Charles, for whom we have prayed, is a civilian contractor in Iraq. We all know the danger these men face. He is hoping to make his Oblation as a way to strengthen him in his work, also because he knows he is in harm's way and would like to have made his Oblation should anything ultimate befall him. His post, its rationale for his work in rebuilding struck me so deeply that I decided to share it with all of you, though I removed his address so he won't get swamped with email. Please keep this wonderful Oblate novice in your prayers!Love and prayers,
Br. Jerome, OSB
"God is good - in fact very good.
I was hoping, praying at Mass, & discerning for R & R
to come home for Christmas.
Last night it was verbally granted.
The plus for God is that He not only grants you basic
wish/desire but adds more to it.
A close friend of mine here, insecurity - goes outside
the wire daily-bullets, IEDs, fire fighting etc.-
sister works for Emirate Airlines out of Dubai.
They have a non-stop from Dubai to New York. then onto
Would it be possible to be OBLATED -if that is the
word- when I am home- between Christmas & New
Year?before the community?It would sustain me when I
return to Iraq. Please work outside the box- Sts. Peter
& Paul & Benedict did -reason why the Church is as it
is today. I am professionally requesting the same.
Please pray that out of all this death & destruction
that I hear about & am exposed to daily that peace -a
true coexistence be between men can come to fruition.
I, you, your Monks could shower the heavens with
prayers because my soul & spirit tells me is that is
what it will ultimately take to have true resolution
We are a turning point in the Church's ecumenism.
In the true "living" of the rule.
St.Benedict is asking us to re-examine the rule in
TODAY's world and ask:
"how does the rule, and how can i apply it today, for
the chaos in the Middle East?"
Bill Manderfeld, my sponsor to be an Oblate, said the
fog was off the farmland at the retreat. I remember
that when I was at Central Catholic & came to the Abbey
for our retreat.
But it is easy, in fact too easy, to languish on the
hill, go to organized (THIS IS AN OBSERVATION - not a
judgment) services, eat good food, go for a walk and
never ask the tough question: How is the rest of the
Christ chose this desolate, arid, hot dusty world to be
born into, live his ministry, and die. Why?
My answer is that he wanted us to see this land as if
it were our soul and only by "ora et labora" in the
destitution of the world would we all be truly be
Labor & prayer are NEEDED here more than any other
place in the world. Maybe in God's wisdom He sent the
USA into Iraq to bring that oneness to his kingdom.
That is my sermon for the day.
Now I will go and provide a meal, a bed, and a shower
(what Bill wanted most from his fighting in Vietnam) to
young men who fight this fight who have not even shaved
Please visualize their faces & know that some of them
could be seeing God before us.
Thank you for keeping me in your prayers. But please
reflect on what I have written & provide feedback
because spiritual words will sustain me more than food
Are there any Benedictine monasteries in Iraq? or
p.s I will think of you & your work at Mass today"
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