If we come to the heart of their life, however, the monks of Norcia are best known for their dedication to the full traditional monastic Divine Office and the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass, which they celebrate with profound reverence, peaceful fervor, and soul-stirring beauty. During my few visits to the monastery, there have been times when I have felt transported out of this world into the courts of the heavenly Jerusalem. That foretaste of bliss has not left me months or years later; it lingers on as a fragrant memory, like the scent of incense that lingers in a church long after the liturgy is done.
Alas, Wyoming is a long way from Norcia, and I imagine that many of my readers are in a similar plight: we admire the monks, we may even listen to the broadcasts of their monastic hours, but we don’t expect to be able to visit them in person any time soon. Fortunately, the monks have produced for us a work of beauty and utility that connects us, however distant we may be, to the concrete realities of their monastic life and the overarching scheme of the Church’s liturgical year. It is their annual calendar, the 2014 edition of which is now available.
Finally, however, it is the beauty of the calendar that must speak the final word. (The calendar is on whiter paper; the photos, taken in the evening, make it look a bit darker.)
The calendar serves as a fundraiser to assist the monks. If you are interested in purchasing a copy or copies, please go here.
May God bless the good monks of Norcia!