As a condition of the religious state, is opposed to the eremetical or solitary religious state.
Common life implies membership in a religious community, involving submission to a common rule and to the same superiors, and secondly, a community of goods, such as food, clothing, and lodging.
By the profession of vows, religious become members of the community, and thus assume the obligation of applying their talents and faculties for the benefit of the community, and in return have a right to support by the community.
Though common life is not essential for the religious state, still the Church has always esteemed it as an important help in fostering the religious life, for which, according to present legislation, it is a requisite (canon 487).
New Catholic Dictionary