A short note from Mary Oliver and Joan Chittister, OSB

While I’m at it, in one of her poems Mary Oliver says (in West Wind):

“To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is the mystery, which is death as well as life, and not be afraid!  To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome with amazement!”

A sturdy and trustworthy companion and guide, Mary Oliver.

And Sr. Joan, a warrior,  reminds me of how the Rule of Benedict speaks over and over again about hospitality and the reception of guests, just in case I have left an incomplete sense of the Benedictine way.   It’s hospitality that teaches us honesty and self control, devotion and love, openness and trust.  The way of hospitality is more difficult – and more meaningful – than any asceticism we could devise for ourselves, she says.  The monastery, throughout all time, was to be a place of comfort and of solace and of safety for everyone.  Refugees included.

My husband does hospitality better than anyone I know.  And he is learning to laugh.


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