Il Presepe at the Sanctuario di San Damiano Assisi, 24 December 2021

One of the oldest known Italian Christmas songs is “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle”. Written by St Alphonsus of Ligouri in 1754, the title means, “You come down from the stars.” The lyrics sing of the Divine Baby Jesus who came to this world on a dark December night, birthed in a cave and wrapped in swaddling clothes. The words sing of what it must have been like to see this fragile newborn and His parents, trembling amidst cold and poverty, yet in His heart lived the love that would save the world. A love without question or condition. A love that endures, and until today, never fails.

I can’t help thinking how even then the message is so clear : “Love is enough.”

I think farther and see how that fits for me in this modern world, “Do i love my family, my work, my friends? What ways are available for me to show it?” My list includes staying in touch, saying sorry when i need to and accepting an apology so peace in the heart is restored, being kind because I too received many kindnesses, being dependable and faithful even when it is difficult, doing my best even when I feel like I am failing, caring for myself so i can care for others….”

The list is long, I realize. Love is many ways practical, without need for material things. Love makes everything enough. We need not wait for others to give it to us. Remember we are all loved first and so completely by the trembling but brave baby boy descended from the stars, whose birthday we celebrate today. Remember His parents who faced uncertainty, fear and suffering to birth His light into our lives. How greatly loved we are and how capable we are of loving!

Here is that beautiful song that children, young and old, in Italy sing often at Christmas time. Let Love abound, surround and enfold us all this Season and always! ♥️🎄🌟🌹