At Christmastime my thoughts keep turning to all my friends and family whom I will not be with for the feast, and I want to pick up the phone to talk to each one, to tell all that I miss them, tell them that if I were with them I’d hug them tight. The Father’s gift of Love, of His only-begotten Son, is the quality of love that is expansive and overflowing in its essence. It — He –fills the universe, and will fill us to the degree that we are empty of self. I guess just thinking of it makes me feel more like sharing.
Sometimes I cry because I miss these people whom I can’t touch and look in the eye; mostly the tears are out of gratefulness for having so many people in my life to love. Following fast on the heels of that thought is the chance to soak up that Love myself in the moment of grace. I notice, though, that this kind of quietness is hard to hold on to as the busyness factor multiplies now, and there’s definitely no time to be chatting on the phone with all my beloveds.
This poem that Maria posted to set December’s mood on her excellent Poem a Day is what I would like to say to everyone, every creature made in God’s image. And also, “God is with us!”
LETTER TO A FRIEND
I salute you. There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much that, while I cannot give you, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today:
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present:
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy:
And so at this Christmas time I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.
~ Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1435?-1515), Italian Franciscan friar and scholar