Oftentimes we are blinded when we focus our attention to material things, self-importance or power; sometimes without thinking, we cast careless and cruel words which kindle strife and wreck a life of the people we love.

We have to watch our words and allow the people who really care for us, to love us. Timely word help level stress… but it is the loving words that heal and bless. Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service, and from solitude to kinship with love and compassion.

It is love that dissolves hate and anger. Kindness melts cruelty. Compassion calms passion. Cooperation evokes love and when we bow, others bend. This creates harmony.

Here's a story of a little girl who gives her father a gold-wrapped box filled with kisses, then dies. Remorse finds expression in the subsequent death of the child and the grieving father is left with only memories of his child and an empty box.

As the story goes, once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year, few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family's only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady," he said harshly, "when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside the package!"

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.-Sophocles

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from God, our spouse, children, family and friends. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

When we touch someone with our spirit, in turn they touch our soul with their heart.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Tim Pedrosa

In this season of love, may we all remember the beautiful love of our spouse, our children, family members and friends. We wish you a meaningful and love-filled Christmas season and New Year  ahead. May your days be filled with love, joy, growth, and inspiration.