The abbot’s table is reserved for guests and travelers. It is the abbot’s table that touches the world. This both intentionalizes the hospitality of the monastery (i.e. serving guests as if they are Christ), but it also allows the monks to remain devoted to the life of prayer.
But lest the abbot’s table become a separation from the monks, it is also a place where the abbot can invite monks to dine and talk with him in private.
Even today, our tables function to touch the world and to touch the community. We use our tables to reach out to people who are not among us on a regular basis. But we also use our tables to gather with friends to strengthen the bonds between us.
Good things happen when we have a table that touches others.