The Meaning of Hospitality

hospitality (noun) 1. Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.

Last week, I went on my third annual silent retreat at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist’s home north of the city. I continue to be in awe of how welcoming and hospitable this monastic community is.

I love living in a city, yet I seem to effortlessly fall into the rhythm of working, eating, worshiping, reading, and sleeping when at Emery House.








It is such a welcome change to unplug from the world and have no daily obligations except for working in the garden, attending a few services, and eating three meals.

I reveled in the simple acts of gardening, eating in silence, and reading in the library. I read two thought-provoking books: I brought Taking Our Places with me and found A Year to Live in Emery House’s library. The gist of both books is the importance of making peace with the past and being mindful and engaged in the present. I have a lot of work to do regarding the latter.

I am prescribing myself more time in nature. It’s so easy to focus on the present moment when one is watching two birds chase each other or contemplating the beauty of a flower.








I attended three services per day, which had me pondering the meaning of faith and what role it plays in my life. In recent years, I’ve felt more “spiritual,” not subscribing to any one religion. One of my favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama is:

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

Instead of attending church on Sundays, I volunteer at an animal shelter. I guess I express my faith through volunteering.

What role does faith play in your life?




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