Benedictine Oblate's Guide to the Internet

Benedictine Oblates tend not to be computer people.  We are not particularly excited by the possibilities of our technological age. We generally prefer books in print.  Prayer in quiet times and places is preferable in the main to surfing the internet.  A walk, in almost any weather, is preferable to sitting at a computer, which too many of us find necessary to our livelihoods. Still, the internet does exercise some allure for the average oblate, however cantankerous and averse to technology. Continue Reading

New Year's Resolution: Go at God's Speed

Here are some reflections by oblate Bruce B — very fitting for a time of year when we reflect on how we most want to live our lives, especially regarding how our spirituality might inform the shape of our work lives:

There was a time when I worked 60-90 hrs a week and a couple of things turned my life around. The first was learning to say “no.” Whenever I said no to excessive need for my time I felt stronger or more empowered. No, helped to set healthy boundaries for myself and it caused others to respect my time. Continue Reading

Staying on the Front Side of the Beat

More reflections from Cynthia — nourishment for any new or reaffirmed resolutions we might consider as we approach a New Year in the middle of our Christmas celebrations of God’s incarnation. Here is Cynthia’s experienced wisdom about how to keep perspective and a sabbath sensibility, even when work responsibilities threaten to knock us out of sync with a sense of God’s presence:

I have learned that all work matters and contributes to the life of community. Working life has a rhythm in which certain work rises as other recedes; then, the process ebbs in the other direction. Some work can be temporarily suspended or delayed if a more urgent need arises. All work is interruptable. Continue Reading

What Are Your Utensils?

Cynthia, an oblate, shared the following about how she understands the Rule’s chapter on caring for utensils — by meditating on what utensils are employed in her own work:

“My experience as an oblate has taught me what my ‘utensils’ of work are. My work is widely varied due to the roles I fill as teacher, pianist, student, mother, wife, householder, friend. Some of the most important utensils I use are: music scores; piano; organ; pencils; eyeglasses; hands; brain & creativity; cell phone; calendar. In domestic work, I use appliances, dishes, pottery, kitchen gadgets, cloths, soaps, broom, mop, computer, pots and pans. These utensils must be reverenced and treated with respect. They are my co-workers.” Continue Reading

Accessing the Energy of God's Goodness

Instead of lectio this morning, I decided to visit the oblate blog and noticed a theme stretching across both Ric’s account of Abbot General Notker Wolf’s reflections at an international oblate gathering, and Sister Ruth’s reflections on inserting a verse about the whole earth belonging to God into her reading of a psalm. That theme is both challenge and promise: the challenge of living in a world of innumerable sufferings with a regular sense of the presence of God. Continue Reading

Looking back to last year…

This posting is offered in answer to a request for a report on the 2009 address of the Benedictine Abbot Primate to the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates in Rome.  More extensive reports on the entire Congress may be found by clicking on this link and visiting postings of the first two weeks in October 2009.  The official Congress website is also available and is a much broader picture of the event. Continue Reading