The threefold vows that we profess are Benedictine.
Stability does not allow us to run away from where we are, who we are and what we are called to do in this moment. Stability forces us to stand our ground and fight the good fight right here, right now, and with all of the grace that God graciously offers us. It is the commitment to remain committed, to respond to whoever and whatever legitimately demands our time and attention, regardless of personal feelings or convenience. It is the statement which reads, 'Here I stand. Here I remain. Here I will not be moved: I will be present in this moment, one to the next, aware of myself, my environment and my commitments.'
Stability urges us to fight the tendency to surrender to meaningless daydreaming and wishful thinking. It grounds us in the moment, serving God where we are, with what we have, by doing the ordinary things we do every day, intentionally and thoughtfully, for His greater glory and our own conversion. It binds us to our Community and our Lord, without equivocation or apology.
Conversion is about openness to change and the demands of spiritual growth. Conversion is allegiance to the demands of the Gospel to 'be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.' Conversion calls us to respond to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and surrender who we are for who He is helping us become. Conversion calls upon us to use our time intentionally and wisely and well; to consider our beginnings and endings. We are called in conversion to order our days so that we might gain all that the Lord has planned for us: this includes work, study, prayer, leisure, ministry, rest and all the gifts of an ordered, ordinary Christian life.
Conversion challenges us to order our days so that we might open our hearts. Conversion asks that we consider our choices and choose that which produces growth. It calls us onward to be what we were not, and to become who we were not, so we might more perfectly grow from grace to grace.
The modern word obedience is derived from a word which meant 'to hear' or 'to listen.' Obedience is not about blindly following orders or simply doing what you are told. In fact the Prologue of St. Benedict's rule is this: 'Listen, my son, to your master's precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving Father's advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to Him from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.'
Obedience is not the end of personal freedom, but the beginning of personal liberation—it liberates us from the tyranny of the capital "I" and requires that we orient ourselves to who or what has something to say to us, especially as it comes through Holy Scripture. Obedience is allowing godly people to inform us, being willing to listen to advice, and giving up our own conceit, as difficult as that is. In the practice of obedience we hear what is being said to us through Scripture and we respond willingly and readily to what we have heard. Obedience is conforming our will to the will of God and to His plan for our lives.