Category Archives: oblate

Discernment Retreat – Oblate Formation

6722697543_9a0f26a795_oThe oblate candidates spend 24 hours at the monastery for a final discernment retreat. We spent much of our time either in silence or prayer, even taking our meals separately from the monastic community, but still participating in all the chapel prayer times.

Discernment combines figuring something out with supernatural revelation. Discernment does not happen without both the person searching and the Holy Spirit showing. Continue reading Discernment Retreat – Oblate Formation

Spirituality of Work – Oblate Formation

6728845957_fbe5054772_oAccording to Genesis 2:15, God offered work to humanity as part of the good creation. Work becomes more difficult in Genesis chapter 3, but the curse on the earth does not make work on the earth any less a holy task. So while in Religious Studies I learned to delineate The Sacred and The Profane (Mircea Eliade), this night, with regard to work, we learned we need not have that division. Continue reading Spirituality of Work – Oblate Formation

Benedictine Prayer – Liturgy of the House and lectio divina – Oblate Formation

This month’s class had two distinct sections: liturgy of the hours in the monastic tradition (taught by Sister Mary Lou) and lectio divina (taught by Jacquelyn (a completed oblate)).

As always, our meeting began with evening prayer with the sisters. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we sang a version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate to the tune of a traditional Gaelic melody that many of us would know as “Morning has Broken.” We all had Cat Stevens in our minds as we when to class.
Continue reading Benedictine Prayer – Liturgy of the House and lectio divina – Oblate Formation

Benedictine Prayer: Work of God

I did not find this month’s homework particularly challenging in terms of difficulty, but certainly challenging in finding focused time for its completion. Realizing that I needed to make space for something important aligned well with the lessons on prayer, something for which we often do not make time for. This month I found myself preparing for Holy week worship, the Fall 2016 All-15376755283_f441d92d9a_oChurch Spiritual Formation, a new sermon series on emotional health, medical appointments, Girl Scout cookie sales, a book manuscript, and many other good activities. Taking the time to meditate on prayer, an activity with God that we are to do without ceasing, I had to evaluate whether or not I actually made prioritized time for communication with God in my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly activities. Continue reading Benedictine Prayer: Work of God

Oblate Formation – Benedictine Spirituality

Our upcoming formation is titled “Benedictine Spirituality for Today.” The pre-course work for this class consists of:

  1. ruleforbeginners_coverReading an excerpt from The Rule of Benedict for Beginners: Spirituality for Daily Life by Wil Derkse. Derkse is a Benedictine oblate of St. Willibrord’s Abbey in Doetinchem, the Netherlands.
  2. Reflect upon how I have experienced my sponsor and the community life so far, in the areas of: prayer, community life, and hospitality.

Continue reading Oblate Formation – Benedictine Spirituality

Humility – Cornerstone of the Rule – Oblate Formation

2273069322_256540cee1_oWhile we oblate candidates may have attended this formation class to learn about humility as a concept, I believe as much learning came through experiencing humility. I am not speaking of humiliation (that is a difference concept), but humility as being in a place and time where God is the center of all activity, and our role is to serve Him by serving others. While we all have our gifts, experience, strengths, and knowledge, and thus our place in service, we also all have our needs, immaturity, weaknesses, and ignorance. Continue reading Humility – Cornerstone of the Rule – Oblate Formation

Blessing with Water

This prayer of blessing was used at our oblate formation class on humility. I could not find the source of this blessing to provide a proper citation, although it seems there are several forms of this prayer. I wanted to get this version online because I thought it would make a good ordination prayer. Each part of the body is touched as the blessing is given. In the case of my oblate course, we were touched with water.

May God bless you with integrity and seal you with the sanctifying Spirit.

Bless your Head so that all of your thoughts come forth from the well of God’s Being, filling you with grace and peace.

Bless your Eyes so that you may see God’s Presence and Providence in your life.

Bless your Ears that you might hear the cry of the poor all around you and the whisper of God’s Word.

Bless your Lips that you might freely and lovingly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Bless your Hands to hold and to heal the many lives that are broken, that you may be free to bring hope to the hopeless.

Bless your Feet to walk in the ways of Jesus, to run and never grow weary, to stand up for justice unafraid.

Bless your Heart with forgiveness, with warmth and compassion and a genuine generosity toward all who are in need.

I place my hand on your shoulder to bless your Entire Being. May you be freed from all unforgiveness. May all the wounds of your life be transformed into compassion. May your life belong entirely to Jesus. May you be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

We send you as wounded healers to set others free.

We send you to model the transformed Christian life within your home, your family, your Church, your community.

We send you be become Jesus in the world.

The Heart of the Prologue – Oblate Formation

Benedictus_-_Regula,_Anno_domini_MCCCCLXXXXV_die_XXVII_otubrio_-_2472028_ib00310000_TMD_MASTER_IMG_Scan00011The homework we had in preparation for this class was to read the Prologue to The Rule of St. Benedict several times during the month. After we felt we had read it enough, we each were to pray, asking the Spirit to give us a word or phrase that would each bring to the session. Each person’s word or phrase would be used as part of our prayer that evening. I brought the verb live. Continue reading The Heart of the Prologue – Oblate Formation

Oblate Candidate Enrollment

rp_obisb-300x291.jpgWe did not have an oblate class this month; instead we joined the sisters for evening prayer, which had a theme of joining a family. Those of us in oblate formation sat in the first row of chorus 1, and each of our sponsors sat behind us. The hymn, Psalms and passage from Isaiah followed this pattern. First, a hymn about union with Christ. Second, a prayer about God and his people as bride and groom. Third, a prayer about the blessing of family and children. Fourth, a prayer about coming to Jerusalem as one family of God. Continue reading Oblate Candidate Enrollment