+ Dear Relatives and Friends,

the sacred texts of East and West call out to us: “Lift up your eyes!” 

At this mid-winter season in the Northern hemisphere, we do lift up our eyes to the starry night sky. In turn, its awesome beauty lifts up our awestruck hearts. 

So much, these days, is weighing us down; all the more, we need to raise the eyes of our hearts to the beauty of nature and art that still has power to give us courage. 

We need to lift up our eyes beyond what divides us; only united can we tackle our tasks.

Only when we lift up our eyes, do we notice the many opportunities to give joy to others and in giving joy to others, we find joy ourselves.

It takes so little: $50 will make a blind child see.

Courage and unity in tackling our shared tasks, generosity and the joy that flows from it, what better gifts could i wish for all of us on the threshold of 2022? 

Let us lift up your eyes, then, and look for the Morningstar dawning.

Your Brother David

Br. David monk

Photo: Diego Ortiz Mugica

Br. David Steindl-Rast is the founding advisor of A Network for Grateful Living. He is a Benedictine monk, interfaith pioneer, author, and teacher.  You can read more about him and find his extensive online archives here.

If you would like to offer a brief reflection on this letter or a short greeting for Br. David during this season of light, please do so in the space below.

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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.