In his rule, St. Benedict describes one of the decrees of monastic life. The monk "is to promise, before God and his saints to be stable" -- that is, to settle in a place, one place, for life. It is not an assumption we share. Indeed, the notion of a grown man still living in the house where he was born conjures images of instability, mental and emotional. We imagine Boo Radley, afraid of the world beyond his porch.
Our world is shaped and defined not by stability of place, but by mobility and its partner, consumer choice. The premise of consumer choice is that, somewhere, the perfect fit between product and purchaser exists. It is the responsibility of the producer to offer it, the responsibility of the purchaser to find it. Shop till you drop.
This column first appeared July 20, 2009. Read the full column here: Sticking with an imperfect (church) fit 
Editor's Note: We can send you an e-mail alert every time Nussbaum's column, "My Table Is Spread," is posted to NCRonline.org. Go to this page and follow directions: E-mail alert sign-up . If you already receive e-mail alerts from us, click on the "update my profile" button to add Nussbaum to your list.