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Attachment and Vanity?


Lady Grey, Hot

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"We know that it's vanity to get attached to one place."--an episode of The Flying Nun, circa 1967 (I understand that this is not exactly an authoritative source for Catholic thought, but it still got me thinking).

I can understand why being too attached to a single place might be wrong, but I don't quite understand why "vanity" is the sin which is pinpointed here. Does vanity run particularly contrary to detachment?

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Attachment to place, for vowed religious, has also been framed as a potential threat to poverty (that a place, cell, spot in choir) belongs to oneself - which is also dependent on the order: benedictines with their vows of stability would see this very differently than a missionary order. 
 

I’m assuming vanity would be considered for this because of the temptation to see oneself as important to a place (“they can’t do without me” “this apostolate needs me” etc). This could then also be a threat to the vow of obedience. 
 

For us lay people, attachment to place could be a threat to detachment if, in being so attached, we move away from God. Are we willing to do something sinful to preserve a place (ie a family home). Would we lose faith in God if we lost it? 

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On the other hand, the Benedictine vow of stability is based upon a concept of place--that a person in perpetual vows cannot be asked to leave the place of their profession; any departure or move to a new monastic home must be done with the active agreement of the person involved. 

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4 hours ago, Nunsuch said:

Benedictine vow of stability

Is this a thing for both active and contemplative Benedictine communities? If it is, would the person in an active community also, as part of this, be expected not to clamor for a different posting?

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"Active and Contemplative" don't really apply to Benedictines. The stability of a Benedictine has to do with the monastery in which they made their vows (which are NOT the same as "poverty, chastity, and obedience"). Benedictine vows are obedience, stability, and "conversatio morum" (conversion of manner). And, of course, "obedience" doesn't normally mean "following orders" but, rather, mutual discernment. So you need to familiarize yourself with Benedictine monasticism.

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