60. As living members of the Body of Christ, Oblates are more intimately united with Jesus Christ and his Church by their Covenant Promises: Poverty of Spirit, Purity of Body & Soul, Penance (A Life of Ongoing Conversion), Humility and Charity, by which we live without formal vows in the spirit of the evangelical counsels.
61. Charity itself forms the spiritual cross of the Oblates, which consists of three branches – Poverty, Purity, and Penance – and is rooted in the foundation of Humility.
62. “Whoever possesses one and does not offend the others, possesses all. And whoever offends one, does not possess any and offends all.” (St. Francis of Assisi)*
63. As Jesus drove out the moneychangers from the temple – which was to be “a house of prayer”* – Oblates should purify their hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession, power and prestige, and they should renounce the spirit of the world. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3
64. Oblates are to offer their bodies as “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1) Oblates must consider themselves “dead to sin and alive to God.” (Rom. 6:11; cf. Rom. 8:10) “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Eph. 1:4; cf. 1 Thes. 4:7)
65. Oblates are to conform their thoughts and deeds to the likeness of Christ by means of that interior radical change which the Gospel itself calls “penance” (metanoia), which is our turning to God and cooperation with grace. “Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt. 3:2)
66. Oblates are to clothe themselves with humility, “for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Jas. 4:6) “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt. 23:12) If we wish to attain eternal salvation and to that heavenly exaltation of perfection, we must understand without doubt that we ascend according to the measure of our humility and we descend according to the measure of our pride.*
67. Oblates, as imitators of God, are to walk in love (Eph. 5:1-2; cf. Jn. 13:35), which is the bond of perfection (Col. 3:14). “He who abides in love abides in God and God in him,” (1 Jn. 4:16) for “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8) and God has commanded us to love others as he has loved us. (Mt. 22:37-40)* “Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.” (St. Vincent de Paul)
* Salutation of the Virtues
* Cf. Mt. 21:12-13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45-46; Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11
* Cf. The Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. 7
* Cf. Lk. 6:27-36; Jn. 13:34-25, 15:12; Rom. 13:8,10; Ga. 5:14; Eph. 5:2; 1 Pt. 1:22; 1 Jn. 3:10-11, 23, 4:7, 12, 21; 2 Jn. 1:5