sacredhrt.jpg (117504 bytes)LABORA

Nor must the other part of the motto: "Labor," be neglected.  St. Benedict stated emphatically: "Idleness is the deadliest enemy of the soul" (H. Rule ch. 48).

Labor is an essential element in everyone's life.   It is the command given to Adam's children to earn their bread in the sweat of their brow. (Gen. 3:19)  "Man is born to labor and the bird to fly" (Job 5:7).  A true Oblate, then, must, according to his ability and his state of life, apply himself to some useful occupation.  The farmer, the laborer, the business and professional man, the artist, the housewife and the business woman, all have their place allotted by the Creator of the universe.  It is not so much what we do, as how we do it, that counts for accomplishment and progress in the spiritual life.  The guide and pilot in all our enterprises must be the spirit of Christ, who came to do the will of Him who sent Him.  That in all things God may be glorified should be the intention of the Oblates, and with this intention they should practice the virtues of charity, humility, and obedience, so strongly inculcated by the Rule of St. Benedict.

These are some of the features of Benedictine life which the Oblates would do well to study and imbibe.  Oblates should well be God-fearing Christians imbued with the principles of St. Benedict's Rule.  These principles were laid down in Paradise and renewed by our Savior, who came to call all men to follow Him.   St. Benedict grasped the idea fully and transmitted it to his followers.   Those who offer themselves to embrace his spirit will work out their salvation "in fear and trembling," by prayer and work.  Prayer means entering into the spirit and liturgical life of the Church, defending her interests and the interests of the Order of St. Benedict.  Work means performing well and conscientiously the tasks assigned.  The spirit of St. Benedict further implies following the humble path of Jesus Christ, who was obedient unto death.  Lastly, it imposes upon all members the duty of upholding the ideals of the Christian family, that true and sincere brotherhood which makes the children of earth resemble the great family of the blessed in heaven.

(Excerpted from Daily Companion for Secular Oblates of St. Benedict, 2nd. Edition, February 1948)