“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” ~
Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna
Good morning sweet souls. Isn’t the magnificent Saint Stephen’s Cathedral simply glowing with joy? I am certain this Cathedral has given comfort, peace, and joy to countless people throughout the years. Certainly, the reverence one would feel in this beautiful church would be a gift of joy.
And speaking of joy, I want you to know the joy your visit brings. I appreciate you and your comments more than you can imagine.
As this is the greatest season of ‘Joy,’ today, I would like to share the words of Fra Giovanni Giocondo, written on Christmas Eve 1513 to the Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi. I found this many years ago in a book written by Harry Davis. The book, “Forever Christmas,” is about Christmas at the home of someone I have long admired, Tasha Tudor. In the book, Davis states, “The words of Giocondo contain a philosophy that has guided her life.” I hope you, too, will find the writing as meaningful, reassuring, and lovely as I did.
“Take Joy” by Fra Giovanni Giocondo
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.
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 our reach,
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.
Wishing you and yours beautiful December days.
And may you “now and forever,”
Notes: Fra Giovanni Giocondo was a Franciscan friar, architect, archaeologist, and scholar. He was born c. 1433, Verona, Republic of Venice and died July 1, 1515, Rome.
Tasha Tudor, 1915~2008, was an author and illustrator of many children’s books. She was also an avid gardener and authority on 18th century home skills.
Image: via tumblr