CHAPTER 61 - The Reception of Visiting Monastics

If after a while visiting monastics may wish to remain and bind themselves to stability, they should not be refused this wish, especially as there was time enough while they were a guest, to judge their character. RB 61:5

Benedict looks for essential qualities in those who come inquiring about membership whether the person is new to monastic life or a monastic from another monastery. Is the person seeking God, humble, loving, balanced and stable? Is there an interior contentment? However, if you read his Rule carefully, these are the same qualities that Benedict says the receiving membership ought to have. Those who receive a visitor are to be God-seekers, open, ready to listen, accepting, and eager to learn from the example of others. For Benedict it seems like community life is always a two-way street. On each side of this two-way street there is seeking, humility, love, stability, balance, respect, sharing, giving, receiving, and openness.

So, what we expect from others might first be looked for in ourselves. Tall order!!!!