I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it,
You may take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
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 their 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, and you will touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you!
Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty,
Believe me, the 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.
Courage then to claim it, that is all.
But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are 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.
Fra Giovanni Giocondo, 1530
Happy New Year, 2013