One thing I keep asking myself, in order to stay focused on the ultimate goal, is why am I doing this? In other words, why do I want to become an oblate and why am I puttering away at this blog?
The answer to the first question is and has remained clear in my mind. I don’t want to be a monastic; I’m sure most folks who are oblates feel the same way. For me to try to pretend that I am one would be crazy making, at best. But, I (and all baptized Christians) share one goal with those who are living in the monastery, I want to be a saint. This is the goal of every Christian, no matter the particular vocation one is following. That’s not an easy thing to do these days, but trying to adapt and follow St. Benedict’s Rule is something that helps tremendously.
It should be remembered that salvation is not the result of something we do; it is entirely the result of God’s grace in our lives. It is a free gift. But, there are some things we can do to better open ourselves to that gift, and Benedict outlines most, if not all of them in his Rule. Some are difficult and, at first blush, almost distasteful: obedience, stability, humility. Others may seem a bit easier, lectio, the prayer of the hours, silence, solitude. Yet, either way, it’s a complete package. And the real genius of Benedict is that he shows how to incorporate all these things in the everyday routine of our lives. He shows that salvation is not found in superhuman ascetical or mystical practices, but in the ordinary.
I want to become an oblate because it would help me formalize Benedict’s wise instruction as a part of my life.
The reason to blog is to share the wisdom I find in Benedictine spirituality with those who may not be familiar with it, or may never even have heard of it. I probably will never reach very many people, but even if I am able to help just one reach their goal it will have been worth it.