The Rule of St. Benedict is the foundation or guide which aids us in living out our vocation as Benedictine Oblates. The beauty of the Rule is that it can be adapted to different times and places and provides the opportunity to have different expressions of Benedictine life.
As an oblate I certainly cannot follow the Rule as monks or nuns do but I can strive to implement it as best I can in my circumstances of life. Both the Rule and St. Meinrad Archabbey have given me the foundation as to how I can best live out my life as an oblate but I came to see that a personal rule was needed. This personal oblate rule would better help me to put into practice how I want to live out my vocation as an oblate. It is more of a guide on how to live out the spirit of the Benedictine vocation in my circumstances of life.
Although I believe that this be a working document and will take a little more time to complete, I also believe that it is a good start. I have debated on whether or not to share it here but have come to the decision to do so simply because it allows me to put it out there in the Benedictine online universe of the web and obtain feedback from others who are also striving to live out their vocations as Benedictine oblates. I also hope that in some small way it might be able to promote in others the desire to live out their lives under the Rule of St. Benedict.
In following the example of our Holy Father St. Benedict, I have tried to make sure that there is nothing too harsh in this rule. It is my hope and prayer that it will allow me to put into practice the guiding principles of the Benedictine way of life. I look forward to any suggestions and experiences other oblates may have on how they are striving to live out their vocations. Sharing this with the community is part of the process of being a Benedictine. In doing so I only hope that my life can be more enriched through the experiences of others.
Rule of Life
• Liturgy of the Hours
– Lauds, Vespers, Compline, Office of BVM Saturday morning
• Rule of Benedict
– Read daily and study more in depth when possible
• Lectio Divina
– Mass: as often as possible
– Confession: at least twice a month
• Presence of God
– Strive to be in Gods presence always, pray before beginning work and after, practice contemplative prayer
– See God in others, especially the sick and the poor
– Abstain from meat and snacking on Wednesdays and Fridays. Bread and liquids only on Ash Wednesday & Good Friday.
– Office of the Dead for each monk who has died
– Divine Mercy Chaplet and Devotion
– Mary’s Fiat Office from the Little Office of the BVM replaces Saturday Lauds
– Eucharistic Adoration: at least once a month
• Monastic Practices
– Monthly Hermit Day
– Annual retreat with review of how I am living the Oblate way of life
– Renewal of Oblate Promises: January 16th (Anniversary of Oblation), March 21st (Transitus of St. Benedict), July 11th (Feast of St. Benedict), November 21st (Presentation of Mary)
– Find a confessor/spiritual director
– Discern an apostolate
– Silence: stop using cell phone and all electronic devices after 6pm. Decrease television use and strive to use speech for only good. Proper attention should be given to conversations that are unnecessary or deemed inappropriate.
– Hospitality: to receive all guests as Christ, whether at home, work or in society.