The Spirituality of the Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs
Fr. Bang Yu-Ryong Andrew, the founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs, discovered the spirit of ‘Jeom-Seong’, ‘Chim-Muk’, and ‘Dae-Wol’ in the life of the martyrs who had lived for the good and benefit of the Church while making and maintaining relationships with God.
Jeom-Seong’(the dot spirit)
As one of the ways of life that we seek after, the spirit of ‘Jeom-Seong’(the dot spirit) is about recognizing the value of small and insignificant things, acting out of prudence and devotion, working meticulously and adequately even in small and insignificant matters because of our love and devotion to God. It teaches us that an act is considered virtuous without depending on the kind of work or how grand or small the work is, but an act is a virtuous one based on the mind and heart of the acting. The spirit of ‘Jeom-Seong’ is about following Jesus Christ who humbled Himself to be ‘nothing’, and offering a life of sacrifice by walking with Him who willingly accepted a life of neglects, insults, and contempt.
A life of ‘Chim-Muk’(Silence) is not about being in a silent state without words spoken, but it is about a disposition concerned with how people can bring joy to God. It is also about lighting up ourselves and our spirit through various ways of self-control called ‘Chim-Muk-10-Commandments’ that are keeping away from ‘distractive or evil thoughts, selfish desires, the senses of the ears, eyes, words, taste, nose, hands and feet, reason, and the will’. ‘Chim-Muk’ is largely divided into ‘internal Chim-Muk’, ‘external Chim-Muk’, and ‘Chim-Muk of the Soul’(‘Chim-Muk’ of reasons and ‘Chim-Muk of the will).
‘Dae-Wol’ refers to a contemplative way of life of purifying oneself in order to face the invisible God. This life has a structure of 3 principles and 2 effects. The first principle is that “I do nothing of my own accord”. The second principle is that “I only do what the Father teaches”. The third principle is that “I always do what the Father likes”. The first effect of ‘Dae-Wol’ is that the Father who sent me never leaves me alone. The second effect is that all my work is accomplished by the Father. After all, the principles and the effects of ‘Dae-Wol’ signify an invitation to live a contemplative life experiencing unlimited time, space, and even with people, events, and material things. This invitation brings us to enjoy the spiritual taste of God and remain in God’s plan. Lastly, ‘Myeon-Hyeong Mu-A’ is the final goal for the spirit of martyrdom. The founder spoke once in his homily that the Eucharist is a symbol of the presence and the love of the crucified Christ, and thus it is the food for martyrs. Just as martyrs keenly share the suffering of Christ in his passion and participate in the love revealed in his passion by receiving the body of the resurrected Christ and through the offering of their bodies, they signify the reality of the union in the Eucharist and express the presence of the resurrected Christ in the Eucharist. Thus, he said that the union originated symbolically will be actually completed. ‘Myeon-Hyeong Mu-A’ refers to the culminating point of sanctification as someone reaches unity with God by emptying of the self until he/she humbly reaches ‘nothingness’ and being re-born in the mystical world.
‘Myeon-Hyeong Mu-A’ which is a life of charity that allows the person to choose the Truth, the Good and the Beautiful with his/her free will but without breaking conscience. Thus the person offers his/her life to God and follows His will.
Wan-Deok O-Kye(The five ways of Perfection)
‘Wan-Deok O-Kye(The five ways of Perfection)’.
The first and the second Commandments of ‘Wan-Deok O-Kye(The five ways of Perfection)’ belong to ‘internal Chim-Muk’ as follows. The first commandment is about rejecting distractive or evil thoughts and selfish desires as people try to live a life of self-control as an effort to see God in people, events, and material things. They try to control curiosity and the five senses by restraining themselves from seeing a lot, hearing a lot, and speaking a lot in an effort to keep the right intentions without making guesses or presumptions. The second commandment is about rejecting selfish desires in order to foster a good conscience and to become free from self-centeredness meaning desiring only to satisfy oneself, prideful mind, and stubbornness.
The third commandment belongs to ‘external Chim-Muk’. And it is a type of silence trying to manifest a cheerful, peaceful appearance with a smile that is proper, honorable, and natural without expressing discontent or ill feelings.
The fourth commandment is a silence of reason, which is a type of silence of the soul. It focuses on lighting up someone’s ‘Yang-Sim-Bul’(the flame of conscience). In order to light up ‘Yang-Sim-Bul’, charitable deeds are essential. If people stop doing charitable deeds, ‘Yang-Sim-Bul’ will be extinguished. Thus, we need to light up our ‘Yang-Sim-Bul’ through good deeds, and make it brighter by our virtuous acts.
The fifth commandment belongs to the silence of the will. We are to “offer our free will to God and follow His will”. When we offer our free will that is the most precious to us, we will receive more completed form of freedom from God. While keeping our free will under control, we offer sacrificial rites pleasing to God.