Once again it was a Lent of loopholes, of minor sacrifices deferred by family travels and travails and of minor irritations unredeemed, so that as Palm Sunday drew near it caught me in need of a new beginning, in want of a jump start.
Becoming an oblate—literally “one who is offered”—means joining a particular Christian monastic community as a kind of lay associate. An oblate takes no vows but does affirm the intention to live by a modified version of the order’s rule, while continuing one’s “ordinary life.”
Here is a lesson in monastic stability, transposed to a domestic key: I am invited to give a talk to a general chapter of Benedictine monastic communities, meeting at a historic abbey in Italy. Such occasions, which take place only once every eight years, normally are private affairs involving intramural matters like the election of an abbot president and revision of monastic statutes.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.