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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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 con ...more
Paperback, 119 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Paraclete Press
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James
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Benedict of Nursia is honored as the patron saint of Western monasticism. His Rule has given shape to the communal life of the monasteries that bear his name, but his influence goes far beyond the Benedictine order. The rhythms of prayer and work in community are staples of monastic spirituality and Benedict’s rule is the impetus for much of that. But what wisdom does Benedict’s Rule offer to ordinary folk–people with jobs and families who do not feel called to the monastic life? Quite a bit act ...more
Tamara
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-growth
How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job is a great place to start if you are considering the life of an Oblate. This was the first book on the monastic lifestyle that I read two years ago. At 119 pages with short flowing chapters it's a easy introductory read.

Br. Tvedten does an excellent job giving us historical background to Benedictine spirituality, the values for daily living and what it actually means to become an Oblate. He includes a wonderful list of Benedictine titles many of wh
...more
Daniel
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Brother Benet has written a helpful, concise, and accessible introduction for those interested in becoming an oblate of a Benedictine community. As with his other writings, what shines through is his humor and his down-to-earth, practical approach to the Rule and to monastic/oblate life. As he says: "Benedict’s way of life is designed for ordinary people. No heroics are required."

If you are attracted to oblate life, this is a good place to start. If you desire to know more about the Rule itself
...more
Heidi
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was ok


This is fine, but not as good as Esther De Waal, Kathleen Norris, etc. There are some interesting nuggets about oblates (there will soon be more Benedictine oblates in the world than Benedictine religious). Seems like it was written as a book to pass out to oblate candidates who know very little about the Rule beforehand. If you've read other texts on Benedict you don't need this one, but if you haven't and just want a quick introduction, this is a short and easy read.
...more
Simon
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While focussing particularly on those who choose to become Benedictine Oblates, this book is a helpful guide to any person seeking to explore how the Rule of St Benedict can be lived today. No matter our way of life, this sensible guide, with numerous anecdotes, is an accessible overview of Benedictine spirituality.
Sarah
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lovely book, if somewhat general. It paints the big umbrella picture, taking examples from a number of Oblate communities in America, which is interesting. A good place to start reading if you are interested in following a Benedictine life path.
Jeffrey Fawcett
Jul 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
This is a short, easy read that introduces the “program” for Benedictine oblates. Because oblates are associated with individual monasteries and not members of provincial or national third orders (like with the Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans), there aren’t really any Benedictine Oblate programs, per se. Br. Tvedten even recalls a story of how one oblate insisted that he and other oblate directors not refer to it as a program. Rather, it’s a way of life, built on the two pillars of Bened ...more
Joe Haack
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have been told that there are better books on Benedict's Rule - but this was the one at my library. My understanding is that many of the Reformers wanted to bring the best of the monastic life to the local church. To that end, I am interested in ways that the local church could learn from his Rule, especially in the area of hospitality and prayer. ...more
Joey
Jan 25, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religous
I was attracted to the main title, "How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job," but it was really about the first part of the subtitle, "A Guide for Benedictine Oblates." Beside that little disappointment, I think it was a nice, easy, and relaxing read that inspired me to live with a little more hospitality. ...more
REAllen
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good introduction for those unfamiliar with Benedictine spirituality and the order of oblates. It is also helpful for those seeking to discern a call to follow the Rule of St. Benedict as an oblate.
nancy marie roemer
Intro to Oblates

A broad description of the oblate vocation and Benedictine spirituality, it is a good introduction for someone wondering what it's about.
...more
Denise
Apr 21, 2021 rated it liked it
I'm currently staying at a Benedictine monastery, but I am not Catholic, and I had no idea what an oblate was or that one even existed. For this level of knowledge, this is an appropriate introduction to what an oblate is, the intention behind the program, and its role within the community/church. If you have more foreknowledge than I did, this is probably too simplistic for you. ...more
Tina
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
I think this is the final book in my monastic quest. I have decided not to become a Benedictine oblate. First, I don't think I have time and I don't think there's a monastery close enough. I can barely keep up with my own church activities that are 6 minutes away. Second, I wouldn't be allowed to take communion with the monks because I'm not Catholic. It was interesting to learn more about monasticism, especially the hospitality focus. If I was to read more, I think I should read the rule of Ben ...more
Adam
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This is an incredibly brief and basic introduction to 1) Benedictine Spirituality and 2) Benedictine Oblation. St. Benedict (480–543) is considered by most to be the pioneer of Western monasticism. His Rule is one of the most influential and widely used rules in monasticism and is characterized by such things as prayer, humility, work, moderation, hospitality, stability, justice, and peace. Oblates are those who choose to affiliate with a particular monastery and commit their lives to living the ...more
Tamara
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to Be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job is a great place to start if you are considering the life of an Oblate. This was the first book on the monastic lifestyle that I read two years ago. At 119 pages with short flowing chapters it's a easy introductory read.

Br. Tvedten does an excellent job giving us historical background to Benedictine spirituality, the values for daily living and what it actually means to become an Oblate. He includes a wonderful list of Benedictine titles many of wh
...more
Frank
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book on how the Benedictine Monks allow "external" monks to be associated with their monestary. These oblates don't have to be Catholic and many are not. There are as many Benedictine Oblates living in the world and in families are there are Benedictine Monks in the monastery. It also goes into St. Benedict's Rule and how it works in the secular world. A short yet very interesting read good for everyone. ...more
Joshua Booher
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This book was interesting. It was unique to see how a monk views oblates and their role in the religious life of a monastery. It was helpful to see what is involved in being an oblate and how the rule of Benedict can play out in a lay person's daily life. It was well worth the time it took to read it. ...more
David-anselm
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a good read not so much in that I learned new things. However, it did recall to mind several ideas that I had not thought about in a while. It also presented some new thinking (at least to me) behind some old Benedictine concepts. The writing seemed like a gentle conversation with the author.
Candace Simar
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I first came across Benet Tvedten's writing in the Lake Region Review where he had a humorous short story about life in a monastery. This book is an easy-read, captivating look into the monastic life chosen by lay people. It also delves into Benedictine spirituality and its impact on the modern world.
...more
Mike
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A guide to becoming a Benedictine oblate. Oblates are lay people affiliated with a monastery and living the monastic life in a secular setting. Tvedten offers some good advice on the practicalities of living such a life with plenty of good resources.
Jennifer
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A brief and thoughtful commentary about the Benedictine oblates by a Benedictine monk. Lots of reflections from oblates and monks and nuns. It reads like an overheard conversation, which is a peasant change of pace.
Jacqueline
Jul 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great buy for the invitation to the oblate life.
Carol
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Provides overview and definition of the Benedictine order. Didn't really learn anything new. ...more
Al
Jun 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully informative though I would have liked more infomation on the daily schedule, etc.
Rosemary Daly
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of St. Benedict and his "Rule." This is a lovely book on how Oblates unify Benedictine spirituality and everyday life. ...more
Mary
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, spiritual
Gave me pause to think what will I do for the rest of my life? Maybe it's finally time to make the move? Excellent book. ...more
Mattie
Mar 22, 2016 rated it liked it
A charming introduction to Benedictine rule of life, though a bit more detail would have been nice.
Ked Dixon
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a brief delightful introduction to The phenomenon of Benedictine Oblates.
Kevin Orth
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is particularly nice is the casual, familiar language with which the author communicates his points. Rich in detail and specifics, easily accessible to the reader to read through.
David
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
A good introduction to the oblate life.
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