I’m having the opportunity over this fall and winter to plan the program for the Oblates of our monastery. While I’ve given a few oblate retreats, this is the first time I’ve been able to meet with the group several months in a row.
What’s an Oblate, I hear someone asking. Oblates are lay people – mostly Catholic but also some Protestants – who feel called to live the principles of the Rule of St. Benedict in their everyday lives – and to do so through connection with a particular monastery. They study the Rule for an extended period of formation, and then make vows of conversatio morum, obedience, and stability. They are connected not only to the sisters of our monastery, but also to each other in community.
An interesting discussion of living out the vows at the October meeting prompted me to plan the meetings for November, December and January around the three vows. This photo came after our extended discussion of stability using Gerald Schlabach’s Stability in the World: An Oblate’s View.
Given a choice, they put Obedience off to January. So, in the heart of Advent, we will be discussing conversion of life.