Thursday, June 12, 2014

From Fear to Love

Today we had a retreat session on the Porter of the Monastery (translated easily to answering the door, phone, even emails). Unlike the monastic rules that came before his, Benedict changes the greeting that the porter/portress engages in when a visitor arrives at the monastery door. Previous to his Rule the giving of blessings was always from a "higher" placed individual to a "lower" one. (i.e. monastic to layperson). With Benedict he instructs the porter to ask for a blessing from whomever appears as a guest. In contemporary parlance our attitude should be something akin to, "We're so glad you're here; we've been waiting for you. A blessing, please." As the RB does point out elsewhere: Receive every guest as if he/she were Christ.

There are no divisions between peoples, no false hierarchy, no illegal aliens, no one higher and no one lower.

Radical philosophy!