Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stability

The Benedictine vow that most interested me was the vow of stability. I am a Franciscan Sister after all, a member of a mendicant order, subject to transfer as needed by the Church and the congregation. So the idea of "stability" intrigued me.

"We enter here. We are formed here. We live out our lives here. We die here. ... And here we are buried."

When asked "why?" Mother Mary Anne explained that it is the Benedictine version of "know yourself." When bound to one place with one community for life, you cannot run away from problems - they have to be faced and dealt with. St. Benedict wisely saw in his time the tendency of monks to move from place to place in search of happiness - when the reality is that we take ourselves (and our problems) along wherever we go.


And so, the Benedictine nun learns to know herself, comes to grips with her weaknesses, works out her problems and learns to love, by commiting to stay put. The idea "bloom where you are planted" takes on a whole new gravity when you are so firmly planted.

And the stability of the Benedictine home offers whole new vistas of charity as the Sisters learn to love one another and to extend that love to all those who come to them: the poor, the lonely, the hurting. Mothers in the spiritual world, they bring life to those who come by drawing from the deep sources of their stable home.

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