Greetings my dear friends,
One of my favorite saints is Saint Benedict. I say that I got to that point after the Benedictine training I received in the seminary. I grew to love the Benedictine spirituality, which includes hospitality and seeing the face of Christ in others.
To follow that way of life more closely, I began the process to be a Benedictine Oblate in 2005. An oblate is affiliated with a particular Benedictine monastery, so it was only appropriate that I associate myself with Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana, my alma mater.
My oblate novitiate took two years to complete because I wanted to do the entrance ceremonies at Saint Meinrad. I made my final oblation in 2007 and will celebrate 10 years this coming summer.
The reason I bring this part of my life and spirituality up is because Lent is right around the corner. In fact, as I write this message, Ash Wednesday is two weeks away and that will begin our yearly observance of Lent and the call to repentance and renewal.
Since I became a Benedictine Oblate, every year at this time I receive in the mail a card titled “Bona Opera” or Good Work. The purpose of this card is to write down the three good works that I want to do this Lent. After thought and prayer, I write the works down and mail the card back to the Oblate office in Indiana. The Oblate director presents the card of good works to the Archabbot of the monastery who approves them and then it is returned to me.
It is a wonderful process and it helps with my Lenten preparations. So, what “Good Works” are you going to undertake this Lent? Now is a good time to be thinking and praying about it, so that when Lent begins, we can truly make it a blessed and meaningful time.
Peace - Fr. David