How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job: An Invitation to Oblate Life

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Overview

Dorothy Day was an oblate while she lived in the heart of New York City. So was the French poet, Paul Claudel. Kathleen Norris is an oblate, and so was Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, the first woman in Europe to earn a Ph.D. What connects them all? There are at least ten thousand oblates in the United States today (no one knows for sure how many), and each of them is connected in meaningful ways to a monastery or abbey. Most oblates are ordinary lay people from various Christian traditions. They are linked together by common appreciation for the Rule of St. Benedict. Originally written for monks, the principles in the Rule may be applied by everyone else---and in today's hectic, changing world, being an oblate offers a rich spiritual connection to the stability and wisdom of monastic life. This essential guide explains how people who live and work in "the world" are still invited to balance work with prayer, cultivate interdependence with others, practice hospitality, and otherwise practice their spirituality like monks.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Even as the number of religious (ordained monks and nuns) declines sharply in this country, lay monasticism is on the rise. "The number of oblates everywhere keeps growing and growing," says Tvedten, a monk at Blue Cloud Abbey in South Dakota who describes an oblate as someone who takes vows of spiritual commitment to a particular Benedictine monastery, but can have a regular job and a family. In this concise but informative book, Tvedten explains the foundation for oblate life-the Rule of Saint Benedict, a sixth-century guideline for spiritual growth in community. Benedict stressed a balanced life, with days spent praying the Divine Office (chanting the Psalms), reading devotional texts and working. Modern oblates do these things at home-some living hundreds of miles from the monastery with which they are affiliated-and visit the monastery regularly to meet with the monks and other oblates. After highlighting some core aspects of Benedictine spirituality (with some interesting forays into monastic history), Tvedten outlines how a person becomes an oblate, identifies religious communities within the United States that accept oblate members and explores simple principles for oblate life. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557254498
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Voices from the Monastery
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 119
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Brother Benet Tvedten entered Blue Cloud Abbey in Marvin, South Dakota in 1958. He was his community's Director of Oblates for nearly thirty years, and held the position of Coordinator of the North American Association of Oblate Directors between 1995 and 1999.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Informative and inspirational. A look inside the monastic life and
    how the Rule of Benedict can be applied to every day life in the
    "outside" world by those who are looking for a balanced life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Worthwhile.

    I enjoyed it but I was expecting a more 'how to' as stated in the title. It was not instructional which is what I expecting. I do however plan on buying more books written by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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