Being Hospitality

Chapter 53 of the Rule of St Benedict is full of hospitable directions both for guests who come to the monastery and, in St Benedict’s directions for the distribution of work, for the monastery residents themselves.

But there is an assumption that St Benedict makes in almost offhand way. He is saying something about guests, then pauses to say,  “—and monasteries are never without them—” and goes on again with his principal thought.

The take-home from that brief interlude is that we in the monastery do not exist for ourselves alone, or for the maintenance of a self-chosen ‘contemplative lifestyle’. Yes, a monastery and its grounds are a large stethoscope allowing us to hear the heartbeat of God, but that living heartbeat comes to us most bodily, most especially, in our guests and visitors, and in our neighbors, the ones we know and the ones we don’t.

No monastery on earth exists primarily for itself—and the same could be said of any parish, any congregation. By dint of the very Incarnation of God, we must be a missionary people, as God in God’s amazing hospitality is. In our case the people mostly come to us, but we also meet them in the ordinary round of errands and what-not.

We here have received our neighbors’ enormous trust and goodwill. Let us live so as to be worthy of the endeavor that God has set us, and the trust our neighbors, and God, have in us.

Recent Issues

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015