This was a popular theme in the time of Jesus. It was so popular that the Rabban Gamaliel, when asked about the nature of scripture, said "honor God and don't do to someone else what you don't want done to you. That is the whole of scripture, all the rest is commentary."
It sounds easy doesn't it? It is . . .to a point. And it was a necessity in Benedict's time. The idea fit in to the whole of the Rule; to be welcoming instead of shutting the door on strangers. It was part of the reason Benedictine Abbeys became such places of refuge. In a time of danger, it was wonderful to encounter a place where a stranger would be treated as well, if not better, than the monks.
The concept is still fairly easy when you're dealing with the members of your own family, or when we're talking about the more pleasant members of your church. But what about the person who constantly complains? How about in society as a whole? Or what about the person we see begging at the side of the road? Benedict makes no exceptions. Neither did Jesus.
Help us, Father Benedict to always remember this part of the Rule. And help us to repent when we've broken it.
Brother Oscar Romero