Vow of Fidelity to the Monastic Way of Life
Another stepping stone to the monastic way of life is fidelity. Conversion means we are always changing and growing. The community would be quite boring if we would stop growing and changing. This vow allows us to rub the rough edges from ourselves and each other. It helps us to say that we choose to be faithful to this way of life, in the good and bad times. In the time of finding the pearl of great price and the time of losing it.
In chapter 72 of the Rule, Benedict states from Paul’s letter to the Romans “They should each try to be the first to show respect to the other, supporting with the greatest patience one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior, earnestly competing in obedience to one another.” We respect each other, but we also need to challenge each other. This builds us up and allows us to authentically live out fidelity to this community. We support our weaknesses, but we also help each other to conversion. Fidelity to the monastic way of life means building community and living with one another, in bad times and in good times. We help each other grow. We are working toward the buried treasure of monastic life together, not each one of us on the island alone.