Angel brightly dressed

This is a letter that Fra Beato Angelico, a famous Italian painter, wrote to a friend on Christmas Eve in 1387. His words ring timely throughout the centuries. I have translated and abridged his letter.

Dear Friend,
There is nothing I can give you that you don’t already have.
The sky cannot reach us until our hearts find peace, now, in this very moment.
Therefore, take the sky.

Peace is not to be found in the future because it is contained in this brief present moment.
Therefore, take peace.

The darkness of this world is only a shadow. Joy is found directly behind it –therefore, it is within our reach. In order to see it, you only have to look for it.
Therefore, please look.

In everything that we experience as painful, a trial, suffering or a duty, believe me, close by is the hand of an angel. This invisible presence is a wonderful gift.

Life is full of endless ideas and beauty and the earth is its repository. It covers the sky.
Take courage, therefore. Reclaim this. That is all.

We are pilgrims, traveling together through unknown countries. They will lead us to their homeland .

On this Christmas day, I send you my best wishes, not in the usual way, but with a prayer:
May your days remain luminous and may all shadows disappear now and forever.
Signed Fra Angelico da Fiesole 1387

In gratitude,