I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, 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 instant. Take Peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy!
And so begins one of my favorite Christmas books, Take Joy by Tasha Tudor. It is a lovely prayer written by a true Renaissance man, Fra Giovanni, to his patron Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.* (Here is a beautiful calligraphy rendition of it!)
Sandy shared this title with me, Once in the Year by Elizabeth Yates.It is illustrated so sweetly by Nora Unwin and is about the faith of a family along with the legends that surround Christmas.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco brings tears to our eyes every time, no matter how often we read it!
If you are looking for some wonderful titles to read for Christmas, here are my past posts on Christmas books.
2010 - What to Read For Christmas
2010 - Good King Wenceslas
2010 - Canticle of the Bees
2011 - Full Hearts
2013 - Christmas Books!
I wish you the anticipation of Advent and the astonishing Joy of Christmas,
*Here is the full letter -
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.
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 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 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. 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 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 through unknown country home.