Thursday, June 14, 2012


We have seen the two major parts of Pope Benedict's "New Evangelization." The first part describes the Evangelizer. The second part contains the essential topics of Evangelization namely: conversion, the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and lastly Eternal Life.

We have seen previously  that the Evangelizer should be a contemplative or as someone who have a perfect love for the Word of God. That is a description of one who has the supernatural virtues of Faith and Charity.  We, also, saw that looking around we see the absence of the contemplative spirit even among those who are described as canonically contemplatives. We are certain that there are contemplatives except that these are the types who love to live their hidden lives HIDDEN and it is next to impossible to find them and encourage them  to Evangelize THE WORLD." There is no need to encourage them because they are Evangelizing ..... in fact with  the "New Evangelization".

Since it is difficult to find true contemplatives Pope Benedict expects the Church today to be very small but purer. Can there be any way to increase the contemplatives so a little more can be saved?  Yes. In fact the Holy Father is calling for Bishops, Priests, religious and parents (as he expressed in Milan) to be Evangelizers with the "New Evangelization." But since we saw in the previous article that neither seminaries nor theological schools, neither books nor men can produce contemplatives but God alone,  we are all faced by a tremendous prospect. That God could be looking for souls He could grace with the gift of contemplation out of His goodness. Those souls simply have to have the proper disposition.

What is this proper disposition?  Obedience. Reacting to the uprising of priests from several European countries who were demanding for marriage among other things the Holy Father said that what they were demanding for would never make them happy.  It is obedience that would make them  happy. Most Catholics do not know that. Obedience, to have Faith, to have Wisdom, and to be Happy mean the same thing. This obedience is not the kind commonly known by all, like the obedience of a wife to her husband, of a religious to his/or superior, of a soldier to his commander or a driver to traffic lights. It is the obedience of Christ to His Father who said: I cam not to do my will but the will of my Father in heaven. The common concept of obedience is what religious know when they make their vow of obedience. And that is in the right direction but most of their concepts are defective or incomplete.

A clearer explanation of this obedience was given to us by Blessed John Cardinal Newman, a favorite author of Pope Benedict. The Holy Father, in fact, got his definitions from John Newman. This obedience is nor ordinary obedience. It is unknown in this world. That is why a God had to become man to teach us this kind of obedience. It is humanly unknowable and humanly unattainable. It is a work of God, really. St. Benedict described its root in his Holy Rule from whence John Newman got it and applying his development of doctrine improved on its explanation. Medieval theology described it as St. Benedict did. John Newman described it as  "Love for Obedience."  That raised obedience to the Divine Level. No human ever described it. Only a God made man could demonstrate it with the words "I came not to my Will but the Will of My Father in heaven."  Only a God can know the Will of the Father in heaven. Only a God can do the Will. So how can an ordinary soul, like a parent practice 'Love of Obedience' and obey like the way Christ obeyed His Father. By obeying with Faith. Bishops, priest, nuns and parents should obey with Faith. That means obeying the commands of the Father in the Old Testament, obeying the commands of God the Son in the New Testament, obeying the commands of the Holy Spirit as expressed by the Catholic Church through her spokesmen the Pope........and obeying just because they love to obey because they know that those commands are from God and, therefore, good for my soul, will give me wisdom and will make me happy. That is obeying  because we love to obey knowing that those commands, even the mere hints of the Pope are commands of God for our spiritual welfare.

Christians are not slavish to obedience. We do not obey every Tom, Dick and Harry. We obey only God. And, therefore, before we obey (which is an act of the free will) our minds makes certain that the command is from God. That is a tall order that is why the  love of obedience is a supernatural act. The natural thing for man is to disobey and obedience is the most nauseating thing for men to do. It was the sin of Lucifer and Adam and Eve. To obey like soldiers is easy. To obey because we love to obey can only be done by someone whom God had predestined to be a contemplative. We cannot be predestined but we can dispose  ourselves by loving obedience so that God can predestine us.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Pope Benedict had connected his treatise on the New Evangelization as the way to the "Door of Faith" his motu proprio. If evangelizers will lead souls to the 'door of Faith'  they must use the "New evangelization" which the Pope  repeated is not new at all but the same old, traditional, classical evangelization taught by Christ to the apostles before His ascension.

We saw the two parts of Pope Benedict's article on "New Evangelization" which he delivered in New York while still a cardinal, firstly, the method of evangelizing and secondly, the essential contents of evangelization.  The method of evangelizing is that the evangelizer must be a contemplative. The contents of his teachings fall under the general topics of a.) conversion, b.) the Kingdom of God, c.) Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and lastly, d.) Eternal life.

