Most Catholics are familiar with the three vows taken by most religious of poverty, chastity and obedience. To these three, St. Benedict (whose feast we celebrate today), added a fourth for the Benedictine order, the vow of stability.
Stability for Benedictines involves the promise to remain and live out the rest of one’s life in the monastery community which they enter, not moving about from Monastery to monastery, or place to place. One Benedictine community describes their vow this way:
We vow to remain all our life with our local community. We live together, pray together, work together, relax together. We give up the temptation to move from place to place in search of an ideal situation. Ultimately there is no escape from oneself, and the idea that things would be better someplace else is usually an illusion. And when interpersonal conflicts arise, we have a great incentive to work things out and restore peace. This means learning the practices of love: acknowledging one’s own offensive behavior, giving up one’s preferences, forgiving.
The above rule of Stability is for the Benedictine monastic life , how does it apply in our modern World. Migration for better life style has become a sickness in the modern World. People migrate to prosper in life . The success and Prosperity has become thumb rules of each ones life. The vow of stability to live in our Native places or in our Native Community is a great challenge in our lives. There is a great temptations to see the other side of the fence greener and more sterile . The Vow of Stability or come what may I will face any challenges in the environment I live is the attitude of a person who follow this rule. We see this challenges in our Studies , Offices, Society and even in our own families. Divorces have increased due to this attitude . People who were in search of a better life style have lost in their own life journey and have become wanderers like no mad in their life. The wind of success and Prosperity of this World is not coming from the Lord ,and if we follow in the current of this flow , for some period we may feel like we are in the top of the World but we are completely misguided by this Evil Witch who will one day drop us in such a dark and smelly drench where in it becomes very difficult to come out to real life.
I have seen people leaving their beautiful family and Children to earn money in far off places. The sacrifices made for the family Prosperity and success not only make us to fall but we draw family also towards the Current of Success and Prosperity. The true success and Prosperity is the love, joy and happiness of our family, and if someone wants to buy this virtues by money and success , they are so much wrong in their life , this money destroys the real happiness in their life. The real meaning of the Vow of stability is to live with in the limitations of our life with the talents and resources we possess in our life and through these talents and resources be content in our life and help others with our limited resources. This is the real formula of Charity and spreading God’s Word in action. Jesus himself used this formula by choosing the simple Disciples from the country side. The Scripture says they were not learned or rich but when they stirred their little talents in faith in their Master , they became extra ordinary people. Mother Theresa worked with limited resources of her time but when the World saw her Work in the dirty slums of Kolkotta , She became a great model and Saint to the Whole World.
Lord Jesus give me the realization that I am wonderfully made by you in your precious hand and make me content with the Resources and Talents you have Blessed in my life . Deliver me from the temptation of Success and Prosperity in my life. Amen