Resources for Discerning Lay Association with the Various Religious Orders?


#1

I would welcome suggestions for learing about the various religious orders in order to help me discern... perhaps... lay association, oblate, third order, whatever it is called.

Please feel free to suggest resources for learning about other orders which I might associate myself. Books and websites would be welcome. I live near Atlanta so day trips and retreats to communities in surrounding states would not be out of the question. Even your own brief descriptions would be helpful. I know little about any other orders except the very basics - Franciscans work with the poor, Dominicans teach and preach - and that's about it.

I am very familiar with the Cistercian/Trappist monasticism in particilar and through it Benedictine monasticism in general. It is very attractive to me. I am in contact with the lay associates of a particular Cistercian monastery at this time. I have read Praying with Benedict, What Makes a Cistercian Monk, The Oblate Life, and The Cistercian Way, as well as the rule of St. Benedict.

Regarding others, I am interested in Dominican, Franciscan, and Carmelite but am not sure if there is any others I should be considering. What others have I missed? History of the various orders? The rule, especially how the rule is lived out for lay associate? Charism? Spirituality? What else do I need to know?

This is a general request, not about specific houses or communites, but the orders in general. Any sincere reply would be welcome.

Thanks!

PAX
-Tim-


#2

I use the terms lay associates, secular order, oblate, etc out of ignorance. I barely know the difference. Please forgive.

-Tim-


#3

Jwinch2 (Jason) recommended to me Sing a New Song, which gave me a glimpse into the Dominican Order. I found it helpful.

Just because I'm feeling lazy right now, I copy and pasted Jason's review on Amazon. :D

Fr. Radcliffe is the former Master of the Order and the book is a collection of his letters and talks with members of the order as he traveled around the world. In the book he talks about he various places where Dominicans are living out their vocation. In particular, he talks about places torn by war such as Rwanda, Iraq, etc, and places where there are still issues of slavery such as parts of Brazil. He discusses concepts of linking the intellectual tradition that goes on in the Houses of Study with the realities which are being lived in those places listed above. Some of the scenes he describes in places where the order has a presence are heartbreaking, some are unbelievable, and some are downright appalling in their brutality and the casual manner in which life is treated. Yet throughout, Fr. Radcliffe manages to interject hope, humor, and love in such a way that one begins to get a feel for how truly special the Order is and how they are responding to God's call.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to learn more about the Order of Preachers and the ways they are living out the spirituality of St. Dominic in the modern world, the true scope of their vocation, etc.


#4

3op.org/ is a good place to look for information on being Lay Dominican. In addition, there are literally dozens of threads on this that you should take some time to work through. I learned a great deal from them when I was discerning. If you do some searches for "third orders", "lay orders", and "secular orders" you will find a good deal of what you are looking for.

There are also groups such as the Ignatian Associates which may be worth looking into.

Peace,


#5

[quote="TrueLight, post:3, topic:265876"]
Jwinch2 (Jason) recommended to me Sing a New Song, which gave me a glimpse into the Dominican Order. I found it helpful.

Just because I'm feeling lazy right now, I copy and pasted Jason's review on Amazon. :D

[/quote]

Cheers!


#6

[quote="jwinch2, post:4, topic:265876"]
3op.org/

Thanks for this link. I noticed there is an option to sign up for the elumen newsletter,which means you get to see all the Chapter activities, which I assume will give you a greater feel for what lay Dominicans do.

[/quote]


#7

[quote="TrueLight, post:6, topic:265876"]
Thanks for this link. I noticed there is an option to sign up for the elumen newsletter,which means you get to see all the Chapter activities, which I assume will give you a greater feel for what lay Dominicans do.

[/quote]

Yep. I subscribed some time ago. I has some nice info and would definitely be useful for those wishing to know more.

Peace,


#8

Wonderful. Thanks.

There are a few lay Dominicans at my Church whom I will speak to. Brother JR posted some links to documents about Secular Franciscans which was helpful.

Carmelite info anyone?

Yet, St. Benedict and the rule keeps hounding me in my spirit. I want to be sure.

-Tim-


#9

Thanks for the links guys.

I did send an email to the Dominican Laity of the Holy Cross in Atlanta.

The study part is interesting, as is preaching. Very interesting. Do Dominicans do much contemplative prayer? How about Lectio Divina?

Lectio is one of the cornerstones of Benedictine monasticism, something which I am just starting, and one of the reasons why I am attracted to Monasticism.

-Tim-


#10

[quote="TimothyH, post:9, topic:265876"]

The study part is interesting, as is preaching. Very interesting. Do Dominicans do much contemplative prayer? How about Lectio Divina?

[/quote]

Dominicans do a great deal of contemplative prayer as well as Lectio Divina. In the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican order is "to contemplate, and to give to others the fruits of our contemplation".

domcentral.org/study/aumann/contpdim.htm


#11

For the Franciscan Third Order...

Some of their sites.

nafra-sfo.org/
franciscanstor.org/
tssf.org/


#12

[quote="jwinch2, post:4, topic:265876"]

There are also groups such as the Ignatian Associates which may be worth looking into.

Peace,

[/quote]

ignatianassociates.org/


#13

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