And He sent them TWO BY TWO
Pope Emeritus Benedict's 'new evangelization' was a continuation from John Paul II. And Pope Francis had expressed his intentions to pursue the same course as the main thrust of his Pontificate.
THE NATURAL AND THE SUPERNATURAL
St. Thomas of Aquinas reminded us that there are two levels of knowledge; the natural and the supernatural. Catholic truths are in the supernatural level , like the 'new evangelization that leads to Faith.' To understand it one has to undergo an essential addition to his soul by being fortified with grace and specially the supernatural virtue of Faith. Pope Benedict noticed that many did not understand the 'new evangelization' within the Catholic Church. He had already described this topic from the time he was head of the CDF in his best seller 'Ratzinger Report,' pinpointed the cause for the total lost of Faith in the Church in his 'new evangelization' delivered to catechists in Rome, described in detail the steps to attain Faith in many of his talks during his Pontificate specially during the 'Year of the Priests'.....but still saw the continuing ignorance on the topic even during the latest Bishop's Synod. His move to leave his lesser pontifical functions to apply the more potent medicine of prayer to the ills of the Church is further sign of the unbelievable state of the Church. Quoting Blessed John Newman, one of his favorite author, Pope Benedict noted the disunity in the Church... in effect saying that the Catholic Church has lost her visible signs. The visible signs remain among the few true Catholics. The signs are invisible to most Catholics.....showing they have no Faith.
ONE ELEMENT OF THE 'NEW EVANGELIZATION
One of the elements of the 'new evangelization' enumerated by Pope Benedict during his Pontificate is that evangelizers should evangelize in communities or at least two by two. Christ said so. This is different from what is being taught in missiology. To go two by two was how it was from the beginning, the preachers went two by two. One was a prophet the other was a preacher.
The prophet was not a guesser of future events. He was supernaturally gifted by the Holy Spirit enabling him to understand the deep meaning of the Divine Truths through contemplation. This is akin to he being a contemplative and even a mystic in his knowledge of Catholic truths. The prophet then adapts whatever he learned in a way easy to understand and shares this to the preacher who in turn puts the deep truths into more understandable language and shares it with unbelievers if possible accompanying it with miracles. St. Paul writes; "Prophecy is for believers, miracles are for unbelievers." Prophets talk to believers, preachers evangelizes unbelievers. Both have Faith, the preacher with a more perfect Faith so he cannot be understood by unbelievers while the preacher with the beginnings of Faith so he can easily adapt to unbelievers.
TWO BY TWO
God did it this way to keep both evangelizers humble. The prophet cannot boasts of his superior knowledge because he cannot preach what he had learned from contemplation. On the other hand the preacher cannot boast of his preaching because the subject of his preaching did not come from his own efforts but from the prophet, an outside source. The two remain dependent on each other. That is how it was at the beginning so when they went preaching Scriptures said; 'They went two by two." Another reason why evangelizers went two by two is this: one person can teach Faith. But it takes two to preach and show Charity. In fact Charity is better shown as a community where each loved one another. Thus St. Boniface, St. Augustine and the early monks preached as a community and not just two by two. Pope Benedict's 'new evangelization' emphasizes the need for a community rather than just two by two, which we shall explain later. The evangelizer cannot chose their partners. It is usually God who does it.
ONE BY ONE IS PROTESTANT
The practice today of preaching alone breeds self-sufficiency and pride. Without getting the materials for his preaching from contemplative prophets an external source, the speaker will certainly depend on his own private judgment for the explanation of supernatural truths. This is protestantism that is rampant in the Catholic Church today. This is against the Faith of the Catholic Church that states that Faith is believing the Truths that God has revealed to us as proposed by the Catholic Church through her spokesman, the Pope. So the source of one's preaching should either be the Pope or a prophet. Both say the same thing. Faith is not based on personal, private judgment. It is based on the fact that God had spoken and said: when you preach go two by two.
DISOBEDIENCE TO ONE COMMAND IS DISOBEDIENCE TO ALL THE COMMANDS.
Disobedience to the revealed command of Christ to preach two by two is the sign that there was no faith from the beginning. Pope Benedict, quoting Blessed John Newman reminded us that disobedience to one command of Christ is disobedience to all the commands of Christ.... a sign of no Faith.
POPE BENEDICT AND WHO?
The origin of this disobedience could have started after the great Council of Trent when seminaries were organized for the diocesan clergy. Because they did not live in communities but rather lived alone in parishes the lesson in preaching two by two was not emphasized. It was impractical in their situation. They were trained to preach one by one. This neglect of an important teaching on preaching prevented the seminarians from attaining Faith due to their disobedience. And so most of them graduated to the priesthood without Faith. How can they lead souls to Faith? This disobedience was obvious in critical periods in the history of the Catholic Church like in the pontificate of Pius V and during the battle of Lepanto. The known Catholic world was already faithless. The prayer of Pope Pius V who believed that the Papacy was an obstacle to his attainment of sanctity and salvation.....and his complete dependence in his suppliant prayer was what won the day for the Christian world. Isn 't that precisely what Pope Benedict is doing today?
POPE BENEDICT AND POPE FRANCIS - Two by two?
