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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Christmas messages from yesteryear and today

Christmas messages from yesteryear and today

Someone sent me this Christmas message recently.

Fra Giovanni Giocondo wrote to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi the following message on Christmas Eve, 1513:

“I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. Nothing I can give you that you do not have. Yet, 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 it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future that 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. Radiance and glory are in the darkness, if only we could see. To see, we only have to look. I beseech you to look!

“Life is so generous a giver. Yet, 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 touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Behind everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, an angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your 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 concealing your heaven. Have courage then to claim it; that is all! The courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, winding through unknown country home.

“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 shadows flee away.”

The following quotes and sayings have a Christmas theme:

“To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:12-14)

“Those who do not have Christmas in their hearts, will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith

“If Christ Jesus dwells in a person as a friend and noble leader, that person can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. Jesus is a true friend. If we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.” – Saint Teresa of Avila

“The greatest good you can do for others is not just share your riches, but to reveal to them their own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.” – Victor Hugo

“The angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:10-14)

May you have a blessed Christmas!