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
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
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
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
Having turned in grades yesterday after a semester that kept me at a steady trot, I’m ready to enter the remainder of the season of Advent with more space for reflection than an evening devotional I do with my companion. Continue Reading
Hi Everyone, Here is another reflection on the Beatitudes by Oblate Linda Jani. Please email yours to me if you wish to post it here!
1. Blessed are they who are not attached to things or results, they shall live in God’s freedom. Continue Reading
Cynthia and I enjoyed a splendid private retreat at St. Mary Monastery last Wednesday through Saturday. We prayed the Office with the sisters, took walks in the snow, slept plenty, ate just more than enough, read entire books, and talked and talked and talked. Continue Reading
Often, I fall into the trap of asking, “Why, God?” Why am I here, at this place, at this time? Why do these things happen to me and to those whom I love? Why can’t those I love make better choices? Why do bad things happen? Why do good things happen? Why am I me and not someone else more or less fortunate?
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
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