In this season of Christmas cards and Christmas greetings, I would like to share with readers a beautiful Christmas prayer I discovered many years ago in an old school prayer book. The prayer was dated 1513 and the author identified only as Fra Giovanni. He must have been a very spiritual man, for he shows so much sensitivity and perception in his Christmas prayer.
I am your friend, and my love for you goes very deep. There is nothing really that I can give you which you do not already have. But there is much – very much – that you can take even if I am not the one to give it to you.
No heaven can ever come to us unless our hearts find rest in God this Christmas. Take heaven for a gift this Christmas.
No peace lies in the future for us which is not already hidden in this present little moment. So, take peace which is in the hidden places around us today.
The gloom of our world is really only a shadow. Behind the gloom, yet still within our reach, is joy. Take joy for your heart this Christmas.
There is light and glory in the darkness around us if only we could see it. To see the light, we only have to look.
I beg you to look for light in the darkness this Christmas.
Life is actually a generous giver, but because we judge the gifts of life by their covering, we cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering from the gifts of life and you will find beneath it a living splendour woven of love.
Welcome life and its gifts, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings life to you. The angel’s hand is in everything that we call a trial, a duty, or a sorrow.
And the gift is there, too – the Christmas gift of God.
There are joys this Christmas, too. But do not be content with them only as joys. They also conceal God’s gifts as well.
Life is full of meaning and purpose. It is full of beauty beneath its covering. I pray that this Christmas you will discover that earth is only a cloak for heaven.
All we need then is courage this Christmas – courage to claim the heaven which is in the midst of our earth. That courage is God’s Christmas gift to us who are pilgrims together wending our way home through a strange country.
So, this Christmas, I send you greetings. They are not exactly the kind of greeting the world sends. But I send them to you with great love and with the prayer that for you this Christmas and forever, the day will break and the shadows will flee away.
This beautiful prayer written by Fra Giovanni is meant for each one of us. We need joy this Christmas, perhaps even more so than we have experienced in preceding years. We need a little bit of heaven in the midst of all our immediate concerns and our ongoing worries as we struggle to overcome the ongoing effects of Covid 19 and look forward to a more positive New Year.
With all Christmas blessings.