“I can’t imagine why God would want me”

The ancient word “oblate” proved instructive for me. Having no idea what it meant, I appreciated its rich history when I first looked it up in the dictionary. But I also felt it presumptuous to claim to be an “offering” and was extremely reluctant to apply to myself a word that had so often been applied to Jesus Christ. The monk who was my oblate director, guiding my studies of the Rule (a period that was supposed to last a year but rambled on for nearly three), waited patiently for me to sort out my muddle. Finally I said to him, “I can’t imagine why God would want me, of all people, as an offering. But if God is foolish enough to take me as I am, I guess I’d better do it.” The monk smiled broadly and said, “You’re ready.”

from “The Cloister Walk” by Kathleen Norris

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