Tag Archives: Benedictine Oblate

On retreat …

This weekend is the 71 st annual retreat of the New York area Benedictine Oblates of the Archabbey of Saint Meinrad. The retreat is being held at Mariandale Retreat House, Ossining, NY with the retreat master being Brother John Mark Falkenheim, OSB. His theme is “Grace and Human Nature in the Rule of Saint Benedict.”

Pray for the 35 Oblates.

Attention in Prayer

This morning on my train ride into the City, I was reading a monograph by Archabbot Lambert Reilly, OSB, the emeritus archabbot of St Meinrad Archabbey, “Prayer: A Conversation with God.” I recommend it. Why? Because I need to be reminded that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue; it is the heart speaking to the Heart. I also have to remember it is not about me exclusively but about Him who is greater than I.

The Archabbot is conversational in his presentation; one would be tempted to think that there’s a lot of words but no content because he’s narrating his experience. On the contrary, this essay-turned-talk is full of good advice on prayer; it was prepared for Benedictine Oblates but is applicable to many others. Get the piece if you can.

woman in prayer.jpg

Archabbot Lambert speaks of three types of attention in prayer:
1. “the attention by which we are lost in God.” A short-lived experience of God; a gift from Himself; no strings attached; +Lambert quotes Saint Teresa of Avila: “Don’t seek the consolations of God; seek the God of consolations.”

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Saint Henry: Benedictine Oblate and patron of sovereign leaders

St Henry II crowned by Christ.jpgThe Church recalls the witness of an emperor and a Benedictine Oblate, Saint Henry (972-1024), Duke of Bavaria. Henry was crowned king in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014. It is said that Henry was assisted by the saints throughout his life but especially at Mass when he was anointed king. He was an insightful leader, lay man who had concern for the discipline of the Church and who had love for the Benedictine monastic life. He was a supporter of Cluny’s reforms. It was through Saint Henry that the King of Hungary and later saint, Stephen, met Christ and was baptized.

Benedictine history tells us that he made a vow to the Abbot of Saint-Vanne in Verdun, thus, the tradition of Henry being an Oblate. (For more of what a Benedictine Oblate is, read this post).

Both he and his wife, Cunegunda were canonized by the Church and revered as saints.

Saints Maurus and Placid


St Placid.jpgO God, you have filled us with wonder by the example of monastic observance in the lives of your blessed confessors Maurus and Placid. As we celebrate their memory and follow in their footsteps, may we come to share in their reward.

What we know of these saints we know from Saint Gregory the Great

who introduces them in his Life of Saint Benedict. These early companions of Saint Benedict are what you may call the first Benedictine oblates, ones who made an offering of themselves to God’s service. In time they lived their monastic life fully and without reservation.

On the life of Saint Maur.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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