Whatever the outward historical form oblature has taken -and it has taken many outward forms- its first and essential reality is a commitment to the monastic tradition of prayer and its generous silence. Its second purpose, almost inseparable from the first, is to seek to share that tradition of prayer and that profound gift of silence with the whole people of God. Unless that commitment and motivation are pursued, oblates lose their reason for existence as lay affiliates of monasticism who have promised their lives to the cultivation and sharing of those ideals. His prayer and his oblation, as the oblate soon discovers if only obscurely, are formed within a role  in the monastic community, a role which has had a vigorous, varied and tenacious history since the origin of monasticism.
The Prologue is addressed to each one of us personally. It is an invitation to the beginner (and all of us) to follow Christ. Like any other invitation one is free to accept or decline. It is a matter of choice. If we decide to accept the challenge, it means a total commitment of our […]
The love of Christ must come before all else. (RB 4) This short sentence found among the ‘Instruments of Good Works’ sums up all of Benedict’s teaching. From the outset Benedict points to Christ. The gospel is central to everything . He invites us to meet Christ in community prayer, meditation, and silence; to see […]
Some time ago (December 2003), I wrote a short Reflection for our Oblates on ‘Reconciliation in the Rule of Benedict’. However, in the light of various events since then it seems to me that this topic is by no means exhausted, so it might be worthwhile to look at it again. The whole question of […]
A word that we meet often in the Scriptures is ‘hope’. Frequently the psalms encourage us to hope in God Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope ( Ps. 119:49): Jeremiah reassures us that God will give us a future full of hope (Jer. 29:11) Job tells us There […]
Many years ago in England, I used to enjoy listening to a radio program which always began with the question Have you read any good books lately? It makes a good conversation opener, and often leads to some interesting and thought provoking discussion. One book I have been reading and re-reading over the past year […]