A poem by Fra Giovanni, (1513)
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 today.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy.
There is a 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 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.
Our joys too: be not content with them as joys.
They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
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 flee away.