Howton Grove Priory | Mobile WebsiteSharing a Vocation with the World . . .


Later today we expect a visit from our bishop. He is always very approachable and our welcome tends to be correspondingly low-key and Lenten in its simplicity: he is easy with us and we with him, which is a great blessing. I did hear a vacuum cleaner being hauled into the library yesterday, but clearly Great Works were not being undertaken.

It made me think about how we welcome others. So often we concentrate on the adjuncts of hospitality: food, drink, setting. The really important element of welcome, giving time and listening to the other, is something we are less good at. Why? It is surely easier than killing fatted calves or organizing great celebrations. The analogy with prayer is obvious. God asks of us a listening heart rather than great sacrifices, but we often seem keen to give him sacrifice (often trivial) rather than obedience. It doesn't work the other way, of course. God gives us everything and listens to us, too. Perhaps we should think more about how God has welcomed us into his life than how we try to welcome him into ours. Look at the crucifix and see how his arms are spread wide to receive us, eternally.