Lonni Collins Pratt and Fr. Daniel Homan, a Benedictine monk collaborated on the fine book Radical Hospitality: Benedict’s Way of Love. One of my parishioners recommended it to me months ago, and it finally made it to my bookshelf last month. Ms Pratt and Fr Homan weave stories
This volume reads like a dream–I mean that in at least two ways.
First, the interweaving of stories and the lessons from the Rule of Saint Benedict. Sometimes significant stories, and sometimes small stories point us to the wisdom of monastic hospitality. This wisdom has been practiced by monks for centuries, and is part of a tradition seemingly balanced on a paradox: how does one separate from the world, and yet remain open to visitors?
Second, the writing is just great.
This book is not about a plan or a program of instilling hospitality in some aspect of ministry. Many such books are out there on the market. Welcome people in your parking lot: creepy or essential? Welcome people into your home: presumptuous or warm? Welcome people into ministry: vocations recruitment or authentic discernment. This book provides no such answers for people looking for the how-to.
Ms Pratt and Fr Homan write with the assumption that the reader wishes to explore with Saint Benedict what hospitality means to the believer and how it forms the believer for a deeper encounter with God through other people.