ACTION ITEM! Norcia Earthquake Relief Effort



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  1. Semper Gumby says:

    The damaged monastery at Norcia brings to mind a story by Martin Mosebach. The journalist Peter Seewald told this story to Cardinal Ratzinger during their book-length interview “God and the World.”

    A few years ago an English priest travelled to the Italian isle of Capri. He wore his cassock, and asked the villagers where he could celebrate Holy Mass every day during his stay on the island. The villagers hesitated, not being sure if he was serious, then replied that there was a chapel on the cliff overlooking the sea. The priest set out, climbed the trail, and discovered the chapel was near the ruins of a large villa once owned by the Emperor Tiberius.

    The priest, after some effort, opened the door to the chapel and looked around. A beam of sunlight caught specks of dust floating in the musty air. The door of the tabernacle was open, the altar cloth was soiled, the candles mere stumps, a missal tattered.

    The priest paused, then opened the window. Finding a broom he swept the floor. He cleaned the crucifix, chalice, and candlesticks. Then he put on his stole, blessed the water and salt he brought with him and set it near the door. He found a rope, fastened it to the bell, and began to pull. Soon, small groups of villagers began walking along the path towards the chapel. A few minutes later, the priest bowed before the altar and began: In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Introibo ad altare Dei.

    When Seewald finished the story Cdl. Ratzinger remarked (I’m paraphrasing): Outward and inward things belong together. There needs to be inward room for God to enter, and sometimes it requires physical labor to rebuild a church and the living Church.

    Deo volente, the monks and townspeople of Norcia will rebuild and flourish anew. Along with, of course, Birra Nursia.

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