Philosophy of the Oblate Community
We are Benedictine Oblates of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. We form a community united by adherence to the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the holy Rule of St. Benedict and the values we share with the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey. We strive through prayer, liturgical celebration, instruction and fellowship in Christ to be people who experience the richness of the Benedictine monastic tradition while living in the world.
Our lives as oblates are built on three promises and five duties. The first promise, stability of heart, expresses the commitment the oblate makes to a particular monastic community. Stability of heart is a reaffirming of the basic promise of conversion that we make at baptism.
The second promise, fidelity to the spirit of monastic life, expresses our commitment to live lives of spirituality, piety and balance. The third promise, obedience to the will of God, expresses our commitment to growth in discernment of God's will through prayer, spiritual direction and faithfulness to one's religious traditions. Obedience is not a series of acts grudgingly done, but the response of a willing heart in the service of God.
Oblates accept into their lives five duties. These duties have both a formative and a sustaining function in the oblate's life. During the novitiate, usually a one-year period, these duties help novices to develop habits that will sustain them in their vocation as oblates.
The five duties are: praying the Liturgy of the Hours, regularly reading the Rule of St. Benedict, practicing lectio divina, being faithful to the sacraments (or other religious practices) and cultivating a sense of God's presence in daily living.
Benedictine Oblates of Saint Meinrad Archabbey are committed to forming a community of love and faith based on the promises and duties of oblate life. As we move forward, the words of our Holy Father St. Benedict guide and remind us to "prefer nothing to Christ."