Throughout the ages we have been longing to see the birth of a child that will show us what it means to be fully human.

Winter, 2016

+ My dear Friends,

On clear winter nights here in the Austrian Alps i never get tired of looking up to the glittering sky. Under the immense dome of stars arching above me, a strange longing grips my heart. I cannot name what i am longing for, but it makes me feel close to our ancestors throughout the ages who stood like this, looking up at the stars. They must have felt that same longing, for it triggered in their hearts images of hope, hope for a child of promise, the Star Child, whose birth would signal the arrival of a new age and bring peace to the world. The Great Mystery would shine forth in that child, the mystery of Life, of our own unfathomable human life.

Yes, throughout the ages we have been longing to see the birth of a child that will show us what it means to be fully human. And still we keep straining to see this dream of our deepest collective longing become reality. I like to think that the frightful upheavals we are undergoing now are labor pains – inevitable birth pangs if a new humanity is to be born.

mother and son

16-year old Bagda and her son Asil

Last week, a friend took this picture of 16-year old Bagda and her son Asil, Syrian refugees in a Lebanese camp. In the beaming eyes of his mother, baby Asil is quite obviously a Star Child. And who knows? The child destined to peacefully shepherd the wolves and lambs of our society may be born somewhere right now, just as it has been born before, and more than once – Baby Shiva, the Baby Buddha, the child in the manger at Bethlehem. But that birth will help us only if it takes place within each one of us. But how? If in you and me a childlike trust in life is born; a trust that conquers fear.

The birth of the fearless Star Child within you – this is what i wish you from my heart as we pass through darkness into the growing light of a new year.

Your brother David


Baby Shiva, Baby Buddha, Baby Jesus

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Br. David Steindl-Rast
Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.