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Is the Oblate Way for me

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					                                     address this issue. Perhaps the        prospective oblate might be
                                     question has been around for a         surprised by the monastery to
                                     time. If it has, and presents itself   which the commitment is made.
                                     at moments of quiet, reflective
Is the Oblate Way for me?            prayer – then perhaps it is worth      For      many       oblates,     the
                                     exploring further, ideally with the    introduction to the Monastic
                                     help of a wise Spiritual Director.     community        comes      through
                                                                            another – perhaps a family
                                     One of the things that is distinct     member or friend – who invites
Since www.benedictine-oblates.net    about the Benedictine Oblate is        them to visit their monastery of
website was started a few            attachment to a particular             oblation. It is often the case that
months ago, a number of people       monastic       community.      St.     God is at work here and the
have asked “How do I become          Benedict warns against those           friend or relative is God‟s
an Oblate?”. This question has       who move from house to house,          „instrument‟ for the one who is
inspired the thoughts that follow.   and against those who pick the         searching.      Sometimes,       the
They may be of some help to          bits they like from the Rule, and      decision to seek oblation might
those who have this question in      make the rest up for themselves.       arise from a retreat spent in a
their mind.                          Becoming a Benedictine Oblate          particular house.
                                     is more than simply “liking
The first and most important         monasteries” or enjoying “being        It is really important not to rush.
point for reflection is that         around monks or nuns”. It is           Rather, prayer and reflection
becoming an Oblate must be a         more than styles of architecture,      must be at the heart of any
response to a call from Christ.      no matter how beautiful the            decision. It would be wise to visit
Sometimes it can be difficult to     monastery might be. It is about a      a monastery a few times and,
discern whether such a thought       commitment to a particular             when the time is right, to speak
is an authentic call or not;         monastic community. This is a          to the Oblate Director. This
whether it is what God wants, or     solemn and, perhaps, awesome           conversation       will   be     an
simply a nice idea, even a whim,     undertaking. Indeed, when real         opportunity to share thoughts,
that has crossed the mind. It will   discernment has taken place, the       ask questions and see if the
always be absolutely vital to
Oblate Way really is for you. It      The commitment of oblation can         inspiration of the Rule of St.
could be that God is calling you      bring many graces to one‟s home        Benedict.
to something else – and that the      situation, family, parish and job.
discernment       about    possible   It can also bring challenges. It is    These blessings bring with them
oblation is but a step to             important to consider whether          challenges – the challenge of
something quite different. Pray       you are really ready to allow the      fidelity to the Gospel and a life
for the gift of an open heart.        Gospel and the Rule to form your       lived according to its values; the
                                      life in a new and deeper way.          challenge of the monastic life and
As with the monk or nun, there is     There will be a new commitment         its call to simplicity, to prayer, to
a period of “testing”. St. Benedict   to prayer and Lectio Divina            an openness to silence, to
requires that the Novice has the      should become a part of any            identity with the poor; the
Rule read to him three times          Oblate‟s way of being. Ask             challenge of life according to a
before he makes a commitment.         yourself: is this the right time for   Rule that calls for an increase in
In modern times, the aspiring         me to open my life to these            humility and real perseverance.
monk or nun will move through         things? Speak with others and
postulancy and novitiate and a        seek advice, especially from a         Above all, ask yourself the
period of temporary profession        Spiritual Director and, of course,     question: Is that what Jesus is
before making profession for life.    the Oblate Director. If the            asking of me? For, it is not I who
For the Oblate, there will be a       answer is “Yes”, then pray for the     choose Him, it is He who
period of Novitiate. This, too, is    strength and courage to allow the      chooses me.
vital. It will be an opportunity to   Lord to complete in you the task
                                                                                                 Mgr. Richard Moth
consider, in a more focussed          that is begun.
way, whether this commitment is
for you. It will also provide an      The Oblate life brings with it
opportunity for the community to      many blessings – deepening of
pray for you and for the Oblate       the relationship with Christ; a real
Director to discern whether your      relationship with a Monastic
vocation is genuine.                  community; a life lived under the

				
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