Fr. Longenecker (en amerikansk prest som har en blogg jeg ofte leser) har skrevet en artikkel han har kalt «Brothers in Arms: St. Benedict and St. Francis – The two saints were different kinds of reformers, and the Church needs both». Her skriver han bl.a.:
The long papacy of Bl. John Paul II means that many of us have not lived with a variety of popes. Now, within eight years we have gotten used to three popes, and with the retirement of Pope Benedict, some Catholics are finding it difficult to accept Pope Francis.
It’s therefore helpful to remember that in the divine economy, the saints all have different parts to play according to their own charisms and personalities. St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote, “How different are the variety of ways through which the Lord leads souls! Souls are as different as faces!” The variety of saints is like different flowers, trees and shrubs in a garden. Studying the saints helps us understand God’s wonderful ways of working in the world. Therefore, looking at St. Benedict and St. Francis of Assisi will help us see how Pope Benedict and Pope Francis complement one another.
St. Benedict was born into a society in chaos. At the end of the fifth century, the Roman Empire was crumbling, and it began to drift into decadence, despair and pessimism. The armies had been pulled back and the barbarians were invading. In the midst of the encroaching darkness, Benedict established little core communities of radical disciples. Men withdrew from the world with Benedict to live quiet lives of prayer, study and work. Those core communities became the seeds of what flowered into the great civilization we know as medieval Christendom.
As we understand Benedict the Saint, we will understand Benedict the Pope. …..
…. Like St. Benedict before him, St. Francis was also born into a Church in chaos. In the twelfth century, the Catholic Church was besieged by corruption from within and threatened with persecution from without. St. Francis came on the scene with his famous vow of poverty, a life of joyful simplicity and an outgoing personality. Francis also followed the religious life, but it was lived out not in a Benedictine monastery, but in the burgeoning cities and in wandering through the world.
As we saw St. Benedict alive in Pope Benedict; likewise, we are already seeing, (and can expect to see more of) St. Francis alive in Pope Francis. The two are not contradictory, but complementary, and the way to see how they work together is to see the big picture of the different gifts these two saints bring to the Church, and therefore the different gifts each pope will bring. …