Wonderful art, unknown artist to me.

Welcoming all as Christ

Welcome all as Christ:
The Rule of Saint Benedict may seem antiquated to us today. Written in the early 6th century as a rule of life for those living together in community as Christians and monks, the Rule of Saint Benedict provided much needed direction and a path to living in community together. (Without killing each other -anyone who has had several roommates understands what I’m saying here).

As a priest in a local church, The Rule of Saint Benedict (RB) also provides me with insight, and it challenges me on how we can be the church in the world today. In a culture that is so very self absorbed, the RB can help us recover some of what is best on being the community of God and to give hope to a despairing world. The RB also may enrich our culture today by reminding the community of God how the early church and early monasticism viewed each other, and how each was to view the stranger, the new person among you. According to the RB, each person has great value.

Chapter 53: The Reception of Guests

All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35).  Proper honor must be shown to all, especially to those who share our faith (Gal 6:10) and to pilgrims.  Once a guest has been announced, the superior and the brothers are to meet him with all the courtesy of love.

(RB p.89 Anthony C. Meisel and M.L. del Mastro, Doubleday 1975).

To do this we have to train our eyes to really see people, to be aware, to see people as Christ sees and to respond in kind.

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