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Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love Paperback – May 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ." So says the famous Rule of St. Benedict, written more than 1,500 years ago and still the operative standard for all Benedictine monasteries. This simple guide shows readers that hospitality is not reserved for the monastery only, but is an ideal for all Christians who wish to connect closely with one another. Homan, a Benedictine monk in Oxford, Mich., draws stories from monastery life, while Pratt, a freelance writer and retreat leader, transposes them nicely for the reader. They discuss some of the challenges of hospitality: guests sometimes have different values than their hosts; they can intrude upon the routines of daily life; they require intimate companionship when hosts might rather be alone. There is an element of surrender to true hospitality, of opening the heart to strangers as well as friends. "Forget about turned-down sheets, mints on the pillow and towel-warmers," say the authors. "Monastic hospitality creates sacred space where the guest is free to be alone, to enter silence, to pray and rest." At the heart of monastic hospitality is the discipline of listening, of allowing a guest to feel safe and loved. The book is more descriptive than prescriptive; it is not a how-to guide listing 10 steps to cultivate "deep listening" or the seven secrets of the well-laid table. It is instead a heartfelt sharing of stories, a welcome mat to enter into the spiritual discipline of hospitality.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A book that can be embraced by people from various faith traditions, Radical Hospitality provides an introduction to the timeless wisdom contained in Benedictine spirituality."

Product Details

  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press; Reissue edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557254419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557254412
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,640,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There's a danger in thinking this book is about being nice or anxious to entertain guests. There is no normal sense of the word hospitality by which one can identify the message of Radical Hospitality. It is clear-headed, wildly fun to read with unexpected sorts of stories about real people. Personally, I mistrust rave reviews. Can any book be so worthwhile that it merits no criticism? I found nothing to dislike in this vision of a kinder world. A monk who writes with a pretty woman can't be all bad.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up Radical Hospiality because of a sermon I heard in Boston awhile ago while visiting a friend from college. I did not catch the name of the author, authors as it turns out, but I was sure the minister, a woman, was quoting from a book. When I did a internet search it turned out that the phrase Radical Hospitality is used by religious and social groups from churches to conventions, all around the world. What I amazed by is that so few of the people, like the minister, name where they got their quotes or who they are quoting. This is a very fine book. It borders on brilliant actually and I am not the sort to use such a word casually. Why would anyone not want to give these authors the credit they deserve? The book, Radical Hospitality is challenging in a gentle way. I never once felt like the writers were shoving some agenda down my throat. There is just this level of telling their own experience and stories that any half-brain dead person could tell is from their hearts. Don't get me wrong. It is not a personal experience kind of book and it is not a book for anyone who like fluff instead of substance. But, if you are looking for a book about what has gone wrong in how we relate to one another, this is it. And if you love it too, be sure you tell people who you're quoting!
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Format: Hardcover
What a delight to read "Radical Hospitality", written by a monk and a mom. Both worlds, that of the monastery and the family home, are primary places of hospitality. Lonni & Daniel weave their lives, stories and faith together into a durable and beautiful welcome rug, inviting all who dare step this way into a life of "radical hospitality". The title word "radical" may turn some away from this book due to connotations of rebellion and anarchy. Don't let it. "Radical" simply means "having to do with the root, the radix". Benedictine hospitality is truly radical, returning us to our roots, our true heart home in God the God who welcomes us as we are, where we are, who we are. Hospitality begins at home with God, and at home where we live, eat, sleep and love on a daily basis with others. Radical hospitality is the true balm to heal the wounds of nations, and bring peace. But will we live this way? For another book that explores Benedictine hospitality in the home, look into THE BUSY FAMILY'S GUIDE TO SPIRITUALITY (Crossroad, 2009). The Busy Family's Guide to Spirituality: Practical Lessons for Modern Living From the Monastic Tradition
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Format: Hardcover
I gave away several copies of Benedict's Way, the last book from Homan and Pratt. I was very excited about this book and I'm not disappointed in the authors at all. It can't be an easy thing for two people, obviously such different people, to write in a single voice but they do and there is something about their single voice that is stronger than the dual voices they had in Benedicts Way. This is not exactly a "practical" book, it is about becoming rather than how to do something. The authors are upfront about that so if you are looking for a how-to guide you'll be disappointed. I liked their redefining of hospitality, taking it beyond our narrow understanding of the word. The 9/11 link is present in the book but it isn't something dripping from every line, it is really not a 9/11 book even though it was mentioned somewhere as one of the best books written on 9/11. I hope we hear a lot more from this writing pair. A couple observations. I had a difficult time getting used to the combined voice of a monk and a woman. Not sure why it bothered me at first but it did. By the second chapter I realized that my discomfort was gone. I expected something along the lines of Benedicts Way, and this is a different book. I also had to get past my expectation. However, it is a great read, very moving and profound. The authors do things with words that I've never read before. I like it very much and hope there are more coming.
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Format: Hardcover
A week ago, I heard a speaker quote from this week. She incorporated much from the book into her presentation. It was an excellent presentation. I told someone about the book and they ordered it for me. Now, I can't get enough of reading it. It has spoken directly to me somehow, like the authors were writing just for me. Eventually I will stop reading the book and try to live it in my real life everyday. That will be challenging. Few people seem interested in living a more accepting life of hospitality. One of the great things about this book is that the authors make it clear that ANYONE can accomplish that goal. It is all about becoming a more open person. Maybe that should be clear with hospitality but it was not clear to me. Hospitality was shrouded for me in all sorts of guilt and shoulds. I should be nicer, should be more open, should be more trusting. I appreciate that this book scrimps on the shoulds and tries to practice the hospitality it preaches. Great book. You gotta get it.
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