Oblates, Tertiaries, Etc.

Hood-doff to Jason Edwards and Greg Herr for pointing out this article.

I’m still not persuaded St. Thomas More was a Benedictine oblate. He had associations of some kind with the London Charterhouse, but I’ve not been able to find a confirmation that he had close connections with Benedictines or Cistercians.

Three cheers to Scalia, though, for helping a general readership better understand that the various religious institutes have distinct charisms. Even Catholic writers often refer to this or that male religious as a monk—though he might be a friar, a canon, etc.—and to this or that female religious as a nun—though she might be a sister, have been a beguine, etc.

As for religious life in the Anglican patrimony, English spirituality has a gravitational pull towards the monastic. This is for a number of reasons, many of which are explained in Martin Thornton’s English Spirituality, a must-read, in my opinion, for those interested in contributing to the discussion of just what the Anglican patrimony is.  As an example of this gravitational pull, when religious life was re-established in the Church of England in the nineteenth century, religious communities were forced to be active in order to justify themselves.  They always maintained, however, as much of the monastic tradition as they could.  In time, some of these communities have turned from external works to observances ordered specifically to the contemplative life.  Thomas Mudge, “Monastic Spirituality in Anglicanism”, Review for Religious 37 (1978), no. 4, 512.

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