In the Benedictine tradition, oblates are lay associate members who live in the world but seek to follow the monastic spiritual life in a closer way by making oblation of themselves to God and to Our Lady, Spouse of the Holy Spirit Monastery. Though oblates do not profess vows, the vocational call to live as a Benedictine Oblate is much the same as the vocation of a Benedictine Religious. The essence of each is to “listen with the ear of the heart” to the call of God who wants to enter into a loving relationship with each person. Like the religious brother or sister the lay oblate must undergo a transformation. The heart of stone which responded to the flesh, the world and the devil must be converted into a heart of flesh which responds to the gentle overtures of the Divine Lover and seeks to return love for Love.
Just as the Benedictine Religious seeks God in community, so does the Benedictine Oblate, but not only in the monastic community with which s/he is associated, but also in the communities of family, parish and other organizations in which love may be cultivated and shared.
Formation as a Benedictine Oblate of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit Monastery begins with acceptance into the oblate novitiate. During the year-long novitiate the oblate novice studies the Rule of St. Benedict from the perspective of how its spirituality informs the life of a Christian who seeks to make of herself or himself an offering (oblation) to God and neighbor.
After completing the year of formation the novice may be invited to make her or his oblation to God and to Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit monastery.
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