This article on one of the Oblate spiritual values of yesterday and today addresses a topic of utmost importance as much for the missionary character of the Congregation as for the individual Oblate concerned with as faithfully as possible living up to the vocation he has received. The question is this: How to balance the pursuit of the contemplative dimension which is integral to the universal call to holiness with all the activity we are called to engage in?.
Few Oblates have difficulty understanding what "action” means. From the inception of the Congregation, we have been missionaries in every sense of the word. Being an apostolic community is an essential and incontrovertible characteristic of our Oblate charism and self-identity.
What "contemplation” means, however, is much more problematic, not only for the Oblates, but also for virtually everyone. Throughout the history of the Church the term has been subjected to widely divergent interpretations. Consequently, the first section of this article will strive to identify some of those meanings so as to discern more accurately their relationship to our mission.
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