Are you thinking about becoming an Oblate?
An Oblate seeks to follow Christ by trying to live according to the Rule of St Benedict in the world and within their own personal circumstances. Oblates are from all walks of life. Some are ordained clergy but most are lay men and women.
All are seeking Christ in prayer, sacred scripture and other spiritual reading, in the work they may be engaged in and in others whom they serve. They also dedicate themselves, along with their monastic sisters and brothers, to praising God and interceding for others through the Psalms of the Divine Office. They commit themselves to saying and reflecting on a part of the Divine Office each day.
Oblation is a special calling in the life of the Church and a personal offering to God, which is the meaning of the word ‘oblation.’ Oblates make personal promises (not vows) to God which they renew annually and revise should their personal circumstances change. They are attached to a monastery, convent or other Benedictine community, who generally hold regular Oblate meetings.
What do I do next?
If you feel your spiritual journey is leading you in this direction, then the first step would be to find out about and visit a monastery, convent or community and then to approach the Oblate Director. This will be followed by a period of discernment and probation under the guidance of the Oblate Director.
A list of monasteries, convents and communities can be found in the ‘Monasteries’ section of the website.
‘The Rule of St Benedict’ translated by Abbot Parry OSB (Gracewing ISBN 0 8524 168 1) – also includes two excellent introductory articles.
‘The Oblate Life’ edited by Fr Gervase Holdaway OSB (Liturgical Press ISBN: 978-0-8146-3176-8) – a useful selection of short essays on aspects of Oblate life and the Benedictine family.
‘Life with St. Benedict’ by Richard Frost (Bible Reading Fellowship ISBN: 9 78057 468130) – daily chapters from the Rule of St Benedict with short reflections applying the Rule to everyday life by a Church of England lay Reader.
Further useful reading can also be found in the ‘Oblate Life’ and ‘Books’ section.