I came across a new blog by James, a Texas blogger, Catholic, who has a blog called “God Kicks Me in the Pants . . . Often”
In his February 9, 2009 blog, James comments that he has read one book about Benedictine oblates and is about to read the Rule of St. Benedict for the first time. I am excited each time I hear about someone who starts to explore whether Benedictine spirituality is right for them.
I have only my and my wife’s experience and what other new oblates have told me at one monastery, but my non-peer reviewed conclusion is that many (maybe I could say majority) of people who become oblates instantly know they have found something of God when they first visit a monastery or see the monks singing the divine office. When my wife and I first prayed with the monks we knew God had called us there.
So, I do not know where James will end up, there are many great charisms in the Catholic Church. He might like one of the other Third Orders, here are just a sampling, I like to post this list to help people who might be surfing around the Internet with a sense that they should be looking for a deeper spirituality in their lives:
Major Third orders are the:
Third Order Lay Franciscans,
Lay Carmelites - Third Order, T.O.C.s or T.O.Carm.s,
Secular Carmelites, Discalced Carmelite Secular Order, O.C.D.s, (1)
Fraternities of St. Dominic,
Carthusian Spirituality, International Fellowship of St. Bruno
Norbertine Lay Associations,
Lay Missionaries of Charity,
The Confraternity of Penitents
and my favorite group of lay associates, Benedictine oblates.
I was so impressed with the James’ new blog about the Catholic faith and another person who has opened St. Benedict’s Rule for the first time. He is following an ancient and deeply spiritual tradition of the Church.
As I find links to Third Orders since the date of this blog, I will add them to a web page on the Oblate Spring web site. For a list of all the links I have found to Third Orders and lay groups, please visit here.
Thanks to blogger Agapelife, I have added a link to the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order. There exist two traditions in the Carmelite community. The differences are described here, scroll down to the FAQs paragraph 7.