The Odyssey is such a terrific book. If you haven’t read it recently, please do. The Robert Fitzgerald translation, please.
The *only* flaw with it is that it doesn’t end; it just stops.
Hecatombs here, there, and everywhere. Is our God as real to us as what Homer portrays?
My most substantive thought is that here we have one of the great epics of history constantly underlining and underscoring one of the primary virtues of civilized people, one of the primary virtues of the Old Testament, one of the primary virtues of the New Testament, definitely one of the prime virtues of the Benedictine tradition…do you know what I’m talking about?
Hospitality. Hospitality is absolutely central to the plot of the Odyssey. I would argue that both in liberal and conservative, Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical circles, this is one of the least understood and practiced of the virtues. And I don’t just mean the constantly used yet ambiguous defined “inclusion” either. I mean good old-fashioned Homeric style, Abrahamic, Johannine, and Matthean style hospitality. The kind that would take an absolute nobody who washed up on the freakin’ shore and outfit a boat to take them wherever in the Aegean they needed to go kind of hospitality. A hospitality that gives cold water and receives people into their communties kind of hospitality. I’m not talking about some loosey-goosey permissiveness here, I mean honest-to-God hospitality.
I sure know that I don’t do it and I’m not sure how I’d go about starting but…damn. What if we did?