An important aspect of our Benedictine charism is hospitality to guests. Since the very beginning of monasticism, even with the desert solitaries, showing hospitality to others, even if they were just fellow monks on a journey, was part and parcel of monastic life because our life is patterned on the Gospel. Jesus’ injunction to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35) as if it were he himself is the basis for St. Benedict’s teaching that “all guests who present themselves are to be received as Christ” (Rule ch. 53). For this purpose, Benedictine monasteries have always had guesthouses where pilgrims could lodge for the night or those seeking closer contact with God could make a short private retreat.