Oblates

Content about the Oblates

Oblates of The World Community for Christian Meditation

Meditation creates community and unity flourishes in diversity. Meditators who begin to experience the personal transformation brought about through the daily practice may seek to express this in different ways.

Some feel attracted to the wisdom of St Benedict and his 1600-year-old “Rule” as a way of deepening and stabilizing the process of personal ‘conversion’.

The World Community is ecumenical but recognizes a special relationship to the Benedictine vision which was the first in the Church to form a stable form of religious life and has adapted in succeeding generations to the needs and qualities of the age.

The Rule describes a form of daily communal life, which sustains the monk in a daily seeking of God. Prudent and practical, its wisdom recognizes the need for balance in body mind and spirit and reflects this in the time-management of work, reading and prayer. More than a book of rules, the Rule distills a wisdom born of love, nourishing discipline and expressing itself in compassion.

Read More

Leonardo's Final Oblation

At Meditatio House London on January 28 2012, Leonardo Correa completes the novitiate he began on Bere Island last year

Watch here the video

Read More

Meditators' Blog 9/11/2011

ON STARTING A GROUP  by Paul Harris

Twenty two years ago (1989), on a park bench in London, I mentioned to Laurence Freeman that I was thinking of starting my first meditation group in Ottawa, Canada.

He surprised me with a question: “Who do you think is going to profit most from starting your new group?”

Read More

Meditators' Blog 27/10/2011

Marriage and Monastic Oblation: Twelve Steps of Humility  by Stefan Reynolds

“Are you still reading that book?” My fiancé asked me after she had seen ‘The Rule of St. Benedict’ travel with me on various journeys. I had to try to explain to her that it was one of those books which one never finishes. I became an Oblate in 1996.

Read More

Oblates World Congress 2005

The First World Congress for Benedictine Oblates was held at the Salesianum in Rome 19th – 25th September. Over 300 oblates attended from 36 countries. Members of the organising committee were Abbott Primate Notker Wolf, O.S.B. (President), Mrs. Caterina Feliziani, Fr. Luigi Bertocchi, O.S.B. (Coordinator) and Mr. Giorgio Marte.

They led a team of 40 volunteers who worked tirelessly for almost 2 years before and during the Congress to bring it to fruition. I was honoured to represent our oblate community at this event. In June 2004 I accepted the role of National Lay Coordinator for Australia and New Zealand for all Benedictine groups.

This gave me a great insight into the workings of the various groups in this part of the world. Being on the English desk for registrations was another enlivening experience. [Photo left: Welcome Table]
Prior to the Congress I joined a pilgrimage through Italy with some oblates from Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David’s, Arizona, led by Fr Henri Capdeville, O.S.B. After the Congress I met with some of our oblate community in Italy who traveled down to Rome for our meeting.

Read More

THE GIFT OF SILENCE

Sr. Hilda Frost OSB - "Reflections"

THE GIFT OF SILENCE

'Listen to me in silence...' (Isa. 41:1)

Benedict obviously cherished silence, and saw it an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to pursue a spiritual path. He devotes a whole chapter of he Rule to silence, (RB 6) as well as mentioning it in a number of other places too. The very first word of the Rule, and the sentences that follow imply the need for silence: 'Listen'....'listen with the ear of the heart... ' 'today if you hear God's voice, harden not your heart' (Ps. 95) (Prol.)

Benedict speaks of some of the reasons why his followers should observe silence. First of all personal prayer, lectio divina, and study are hard to achieve in the midst of a lot of noise and chatter. So Benedict sets aside certain times, seasons, and places in the monastery that will provide an environment of silence.

Read More

LECTIO DIVINA

Sr. Hilda Frost OSB - "Reflections"

LECTIO DIVINA

As a child, Lectio Divina came naturally to me, having learned a love of the Bible from my Methodist father and my Congregationalist mother! Lectio Divina has a very long history, going back to the time of Jesus himself, who loved and taught from the Hebrew Scriptures. The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 3rd and 4th century treasured the Word of God, as the basis of their prayer and spirituality. Cassian and others passed on this tradition to Benedict who centred his teaching on Scripture. So as followers of Benedict, Lectio Divina is a very familiar topic for all of us.

As Benedict suggests, the art of Lectio Divina begins with cultivating an ability to listen deeply to the voice of God who reveals himself to us through his Word in stillness and silence. There are various ways of doing Lectio. The 12th century Carthusian monk Guigo's 'method' of Lectio, meditation, oratio, and contemplatio is well known to us. Alternatively we can just select a short passage of Scripture; allow it to touch our hearts; and ask for God's help to live it out in our daily lives. My own approach is simple.

Read More

THE OBSERVANCE OF LENT

Sr. Hilda Frost OSB - "Reflections"

THE OBSERVANCE OF LENT

R.B. 49

See now is the acceptable time: see now is the day of salvation. (I Cor: 6:2)

These words taken from the readings for Ash Wednesday, express in a nutshell the whole purpose and goal of Lent.

Although Benedict often refers to the various liturgical seasons of the year throughout the Rule, evidently the time of Lent was so important to him that he devoted a specific chapter to it. He begins by saying that the whole life of a monastic ought to have a Lenten character about it. He is looking back perhaps to the desert fathers and mothers, who in Benedict's estimation left us an outstanding example of holiness to follow. (RB 19 and RB 73).

Undoubtedly Benedict sees 'these holy days of Lent' (RB 49) as an opportunity for personal spiritual renewal. He suggests that this might be the time to take stock of where we stand with God, with others, and with ourselves. Far from being a negative exercise, it is rather an invitation to open ourselves more completely to God, and to listen attentively to his voice speaking in the depths of our hearts.

Read More

COMMUNITY IN THE RULE OF BENEDICT

Sr. Hilda Frost OSB - "Reflections"

Dear Benedictine Oblates, novices and friends,

Greetings and best wishes to all of you for this New Year. May 2003 be filled with blessings for each one of you.

COMMUNITY IN THE RULE OF BENEDICT

For Benedict, everything takes place within the context of community. Whether he is talking about prayer, relationships, work, or whatever it may be, the disciple is reminded that he or she is part of a community.

This is particularly so in the case of Benedictine Oblates of the World Community for Christian Meditation. Benedict makes no reference to a specific place or location, but rather a way of life, based on the teaching of Jesus. Whether we live in a 'monastery without walls' or with other monastics, we are truly a part of a community and are united to one another. I will briefly mention three aspects of community that we find in the Rule: prayer, relationships, and work.

There are others, which I hope to comment on later.

Prayer.

Read More

The Prologue

Sr. Hilda Frost OSB - "Reflections"

The Prologue is addressed to each one of us personally. It is an invitation to the beginner (and all of us) to follow Christ. Like any other invitation one is free to accept or decline. It is a matter of choice. If we decide to accept the challenge, it means a total commitment of our whole life to God. 'Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days? If you hear this and your answer is 'I do' then God directs these words to you' (RB Prologue).

The very first word of the Prologue 'Listen' is probably the most important word in the whole Rule! The Latin word 'obsculta' implies a command. 'Do it, and do it now!' Benedict continues: 'Today if you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts' (Ps. 95).

He says we are to 'Listen with the ear of the heart'. This is no superfluous listening, but from the very depths of one's being. At the beginning of the spiritual journey each person is invited to a personal renewal: 'Return to God by the way of obedience'. So the whole idea of listening, and obedience go together.

Read More
Subscribe to RSS - Oblates