Benedict’s Rule: Front-Door Hospitality

Chapter 66 of the Rule reveals another important principle in the spiritual life:  first impressions set the tone for what follows.  Hence, the choice of a good porter (now often called a Guestmaster) is crucial.

I found it interesting that the person should be an older monk, someone not prone to “roaming about” (66:1).  I think this is more than just physical limitation; this is choosing a person who really enjoys greeting people.

The role of the porter is essential because this monk is the first person to bless those who come to the front door of the monastery—“a prompt answer with the warmth of love” (66:4).

If you’ll allow me a moment of mild humor, let me put it this way:  if I were King, I would decree that Chapter 66 of the Rule “be read throughout the kingdom.”  We just cannot underestimate the value of having people at the front doors of our businesses, schools, churches, restaurants, hospitals, law offices, etc.—who can bless people and make them feel welcome.  This goes for telephone greetings and emails as well.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Benedict’s Rule: Front-Door Hospitality

  1. jolhowell says:

    Dr. Kandace Brooks was a “Guestmaster” for me and many others at ATS – Orlando. I trust that the Spirit of our Heavenly Guest will go with her and bless her as she leaves Asubury Theological Seminary.

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