Within Our Reach: Joy  by Fra Giovanni Giocondo

[Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435–1515) was a Renaissance pioneer, accomplished as an architect, engineer, antiquary, archaeologist, classical scholar, and Franciscan friar.  Today we remember him most for his reassuring letter to Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.]

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 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 divine 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.

[Thank You! to gratefulness.org   Be sure to check out its wonderful website: http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/fra_giovanni.htm%5D

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to Within Our Reach: Joy  by Fra Giovanni Giocondo

  1. Thanks for the insightful words of Fra Giocondo!

    Merry Christmas and may the blessings of the Christ child come to you and all your pastoral efforts.

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