Christians have been asking this question for millennia. Benedictine Oblates are laypersons who, after prayerful consideration, have chosen to live their faith with guidance from the Rule of Saint Benedict as they are able, given their life circumstances. They affiliate with a Benedictine monastery and join in an active partnership with the vowed monastics of that monastery. People from all Christian traditions are welcome.
Oblates are everyday people with jobs, families, and other responsibilities. They come from a variety of faith traditions. In today’s hectic, changing world, being an oblate offers a rich spiritual connection to the stability and wisdom of an established monastic community. By their commitment to the Rule of Benedict, oblates benefit from an ancient spiritual tradition that has led countless other monastics and oblates to holiness. Just as a candidate for the monastery is tested to see whether s/he “truly seeks God” (RB 58), so also those who become oblates are committed above all else to seek God.
The Rule of Saint Benedict, the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina — these are some of the components of Benedictine Spirituality that nurture and support the oblate’s daily seeking of God. While daily prayer, reflection, and the study of Scripture and the Rule are central to the life of a Benedictine Oblate, Oblates are not required to follow a specific set of devotional exercises. They do, however, promise to pursue a life of holiness and the practice of Christian service.