Saturday, April 12, 2008

Benedictine Oblate Sunday at the Abbey

I am a new oblate at St. Leo Abbey in Florida, USA.

Oblates attend monthly meetings which are a combination of group discussions/talks led by the abbot, (there are two sessions — one with a novice focus and one with a more general focus — and everyone may attend both sessions), midday prayer with the monks, lunch for fellowship, and usually shopping at the gift/bookstore or plant station. We often have reading assignments between meetings or questions to answer. There will often be guests who hear about the program and come to check it out. They are welcomed as Christ -- part of the Benedictine hospitality.

We have a yearly picnic and an annual weekend retreat which are sources of spiritual renewal.

Some oblates spend the night at the Abbey guest house on the weekends of the monthly meetings — thus giving themselves a mini private retreat.

There seems to be a wide variety of practice among the oblates at home — depending on their circumstances and interests.

So, if you are wondering what might happen at an oblate meeting at a monastery near you, you might expect some form of weekly and/or monthly programs and get-togethers which provide teaching and group discussions, at least one major yearly spiritual retreat, other than that -- the remainder of the time (which is most of you time), how you spend your time is up to you, your life-circumstances, and your internal monk.

“Everyone is different” is my new, first rule of monasticism! ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment