Volume 27: Talk With Franciscans (1965)
Two 1-hour lectures.
Hospitality is a spiritual act. It is a disarmament conference, because it means that you do not use terms that estrange you from that what happens to you, from the foreigner who comes in…
There is no end to this liberty of the human soul, by naming, to create foreigners and brothers, you see. The brotherhood of man is not a fact; it’s an act of faith… Society begins with this spiritual unity, you see, that everybody is glad that the other fellow also has something to eat.
Addressing Franciscan monks, Rosenstock-Huessy begins by reminding them of their own philosophy: to live intensely each day, to maintain the ability “to look into the chalice of a flower as though you saw it for the first time.” But he goes on to put their tradition in context by comparing it with that of the Dominicans, who eulogize the big picture and long time spans, and seek to generalize from experience.
He not only sees that we need both attitudes but gives vivid examples to demonstrate how and why we do. Generalizations represent order; the revelations of each day, while unpredictable, are the source of creativity.