In the section on compassion from her book, Prayer Seeds, Joyce Rupp begins with a quote from Dorothy Day that is all about hospitality (p. 46). I could easily see the connection this morning between the two virtues as I read and reflected on Dorothy Day’s life. She said this:
All Christians are called to be hospitable, but it is more than serving a meal or filling a bed, opening a door. It is to open ourselves, our hearts to the needs of others. Hospitality is not just shelter, but the quality of welcome behind it.
As the core of that message reminded me that outer actions flow from inner dispositions, a well-loved Latin chant bubbled up to add conviction to the thought. It says: Ego sum pauper. Nihil habeo. Cor meum dabo.* (I am poor. I have nothing. I give my heart.) When we learned the chant in Wisdom School, I always got stuck before the third line until I focused on the first word, cor, that means heart. I realized this morning the significance of that effort. It’s all about the heart – just like Dorothy says.