"Now the one who is to be received [into the monastery] should promise before all in the oratory his stability and conversion through a monastic way of life and obedience."
- Rule of St. Benedict 58.17
Even when one knows the things that should be done, one can have a hard time doing them. One gets distracted and does things that are not needed at the moment. What one needs to do is to stop chasing after this or that distraction and, instead, to sit still and get to work!
Our inability to get to work on what should be done is called the vice of sloth. Monks have wrestled with it down the centuries. They get tired of praying, of reading good books, of doing good deeds, or of doing their assigned tasks. St. Benedict describes monks who give in to the vice of sloth as “always wandering and never stable” (Chap. 1, v. 11).
In turn, St. Benedict has his monks take the vow of stability. It means that they are to settle down in a single monastery rather than wander from one monastery to another. This vow is a reminder that even after we discern the things we must do – those essential things that keep alive good zeal and lead to life – still we must make sure to do them!