Magnifying the Lord God is our souls’ business (as Brother Burrito just so kindly pointed out), so it is not inappropriate to be distracted again by the essentials of our Christian lives, rather than by our possibly amplified Christmastide waistlines.
Those who may not yet have heard of Friar Alessandro may make his acquaintance here in this cave, the Shepherds Cave at Beit Sahour (in Arabic, “the place of the night watch” – of sheep, presumably), near Bethlehem. It is more or less the Franciscan prayer before the San Damiano Cross. With translation from one particular modern form of Latin (or Italian, if you insist), attempted by your humble servant:
Alto e glorioso Dio,
illumina il cuore mio,
dammi fede retta, speranza certa,
Exalted and glorious God,
illumine my heart,
give me true faith, certain hope
and perfect charity.
Dammi umiltà profonda,
dammi senno e cognoscimento,
che io possa sempre servire
con gioia i tuoi comandamenti.
Give me profound humility,
give me right judgment and true self-knowledge,
that I may ever be a joyful servant
of your commandments.
Rapisca, ti prego, Signore,
l’ardente e dolce forza del tuo amore
la mente mia da tutte le cose,
perchè io muoia per amor tuo,
come tu moristi per amor dell’amor mio.
I pray you, Lord,
that the burning sweet power of your love
carry my mind away from all things,
such that I should even die for your sake,
just as you died for my love’s sake.
Repeat verses 1 & 2
(This is not actually your servant’s favourite kind of music. However, Brother Alessandro, a native of Perugia and a friar of Assisi, does have a fine gift and Monsignor Frisina is prolific, well known and appreciated. They both have websites. But it’s the prayer that counts, mainly.)