At first glance, this chapter seems a bit bizarre. What's the big deal about accepting hospitality when outside the monastery on business? To make sense of it, I find it helpful to remember that the table and the oratory are the two pillars of community life for a Benedictine. When one takes vows to become a member of a Benedictine community, then, the table becomes an important crucible of formation along the path laid out by our Father Benedict, a path one has vowed to walk. To sit at another table without permission from the community is to say, "I am not bound by my vows. I do not need the common table." And so, as we discussed during the chapters about the discipline of the Rule, the natural consequence for such behavior is to be excluded from the community table in order to bring into sharp relief the choice one faces between life inside or life outside of the community.
We have the occasional opportunity to see a similar story at play in settings such as the Olympic Games. To be an Olympian is to conform to a set of clearly defined, somewhat esoteric standards of behavior, and we learned during the 2012 Summer games that there are consequences for not conforming to those standards. One does not get to post racist tweets, use performance enhancing substances, or throw badminton matches and still receive the benefits of being an Olympian.
One crucial difference to note between the community generated by the Olympics and Benedictine community, however, is that discipline in the idiom of St. Benedict is always intended to restore the errant member to full communion with the sisters and brothers.