A major hardship caused by COVID-19 is its interference with the practice and extension of hospitality. Many of us regret not being able to directly and physically reach out to others—guests, visitors and even family—with our usual ways. In these months of lockdown and/or quarantine, we have little scope for travel and/or celebrations. Still, hospitality is more than this: It includes an openness of mind and heart, not subject to limitations. We can foster attitudes and dispositions of caring and respect for others, even if/when disagreeing on issues. Other aspects of hospitality include courtesy, empathy and generosity. Mutual respect seems in short supply at times and a broader definition of hospitality can and should be practiced in thought and behavior. True hospitality expands our vision and our heart. This, in turn, opens us to God’s presence at all times—our eternal guest and visitor.
By Carol Berg, OSB