Archive for September 23rd, 2021

Practice Hospitality


Written by Richard M. Gula, a contemporary priest, lecturer, and educator. This is an excerpt from his book “To Walk Together.”

Hospitality does not seek power over others. Cruelty does. Cruelty deliberately causes harm, especially by crushing a person’s self-respect. By manipulating a disparity of power, cruelty sets up a relationship wherein the stronger becomes the victimizer of the weaker. As long as the difference in power is maintained, cruelty will be maintained. To the extent that the difference in power is eliminated, to the extent cruelty will be eliminated. Philip Hallie’s studies of cruelty led him to discover that the opposite of cruelty is not liberation from the disparity of power. Rather, he found that the opposite of cruelty is hospitality, a sharing of power.


Today’s prayer is a reflection from  the Celtic Rune of Hospitality. A rune is a written character that was used in northern European cultures before the use of Latin and Latin letters took over. This Celtic Rune predates our alphabet, but doesn’t predate the Christian witness.

We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place.
And with the sacred name of the triune God
He blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often, goes the Christ
In the stranger’s guise.

Read Full Post »