“Stability calls us to believe that if we stay where we are, God will find us.” (Lonni Collins Pratt & Father Daniel Homan, OSB. Benedict’s Way: An Ancient Monk’s Insight for a Balanced Life, p.55).
In our day and age of faster than lightening electronics and internet technology, if we don’t like something we can just change it. Iphones, clothing, appliances can all be found and exchanged. In short, we are spoiled brats.
Yet, for all of the materialism and consumerism that gives us things that make life better, there is one thing that has not changed; life can still stink. Relationships become wounded. People that we love pass away. Cars still break down. Computers and iphones still crash. Jobs can be lost. Retirement pensions that we once thought would keep us economically safe until we die, get taken away and we are left with nothing. Friends we have trusted all our lives betray us. Priests and those entrusted with helping us in our faith, disappoint us.
As Lonni Collins Pratt in this chapter on Stability writes that there are times when change in our lives is necessary and good. I recently found this out when It became necessary for my family to find a new Parish.
The Benedictine Vow (and Lonni uses the good word “virtue’ here) of Stability is about grounding ourselves in God where we are in the here and now. It is about not running away and trying to hide, or wear a mask. Stability is about living with faith and trust in God and not the particular thing or even the situation itself. Stability is about searching for God in the midst of things as they are, to see what God might be saying to us through them. This concept is another aspect of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer is not an activity or a moment. Contemplation is listening to God speak to our hearts through what is in the here and now, because we are aware of God’s grace calling us and molding us.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB