True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each person. It is not a place, but a state of being. Hospitality refuses to allow us to become snug and secure in our small selves. It intrudes on our schedules, makes demands on our energy, pries open our closed minds, and stretches our hearts to be bigger. Hospitality brings God in the guise of the immediate and the urgent, the uncomfortable and the unknown. It is a visit from the God of surprises who comes upon us and breaks us open to a new part of ourselves as well as to the needs of the other. Hospitality brings the world in, places it at our feet, and dares us to be who and what we say we are. Hospitality creates community with stretchable, permeable, illimitable boundaries made up of anyone who happens to come into it at any time and always saying “We are here for you.”
Adapted, Joan Chittester, OSB
May I be a person of welcome.
Is your home a place of hospitality? Who do you welcome? Are there some who are not welcomed? How open are you to meet people who are different from you?
Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Those who show hospitality grow richer, not poorer. Whoever gives, receives in return.
How should one live? Live welcoming to all.
Mechtild of Magdeburg
I welcome every creature of the world with grace.
Hildegard of Bingen
Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, for he is going to say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Rule of St Benedict
True hospitality is welcoming the strangers on their own terms. This kind of hospitality can only be offered by those who’ve found the center of their lives in their own hearts.
Hospitality should have no other nature than love.
A soul of hospitality and a heart of humanity is a house of love, peace, freedom, liberty, and justice.
There is no hospitality like understanding.
Hospitality is not first a duty and responsibility; it is first a response of love and gratitude for God’s love and welcome to us.
Hospitality knows no gender or race.