Henri Nouwen, wrote in his book, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life that “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.” Hospitality is a virtue that we practice every day of our lives. Each one in their own way reaches out to others and tries to make others feel welcome. Every culture has its own unique style of greeting others and often this centers around food. Whether it is a cup of tea, a croissant, a cannoli, plantains, or a seven course meal the reality is the same. Human beings are meant to share life together. It is in our daily interactions that we continue to practice hospitality. Let us always remember to welcome the stranger the same way we welcome a friend.
Pat Schifini, OSU