The Presentation – of Mary and Ourselves

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. Today is also the day when Benedictine Oblates throughout the world renew the promises we made at our final oblation.

This feast celebrates Mary being set aside as an offering or oblation to God for His glory and service. It is fitting that we renew our promises on this feast for we too have been called to become an offering for the Lord.

I find great joy in being an oblate. I recognize all the more that God called me to this vocation. It is both a blessing and a responsibility that has been laid upon me and I once again promise to strive to live this vocation through stability, conversatio morum and obedience.

I recognize my limitations and see my shortcomings, which are great. Thankfully, God gives me the opportunity to begin again each day and on this day He offers me the chance to renew my promises to Him.

The Mother of God should always be my guide for she continually points towards her Son. She can show me how to offer myself totally to God’s service and teach me how to pray.

“My soul magnifies the Lord…” Mary’s song of praise is what we continue in the Divine Office. She is the great example for all oblates on how we can best live the offering we’ve made of ourselves to God.

May her prayers guide us along the way!

Community with the living and the dead

Community comes in a variety of ways and it is something which is intrinsic to the Benedictine way of life. Family, friends, coworkers and fellow oblates help form the community I’m a part of. The same can be said for most others.

We forget that there is a community of faith within the Church – the Church Militant, Church Suffering and Church Triumphant. The month of November helps to remind us that other members of the Church – those who have died and are in purgatory – depend on us.

Death cannot break the bonds of community life. In a certain real way it strengthens them. Although no longer present on this earth, our brothers and sisters see God face to face. Some may need the assistance of our sacrifices and prayers while others stand before God. Do we really think they forget us? Quite the contrary!

Too often we forget those who have died and are in need of our prayers. We do a disservice to those who have completed their earthly life when we do not remember them in prayers.

Praying for the living and the dead is an act of charity and an act of mercy. It also reminds us of our own mortality and that we too may very well one day rely on the prayer of others.

Community definitely comes in many ways, shapes and forms. The Holy Souls ask that we not forget that they too are a part of that community which helps to form us.

May the souls of the faithful departed Rest In Peace!