Vatican II Council has made it clear that the laity should exercise a very active role in the Church’s mission to the world. Oblates of St. Benedict are in a favored position for carrying out this admonition. They are spirituality associated with a Benedictine community. They have pledged themselves to order their lives in accord with the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedict. They are therefore encouraged to be faithful witnesses of Christ by striving to bring the Gospel message and God’s way of holiness to the world around them. This is, in fact, the chief reason for their being Oblates of St. Benedict.
In order that the lives of Oblates may be a true and effective response to the call of God and His Church, these guidelines have been written to help Oblates in their mission as lay apostles, so that they can openly bear witness to Christ and promote the salvation of mankind.
- Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women admitted into spiritual union and affiliation with a Benedictine community of monks or nuns, so that they may share in the spiritual life, prayers, and good works of the community.
- Oblates do not live in the monastic house of the community while they continue faithfully to carry out the duties of their particular state in life and occupation, wherever they may be.
- Within the framework of their daily lives in the world, Oblates strive to lead full Christian lives enlightened by personal efforts to understand Christ’s teaching in the Scriptures as interpreted by St. Benedict in his Rule for monks. Oblates are guided and inspired by their continued spiritual association with the monastic community.
- Oblates are a “spiritual arm” of the Benedictine community, reaching out into all areas of life, seeking to share with others what they themselves gain as Oblates of St. Benedict. Their affiliation with a community of monks or nuns is not therefore for their own personal good alone. It is chiefly by their Christian example, even by their very presence among others, that they hope to bring St. Benedict’s ideal of service to God and man into the world where they live and work.
- Since Oblates of St. Benedict primarily offer themselves for the service of God and Man, they will therefore strive for God’s honor and glory before all else, keeping in mind the Benedictine motto: “That in all things God may be glorified.”