All posts tagged: hospitality

Benedictine Hospitality as Making Space

Yesterday, I spoke at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, IL, on Sacrosanctum Concilium. Before the talk, I was invited to pray at Mass, as well as eat dinner with the monks in the refectory. At Mass, I watched as the monks entered the Abbey Church, some using walkers to make their way to the choir. The last monk to enter was blind, moving slowly with his walker down the sloped church. The eyes of every monk was watching him not with a sense of impatience but attentive to any needs that he might have during his journey to the choir. Individual monks, unbeknowst to their aged confrere, moved slowly out of the way, making space for their brother in Christ. At dinner, the subtle dance of making space continued. The monks knew where to sit at table. They knew who was to pray, and when he was to lead prayer. They slowly told their guests what to do, never in a demanding way, but with a spirit of love. They waited for their after meal prayer …