ST BENEDICT TODAY.
1. God gave us a pattern.
God gave us a pattern in history so His Church can prepare herself for any eventuality in the future. This pattern, writes the Fathers, is based on the 7 days of creation and is repeated through the Old Testament, through the New Testament and up to General Judgment day. The sixth day is what interest us. That would be Friday, fulfilled in the time of Judas Macchabeus in the Old Testament, fulfilled again on Good Friday in the New Testament and finally fulfilled today in our times.
2. The Church before the First Advent
Before the First Advent of Christ, i.e. on Christmas Day, the Church in the world is described this way; first, there was no Faith in Israel because all the priests, like the Pharisees, had no Faith. This was noted earlier in the time of King Josiah. That is why there was no priest on His birthday. Secondly, there was no forgiveness of sin yet in the O. T., and thirdly, there was no sacrifice in the temple. Since there was no Faith in Israel the Ark of the Covenant where God was present disappeared in the time of Josiah kept by Jeremiah nobody knows where.
Israel's disobedience to God's command was the visible sign of the absence of their Faith in God. Without Faith, their sins multiplied so God abandoned them as expressed in the disappearance of the Ark.
3. The Church before the Second Advent.
As we approach the Second Coming of Christ referred to as the Second Advent, exactly the same three things will happen. First, as the prophet Amos wrote, there will be no Faith on the face of the earth because no cardinal, no bishop, no priest would know how to make an act of Faith. And as a consequence all the Faithful who tend to learn from priests will, also, be faithless. This is among the men of the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church it will be worse.
Secondly, cardinals, bishops and priest being Faithless as prophesied by the prophets and by Christ and as prefigured on Good Friday, God will remove from them the power to forgive sins. So most of the people today will remain in their sins like in the time of King Josiah and on Good Friday; because Faithless priests cannot lead the laymen towards the grace of Faith that forgives sin; and the priests, themselves, are deprived of the power to forgive sin because they do not have Faith and Charity necessary to receive that power as shown in the Gospel of Pentecost.
Thirdly, because cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen are without Faith and, therefore unworthy to worship God, God will remove from them the power to consecrate and celebrate Mass as He did by removing the Ark of the Covenant from the temple during the time of King Josiah and during Good Friday. Not only will God do those things; He will allow the destruction of the temple. He will allow the destruction of the Vatican, not necessarily architecturally but spiritually. Logically, if there is no Faith, no Charity, no Mass and no Blessed Sacrament, what is a temple for?
God gave this pattern in Divine Revelation, this pattern should be repeated today. And in fact we see the pattern repeating itself. Firstly, we see the total absence of Faith among the cardinals, bishops, priest and laymen visibly seen in their ignorance and|or disobediences to the commands of Christ in the New Testament. Secondly, we see the sins of men remaining in their souls and even published when those sins should have disappeared and never returned in their souls if they made the act of Faith. Thirdly, we see the irreverence and lack of devotion during Mass plus the countless Liturgical abuses....signs that Christ is no longer in the Mass and in the Host. This has been prophesied because if the reality of Divinity is coming the fore-shadowings must disappear.
The Catholic Church as described in 'Lumen Gentium' and in the writings of the Fathers of the Church is nowhere in the Vatican, nowhere in the dioceses, nowhere in the parishes and nowhere in the Catholic family. The documents and facts are visible anyone can check it up.
4. St. Benedict and his Holy Rule
St. Benedict knew that these three prophecies had happened in the Old Testament, they had happened in the New Testament, they had happened during his time and they will happen in the future. So he made provisions to counteract these chastisements.
Firstly, if in the future cardinals, bishops or priests are prophesied to be ignorant of the way to salvation because of their sin of infidelity, from whom can we learn the plan of salvation? In the last chapter of his Rule St. Benedict states that they should learn it from the Rule of the Master, from St. Basil, from the Institutes of John Cassian and from the Fathers of the Church. The solution St. Benedict gave for the infidelity of the future when all priests are ignorant of the Gospel way of evangelization was exactly the solution John Newman gave. And which Pope Benedict quoted in his 'Year of Faith,'...... a return to the Fathers of the Church.
Secondly, if cardinals, bishops and priests because of their lack of Faith and Charity are not given by God the power to forgive sins how will the sins of ordinary people be forgiven? St. Benedict introduced the Monastic life which is essentially a life of Repentance, (a perfect act of contrition) a life par excellence for the forgiveness of sins of which confession to a priest is only a small part.
Thirdly, because there is no Faith and Charity cardinals, bishops and priest are not even Catholics, writes St. Robert Bellarmine, so they cannot celebrate Mass nor consecrate the Sacred Species. If so, how will souls worship God? Christ told the Samaritan woman, ' the day will come when men will not have to go to churches to worship. True worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth. The monastic life is worshipping God with mind and heart, in spirit and in truth. And the monks in the desert had Mass only once a year if there was a priest because their whole life was in preparation for the Heavenly, eternal Mass.
