Oblate Blog

God’s grace: always before us and after us

Posted by svobadm8230a on 01/20/17
The collect (opening prayer) for Mass for the 28th Week of Ordinary Time reads, “May Your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works.” (The words at all times and always are especially important!) It is easy to ignore such prayers at Mass; they pass by quickly and are not always pronounced distinctly by the celebrant. Furthermore, we ourselves are often not focused enough for the prayers to penetrate our minds. These prayers, however, have profound lessons for us; in fact, they are meant to teach us to live as we pray. In any case, of course, God’s grace is always before us and after us, but we are not always aware of it; so the prayer can help us to welcome the grace and respond to it. What a blessing it is to know that God’s grace, His very life, surrounds us always and beckons us to draw near to Him! What a blessing it is that God ever seeks to awaken us to that grace, drowsy though we often may be! Psalm 139 beautifully expounds on this pervasive presence: “O where can I go from Your spirit, or where can I flee from Your face? If I climb the heavens, You are there, If I lie in the grave, you are there” (Ps 139: 7-8). It seems almost too good to be true that God’s tenderly caring presence surrounds us and that, along with His presence, He offers us a multitude of benefits. If only we would be ready for them!

Humor in life and in Scripture

Posted by svobadm8230a on 02/25/16
Life is full of humor, though we may not always perceive it. I was especially aware of the mysterious and gifted nature of daily life on the day when I began this essay. In the morning while I was searching for a lost page from a reprint desired by an Oblate, I came upon a folder with information about our Oblate-novice survey from the fall of 2014. That folder had been “lost” (really just misplaced by me in a location where I would be unlikely to look for it) for about a year, and upon finding it I felt like telling the whole world, “I have found my lost folder!” (cf. Luke 15:6, 9, 24). I laughed inwardly over the unexpected nature of the discovery. I had not found what I wanted to find, but I found something significant for which I had not even been looking. I still have not found the page for which I was searching. Is not life strange? Surely, as the prophet Isaiah tells us and as Our Lord often proclaims, God’s plans for us are certainly not our plans! Of course, His are far, far better. Is not this truth a cause for rejoicing and laughter (whether outward or just inward)?

Lenten Season

Posted by svobadm8230a on 03/19/15
Dear Oblates and Friends of Saint Vincent,

A Message from Archabbot Douglas

Posted by svobadm8230a on 09/18/14
Dear Oblates and Friends of Saint Vincent,

Evangelii Gaudium

Posted by svobadm8230a on 08/07/14
Evangelii Gaudium

Becoming Evangelizers

Posted by svobadm8230a on 07/16/14
How, then, can we in a Benedictine way, for us who are

Good Witness in the New Testament

Posted by svobadm8230a on 06/09/14
Good Witness in the New Testament

Evangelizing in a "Benedictine" Way

Posted by svobadm8230a on 05/28/14
Evangelizing in a "Benedictine" Way


Posted by svobadm8230a on 05/21/14
Dear Oblates and Friends of Saint Vincent,

Reaching eternal salvation through little things

Posted by svobadm8230a on 04/14/14
Reaching eternal salvation through little things As I compose this essay, I realize that I am tempted to