Thea Jarvis wrote for the Georgia Bulletin, Atlanta's Catholic weekly newspaper for 19 years and has also had articles in the Atlanta Constitution, America, Catholic Digest, and the Catholic News Service. In this sprightly paperback, she salutes the Christian virtue of hospitality which offers the modern world an alternative to human division, isolation, and enmity. She writes:

"Hospitality is the social staff of life, a starting point for discourse and interaction. Even when we're not conscious of its presence, hospitality stands by like a gracious host, discreetly ensuring friendly exchanges and peaceful outcomes. It's background music to the human dance, an old song that still rings true."

This virtue has always been important to indigenous cultures who place great value on kindness to strangers. Jarvis finds hospitality in the Bible in the actions of Abraham and Sarah, Jesus' feeding of the five thousand people, the wedding feast at Cana, and the many gatherings of the disciples after the departure of Jesus. Today, hospitality has become a part of the business world: Jarvis points to "lavish hotels, professional catering services, and exclusive vacation packages." But these have little to do with the virtue which is "the outward expression of an inner attitude, a virtue that erupts from the heart, spilling out toward others."

The author is inspired by the hospitality of Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Henri J. M. Nouwen, and others. They model for us the warmth and communal dimension of this element of spirituality:

"Hospitality is a natural outgrowth of my membership in the human family. It's a hand's-on, open-armed virtue rooted in an instinct to grow beyond my inner landscape, like a flower turning its face to the sun. It demands my availability and attention, my flexibility and spontaneity. Unpredictable, often capricious, hospitality may mean wiping my grandson's runny nose one day and babysitting for my daughter's golden retriever the next."

Jarvis explores five steps of hospitality and reveals its importantance as a Christian virtue. To practice it every day is to bring blessing and comfort to others and to make the world a better place.