St. Scholastica, born in the late 5th century, was the blood-sister of St. Benedict, father of western monasticism. One of the most outstanding characteristics of the Benedictine family is their warm hospitality. In his Rule for monks (and nuns) St. Benedict says that when "hospes venit, Christus venit" (a guest comes, Christ comes). This is the root of Christian hospitality and it is a particular focus in the charism of our Benedictine brothers and sisters.
There is a lesson in this for all of us who strive to live well our baptismal promises. Often it is easy to make room for a guest, a stranger, a visitor, whose stay among us is limited. It is harder, at times, to make room for those with whom we are familiar when they seek the hospitality of our own hearts. Welcoming a guest is not always limited to strangers and newcomers. Those who ask for our time, seek our attention and, at times, try our patience are also "guests." They, too, deserve to be welcomed as we would welcome a stranger, as we would welcome Christ. When we notice that a colleague, a friend, a family member, etc., is knocking on the door of our hearts, it is another hidden opportunity to welcome Christ. For what we do for the least of his little ones we do for him.
"If one soul is as much troubled about a mere nothing as another would be about some great matter, it must equally be relieved and sent away satisfied. Are we not debtors to all? They come in search of consolation; must we not give it to them?"
St. Jane de Chantal
Among the most endearing accounts of St. Scholastica is one written by St. Gregory the Great. Click here to read it.