Devotions based on Juliet Benner’s book, Contemplative Vision

When our hearts are transformed by God’s love they become places that offer space of hospitality to all. The Rule of St. Benedict says to let all guests who arrive, whether a stranger or not, be received like Christ.  The gift of hospitality begins in our hearts as we extend grace and love to everyone. That means setting aside our own preoccupations and interests to be fully present to another. When we do this, the space we offer is sacred because God is there. Juliet uses the painting by the artist He Qi, The Visitation, of Mary going to see Elizabeth after Gabriel appeared to her. As she stands with Elizabeth, she looks so humble and peacefully surrendered to God’s will. Elizabeth holds her hand and welcomes Mary just where she is. She lays aside her own story to give Mary undivided attention and that together they can listen to the leading of the Spirit. By opening her heart and home to Mary, Elizabeth has offered her space and safety and undivided attention. She listens with her whole being as she bends her head toward Mary. We are also called to share in each others’ story too. When we accompany others, offering them soul hospitality and space to share their experience of God, we become more aware of the sacred in others. Let us become more ready and available to others and watch with awe and gratitude the transformation that God is doing in us all.