My Christmas Wish For You

As we celebrate another holiday season, I am full of gratitude for the many, many people who touched me with kindness in 2011. I am better and stronger because of you. Thank you.

I can’t capture my wishes for you better than Fra Giovanni, a Renaissance artist who wrote the following letter to a patron on Christmas Eve, 1513.

There is nothing I can give you, which you have not got,
but there is much, very much that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us 
unless our hearts find rest in today.
 Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future 
which is not hidden 
in this present little instant. 
Take peace!

The gloom of the world 
is but a shadow. Behind it, 
yet within our reach 
is joy. 
There is radiance and glory
 in the darkness 
could we but see -
and to see we have only to look. 
I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, 
but we, judging its gifts 
by the covering, 
cast them away as ugly 
or heavy or hard. 
Remove the covering 
and you will find beneath it 
a living splendor, 
woven of love, 
by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, 
touch the angel’s hand
 that brings it to you.
 Everything we call a trial, 
a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, 
that angel’s hand
 is there, 
the gift is there, and the wonder 
of an overshadowing presence. 
Our joys, too, be not 
content with them as joys. 
They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full
 of meaning and purpose,
 so full of beauty
- beneath its covering -
that you will find earth 
but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, 
that is all. 
But courage you have, 
and the knowledge that 
we are all pilgrims together,
 wending through 
unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, 
I greet you. 
Not quite as the world 
sends greetings, 
but with profound esteem 
and with the prayer
 that for you
 now and forever, 
the day breaks, 
and the shadows flee away.

Sourced from a Christmas letter written by Fra Giovanni, 1513

Have a blessed and joyous holiday season. May all your good come back to you in 2012.

7 thoughts on “My Christmas Wish For You

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