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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Benedictine Oblate and Christian Perfection

By Barbara A. Schoeneberger

Clear Creek Abbey Solemn Profession, 9/7/13, used with permission of the Abbot
Clear Creek Abby Solemn Profession of Vows, 9/7/13

Poverty, chastity, and obedience are called the three evangelical counsels, the counsels Jesus recommends in the Gospel for those who desire to do more than the minimum to get to heaven, and to aim at Christian perfection (Mt. 19:16-22). By Christian perfection we mean that extremely elusive condition of perfect charity, love of God and love of neighbor, that we will enjoy for all eternity and which we seek, by the grace of God, to reach in this life, sinners that we are. In fact, if we don’t work at it consistently and generously in this life, God will have a lot of polishing to do on us before He admits us to heaven when we die.

The vast majority of religious communities of priests, brothers, and nuns take these three as vows when they make their commitment to belong to their community forever. Through practicing these vows they witness to the world a higher reality. They declare through all of what the counsels imply that there is indeed something more enduring than this world. As laity, we can practice these counsels according to our state in life, too. The more we desire to reach Christian perfection out of love of Jesus, the more we can look to these three counsels to guide us in our daily choices.

Continue reading at Barb's blog Suffering with Joy.

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