In the last article we combined two things, from the method of evangelizing, the fact that the evangelizer must be a contemplative with the first essential content of evangelizing, conversion. The Evangelizer must have been converted. Let us stop there. If the evangelizer has undergone conversion then he must be like the prodigal son who have returned completely back to his father's house and had received the new gown and ring. This means that his past sins must have been forgiven because of the virtue of Faith that he had received from God and as a consequence he would not return to his past sins.  And he has received the infused  knowledge of the commands of Christ and how to observe them. This is a contemplative. But his knowledge of the commands of Jesus and his observance of these commands would not  be perfect until he reaches Charity. So a contemplative can teach the four essential contents of the New Evangelization.

Most Diocesan priests do not believe that they are contemplatives because they believe their training was for the active life. The Catholic Church never trained anyone just for the active life. She trains every one for the life of perfection which is the contemplative life. So both Diocesan priests and lay people should had been trained to be contemplatives because the Gospel of  Trinity Sunday shows that Christ's command to His apostles is to teach every one to be contemplatives........."teach them all that I have commanded and how to observe them." "All the commands.." would refer to the perfection of the spiritual life which includes contemplation.

Because of this defective concept in their training many Diocesan priests are not able to reach contemplation, i.e. they are not able to undergo conversion and as such are not able to convert those whom they teach. This defective training is also obvious among nuns as shown by recent corrections. It is also obvious in all ecclesial communities specially those founded by lay men. I am afraid I just described the whole Church.

But even as of now, all the programs we have noticed that referred to the "New Evangelization" had nothing to do with the instructions given by Pope Benedict. They refer to the old defective evangelization that Pope Benedict wishes to correct. There is the insistence of non-contemplatives  wanting to preach. If they are not contemplatives they would not know the next three important contents of Evangelization namely, entrance into the Catholic Church (The Kingdom of God), union with the created soul of the Catholic Church (Jesus Christ), union with the uncreated soul of the Church (the Holy Spirit) and the consequence of these three steps which is Eternal Life.  A non-contemplative can only teach 'conversion' and in a very poor way at that.

Maybe, the contemplative orders in the Church should evangelize. But when  Abbots are seen  receiving in a welcome ceremony from a Jesuit his entrance into the mystery of Yoga and St. Clare contemplative nuns doing some eastern dance to welcome the morning sun instead of praying lauds, we wonder where have all the contemplatives gone. Maybe, there are still Carthusians somewhere in the Alps who are contemplatives or followers of St. Romuald in the valleys of Italy. But contemplatives don't want to be known, neither do they wish to go about talking or preaching to unbelievers.

Contemplatives know the teachings of God perfectly and have put into practice all of those teachings. the apostolic commission of Christ instructed.

If one has the right description and definition of contemplation we will not find them in most Cardinals, Bishops, priests, seminarians, nuns, founders of communties, not even in theologians and apologists....etc. I admit there are some hiding, as is natural to them, in the caves of those mountains. It was there that the first genuine contemplatives were found.

 According to Pope Benedict who would qualify as Evangelizers of the New Evangelization?

These are like the apostles,  contemplatives who are 'sent by God,' so the word "apostle." Not all contemplatives are sent by God. But Popes can send contemplatives to Evangelize as Pope Gregory sent the monks St. Augustine to England and St. Boniface to Germany. St. Therese, though a contemplative was not sent and remained inside her convent living in silence all her life.But she is an Evangelizer by her contemplation. That is why she is the patroness of the Missions. The Pope is calling for both kinds.

The Holy Father living the basic tenets of the Catholic Religion religiously, fortified by his vast knowledge of the teachings of the Church and almost living a monastic life knew very well that an Evangelizer should be infused with Divine Knowledge of the word of God through grace and the virtue of Faith. Remember we are just in the first step of the essential topics that we have to teach. And even now we find that most would not qualify to see the second, third and fourth topics because they would not have the necessary knowledge of them that comes only by infusion from God.

Considering that  we have few contemplatives and they are supposed to preach one on one as the Holy Father said in Brazil, how many can be converted to the Catholic Faith? Very few. We cannot hope for a springtime.We can only hope for a polarization. In that some will seriously become Catholics while the rest will just fall away. The Holy Father is aiming at the some who will seriously become good Catholics. That is why he is just looking at a small and pure Catholic Church as the target of his 'New Evangelization' which are the former Catholic nations that are now lost to the Church.

Contemplation is a pure gift of God. We cannot be contemplatives by choice, effort, studies or by any human way. The Pope cannot produce contemplatives and neither can we. We and the Pope can do our best to dispose ourselves to God's gifts.  But contemplation is from God. So what do you suppose will happen in these our times when seemingly very few would qualify as Evangelizers of the 'New Evangelization?' As in the days of old God will raise contemplatives to save the few. He will do this on His own. His chosen vessel would not even suspect they are chosen. They will be Vessels who do not chose God but whom God has chosen. This scenario had been described by St. Bonaventure, by St. Benedict and the Saints from St. Sulpice. And the Holy Father had hinted that this scenario exist today. His 'New Evangelization' and 'Porta Fidei' are precisely describing this scenario.