Benedictines take three vows: stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience. Though promises of poverty and chastity are implied in the Benedictine way, stability, fidelity, and obedience receive primary attention in the Rule-perhaps because of their close relationship with community life.
Stability means that the monk pledges lifelong commitment to a particular community. To limit oneself voluntarily to one place with one group of people for the rest of one’s life makes a powerful statement. Contentment and fulfillment do not exist in constant change; true happiness cannot necessarily be found anywhere other than in this place and this time. For Benedictines, the vow of stability proclaims rootedness, at-homeness, that this place and this monastic family will endure.
Likewise, by the vow of fidelity to the monastic way, Benedictines promise to allow themselves to be shaped and molded by the community-to pray at the sound of the bell when it would be so much more convenient to continue working, to forswear pet projects for the sake of community needs, to be open to change, to listen to others, and not to run away when things seem frustrating or boring or hopeless.