Stability is a unique Benedictine vow. It is the vow to belong to the same monastery for one's whole life. Thus, when monks of St. Procopius Abbey take their vows, they commit themselves to be monks of St. Procopius Abbey in particular, not to the Benedictine order in general so as to belong to one monastery at one time and to another monastery at another time.
The vow of stability makes community very important for Benedictines. There in the monastery is the group of men with which one will live, share, pray, work, rejoice, and at times struggle. One will not be transferred to another monastic community (although for special reasons, such as studies, one might live for a time in another place), but instead, the monastery is home and a special place.
It is the place where God gives the monks the graces to work out their salvation. It is where they are to work on the practice of virtue and on the diminishment of vices (see Rule of St. Benedict, chap. 4), and to help each other, so that "Christ may bring us all together to eternal life" (Rule of St. Benedict, chap. 72).
"The workshop in which we perform all these [good] works with diligence is the enclosure of the monastery, and stability in the community" (Rule of St. Benedict, chap. 4, v. 73).
- Rule of Saint Benedict (or in Latin); a printed edition is available from Liturgical Press.
- Perfectae Caritatis, Vatican II's decree on the renewal and adaptation of religious life.
- Bl John Paul II, Vita Consecrata (The consecrated life).
- Renew and Create, A Statement on Benedictine life within the American-Cassinese congregation of monasteries, June 1969.
- Constitutions and Directory of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine monasteries.