Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But my making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you the most,
And by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope, and joy to you for the year ahead!
— St. Thomas à Becket (1118 or 1120—1170)