Holy Rule for Apr. 13
Prayers for all who need our prayers, and for two special intentions of mine, please. Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is
mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
April 13, August 13, December 13
Chapter 59: On the Sons of Nobles and of the Poor Who Are Offered
If anyone of the nobility
offers his son to God in the monastery
and the boy is very young,
let his parents draw up the document which we mentioned above;
and at the oblation
let them wrap the document itself and the body's hand in the altar
That is how they offer him.
As regards their property,
they shall promise in the same petition under oath
that they will never of themselves, or through an intermediary,
or in any way whatever,
give him anything
or provide him with the opportunity of owning anything.
if they are unwilling to do this,
and if they want to offer something as an alms to the monastery
for their advantage,
let them make a donation
of the property they wish to give to the monastery,
reserving the income to themselves if they wish.
And in this way let everything be barred,
so that the boy may have no expectations
whereby (which God forbid) he might be deceived and ruined,
as we have learned by experience.
Let those who are less well-to-do make a similar offering.
But those who have nothing at all
shall simply draw up the document
and offer their son before witnesses at the oblation.
It's always nice to read Chapter. 59, because it is the source of our
having Oblates today. Thanks be to God for the myriad blessings and
graces that have come to the Benedictine family through Oblates and
for the graces they have received from their bonds to the Order! It
is hard for me to imagine where we would be without Oblates.
Those who are seen help us with labors and goods, and those who are
unseen, help us with a treasure of prayers whose vastness we dare not
even guess until we finally see clearly in heaven. In most cases, by
numbers, Oblates outnumber the professed of the community, so God
must have known how badly we needed them. It is most likely their
prayers that kept us going all these years.
The living and the dead, the strugglers and those already in heaven,
help us move the great throng of our Order forward through history.
What heaven must be like! The Oblates there are united to God,
already freely conversant with St. Benedict, with heroes and heroines
we can only read about. How delighted they must have been to be
welcomed by a family far more numerous than they ever imagined.
They were not strangers to those Benedictines of centuries past. Why?
Because the saints of the past hold us dear throughout our time of
trial. They already know us, they have been praying for us all along,
even if we have not met them yet in person. When I read Anglo-Saxon
Benedictine history, a favorite hobby of mine, I am just learning their
names. They already know my name: they have prayed for me for years
before I even cracked a book.
When an Oblate joins our ranks, becoming a member of this great
family, there are graces beyond counting in store. Ours is a family
of saints, of great holiness. It is also a family of strugglers, the
mediocre, the halt and lame and the beginning. The communion of
saints is replicated in miniature in our own Order. All that great sanctity,
past and present, comes, in the eternal now of heaven, to our aid.
The weak are carried by the strong. It is easy to forget the miracle
that signing one little Oblation chart on the altar effects.
If I could (and did!) write a love song for the habit, I could write one as
great for Oblates. How much they have changed and enriched my life,
how deeply I find my days entwined around Oblates from all over the
world. Prayers and insights shared back and forth, friendships that
have sprung up in cyberspace, the wonderful gift of having others spread
far and wide who share the journey with me, these are all gifts of grace to
me, inestimable gifts! My life would be so much diminished without the
gifts of light and joy, love and edification that you bring to me. Thanks so
very, very much!!
Thank God for our Oblates. Thank God for the chance He led St.
Benedict to give to them and to ourselves!
Love and prayers,
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