What is an Oblate of Saint Benedict?
Oblates of Saint Benedict are Christians who have experienced in some way a call to embrace Benedictine spirituality. After a time of prayer and discernment they have desired a more formal, permanent commitment to a monastic community. By making this formal self-giving to Christ in communion with a monastic community, the oblate embraces the time-tested traditions and values of the Benedictine way. Oblates are united to the prayer and good works of the monastery to which they are associated while they continue to live out their Christian vocation in the world.
What does "oblate" mean?
The word "oblate" comes from a Latin root word denoting the offering of a gift, or an out-pouring. In the monastic context it is referring to the total gift of self to Christ. At Mount Angel Abbey monastic oblations always take place in the context of the Eucharistic liturgy, for the oblate is offering his or her life in union with Christ in His perfect and complete sacrifice of praise to God, our heavenly Father.
What does an oblate do?
Benedictine oblates of Mount Angel Abbey are encouraged to pray some form of the Liturgy of the Hours each day, as well as practice daily Lectio Divina and reading of the Holy Rule. It is hoped that oblates will live out their Benedictine vocation of prayer and work through active lives of faithful service in their parish communities, their business or professional associations and in their family and social relationships.
Does an Oblate take Vows?
No, oblation is not a juridical or legal commitment. Monastic oblation is, however, a public and solemn promise made in the presence of the Church which effects a spiritual association with a particular monastic community. Oblation is intended to be an aid in the fulfillment of one's baptismal vows. Saint Benedict teaches that his Rule of Life is a way to help Christians live the Gospel more faithfully.