While the structures within which we live seem at times indestructible, they will all pass away: nation/states, ecclesiological institutions, the villages we inhabit, the work of our hands, our very families. Nothing on earth lasts forever. But we are called to live in light of life's eternal purpose, unencumbered by wealth, power, or prestige, free to love, welcome, and partake in the Realm of God.
Our Father Benedict's system of community ranking is intended to prepare us for life in God's household by setting up a structure that tears down all other structures. One is unable to keep hold of the positions inherited or earned outside the community. There is only the date of entry--the time at which one's intention to be conformed to the likeness of Christ was formally taken up. And the new structure is not indestructible either. It will also pass away, like countless raided and burned monasteries throughout history. But as Benedictines we learn to live without undue attachment to the particulars of our earthly existence. We learn to live in light of the Eternal Oneness of Being, which alone will never pass away.