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


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

Life in Community

A key Benedictine value is Community Living. We become who we are through our relationships with others. As Benedictine Sisters, we promise stability, which is crucial to community life. It means “to cultivate rootedness and a shared sense of mission.” Benedict said, “Stand firm in your promises.” He also said, “Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. … Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love.”