Food for Thought
Hospitality has long been part of the Catholic tradition. Consider the Rule of St. Benedict, which in No. 53 tells us that “all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”
We don’t need riches or material goods to practice hospitality. It can come in gestures, in giving attention or help. Hospitality is about the relationships we build with those we come in contact with at work, in our local communities and in our parishes.
It’s an expression of the love we have received from God, the same kind of love we hope to share with others.
In the book “Radical Hospitality,” by Benedictine Father Daniel Homan and Lonni Collins Pratt, the authors say, “Hospitality is born in us when we are well loved by God and by others. Hospitality is the overflowing of a heart that has to share what it has.”
Hospitality is the answer, the authors say, to hostility, to receiving instead of judging, to opening up ourselves to others instead of closing.
They say, “Hospitality is a lively, courageous and convivial way of living that challenges our compulsion either to turn away or to turn inward and disconnect ourselves from others.”