When asked why I became a Benedictine oblate, I always have the
same answers. First and foremost, I wanted individuals to pray for
me who have dedicated their lives to growing closer to God. The
second answer is that I wanted to be part of a monastic community
in which I could grow spiritually, and this growth would continue
for the remainder of my life.
Third, I wanted to share with my wife, also an oblate, a prayer
life such as praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Chaplet of
Mercy, and do church ministries together.
I've been an oblate for 16 years and my wife has been one for 17
years. We have both worked in the Oblate Office for Father Meinrad,
the oblate director at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. My wife does the
computer work for the Benedictine Oblate newsletter that is
published quarterly. I write various articles and book reviews for
the newsletter. In addition to being at the monastery four times a
year, we also participate in retreats and other conferences.
I realized that being a university professor and maintaining
that status actually worked in opposition to an enlivened and
deeply developed spirituality. Such things as self-ego, excessive
competitiveness, aggressive behavior, lack of humility (a perceived
sign of weakness), lack of silence and listening, and pride - all
required for tenure - work against an enlivened spirituality.
At least this is how I perceived it. Benedictine oblation was
the vehicle to combat these undesirable traits and to develop a
Benedictine spirituality and prayer life.
Association with the monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey and having
them as friends has made me a better Christian. Knowing individuals
who have dedicated their lives to Christian service and finding God
has been a definite asset to my spiritual development. My wife
often says the Cursillo movement is my passion and Benedictine
oblation is my love. I sincerely endorse that and accept it as my
Working for Father Meinrad has required extensive reading that
has added considerably to my spiritual knowledge treasure chest and
I have the opportunity to never stop learning. All of this has made
me a more contributive parishioner of my local Church and more
involved in its activities.