Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letter to a Friend

Several years ago I came across this beautiful letter written by Fra Giovanni in A.D. 1513. The message is just as powerful and true today as it was way back then.

Dear Friend,
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;
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 it today.

Take heaven! No Peace lies in the future which
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.
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 splendour, woven
of Love, by Wisdom, with Power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the
Angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything
we call a trial, a sorrow, or 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 divine

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 together wending though
unknown country...

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 fly away."