And so, I found myself in San Francisco’s Union Square a few days before Christmas. Some say it is the heart of the City. The Square is a lovely place to meet people, explore the artwork, sip on some coffee, and celebrate the Seasons of the year. Frequently, I leave my heart there grateful for the gift of all the people from around the World.
So, there I was, one beautiful night in December when the sky was sparkling with stars, the skaters flying on the ice, the children mesmerized by the lights and the tall Christmas Tree. The music blessed us as the Hannukah Lamps gently shed their light. Here, in the heart of the City, the World meets itself.
Meanwhile, I was actually critiquing the Tree. I was thinking it to be too artificial, too perfect, too commercial, after all it is little more than a commercial ploy for a department store. I was about to discover anew why I love this Square where people unite in friendship and love.
As I gazed upon the Tree, I heard a prayerful quiet voice. I was startled, lost in thought, as this quiet, gentle voice sounded in my ear and landed in my heart. I looked to my left and there stood a man who was obviously homeless and poor. His gloves were worn out, his clothes tattered, his skin dry, and his heart was magnificent. Ever so quietly, ever so lovingly, he said to me, “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
This was my first gift of Christmas given to me by a stranger of the night. My homeless friend invited me to see the beauty beyond the harsh judgments I was suffering in that moment. He saw beyond the obvious. He had the ability and the willingness to understand what we long for as people. I looked at him and said, “You know what is really beautiful?” He looked down as if preparing to be corrected. “You!” He looked at me with a simple smile of joy. We embraced and he moved on to save another soul.
Thank you, my friends, for being beautiful. May you always be the gift you are to all the people you meet. Thank you for making the World a better place even in the midst of hurt, loss, uncertainty, and great suffering. May every blessing be yours.
Thomas P. Bonacci. C.P.
Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at: