I have a new Seasons of the Soul column up at Patheos:
Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Mt 25:35). ~ Rule of St Benedict 53:1-2
This quote from Benedict's Rule is a foundational expression of the principle of hospitality at work: I am called to welcome in every stranger who comes to the door as the face of the divine.
I love this invitation of the Rule. I consider what this means at its foundation: that everything that seems strange, foreign, or uncomfortable, is the place where God especially shimmers forth.
This hospitality applies to those who arrive at the door to my outer world in terms of people and experiences I find difficult or challenging.
But equally important, I think that Benedict is also pointing us to an inner kind of hospitality. I find this principle even more vital when applied to the inner life, because that is where hospitality begins.