Pope Benedict corresponds more to the prophet because of his deep knowledge of the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church specially St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor. Pope Francis corresponds more to the preacher because of his pastoral background. Could the preacher be anybody? Yes. But seeing that most bishops had no Faith do you think they will listen to another bishop? There is a need for another Pope. What is needed is a prophet and a preacher. The title of either is totally immaterial. Without one there would be no evangelization.
The refusal to obey this one command of Christ that could have begun since Trent means that from the beginning seminaries were not producing faithful priests. This lack of Faith cascaded down from the priests who disobeyed down to their listeners and parishioners, and from those who later on became bishops down to their priests. Just imagine the damage this could have done in two generations. And it has been happening through the last 500 years. That would be enough to wipe out Faith in the face of the earth. If Christ came suddenly would He find Faith on the earth? He, himself answered it; NO!
POPE BENEDICT'S PERFECT MANEUVER
Catholic Faith is knowledge of the all the teachings of Christ and obedience to all the commandments of Christ. These are all found in the Liturgy and in the Catechism, specially the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict. God gave us a memory so we do not forget any of the doctrines and commandments. If, by neglect, we forget one or two we are bound to restudy and relearn them to regain our Faith. Pope Benedict knew he had to evangelize the Church. He knew he had to do it two by two, or better still by a whole evangelizing community. That is what he said commenting on the 'new monasticism' of St. Bonaventure. And he felt he had to lead the way by example. And what he just did is the example. With a new conclave he got his preacher, they are now two. The Church is now in better hands.
Imagine how the Catholic world lost her Faith.....just by one act of disobedience to a command of Christ. See how mankind was to be saved; by one act of obedience. Adam and Eve disobeyed only one command. And the angels disobeyed only one command. See the consequences. When a soul disobeys a command, he becomes weak and opens himself to disobey the next command. Following that principle imagine how a soul can deteriorate in an hour. And this had been happening for the last 500 years. The lost of Faith begins with the rejection of just one truth. A domino effect follows. This rejection of truths is happening in all levels of the Catholic Church today. Nothing had been spared and so the probability is great that the Catholic Church is almost totally without Faith. The few who has are hidden, silent and nowhere to be found. On the other hand we can be saved just by one act of perfect obedience to a command of Christ......even if we just obey perfectly this one command...to go two by two. Isn't this the reason why we have two parents to save the child's soul?
SEMINARIES FROM THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
There was a difference between monasteries and seminaries. The emphasis in monasteries is community life; where two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ. There was an emphasis on the importance of being one heart and one mind in the community. And there was no deadline in attaining this. Everyone knew it would take a lifetime.
Diocesan seminaries, on the other hand, were focused on serving the parishioners. They usually lived alone due to circumstances. Community life was not taken seriously though attempts at reforms of the Diocesan clergy was always centered on living in community, it was impossible to implement it due to existing situations. While monasteries emphasized contemplative prayer that united the community like St. Benedict's 'ORA' diocesan seminaries neglected the 'Ora' that united souls and raises them to the supernatural level. Diocesan seminaries looked at the natural, good welfare of the parish.....while teaching supernatural Catholic Truths but interpreting these truths using private interpretation due to lack of contemplative spirit....so Pope Benedict's repetitious reminder that evangelizers should be contemplatives.
ONE BY ONE
Diocesan seminarians, though they lived together, did not observe community life thus fomenting same sex attraction. Though most monasteries today are just like seminaries devoid of community life where both theology professors and students are in the natural level. There was no prophet - preacher teamwork.....where prophets are high in spirituality having both the three theological virtues and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. ..in short are saints. Contented with their natural, human ambiance all learn only the doctrinal wordings of supernatural truths but not their supernatural meanings. In this state both professors and students would be without Faith. And those who will be under their tutelage will most probably end up without Faith either. This spiritual state is the root of all evils in the Catholic Church today. And it continues in that priests and bishops are just talking of natural topics like gun control and immigration topics that are in the natural level and has nothing to do with the salvation of souls.
VATICAN II and the ABSENCE of FAITH.
Exactly this state of affairs prevailed after Vatican II. The documents of a council are supernatural in nature and only the Catholic Church through her spokesman the Pope can interpret it. Everyone should have waited for its interpretation before saying anything. But many could not wait. So theology schools, Bishops and priests begun interpreting Vatican II even before the proper authority had done so. Everyone ended by giving their own individual private interpretation. "I think....""I believe...."this is the interpretation." Who am 'I'? My private self interpretation. We are back with Adam and Eve's private interpretation of God's command that caused the fall of the human race.....always an act of Disobedience to God's Will in favor of our own selfish will.We do not believe that supernatural truths are over and above our capabilities and, therefore, we should wait for God's spokesman.
THE ERA OF THE GREATEST SIN - THE SIN OF UNBELIEF
It is most natural that all men when confronted by a decision to be made consult his own private judgment. Everyone outside the Catholic Church had been doing it. Catholics are forbidden to do it in favor of doing God's Will. But today most Catholics are following their private interpretation. Blessed John Newman described it as the worst thing that could happen to the world. Since the Catholic Faith is the only thing that can conquer all the world's problems without Faith the world is doomed. Both the two, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis had expressed the importance of this Year of Faith. May they continue to speak, two by two......to save at least the few. Faith is to believe that this is the way to do it right.