The Benedictine Way – 1

Here Starts a little series on the Benedictine Way

The Benedictine Monk takes three vows: Stability, Obedience and Conversion of Life. The three vows are braided together like three strands of a strong rope.

Each of the vows has a concrete expression. The vow of stability means the monk promises to remain in one community for life. He commits himself to one family of monks, one place, one set of buildings, one way of life. The whole point is to stop him doing ‘a geographical’. He’s not allowed to run away. Stability teaches us that God is not elsewhere. We’ll find him here. We’ll find him now, or we won’t find him anyhow.

Stability is a rock. By committing to the here and the now, St. Benedict also wants his monks to be spiritually rooted. The Benedictine Way is deeply incarnational. The spiritual realities are always fleshed out in ordinary life and as a result, the ordinary realities are always charged with the grandeur of God.

Because the monk is rooted in a real place and a real time and a real community and a real routine of work, prayer and reading, his inner life also starts to achieve the kind of stability in which growth is possible. Conversely, because his inner life is rooted and grounded he is able to perceive all the minute richness of the ordinary life–which if he were hurrying about–he would most certainly overlook.

Stability is serious, quiet, humble and serene. Stability eschews the remarkable, the phantasmagoical, the stupendous and the charismatic. Stability says, “Stop, Look and Listen.” God is here. Christ is knocking at the door.

"Catholicism has always defined the ideal but there are no limits on God's mercy and ..."

Tony Palmer: Is There Salvation Outside ..."
"With all due respect, Shaun, are you relegating the actual Faith to whatever the local ..."

Notes on Tony Palmer’s Funeral
"There are good parking valets and bad parking valets. There are good housesitters and bad ..."

The Case for Conversion to Catholicism
"did you vote for Bush Fr Longenecker? would you have?"

Understanding Iraq

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jeron

    Ooooooh this is gonna be GOOD! Father, you’re speakin’ my language now!

  • There’s a fantastic (although long) interview of a Benedictine Abbot in Scotland on Youtube in which he does a fairly good job of explaining the Benedictine life. look forward to this series you are doing! 🙂

  • Methinks parish life would benefit from benedictine laity with the same appreciation of stability.

  • As a Church and a society we could use a LOT more stability.