I went to the Holy Name Monastery yesterday for a day with Benedictine Oblates. They meet 5 times a year on Sundays to discuss and learn and pray. This year we are studying Sr. Joan Chittister’s book on the Rule of St. Benedict. I had read it before but I am getting so much more out of it now, discussing it with a group of other Oblates.
I became an Oblate when I went to the spiritual direction program at a Benedictine monastery in Pecos, New Mexico, about 20 years ago. It was an awesome program and I really felt drawn to the Benedictine spirituality. My roommate, Bobbie, also became an oblate with me.
It involved reading and studying between our sessions at the monastery. Also discussions and prayer with our spiritual directors. We made our vows the last week of classes.
The Benedictine oblates are different from other similar groups, such as Lay Augustinians and Secular Franciscans. There are no Benedictine Oblate groups. We are supposed to stay tied to the monastery where we became oblates or try to find another monastery to make a connection. There was only one – about 3 hours from my home! That was a bit too far. So I had no other oblate to study and pray with.
Then when we moved last summer, guess what? We moved to within a 35 minute drive from that monastery. So not only did I move closer to my children, I moved closer to my Oblate family.
God is good.