Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Two Candles, One Light. A Benedictine oblate blog

I am reading “Saint John Cassian on Prayer," translated by A.M. Casiday for my Lenten reading.

Reading a book for Lent is an oblate practice borrowed from chapter 48 of the Rule, written for monks in monasteries by our Holy Father St. Benedict.

I read in my chair reserved for Benedictine prayer or reading books like “Saint John Cassian on Prayer."

A friend set up an entire prayer room in her house and that got me thinking that I could do a better job at making my prayer time more secluded from the world.

I use my prayer chair even though being an oblate has also made my “regular work time” much more a part of my “spiritual life.”

As an oblate, I see all my time as being devoted to God whether I am working or praying. On good days, the whole day seems consecrated to God — there is not one part for work and another part for spiritual contemplation.

I recognize that there is an apparent conflict in saying that my spiritual life is enhanced when I use my separate prayer chair and then also saying that my oblate practices merge the worldly and spiritual compartments of my life.

But from where I sit, either in my prayer chair or in front of my computer working, I can now see more clearly that there is no conflict and no separations.


Picture is Candles by SeaN Rozekrans.


  1. We have a spare room in our house which I call the "oratory" even though it's really a storeroom for books. I say the office there in front of a wall on which several icons hang. Having a space dedicated to prayer is a great blessing and makes a big difference.

  2. Joe, your separate room with icons is a good idea and shows how icons can be an important part of home prayer. Thank you.

  3. Like your post. I live in a small mobile home. I don't have an extra room! So I use a prayer chair. And I agree - there is no conflict there. For me, the prayer chair is for silent prayer and prayerful reading. I pray differently at work. God bless!

  4. Colleen, I do the same thing. I used to use my chair for prayer and a little secular reading, but now it's only for the divine office, Catholic study, and lectio divina. Thanks for your comment

  5. hi John,

    Nice to meet you in this blog. I live in the southern part of India. I am also an oblate of st.Benedict, affiliated to st.Benedict Monastery, in Texas. Please visit my channels in youtube. http://www.youtube.com/stbenedict1
    My website is http://www.catholicbenediction.org

    in Christ's love,
    William obl. osb.