On Christmas Eve in 1513, the Renaissance pioneer and Franciscan friar Fra Giovanni wrote a letter to a patron. It is one of my favorite prayers; so today, here it is for you.
I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.
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 instance. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty. Courage then to claim it, that is all!
And so I greet you, with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
~ Fra Giovanni, December 24, 1513
For me the inner cultivation of heaven, peace and joy, even in the most challenging times, is not a way to block out the challenges or the suffering of the world but the best practice for bringing the best of ourselves to the challenges we face and to the things we want to change in ourselves and in the world.
This is the Big Work we are all doing. Thank you for doing your piece of this, wherever you are today.
Wishing you heaven, peace and joy,