Many monks and nuns offer a lesser-known vow in addition to their commitments to poverty, chastity, and obedience. The vow is “stability.” The monastic promises to remain with his order in a given monastery or convent for the rest of his or her life–unless for some reason the head of the order requires relocation.

In our age where the average American changes job or residence every few years, stability is rare. Indeed, for many people, it may be impossible. In the Methodist Church, for example, clergy are usually moved every seven years by their supervisors.

There is certainly a value in change–a new home can be invigorating, a new job can be stimulating. But when one feels called to stability, it can be a blessing to one’s soul and to others around you. Speaking as one completing his 33rd year in the same job and home, I appreciate this blessing! —J. Douglas Ousley

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One Response to “Stability”

  1. Anne says:

    I love this vow and wish it were more in keeping with our present lives today. Contact change is tiring!
    Congratulations on your 33 yrs!
    Kind regards,
    Anne Abbott

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