The Benedictine Oblates of our monastery will gather on Sunday, September 11, at 1 p.m. for their first meeting since May – we take the summer months off. This year, the Oblates are tackling a difficult topic: the “hard sayings” in The Rule of St. Benedict.
What could be difficult in a rule that has lasted so long and is widely seen as flexible? The challenges are not from arduous work (although St. Benedict tells his followers not to be afraid of work), nor from rigid behavioral protocols. In some ways, that might be easier.
St. Benedict asks us to examine our lives with care and honesty, and to recognize the ways and times that we fail to live the Gospel fully. (A hint: for most of us, that happens every day). A saying might be hard if we can’t understand it, but sometimes it is even more difficult when we do fully understand what it means – but perhaps are not spiritually prepared for the generosity of spirit that it calls for.
Visitors and inquirers are welcome at our meetings. Most people take two to four years to become an Oblate, first testing out whether they are called to this particular spiritual charism and then studying it more deeply. Anyone interested in more information is invited to use a contact form on this page, visit our blog Oblates of the Northland, or send email to oblates @ duluthosb dot org .