try to separate your friend’s questions and your interpretations, because in your few lines are very serious questions which i hope to open a very interesting and useful
dialog. but permit me to be surprised how you did not understand my answer to your friend.
it was very simple, and good Chinese. and it was so simple that your friend understood and become happy , as you say.

 

1. your friend believes that amitofu is God . I asked this because as far as i know Buddha never said that he is a god. And he considers the other gods as creatures who
become gods because of their good deeds, and if they are not careful, they can fall again, and they also benefit from his teaching. Buddha teaching is like the cry of the lion even to gods to remind them that they also are
under the karma, according to the original Buddhist scriptures (samyutta_nikaya 22) . Jataka Buddhist scriptures, write about the previous lives of ,amitofu, his reincarnations, and his final last one. So ‘he; was not a
god always, he become a god latter. And my poor knowledge about Buddhism and the books i try to study says that Buddhism is not a religion, has no god , but a way to personal perfection. And actually Buddhists are proud of
this from their point if view.
The question is, does your friend know Buddhism really? Or has a general idea of Buddhism, like many people in Taiwan?

 

2. about coming to the church. Permit me to say i distinguish a difference in the attitude of your friend going to the church from the first and the second writing.
First it was a good feeling,
in the second witting she ‘interpreted ’ that the feeling is only from the people who are in the church.
First i would say, if somebody comes to a church, he at least respects what is happening there, even if he does not believe. I go to temples
to see and study and take photographs but i do it quietly, i do not interrupt the prayer of the people there, but i did not participate to their prayer. So if your friend does not want to say , Lord have mercy , do not say.
But of course she must not expect the others not to say it. She can talk to anybody when the prayer finishes. Nobody says to her to pray, church is a free place, but not a club.

 

I must say the good feeling is not from the people, but from the grace of god in the church, which goes also to non believers, to everybody. It is the welcome that God says politely
and secretly to the heart of everybody who comes to his house, like the traditional tea you offer to your visitor.
In the first letter , your friend says that amitofu has no problem to go to temple or church. But in that case your friend does not need mercy? Who is so good that does not need
mercy? I need mercy , not only from god, but from people also , from you and all. So is it so bad to say, God , have mercy?
Or she is so strict from the theological point of view that she does not want to ask mercy from another God except her own god who is amitofu?
If it is this , i really respect it, but then why to go to a Christian church?

 

And when we say , Lord have mercy, we do not say it for ourselves only, but humbly for all creation, realizing also that we are not perfect,
we are sinners, we do not have the love we should have and we need the mercy of god for us and all creation.

 

Is it very bad to say for your friend? The church is a place of mercy for everything. We do not go there as proud people but as people who need.
The members of the church are not saints. They are common people. What makes them to feel good is the grace of God. And they do sins , and repent and receive forgiveness continuously. Today some are good, tommorow some are bad etc…
But the church IS HOLY because the head of the church, the BODY OF THE CHURCH, this invisible bond that MAKES those common people to be members of the church is the Son of God,
who is the only Holy.
Of course your friend can make friends with any Christian, but i think at least from curiosity she may try to learn more about what those people do in this place which is church.
Is it a restaurant? Or a cinema? She wants their goodness, but not WHAT MAKES to seem good, which is their god?
This is why your friend probably should consider to realize what exactly wants.
And permit me to say that your friend knows probably , but must know better about at least the God of Christians. That their god is the
Holy Trinity, and to try to study a little bit. Because i guess does nor really try to study. I am a priest but i study and i do not dare i know god, how your friend knows about Christianity and from what readings or teachings
? Does she have even a bible?