Friday, October 19, 2007

Benedictine Hospitality

Hospitality as a Justice Issue

In her book St. Benedict's Toolbox, Jane Tomaine says:

Benedictine hospitality is also concerned with issues of justice. Our hospitality is to extend beyond family, beyond neighborhood, beyond church, and beyond our local community. We're to seek Christ in far-reaching places of poverty and loneliness, extending hospitality in concrete ways. Hospitality says that the issues of the poor are our problem and that we must take steps for positive change in the lives of others. Hospitality is a call to action.

She then quotes Joan Chittister, O.S.B. from her book Wisdom Distilled from Daily Living:

Benedictine hospitality is more than simply thinking new thoughts or feeling new feelings about people we either thought harshly of before or, more likely, failed to think about at all. Benedictine hospitality demands the extra effort, the extra time, the extra care that stretches beyond and above the order of the day.

Real hospitality for our time requires that, instead of changing the channel or turning the page, we try to determine what it is about our own lives that is affecting these others. We have to wonder how we can help the poor at the doorstep who live thousands of miles away. Hospitality says that the problem is mine, not someone else's. It is my door and my heart upon which these people are knocking for attention.

Jane Tomaine continues:

Benedictine hospitality must extend beyond family and friends to the world. We who have been given the resources of education, money, and freedom can use those gifts to help the impoverished and forgotten in this country and abroad. We can be the voice that call as for justice and equity.

What do you think about this?

In peace,
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

P.S. to my brother: Happy Birthday. I know what you did last summer. Don't forget that Mom's birthday is exactly six months from today. Love, Linda+

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