When I was in high school, I had a poster with a little rhyme that has always stuck with me. It read, “There’s a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you.” In the spiritual sense, this is especially true. We are all one body of Christ; when one part suffers, they all suffer. When one part rejoices, they all rejoice.
These past few days, with the convergence of various nationalities in the house, I have reflected more on what I like to call the ripple effect. For example, all of us are here because of how Pier Giorgio chose to live his life. I think Pier Giorgio would rejoice to know that spiritual bonds have been formed between French and American and Polish and Italian friends all because of him. How else would we ever know each other? But we’re also here in Pollone in this house in particular because it is where Francesco Ametis, Pier Giorgio’s grandfather, decided to settle down. If he had chosen the next town over, I could be writing from Sordevolo or Occhiepo Superiore – neither sounds quite as nice as “Peaceful Pollone.”
It is easy to forget that our daily lives, our daily choices, really do have an impact on those around us – for better or for worse. If we work for the common good of all, we build up the body of Christ; if we work for our own selfish gain, we tear it down. In Pier Giorgio’s daily life, each act of charity, each sacrifice, each kindness shown toward those around him, especially the lesser fortunate, was like stone after stone after stone being cast into the lake – sending ripples into the next millennium and maybe even beyond. ///cmw