Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
We came from Palestine to one of the Abbas in Egypt, who gave us generous hospitality. So we asked him: ‘When the monks in Palestine give hospitality to visitors they keep to their own Rule of fasting; why don’t you do that?’ The Abba gave us this reply: ‘I am always fasting, but I can’t keep you here always. Although fasting is useful and necessary, it is a matter of my personal choice. But whether I show love to you is not a question of choice, it is the law of God. So, to receive Christ in you I must be fully present to you, and be sharing with you. When I have sent you on your way I can take up fasting again.’ The Abba also quoted the words of Jesus: ‘The friends and family of a bridegroom do not fast while he is with them; they wait until he has left before they fast.’
Cassian. Desert Sayings
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.
A Celtic rune of hospitality
Bless, O Lord, the food we eat
and if there be any poor creature
hungry or thirsty walking along the road
send them into us that we can share the food with them
just as you share your gifts with all of us.
From an Irish grace collected by Mount Melleray Monastery, Ireland