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Oblate Spring


Importance of
Spiritual Reading

First Book to Read (Page 1)

What's an oblate? (Page 2)

Becoming an Oblate (Page 3)

Links to Oblate Resources (Page 4)

Index (Page 5) to: 
Mini Index
Expanded Index

What's New (Page 6)

Oblate Spring recommends books and has lots of opportunities for reading. 

In our educated society and culture, I know you do not need help finding books to read, but monastic reading is not for knowledge, it is for awakening the spirit. 

The modern reader may need to prepare for this type of reading in silence before a page is opened or turned.  

Associated with Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora) is an often overlooked spiritual component of Benedictine monasticism —  and that is Reading.  All three great characteristics of the Benedictine life:


Work, and


should be kept in mind when thinking about the historical contributions of Benedictine life. And all three lead the monastic person to rest in God's light and an illuminated soul.

When you read not for knowledge, but to illuminate your soul, you will have returned to the earliest days of Benedictine monasticism and beyond the modern notion that reading is for education.  

That reminded me of this wonderful passage from a book published in 1930, and quoted here in its famous 1962 version:


“Saint Benedict's legislation on reading has not always secured the attention it deserves. Its full implications can only be grasped by those who follow with some care a reconstruction of the daily life in Saint Benedict's monastery and discover that little less than four hours were daily devoted to reading, as compared to some six given to work. ....

"Among the direct descendants of Saint Benedict, reading and work have in a manner coalesced. They still remain real elements in every true Benedictine life, and their primary influence must always be upon the soul of the individual monk, but their secondary influence has passed far beyond the cloister into the civilization and education of the West.”

Monk of Downside Abbey
Introduction by MARION R. BOWMAN, O.S.B.
Abbot of Saint Leo Abbey

Saint Leo, Florida

Go to Page 5, Index