Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Virtue of Hospitality

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about how St. Elizabeth Ann Seton extended small gifts of hospitality as a married woman to her estranged father. Despite being abandoned by her Father during her childhood, St. Elizabeth "made a home for her Father at her house."

Her example really inspired me to better practice the virtue of hospitality in my own family. I'm an adult convert and my Catholic faith has been the source of many tense conversations with my parents as I slowly changed from obessed Career Girl into a stay at home Mommy with baby, after baby, after baby, after baby attached to my hip.

St. Elizabeth encouraged me to do something simple to set the tone for a relaxed family visit from the start: Serve Tea when my parents come to visit.

With my husband's help on Saturday, I not only managed to clean the living room, feed the baby and dress four kids in a fresh set of clothes.

I also washed the tea set that I inhertited from my maternal grandma....
Posted by Picasa

ironed a table cloth that I inherited from my paternal grandma and cheerfully served coffee to my visiting parents!

Simple signs of love that paid great dividens!

Posted by Picasa

(look at my relaxed smile! Only took 8 years of gulping down the Eucharist! :-)


  1. Now this is an amazing act of love. I am just speechless. This is exactly the why behind what we believe. You put it into words perfectly and we get to share your holy actions. Those smiles on your parents' faces say it all.

    Virtue. Love. Forgiveness. Hospitality, indeed!

  2. And I just love how your father is touching your hand!

  3. My Dad and my relationship really healed during my daughter's experience in the NICU. He lost his father the day before his granddaughter Tess got diagnosed with a fatal birth defect & began "the fight of her life."

    My dad wasn't present at Tessy's birth, but he was there for her emergency baptism and drove me home from Children's Hospital on that first day her diagnosis when I was totally shattered.

    Tess actually came home from the NICU on his birthday, and he was at our house to greet her! I didn't realize how much all that pain transformed him until I saw the pictures of her homecoming. My Dad had never looked at his grandchildren like he looked at the healed Baby Tess--he suddenly "got it."

    As my friend and fellow Children's Hospital Mama says "suffering sucks, but the fruit of suffering is beautiful!"