Benedictine Stability: The Feet Might Move, but the Heart Stays Home

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By Sister Susan Hutchens, OSB

The first promise a Benedictine monastic makes is that of “stability.”

In the Rule of St. Benedict, stability translates as “standing firm” in one’s desire or willingness to seek God in a particular monastic community until death.

This past summer, at the Benedictine Monastic Institute held annually at St. John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, MN, I learned the term “dynamic stability” – a reference to stationary movement.

My first thought was: that’s a contradiction in terms. My second thought was – I like it! It made sense. Continue Reading

Stability: Falling Down and Getting Up … Together

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By Sister Marlene Miller, OSB

Stability is one of 3 promises Catholic Benedictine women and men make at our final monastic profession.

The vow of stability is to the Sisters to whom we have promised to live, pray, support, and work with, in good times and bad, in sickness and health, into eternal life. Continue Reading

Rooted Here, Rooted Now: What Our Benedictine Monastic Promises Mean

Sister Stefanie MacDonald signs her monastic promises during a simple but beautiful ceremony in our chapel during her first monastic profession.

One of the differences between apostolic communities (like the Franciscans and Dominicans) and Benedictine monastic communities is our vows. In fact, we don’t actually make “vows.” We make promises. It’s more than a word difference!

Our promises underscore our commitment to each other, as Sisters of St. Benedict. They underscore our commitment to seeking God together. They underscore our commitment to be faithful for life. Continue Reading