The monastic life had been a preparation for these coming three events prophesied by Christ in the Gospels. These three monastic formulae are based on the Gospel but described differently. That is why Pope Benedict in his first speech in St. Paul outside the walls reminded the world that the monastic life of St. Benedict is the solution for these three great chastisements God is sending the world today and called it the 'new evangelization'. And before he, seemingly resigned, Pope Benedict repeated for one last time, that this 'new evangelization' consist in introducing a 'new monasticism,' quoting St. Bonaventure, which is no different from the Christ's formula in the Apostolic Commission. And with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict called it 'new evangelization' because it is an evangelical substitute for the classical evangelization described in the Gospel of Ascension. Unlike the evangelization of the Bishop's Synod of 2013 which is a totally different Gospel.
5. The eleven Popes, from Pius IX to Benedict XVI had seen and experienced these three chastisesments from God; namely, first, the prophesy of Amos foretelling that one day there will no one who can teach the way to eternal life; secondly, that the power to absolve sins will be taken away from priests and, thirdly, the power to celebrate and consecrate the Species will be taken away from priest because the fore-shadowings must disappear when the Light of the true Presence of the Second Advent comes.
Pius IX faced his whole Curia who expelled him from the Vatican and exiled him in Gaeta. If his Curia was like that what did you expect of the rest of the Bishops. Pius X was faced with cardinals, bishops and priest seething with the heresy of modernism. Benedict had to face a group of seminarians who were praising Karl Marx. What further proof do we need.
Of course, from the time of Pius IX to Benedict's time there were still a thin line of 'catena Aurea' that were clinging to dear Gospel and dear Fathers of the Church. But they were getting less and less by the time of Benedict who seems to be one among the last few.
The lost of the power to celebrate and consecrate is getting to be more visible everyday. The Mass of the Apostles, the Fathers and the Saints was proven beyond doubt as truly a sacrifice and a true Presence. And people with Faith, like the saints attested to this. But when Faith was lost like today there is nobody who could vouch that the 'new' mass is truly a sacrifice and a true Presence. While countless saints in the past proved with their Faith and Charity that the Mass was a sacrifice and there was a true Presence, no one, today, can vouch that there is true Sacrifice and Presence in the New Mass. We can only guess. The last saints, like Fr. Pio, did not like it. Maybe there was no sacrifice and there is no Presence.....which we expect to happen as prophesied. And Pope Benedict can do only so much with his Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum' because he knows it had to end eventually that God will take away the power to celebrate and consecrate the Eucharist. He tried to prolong the celebration of the last valid masses. Did we really thing that God will allow the Mass to be celebrate and consecrated with the kind of Faithless and loveless creatures we have become?
6. St. Benedict and the Woman of the Apocalypse
St. Benedict had mastered the Apocalypse. He knew that the Woman of the Apocalypse, whom St. John recognized as the Blessed Virgin Mary because he took care of her, is the personification of the Catholic Church. And Benedict saw that the Church left the world and 'flew' to the desert to a place specially prepared by God for her protection against the devil's last grand attack on the Church.
At that time St. Benedict knew that the Church was still in the world. But he knew she would abandon the world and transfer to the desert. But he did not know the exact time for the transfer so he began to train his monks to prepare for that transfer. St. Benedict knew that the Church would cease to exist in the world. So his monasticism is the way on how to enter the Catholic Church in her 'new' location in the desert. Since entering the Church is still a process of evangelization, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict referred to the classical evangelization as 'new,' because for all outward appearances it looks 'new,' so 'new' that no cardinal, bishop or priest know anything about it through Pope Benedict described it clearly last year in his 'Year of Faith' and repeated for one last time in his 'Lumen Fidei' that bore, however, the signature of Pope Francis.
Today, the process of evangelization by which souls are saved can no longer be preached as described in the Gospel of the Ascension because that can only be preached and understood by souls with the theological virtue of Faith. The way St. Benedict described evangelization is for preachers and listeners who do not have Faith and Charity. So it is just right for all of us today. This is how Pope Benedict presented it in his 'Year of Faith.'
7. St. Gregory and St. Benedict.
Pope St. Gregory the Great wrote in his 'Life of St. Benedict' that the followers of St. Benedict will prepare the world for the Last General Judgment. Note that Pope Gregory did not say the Benedictine Order since the Order is in the same corrupt state as the rest of the world. He said 'some' followers of St. Benedict. Could this be the reason Pope Benedict, a diocesan priest who chose the name 'Benedict,' seeing that in St. Malachy's list of Popes he is the last Pope to be elected by a Conclave; since the one after him will be chosen by Christ, Himself, just as St. Peter was personally chosen by Christ? But Pope Francis was elected by a conclave, not by Christ. Oh well, there are still a lot of things that we do not understand. We have to be patient until God enlightens our minds. But we know Pope Benedict is a true follower of St. Benedict.
8. St. Benedict and the Sundays in Ordinary time.
The 33 Sundays in Ordinary time are Sundays wherein Holy Mother the Church is teaching us everything about Faith, specially who are those with Faith and who are those without Faith. It is just right that the Feast of St. Benedict is right in the middle because he taught how those without Faith can attain Faith ......before it is too late.