There are two certificates on my wall near my office door as a
reminder of my faith journey - my baptismal certificate from Dr.
John L. Wolfe, First Methodist Church, Parkersburg, in 1951 and my
Certificate of Final Oblation, Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, in
We are all on a journey of Christ-like holiness discovering how
we relate to God and share our faith with others. My journey has
been formed by the teachings and tradition of John Wesley, founder
of Methodist tradition (1703-1793) and St. Benedict of Nursia
In September 2000, I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.
This chronic heart situation threw me into a period of spiritual
struggle. I was drawn back to my faith as experienced from the time
of my baptism and to an early interest in Benedictine spirituality
(teachings about faith through the writing and life of
My experience of Benedictine daily prayer and Scripture reading
(especially praying daily the Psalms) occupied and centered me in
the days, weeks and months as I struggled with my weakened heart
and changing lifestyle. My chronic heart condition continues to be
a part of who I am and what my faith journey is all about.
On December 12, 2001, during a personal retreat at Saint Meinrad
Archabbey in southern Indiana, I joined with the monks of the
monastery and other oblates in my investiture as an oblate novice.
A yearlong journey as a novice involved changing my lifestyle to
live by the Rule of Benedict as I prayed and discerned what God
intended for my life.
On December 10, 2002, I made my final oblation as an oblate of
Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Oblation is a promise, renewed annually,
to live the Benedictine life in the secular world. My promise to
God, through oblation, is to center my life in God as a follower of
Jesus Christ through Benedict's teachings, be obedient to God's
will, and be faithful to the Benedictine way of life in daily
prayer, Scripture reading, and service as I am attentive in serving
God and others.
John Wesley's "General Rules of Methodism" teach us to avoid
evil, do good and use the means of grace (UM Book of Discipline).
St. Benedict of Nursia counsels: avoid evil, use "tools for good
works" - pray, study and serve (Rule of Benedict).
Although I have some Protestant faith differences with Roman
Catholic theology, I have found as a Benedictine Oblate a way to
live out my Wesleyan theology and be a faithful United Methodist
Christian. I am thankful for my spiritual relationship with the
monks of Saint Meinrad monastery in Indiana. The journey keeps me
centered in the midst of my chronic heart condition, as I know
Christ's ongoing healing.
I offer this blessing, adapted from the Rule of Benedict:
"Listen. Prefer nothing whatever to the love of Christ. Never lose
hope in God's mercy. In all things, may God be glorified. Peace be