Gueranger's Manual for Oblates - Part II: Chapter One

I previously posted the introduction to this Manual by Dom Gueranger, and translated into English by an anonymous secular priest.  Here now some of Chapter One, with my headings etc:

Chapter One: The nature of Oblation and the liturgical practices an oblate should adopt

"Since our Lord Jesus Christ imparts to His Faithful, by means of His Church, all the graces which He has merited by His Incarnation and Redemption, Christians ought to have nothing more at heart than to remain united to this Holy Church, which, being the Spouse of Our Saviour, is, at the same time, their Mother.

In order to increase their confidence in her, and to revive the sense of union with her which ought to be abidingly theirs, a pious Association has been formed, of persons whose aim it is to acknowledge the benefits which God confers upon us through His Church, and to cling most closely to her, in order to be more and more intimately united to her Divine Spouse.

To the members of this Association it will be evident that, the closer they keep themselves to the Mother Our Lord has given them, the safer they will be, and the more meritorious will be their works.

To this Holy Church their mind and heart will be in entire submission: always ready to accept, as matter of faith, all things that she has taught to be so, all that she teaches or will teach to be so, until the end of time.

This disposition of submission and love in regard to Holy Church will prompt them to unite with her in all works having God’s worship for their object - works which, at the same time, promote God’s glory and their own sanctification and merit.

The sacraments

The seven Sacraments whose guardianship and administration Our Lord, ere He ascended into Heaven, entrusted to His Church, will be regarded by them with the utmost reverence; and they will beware of ever confounding these operative signs of grace, instituted by Our Saviour, with any other work, resulting from the personal holiness of any created being.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the same as that of the Cross, they will esteem to be the highest means of paying honour to God, of rendering thanks to Him, of appeasing His anger, and of obtaining His aid.

As to Holy Communion, they will never isolate it in their respect and love from the oblation itself, of the Holy Sacrifice, whereby we are put in possession of this priceless treasure; they will receive it frequently, with a thankful and loving adoration, according to the intention of its Divine institutor.

Devotions

Impregnated with the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, they will not fail to manifest a deep and tender devotion to the most holy and Immaculate Mother of God, the holy Angels, and the Saints honoured by the Church’s cultus: and, as true Catholics, they will in nowise seek to hide their veneration for sacred relics, paintings, and images, nor their esteem for pious and devout pilgrimages.

Unity with Peter

The Holy Church being, for all the Faithful, the Mother apart from whom they could not have God for their Father, they will be careful to imbue themselves with her spirit, and to be in all things of one mind with her. Hence, seeing that she is built upon Peter, the Rock whereon she was founded by her Divine Head, they will honour the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, as the Infallible Vicar of Christ upon earth, Doctor and Pastor of the whole Church of God, the divinely-appointed source of spiritual authority and of the power of the keys. For their lawful Bishop they will have the respect and submission due to the higher members of the sacred Hierarchy; they will regard as a work most pleasing to God, to aid in giving to His Church ministers who are able teachers of her doctrine, zealous for the Kingdom of Christ, and for the sanctification of souls.”

Respect for religious vows

[At this place in the manuscript the venerable Abbot of Solesmes had written, as a note for further development, “Estime de l’Etat Religieux.” The following paragraph has therefore been supplied from other of his writings.]

[The same spirit of faith will inspire them with a great respect for vows, which add new merit to a Christian’s actions. For this reason, the religious state, which is constituted by the three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, and finds its most complete and most ancient form and expression in the Monastic Order, will be regarded by them with especial veneration.

Moreover, with the Church, they will esteem and love, in each one of the other Religious Orders, the end for which it has been approved by the Holy See, and the good which it has already done, or which it is called upon to do.]

Christian life

Let them greatly prize their noble name of CHRISTIANS, formed from that of Christ their King, Son of God and Son of Man in unity of Person. They will glory in their surname of CATHOLICS, which distinguishes them from those who, though they may have received Baptism, have ceased to belong to the one divinely appointed Christian society of the Faithful. They will attach great value to the signs of the Catholic faith, upon which the Church has shed the benediction of which she holds the source. The holy oils, holy water, the blessed tapers of Candlemas Day, the blessed branches of Palm Sunday - all these and such like things they will hold in esteem: as regard devotions and objects of veneration, they will always prefer those which are, as it were, stamped with the Church’s seal, and bear the impress of the heavenly power she has received and which she exercises.

They will take an interest in the Feasts of the Church, in the ceremonies she employs, and even in the rubrics she observes. Every week they will ascertain under the protection of what Saint each of its days is placed. The Liturgical Calendar, with which, in the ages of faith, our forefathers were so familiar; the lives of the Saints themselves, the attributes with which the Church has from ancient times approved that they should be represented, shall be known to them; and should they have any influence on the education of the young, they will take pleasure in inculcating in their youthful charges the pious tendencies which were popular in the ages of faith.

Pious practices habitual among the Faithful will be dear to them in proportion to their having obtained the approbation of the Apostolic See; and they will have a particular confidence in indulgences, of which the use has been declared good and salutary to Christian people by the Council of Trent."

You can find the next part in this series here.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Are you an oblate yourself, and if so, to which monastery are you affiliated?

Just curious.

Btw, I enjoy the blog very much. I've prayed the Monastic Office for five years now. Before your blog, on days of rubrical confusion I'd default to my Roman Breviary, but since you began writing, I can stick to beautiful Diurnal.

Keep up the good work!