Sunday, September 26, 2010

Would you like a cup of chai?

I have never been a coffee drinker. I am an unabashed lover a tea since childhood and enjoy this time in which tea seems to have gotten great favor because of the varieties available. I trust that St. Catherine Cafe includes a fine offering of global teas.

I have had the opportunity to travel and study throughout the Middle East where it is not unusual to be offered a cup of "chai" - the word used by peoples of the Middle East for all teas. From Bedoin tents to priory or convent of Dominicans Sisters or Friars in that part of the world, the offering of chai was a wonderful adventure.

Hospitality is an important part of Arabic culture with certain attributes that can be seen even in Old Testaments stories. Abraham and Sarah welcomed three strangers, offering them the best their household could provide. In those days, to be a sojourner gave the opportunity to welcome the stranger who had the potential to become a friend.

When a woman considers our vowed life, she provides us the opportunity to welcome her in the hope that she not only becomes a friend but more deeply - a Sister.
Sr. Roberta Popara, OP
North Palm Beach, Florida

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