White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

Benedictine Hospitality

Benedictine hospitality is as old as the Order of St. Benedict, which began in 500 A.D. Benedictine hospitality is the hallmark of Western monasticism.

Kathleen Norris, author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography is a Protestant married woman. She recounts her experiences living within a Benedictine monastery in The Cloister Walk (ISBN 1-57322-028-0). She writes:
For a long time I had no idea why I was so attracted to the Benedictines, why I keep returning to their choirs. Now I believe it's because of the hospitality so vast that it invites all present into communal lectio, a hospitality so vast that it invites all present into communion with the text being read. I encounter there not a God who rejects me because I can't pass some dogmatic litmus test but one who invites me to become part of a process, the continuing revelation of holy word. (p. 217)

At the end of Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict that the White Robed Monks follow, we find the following:
The workshop where we are to toil faithfully and mindfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery of God's creation, specifically Earth. We persevere in the community of the human family to realize Christ's compassionate presence in thought, word, and action.

In the original rule, Chapter 53 on The Reception of Guests, we find:
All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for him himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt. 25-35).
In both rules, Chapter 4 on The Tools for Good Works, we find the maxim of hospitality itself:
You must honor everyone (1 Pet 2:17).


Peace and Joy!

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