Take It, Open It, Welcome It, Claim it…
Posted by happypizza on December 24, 2008
Happypizza: In spite of the shadows that have fallen across the world in the past year–be they economic, political, social or even personal–I wish that you will experience the true spirit of Christmas this year– The spirit of joy, that lives within us no matter what the circumstances or obstacles; The spirit of giving, seeing the need of others and responding to the best of our ability; The spirit of peace, true peace that lives in our hearts and helps us meet the storms of life with calmness, knowing that God is in control; The spirit of love, sincere love that sees each of those we come in contact with as someone who is worthy to be cared for, and the spirit and Gift of Christmas which God gave to the world through Jesus–the true reason for Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday Jesus!
Note: Below is an excerpt of a Christmas greeting written by an Italian painter/monk named Fra Angelico. I think the message is as comforting and applicable for this Christmas as I’m sure it was hundreds of years ago.
Take it…it’s yours:
“There is nothing I can give you which you have not already; but there is much, very much, which, though 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 precious 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 courage in the darkness could we but see it; and to see, we have only to look. Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, and wisdom, and power. Welcome it, greet it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it.
“Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, 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 pilgrims wending through unknown country our way home.
“And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greeting, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day will break, and the shadow will flee away.”
—Giovanni da Fielsole (Fra Angelico) 1387-1455