Monday, October 12, 2015

Duties and Promises of the Benedictine Oblate


  • Pray daily the Liturgy of the Hours. Morning and evening prayer are included in the Liturgy of the Hours for Benedictine Oblates, available for sale from the Oblate Office.
  • Read from the Rule of St. Benedict each day.
  • Practice lectio divina each day. This meditative reading from the Scripture or other religious writings expands the oblate's love, knowledge and appreciation of the spiritual way of life.
  • Participate frequently in the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. (Oblates who are not Roman Catholic should be faithful to their denominational beliefs of church and prayer.)
  • Be attentive to God's presence in ordinary, daily life.


  • Stability of Heart - This promise expresses the oblate's commitment to a particular monastic community. Stability of heart reaffirms the basic promise of conversion made at baptism.
  • Fidelity to the Spirit of Monastic Life - This promise expresses a commitment to live a life of spirituality, piety and balance.
  • Obedience to the Will of God - This is a promise to grow in discernment of God's will through prayer, spiritual direction and faithfulness to one's religious traditions. Obedience is not a series of acts grudgingly done, but the response of a willing heart in service to God.


  1. What wonderful advice...oblate or not...and to consider The Imitation of Christ...or anyone with a St in front of their name

  2. "Participate frequently in the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. (Oblates who are not Roman Catholic should be faithful to their denominational beliefs of church and prayer.)"

    Awesome post vat 2 advice. No need to convert.

    Seattle kim

    1. Yep, not too crazy about that myself, since I don't know how making it ecumenical improves the program. Hopefully once the small (minuscule?) number of non-Catholic oblates get a foot in the door they'll convert. I can't imagine why a Protestant would even want to be an oblate unless they had a healthy curiosity. At any rate it doesn't affect me and my wife and I have found it very worthwhile.

      Is everyone really here just to snipe? Out of that summary of Benedictine spirituality -- obviously important to me -- that's what you got out of it? An opportunity to take a swipe at V2? The Bear finds that a little sad, but illustrative on why he changed direction with this blog.

  3. O Bear
    (Oblates who are not Roman Catholic should be faithful to their denominational beliefs of church and prayer.)
    eh? Us Albigensians too ?


    1. Any Wiccan oblates out there?

      Seattle kim

    2. If they're Christian Wiccans, maybe.

  4. Mr. Bear, I see that some are picking up on the more modern approach in the new Benedictine oblature, and some of the language. This can be avoided by purchasing Benedictine material from Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery in Clear Creek OK. They publish the Monastic Diurnal (Day Hours for every day of the year, feasts included) in a beautiful English translation, with Latin for those who like that. As well, a true gem, the Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedictine for Benedictine Oblates. Daily Readings (in order) with commentary, and most importantly, application for the lay Oblate.

    The Matins psalms are available for them too, which might be to-able for some (long!). They even print a very short day hours which includes all the hours but does not include many of the psalms. Great for the very busy Oblate.

    Hope this is helpful. Barbara

    1. As you probably know, oblature is different from, say, a third order, in that an oblate belongs to a particular monastery, rather than some general "Order of Oblates." You've described a wonderful resource. However, as an Oblate of St. Meinrad Archabbey, my interpretation of stability of heart makes me hesitate to use another abbey's material, no matter how meritorious. While we usually use Christian Prayer (with our director's approval) we have and sometimes use our own Archabbey's liturgy of the hours, which includes our own beautiful tones that took a long time to master LOL. The only problem is they do not include feasts (which is why we drifted toward the Christian Prayer publication). There was a plan to publish a new volume with feasts, but that fell through, unfortunately.

      St. Meinrad seems reasonably sound to me, and I have taken graduate course in theology there. (God apparently did not need me in that capacity.) It doesn't go out of its way to be traditional, but is reverent, and we assisted at a Pontifical Mass that was awesome.

      As for non-Catholics, if I were a trad that would make me deploy my wagging finger. I am not a trad. I hope that non-Catholics benefit from being oblates alongside Catholics. Can we put Martin Luther back in his can at this late date? Is it wrong for Christians to come together as long as the Catholics do not sacrifice their own identity? At one time I would have been very certain about the answer. Recently, I've been chilling about things I can't do anything about and rethinking many things.

      Anyway, what being oblate does for me is provide a structure to my day and keep me focuses on a few, simple things. Being an oblate is tailor made for my condition.


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