Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

Norris, Kathleen

Riverhead, 1998

pp. 263, 265

Benedictine communities are known for their hospitality, even to novice visitors who will make some gaffe. P. 263: “Hospitality is the fruit of their celibacy. They do not mean to scorn the flesh, but to live in such a way as to remain unencumbered by exclusive, sexual relationships. The goal is being free to love others non-exclusively and non-possessively’.” P. 265: “The elderly provide the models. Not long ago I heard a novice speak of a nun with Alzheimer’s in her community, who every day insists on being placed in her wheelchair at the entrance to the community’s nursing home wing so that she can greet everyone who comes. ‘She is no longer certain what she is welcoming people to,’ the younger woman explained, ‘but hospitality is so deeply ingrained in her that it has become her whole life.’”