Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The third Benedictine vow is Conversion of Life. With this vow the monk or nun commits themselves not just to a single conversion experience, but to the conversion of their whole life. In other words, commitment to total transformation into the image of Christ.
The monk or nun takes a lifetime vow because it takes that long to truly be conformed to the image of Christ. God plays a long game and He is at work changing us from the inside out, but we need to cooperate with that work of the Holy Spirit.
Being aware that God wants to do this work is the first step. One of the most discouraging things as a pastor is to realize that so many Catholics not only do not desire this transformative work to be accomplished, they don’t even know it is possible!
The vow of Conversion of Life is the vow to work hard by God’s grace to bring the life of the Holy Spirit alive not only in our own hearts, but in our homes, our school and our wider community. It is a conversion of life—in other words a conversion of the whole world.
I am convinced that a parish full of people who are seeking obedience, stability and conversion of life can change the world. That is why I want to share this beautiful way of following the Lord Jesus—following him in the way of St. Benedict.